Vigliotti And Gambaccini Again Named Super Lawyers For 2018

The Worcester, Massachusetts law firm of Reardon, Joyce & Akerson, P.C. announces that two of its attorneys, John K. Vigliotti and Andrew J. Gambaccini, have been selected as Super Lawyers for 2018 by Super Lawyers Magazine.

Vigliotti receives the award for the fourth time, one for each year he has been eligible. Prior to being named a Super Lawyer, Vigliotti twice was named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine.

Gambaccini receives the honor for the second time in his second year of eligibility. Previously, Gambaccini was named a Rising Star in eight years by Super Lawyers Magazine.

Each year, no more than five percent of the lawyers in Massachusetts are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor. Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a rigorous multiphase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area.

Are autumn leaves a slip and fall liability?

The arrival of fall brings with it the pleasure of watching the leaves turn. Fall is famous in New England because of the many vibrant colors, from bright yellow through to deep violet, that nature treats us to as the days grow shorter.

When leaves turn, though, they inevitably have to fall to the ground. Autumn invariably brings with it wet weather as well. Wet leaves, strewn along the sidewalks and streets, can pose a major risk of slips and falls. While winter’s ice and snow might get most of the attention for slip-and-fall injuries, a fall on wet leaves can result in injuries like a fall from any other cause: fractures, back injuries, head injuries, and sprains.

Under Massachusetts premises liability law, homeowners and commercial property owners are responsible for clearing even “natural” accumulations of leaves and snow.

If you’ve suffered an injury due to a slip and fall on wet leaves the owner of the property may be liable. If you’ve slipped in a commercial parking lot, entrance way, or sidewalk, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, emotional distress, pain and suffering.

Contact our office to learn your rights and if you have a viable slip and fall injury case.

Will skipping a doctor’s visit now hurt my chances of a personal injury settlement later?

From a purely health perspective, we would have to recommend that you get yourself checked out at a doctor. With the rush of adrenaline and nerves you experienced immediately after the accident, your body may have been suppressing pain as part of your ancient survival mechanisms. You may not realize you are injured until you have had a chance to calm down.

Additionally, injuries, even serious ones, can take days to manifest themselves, or may not always have obvious symptoms. For your own health and safety, we would hope you go to a doctor immediately or shortly after a car accident.

On a financial level, the longer you wait to use your insurance or make claims against the other party’s, the more difficult it becomes to get paid for your medical bills or lost wages. The longer you wait to treat injuries, the more expensive your treatment could become.

In legal terms, skipping a doctor’s visit until injuries become more apparent does not prevent you from reaching a settlement later. However, it may make it more difficult.

In Massachusetts, there is a two-year period in which to claim personal injury after an accident under your no-fault benefits. However, the longer you wait after an accident, the easier it is for insurers and, later on, attorneys to argue that your medical expenses are not the result of the accident.

So, call your doctor—and then call us to discuss next steps.

How long do I have in MA to claim injury after an accident?

he Massachusetts General Laws explicitly says there is a three-year period in which to claim personal injury protection benefits after an accident. However, the law also stipulates that you make your claim “as soon as practicable after the accident occurs from which such claim arises” (G.L. Chapter 90, Section 34M)

Your insurance company is responsible by law for paying legitimate medical expenses, arising directly from the accident, regardless of fault, up to the limits of the relevant policy. It must begin payment on these reported expenses within ten days.

However, the insurer can contest the validity of your medical bills. Remember, insurance companies are trying to spend as little as possible on you, no matter how faithfully you make your payments. This is what makes it so important, aside from health reasons, to visit a doctor for treatment and documentation shortly after an accident.

The law allows your insurer to demand that an injured party “submit to physical examinations by physicians selected by the insurer.” As to how often you might have to make a trip to see any doctor hand-selected by the insurance company, the law only specifies “as often as may be reasonably required.” Should you think that the insurer’s demands are unreasonable, it may use your “noncooperation” as a reason to deny payment.

If an insurance company is not giving you your due, call us today to discuss options.

Source: Michigan Truck Accident Lawyer | Lansing Truck Accidents | The Clark Law Office

Food Related Injuries Under Massachusetts Law

Here’s a little-known fact: under Massachusetts law, if you’re injured by a bone lodged in your throat after eating a prepared dish, whether you can recover for your injuries may depend on what kind of bone it is. If it’s a bone from a chicken pot pie, then you may have a viable claim. If it’s a fish bone from a bowl of chowder, then you probably don’t.

To explain why that’s the case, in this article we examine how Massachusetts law addresses claims of physical injury resulting from ingesting food. (We exclude from this discussion foodborne illnesses, which, though they involve similar legal basic issues to those described below, also typically feature some evidentiary and causal complexities that are beyond the scope of proving injuries from chicken and haddock bones.)  [Read more…]

Massachusetts Personal Injury Claims Explained

You could be driving down I-290 during rush hour when, suddenly, a person driving a large SUV whips into your lane, causing you to rear-end him. However, there were multiple witnesses who reported to the Massachusetts State Police trooper that the other driver was speeding. Three witnesses reported he was weaving in and out of traffic. Suddenly, what could have been your fault is a clear case of reckless driving, because, thank goodness, people were willing to share what they saw with the police. Now, you’re laid up in a nearby hospital awaiting surgery for multiple hip and leg fractures. This type of car accident is more common on Massachusetts highways than one might think.

How Much Time Do You Have to File a Lawsuit?

A car accident can be devastating, causing you and your dependents to lose your economic stability due to debilitating injuries. In Massachusetts, there is a statute of limitations that limits how long you have to file your claim. Here, as an injured victim, you will typically have three years beginning on the accident date to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party and his or her insurance company. Your lawsuit may be for economic (such as lost wages or income, medical expenses and car rental expenses) and non-economic damages (such as bodily injuries, pain, and suffering). If you’re trying to sue a government entity (i.e. a city, county, or state agency) within this state, then your statute of limitations to file a claim demand letter with the government entity is only two years, although your time to file a lawsuit is still three years. In cases where there’s a latent injury, which means you didn’t know about the permanent bodily damage caused by the accident until a later date, there may be a three-year statute of limitations beginning on the date you discovered it.  [Read more…]

Civil Rights Claims Against Fall River Police Officer Dismissed In Federal Court

In a case handled by RJA Attorney Andrew Gambaccini, a federal judge last week dismissed federal civil rights claims against a police officer from the Fall River Police Department.  The primary plaintiff’s allegations generally were that he was present in an apartment when members of the Fall River Vice Unit executed a search warrant and, during the warrant execution, he was kicked in the head repeatedly.  That plaintiff brought a federal civil rights lawsuit, alleging that he was the victim of excessive force, that officers failed to intervene in the use of excessive force and that officers also failed to provide him with medical attention.  The plaintiff, who is black, further claimed that the officers were involved in a conspiracy to harm him based on his race.  The plaintiff’s two daughters also sued, claiming that their relationships with their father had been damaged because of his injuries.

A motion to dismiss resulted in the federal court’s rejection of the conspiracy and state civil rights claims, as well as all claims by the two daughters.  Discovery proceeded concerning the limited federal claims remaining and the plaintiff repeatedly was pressed to substantiate his allegations.  When the plaintiff failed to cooperate in discovery, a motion to dismiss based upon his discovery failures was filed.  The federal court permitted the plaintiff a last bite at the apple but, when he failed to cooperate again, all of the remaining claims of the plaintiff were dismissed with prejudice.  Although the Judge noted that dismissal of claims based upon a failure to cooperate in discovery is an extreme sanction that only should be used in situations where there is no other alternative, the Judge was persuaded that this situation fit that high standard.

Andrew Gambaccini Selected To Write Employee-Side Commentary For The Massachusetts Civil Service Commission Reporter

In Massachusetts, a significant number of public employees, including many police officers, are civil service employees and see their employment governed by the Commonwealth’s civil service laws and regulations.  The Massachusetts Civil Service Commission is the agency that processes and decides appeals of various types involving civil service employees, including disciplinary actions, bypass decisions, job classification disputes and other issues related to the civil service laws and regulations.

The Massachusetts Civil Service Commission Reporter is an important resource that publishes regularly the official decisions issued by the Civil Service Commission.  In addition to publishing the Commission’s decisions, the Reporter also features exclusive commentary from noted and experienced civil service attorneys.  These expert commentaries analyze the decisions of the Commission and provide readers with useful insight from the selected attorneys, who represent the sides of management and employees in disputes before the Commission.  Beginning in 2018, RJA Attorney Andrew Gambaccini will be writing the employee-side commentaries for the Reporter.

RJA Vindicates Deputy Police Chief

By Amaris Castillo | Lowell Sun

DRACUT — There will be no disciplinary action for Deputy Police Chief David Chartrand and Sgt. Gregg Byam will be suspended for one day without pay over their administration of the Police Department’s evidence locker.

The decisions end more than a year of controversy over the management of the evidence locker, which was the subject of a scathing September 2016 consultant’s report that found the Police Department failed to follow numerous evidence policy requirements that led to the mishandling of property and evidence.

“That was recommended and, out of respect for the process, out of respect for the hearing officer, I will accept his recommendation,” Town Manager Jim Duggan said Thursday of the recommendations recently rendered by hearing officer James P. Hall.

Chartrand’s lawyer, Andrew J. Gambaccini, said in an email to The Sun: “After having to endure months of speculation, as well as troubling negative commentary from Town Manager Duggan, Deputy Chief David Chartrand is pleased to have been vindicated by the hearing officer’s finding that there does not exist evidence to impose any discipline whatsoever upon the Deputy for matters related to the evidence room controversy in Dracut. The hearing officer in this case was Attorney James P. Hall, who was chosen by the Town Manager to sit as the finder of the facts in this case. Although hand-picked by the Manager, we always had every confidence in Attorney Hall and his reputation for thoroughness and honesty.  [Read more…]

April 11, 2018 – Federal Bar Association Panel Discussion

On April 11, 2018, the Civil Rights Section and Massachusetts Chapter of the Federal Bar Association will present a panel discussion on “Qualified Immunity on the Cutting Edge: Has the Doctrine Run Its Course?” RJA Attorney Andrew Gambaccini will be one of the panelists, speaking on the doctrine of qualified immunity from the defense perspective. Other panelists include Judge Timothy Hillman, United States District Court Judge for the District of Massachusetts, and Professor Karen Blum of Suffolk University Law School. Further details can be found in the flyer for the panel. [download flyer]

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