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W. Thomas Smith

W. Smith’s Legal Guides

20 total


  • What’s the owner liability law in Massachusetts for dog bite personal injuries?

    The traditional common law approach to dog owner liability for bites causing personal injuries was that the owner had to have reason to know of the dogs propensity to bite. As a practical matter, this rule meant that every dog got one free bite. With the next bite and subsequent ...

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  • Personal injuries to Police Officers

    Police officers are exposed to dangers on the job every day that subject them to personal injury or death. Almost every aspect of the job--whether confronting criminals, responding to fires or other calls and emergencies, driving a vehicle, or directing traffic-involves serious r...

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  • Insurer: Personal Injury Claims and Settlement Process

    Whether they arise from automobile accidents, defective products, construction site accidents, medical malpractice, or fall-down injuries, all claims for personal injuries or death are claims for compensation in money damages. Most often the compensation is paid by the insurer fo...

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  • Massachusetts Construction Accident Liability Law Deconstructed

    A construction jobsite injury can be devastating, both physically and financially, to a carpenter, plumber, electrician, laborer, ironworker, mason, or other tradesperson. Workers' compensation benefits do not make up for the loss of income from time out of work and the strain pu...

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  • Personal Injury Attorney Fees – Contingent, Hourly or Set Fee? Part I

    Whenever you need a lawyer, an important part of the choice is how and how much the lawyer is to be paid. Much legal work is done by lawyers based on an hourly charge or based on a set fee for a specific project. Divorce, wills and estate planning, and criminal defense are exampl...

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  • Personal Injury Attorney Fees - Changing Lawyers and Fee Splitting - Part 2

    1. What happens when your lawyer refers you to another firm? Suppose your local lawyer wants to refer your personal injury case to another firm. This often happens when the case requires specialized expertise or the size and complexity of a case is too big an undertaking for a so...

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  • Personal Injury Attorney Fees - Health Insurance, Workers' Compensation, Medicare and Medicaid Liens

    In virtually every personal injury case, there is a claim (often called a lien) by a third party to be repaid out of the case settlement. Most frequently this lien is for the amount of medical benefits paid because of the injury. How this lien for repayment relates to the attorne...

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  • Trampoline Injuries and Massachusetts Liability

    Although trampolines can provide fun and exercise for children, teenagers, and adults, they also present a risk of injury and potential liability. Trampoline use has been in the news recently, as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has recommended against use by children. ht...

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  • Parent, Child and Spouse - The Loss of Consortium Claim in Massachusetts - Part 1 Spouses

    When a family member sustains serious injuries, the whole family can suffer. The family injury extends beyond the economic losses where a wage earner is incapacitated and beyond out-of pocket medical expenses or care expenses. A serious injury to a family member can cause real an...

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  • Parent, Child and Spouse - The Loss of Consortium Claim in Massachusetts - Part 2 Parent and Child

    After the Diaz decision, spouses could sue for loss of the other's consortium, but what of other family members? Massachusetts decided in Ferriter vs. Daniel O'Connell Sons, that a minor child could sue for loss of consortium where his or her parent was injured by a wrong-doer. ...

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