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Joel Daniel Matteson

Joel Matteson’s Answers

53 total


  • A firm had my medical mal case for 16 mo. They told me they had filed suit. Then lawyer called me & said they changed mind

    I had been told on daily basis that case was filed. I asked for copy of pleadings and did not get them. Out of blue I got call from Atty Novatny (MA fisaying that he did not like NH tribunals & that his NH counsel had conflict of interest. He ha...

    Joel’s Answer

    Sorry to hear about your situation. If an attorney takes your case, that attorney is obligated to keep you reasonably informed about the matter and to protect your interests. Even if your attorney changed his/her mind and decided to withdraw, your attorney should have done so prior to the expiration of the Statute of Limitations
    so that you would have an opportunity to try to find substitute counsel.

    If you missed the Statute of Limitations because of your attorney's inaction, you may have a malpractice suit and a bar complaint. Please note, however, that in a malpractice suit, you must show that you had a viable case and that you would have prevailed in court. This second part of a malpractice claim can be difficult to establish, especially with an underlying medical malpractice claim. You should consult with a malpractice attorney to better understand your rights. There is a Statute of Limitations for legal malpractice, so you should determine what that Statute is in your state. Best of luck.

    NOTE: this answer is not a substitute for legal representation. As with any legal matter, you should obtain legal counsel to better understand and protect your legal rights.

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  • Can I sue my surgeon if he perforated my bowel during key hole surgery Sept 09 which led on to open surgery an ileostomy

    Can I sue my surgeon if he perforated my bowel during key hole surgery Sept 09 which led on to open surgery an ileostomy and 2 subsequent ops I am about to potentially lose my job over all the time off (even though employer won't admit that) and s...

    Joel’s Answer

    Sorry to hear about your injury. Based on the information you provided, it is not possible to accurately determine whether the surgeon committed malpractice by perforating your bowel during surgery. It could be malpractice, but there are many unknown variables. For instance, if you had extensive adhesions or scar tissue in your bowel area (from prior surgeries, for example), this could increase the risk of perforation even if the surgeon was careful. Another important fact is the size and location of the perforation. If the perforation is large and farther away from where the doctor was supposed to be operating, this increases your chance of proving malpractice. On the other hand, if the perforation was very small and very near where the surgeon was supposed to be, this reduces your chance of success. The point is, the specific facts really do matter when determining whether a doctor committed malpractice.

    Perforation during key hole surgery is an inherent risk of surgery, even in the absence of negligence. Prior to surgery, your surgeon should have obtained your informed consent. This means that your surgeon had a duty to advise you of the risks of surgery, including perforation, and to discuss with you the reasonable alternatives to surgery, including non-treatment. If the doctor failed to do this, this may strengthen your claim.

    Medical malpractice claims are very complex and can be quite difficult to prove. You will need to hire expert surgeons to establish the standard of care and this surgeon's breach of that standard.

    The law limits the amount of time you have to file a claim. Therefore, you should contact a personal injury attorney about this matter as soon as possible. Best of luck.

    Note: this answer is not a substitute for legal representation. As with any legal matter, you should consider obtaining representation to protect your rights.

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  • Auto accident

    "I been in an auto accident a while back,and i didn't have insurance at the time.Now they want me to pay for the damage to the other party.I want wonderinf if it's possible to pay them back by doing comunity serive and pay the other half????"

    Joel’s Answer

    Sorry to hear about your accident. Sometimes, when someone commits a crime, one of the things they can do to make amends is perform community service. With an auto accident, however, an offer to perform community service has no value to the injured party.

    Your best bet is to negotiate a settlement with the other party. Depending on the amount of damage that was caused, you may want to consult with an attorney. If the damage was relatively minor, you are probably best off avoiding the expense of hiring an attorney to defend you or represent you in negotiations. On the other hand, if the damage is extensive, hiring an attorney to protect your interests might make sense. Most attorneys offer free consultations.

    I hope this answer helps. Best of luck.

    NOTE: this answer is not a substitute for legal representation. As with any legal matter, you should consider obtaining legal representation to better understand and protect your legal rights.

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  • Is there any attorney that will take my case?

    I was infected with HIV by a man that had already been diagnosed with HIV and failed to inform me. Even when I asked him he lied and 18 months later I tested positive for HIV.

    Joel’s Answer

    I am very sorry to hear about your diagnosis. In some states, a person who knows he/she has HIV and infects another person may be criminally and civilly liable to the person they infected on a theory of "battery."

    The law limits the time you have to file a claim, so you need to act fast. I suggest that you contact personal injury attorneys in the county where you live and get a free consultation.

    I hope this answer helps. Best of luck.

    Note: this answer is not a substitute for legal representation. As with any legal matter, you should carefully consider obtaining legal counsel to better understand your legal rights and obligations.

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  • Please help??

    I have had 3 mastopexys w/ implants within a 3 month time frame, my last one was today 1/13/12. The doctors did not charge me the last two I just had but I did pay for the 1st one. I had a infection the second one and am in so much paiin right now...

    Joel’s Answer

    Sorry to hear about your infection. As indicated by another attorney, it seems that your issue is medical, not legal. Therefore, you should seek medical care right away.

    However, in case you were wondering whether you might have a medical malpractice claim because you got an infection (your question is under the "medical malpractice" category), you almost certainly don't have a claim if your only evidence is that you got an infection after a procedure. The fact that your doctor did not charge for the last two procedures, even if they were corrective procedures, does not establish fault either.

    To prove fault in a medical malpractice claim, you must prove that, on a more likely than not basis, the medical professional's conduct fell below the standard of care for medical profesionals in that community and in that specialty. To prove this, you need expert medical testimony saying that the doctor's conduct (here, inadequate sanitary procedures?) fell below that standard because the doctor and her staff did or did not do "x, y, and z," and that caused you an infection that you would not otherwise have had. Thus far, you have not provided any information that supports that type of claim.

    Hope this helps you understand medical malpractice claims a bit more. Best of luck.

    (Note: this answer is not a substitute for legal consultation and representation. As with any legal matter, you should consider obtaining legal counsel to better understand your legal rights and obligations).

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  • Is slander and/or libel considered to be a crime in the state of Washington?

    What is the definition of slander and/or libel in the state of Washington?

    Joel’s Answer

    Slander and libel are, respectively, the spoken and written forms of the tort of "defamation." A tort is a non-criminal, wrongful act (aka, a "civil wrong"). To prove defamation, one must show that somebody said something false to another person with the intent of harming another person's reputation or good name, and that actual harm was caused as a result.

    As this definition suggests, truth is a defense to defamation, as is consent and opinion. People are generally allowed to express their opinion or speak the truth regardless of whether it is harmful to another's reputation and good name. It is only when the statements are false and harmful that one runs the risk of being successfully sued for defamation.

    There are some legally recognized "privileges" that protect a person against the charge of defamation, such whistleblowing or reporting a crime.

    I hope this answer helps.

    Note: this answer is not a substitute for legal advice and representation. As with any legal matter, you should consider obtaining legal counsel to better understand your legal rights and obligations.

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  • Medical Malpractice: Former attorney firms screw up missing a lot of respondents for the case, which I did not know till now...

    Hello, I am in a bind. I hired attorneys last year but fired them this early Jan. I never received a copy of the complaint they sent to the Respondent's attorneys. In March, I sent out a 15 discovery/interrogatory requests to those respondent. I...

    Joel’s Answer

    I would recommend that you keep trying to get an attorney to at least meet with you in person for a free consultation. You certainly do not want to try to navigate through complex medical malpractice litigation on your own. When/if you speak with attorneys about your case, be sure to explain the extent to which other medical doctors have backed up your claims. It is crucial that you be able to back up your claims of medical malpractice with expert medical testimony. The viability of a medical malpractice claim, and therefore your ability to get an attorney to accept the case, has much to do with the quality of supporting medical records and expert testimony.

    As for the apparent failure of your prior attorney to name certain co-defendants, I cannot recommend a course of action without knowing the reason for his/her ommision. Perhaps your former attorney did not name other defendants because the evidence against other potential defendants was weak and claims against those defendants would have been dismissed.

    Ordinarily, a remedy for failing to name a defendant in a lawsuit is to to "amend" the complaint to include allegations against previously unnamed defendants. Generally speaking, after the defendant has responded to your complaint, you typically need the judge's approval to amend your complaint. Depending on where you are in the litigation process and whether the Statute of Limitations has run, you may not be able to get the court's permission to amend.

    You must act quickly to (a) determine which defendants should have been named in the complaint; (b) what the basis for bringing in each new defendant is; and (c) why the court should permit you to amend your complaint now. Keep in mind that if you ask the judge to allow you to name new defendants, you had better have a good basis factual and legal basis for doing so now, otherwise you could be sanctioned for brining a frivolous lawsuit.

    I hope this helps. Best of luck.

    Note: this answer is not a substitute for legal advice or representation. As with any legal matter, you should carefully consider obtaining legal representation to better understand your legal rights and obligations.

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  • What shall I do about another lawyer?

    I was involved in a car accident in April of 2010. I dismissed the lawyer I had because of something that was said and done. I am finding it hard to find another lawyer because of the time limit and the lawyer who was dismissed is requesting ret...

    Joel’s Answer

    Sorry to hear that it did not work out with your first attorney. Generally speaking, your former attorney is entitled to be paid for the work that he/she did on your case, even though you discharged him/her.

    Review the fee agreement that you and your attorney signed when he/she accepted your case, as this agreement should contain provisions regarding what attorney fees would be due upon discharge.

    In the meantime, keep looking for other attorneys who can take over your case. While you are searching for a new attorney, be aware that you are still responsible for meeting all of the deadlines in your case, such as the Statute of Limitations (SOL).

    If, for instance, the SOL expires before you file suit, your claim will be automatically barred. Since the SOL varies by state, you should determine what the SOL is for your particular claim.

    I hope this answer is helpful. Best of luck.

    (Note: this answer is not a substitute for legal representation. As with any legal matter, you should carefully consider obtaining legal counsel to better understand your rights and obligations).

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  • 17 year old granddaughter had minor accident in car and was not insured at the time.

    person on motorcycle hit her backside. Now he wants $1,000 in repairs and $300 for bodily injury. I have a Release in Full of All Claims. Is there any kind of note I can add to it that his signing it would help get her driver's license off sus...

    Joel’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Hopefully, this dispute can be resolved without hiring an attorney, especially considering that the damages claim is relatively small. Before agreeing to settle, you will obviously want the other driver to provide you with proof of his damages. You will also want to consider whether the other driver was possibly partially at fault, as this affects the settlement value of a case in many jurisdictions. I would not, however, include a note regarding your granddaughter's license with the release.

    If all else fails and you cannot reach a fair settlement with the other driver, you should look into the possibility of taking the matter through small claims court.

    Hope this helps. Best of luck.

    Note: this answer is not a substitute for legal advice or representation. As with any legal matter, you should consider obtaining legal counsel to better understand your legal rights and obligations.

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  • Do I need a new attorney?

    Hello and thanks for your time. I was in an accident a couple years ago and retained an attorney (contigency fee) for personal injury. Throughout the first 10 or 11 months, we kept in contact and after I settled with workers comp, I have not hea...

    Joel’s Answer

    I can see why you are frustrated. You have a right to expect your attorney to communciate with you about your case and respond to reasonable requests for information.

    At the end of the day, you still must comply with all deadlines regarding your case, regardless of whether your attorney is communicating with you. Therefore, you should give yourself plenty of time to find a replacement attorney before your next legal deadline.

    Best of luck.

    (Note: this answer is for informational purposes only; no attorney-client relationship has been formed. As with any legal matter, you should strongly consider obtaining legal representation to better understand your legal rights and obligations).

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