Michael S. Mehrmann

piggy-bankThere are many different types of wrinkles one may encounter in an effort to obtain compensation for the harm you suffered in an auto accident. On the surface, your case might seem straightforward: prove that the person you sued was, in fact, at fault, prove that the accident injured you, and prove that those injuries caused you to suffer damages. Seems simple, right? But what happens when the person who hit you has all his assets held by an irrevocable trust? Questions like these are a reminder of the importance of retaining experienced Massachusetts injury counsel, so that you are prepared for whatever twists, turns and surprises your case may throw at you.

Recently, such a “twists and turns” case was the Massachusetts lawsuit brought by S.C. The backstory underlying S.C.’s injury accident dated back several years. In 2001, B.M. was injured in an auto accident. He suffered a severe traumatic brain injury. In 2007, an irrevocable “spendthrift” trust was established for the benefit of B.M. The trust held more than $4.1 million in assets, including $3.5 million in stocks and bonds, a house in Plymouth worth $538,000 and $120,000 of other assets.

Fast forward to 2014, and B.M. and S.C. were involved in a head-on collision. Allegedly, B.M. was traveling 76 mph in a 35 zone, crossed the center line to pass and slammed head-on into S.C.

medical researchThere can many traps awaiting the unwary claimant in a workers’ compensation case. Your employer, or its insurer, likely will be armed with knowledgeable attorneys who are well-versed both in the facts of the case and the law. They may recite Latin words and phrases you don’t know, or legal terms with which you are unfamiliar. To make sure you avoid those traps, make certain you are as well-equipped as your opponent by retaining the services of an experienced Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorney.

If you have pursued both a civil lawsuit and a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, the former has the potential to impact the latter. An example of this was the case of L.Y., who worked as a clinical researcher at a biotechnology company, testing new medications. According to the researcher, his supervisor engaged improper methodology on some tests, which the researcher refused to follow. After the supervisor’s results were discarded, the researcher was allegedly reduced to “meaningless” work, ridiculed by co-workers and eventually fired. All of this, according to L.Y., caused him to suffer a psychological injury.

The researcher did not seek psychiatric care for nearly three years. His doctor diagnosed him as having experienced a “severe, single episode depression.” An impartial physician who examined L.Y. concluded that the researcher had schizoaffective disorder that, while not caused by the negative events at work, had been made worse by them. The independent doctor concluded that L.Y. was totally disabled and that “significantly improved functional capacity is unlikely.”

If you, or a loved one who has been injured Plymouth County personal injury law attorney Michael S. Mehrmann has spent many years helping people from across Plymouth County, including in Kingston, Plymouth, Marshfield, Hanson, Carver, Pembroke, and Duxbury, deal with their legal needs. Attorney Mehrmann was recognized by the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys in 2018 as one of the 10 Best Personal Injury Attorneys in MA for exceptional and oustanding client service.

Taken from the American Institute of Legal Counsel:

best attorneys

10 Best Attorneys In Client Service

elderly womanA development in a Massachusetts nursing home negligence case serves as an important reminder of many things, but one in particular. That one particular thing is just how incredibly important it is to be ready to oppose, and defeat, a facility owner’s motion to derail your case via arbitration. Failure to avoid arbitration at this stage means never getting to argue your case in front of a jury, and having to present your case in a setting where it may be harder to get the full amount you deserve. A success at this stage opens up a variety of opportunities for obtaining the compensation your family needs. To ensure you are equipped to take on the other side and succeed, be sure you have experienced Massachusetts injury counsel in your corner, advocating for your needs.

An example of this type of situation played out in a Massachusetts wrongful death action, with the plaintiff receiving a $500,000 settlement recently. The case involved a 100-year-old resident of a Bristol County nursing home, whom her 98-year-old roommate allegedly suffocated with a plastic bag. After the resident’s death, the deceased woman’s son filed a wrongful death claim against the nursing home.

There are many possible ways that a nursing home can be liable for the injury to, or death of, a resident. One way, of course, is through neglect of the resident. Neglect can manifest through untreated bedsores, malnutrition or dehydration. Another way, however, is inadequately providing for resident safety. For residents with memory/cognitive issues, this can involve inadequate systems to prevent residents from wandering away.

stepsWhen you are injured due to someone else’s negligence, such as in a slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the amount of damages that you’ve suffered. In certain circumstances, though, your ability to recover payment for the full extent of the harm you suffered may be limited, even if you have proof of negligence and of the harm you suffered. One such scenario involves cases where the entity who allegedly harmed you is entitled to immunity. Obtaining full success, then, is making sure that you are able to persuade the court that no form of immunity should apply to protect that person or entity. When it comes to these and other litigation strategies, make sure you have a knowledgeable Massachusetts injury attorney to represent you.

Today, what is a “public” entity versus a private one can be less than perfectly clear, given the increasing prevalence of public-private partnerships. Take, for example, public housing. A public housing program may be operated by a public housing authority (a governmental entity,) but the individual properties may be owned and/or managed by private entities. That was the situation facing a man injured in a recent slip-and-fall case.

J. allegedly slipped and fell while going down the stairs at his public housing apartment building. The resident suffered significant injuries, so he sued several entities for the harm he incurred. The entities he included in his lawsuit were the local housing authority, the owner of the building and the owner’s managing agent.

convenience storeWhen you experience the loss of a loved one due to an accident, it is always devastating. If that accident occurred because someone else was negligent, the issues you may be facing multiply. In addition to your family issues, that negligence may create legal issues. The loss of your loved one undoubtedly did major damage to your emotional happiness, and it may also have done major damage to the financial stability of your family. For all of these processes, it is important to retain a skilled Massachusetts wrongful death attorney to represent you and ensure that your legal rights are protected.

Developing and presenting a persuasive case in a wrongful death action involves many types of evidence. A recent example was the case of a man named Albert, who sued a convenience store chain for the wrongful death of his wife, Kimmy. When the couple stopped at the store’s location in Chicopee, Kimmy went inside for coffee while Albert parked the vehicle. As the woman began to enter the store, an 81-year-old man, who may have had a stroke, raced his Ford Explorer through the parking lot and into the façade of the store at more than 55 mph. A store worker was hurt, and Kimmy was killed.

Albert sued the convenience store chain for Kimmy’s wrongful death. In a wrongful death case like this, you can pursue your case under a premises liability theory. This means that, much as with a trip-and-fall or slip-and-fall accident that causes injuries, you can establish the property owner’s liability by showing that there was a dangerous condition present on the property, that the property owner knew or reasonably should have known about the hazard, that the property owner failed to fix the problem, and that this unresolved hazard caused the victim’s injuries.

Delayed injuries are a reality that happens for a variety of reasons. After an accident your body releases endorphins. According to howstuffworks.com  “Endorphins are neurotransmitters whose functions range from blocking pain, to generating feelings of pleasure.” In the time following in accident it’s hard to gauge levels of pain or trauma as a result of the endorphins released in your body. This effect can last for days or even weeks, leading some injuries to go unnoticed in the immediate aftermath following an automobile accident.

whiplash, delayed injury

Simulated whiplash

In the coming weeks following an accident, it’s not uncommon for one to feel abdominal pain, headaches, pain in the neck and shoulders, back pain, or a sense of numbness or tingling as a result from the impact of a car accident. Conditions of this type occurring after an accident are likely the result of said accident. It is important to see a doctor to get a proper valuation following these symptoms to determine your condition.

You’re driving your car on a two lane highway in the right hand lane, and you observe the posted speed limit as 60 MPH. Looking at your speedometer you note that you’re reasonably matching the speed limit within 1-2 miles. For the most part traffic is flowing consistently and smoothly along with the posted speed, however after sometime you find yourself behind someone traveling slower than the flow of traffic. You signal to switch lanes, but there’s not enough room to make the change. The person in front of you glances at their rearview mirror and sees you tailgating them. Meanwhile you haven’t slowed your vehicle to account for the drop in speed, either hoping the driver in front of you speeds up or you can make the lane change. The driver in front of you is growing agitated from your close proximity and performs a maneuver called the “break test.” Then crunch, you’re involved in a car accident. You’re convinced this accident is an act of road rage, but proving that you weren’t in violation of the common law -Assured Clear Distance Ahead (ACDA) is going to prove highly difficult. So what exactly is ACDA, and how can we better understand it to mitigate our liability in accidents.

  • First lets define what following too closely is. According to the US Federal Motor Carrier Safety following too closely is defined as “situations in which one vehicle is following another vehicle so closely that even if the following driver is attentive to the actions of the vehicle ahead he/she could not avoid a collision in the circumstance when the driver in front brakes suddenly.” So what is considered a safe distance?
  • tailgaiting

    A driver not maintaining an assured clear distance

It’s five o’ clock on a Friday and you’re heading home after an exhausting week of work. You’re practically on auto-pilot with the thought of the impending weekend being the only fuel guiding you home, and then BAM-it happens. You find yourself in a car accident. Everyone understands when you get behind the wheel you run the risk of finding yourself in a surprise collision, yet we never think about the odds of it actually happening to us, and even worse we don’t know the steps to take to protect ourselves in the event of an automobile accident adapted from the Massachusetts DMV site.

Car Accidet

EMS Clearing A Car Accident

  1. First and foremost, you must never leave the scene of an accident. It seems obvious and trite, but flight is a guttural reaction to stimuli. You must remain as calm and reposed as you can, given the circumstance. Find a safe place to pull over your car, staying as reasonably close to the vehicle, or property you collided with without obstructing traffic. Be aware of your surroundings and any other potential dangers, such as fire, or a downed electrical wire.

falling manSometimes, the key to achieving a truly full success in your workers’ compensation case is not succeeding in the initial hearing but overcoming your employer’s (or your employer’s insurer’s) efforts to terminate your benefits. Getting the full benefit of your workers’ compensation means not just being prepared to win your benefits hearing but also preparing for a hearing regarding the reduction or elimination of your benefits. For all of these processes, it is helpful to rely on experienced Massachusetts workers’ compensation counsel who is well-versed in every type of hearing and process.

One worker who fought successfully to maintain his benefits in a recent ruling was Robert, a vending machine route delivery driver for many years. The driver’s job involved a great deal of heavy physical labor, including transporting boxes of coins that could weigh as much as 100 pounds. One day in the spring of 2015, Robert became injured when he fell down five steps at work.

Robert filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. The judge in his case concluded that his injuries were very serious, including a fractured and dislocated elbow, along with a wrist injury. Robert was awarded temporary total disability benefits. Less than a year later, the insurer made an effort to reduce or eliminate the benefits. The basis for the insurance company’s effort was an examining physician’s opinion that Robert could perform light duty work with lifting restrictions.