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Proving Negligence

Negligence is the failure to exercise due care. In law school, the tort professors drill into the minds of every first-year student the three required elements of a tort – duty, breach and causation. This simply means that there must be a duty to exercise due care and a breach of that duty, and the breach must be the direct (and proximate) cause of the injury.

Negligence causes:

  • Economic loss
  • Property damage
  • Personal injury
  • Mental anguish

Individuals and families struggle following the mistakes of others, and they often don’t know how or whether to take action to recoup their losses, what their rights are and what to do to preserve those rights. That’s not the way it should be. My job at Bonsignore Trial Lawyers, PLLC, is to hold liable parties accountable for their actions. My goal is to ensure you can go forward with your life in the best possible way.

Types Of Cases Involving Claims Of Negligence

At Bonsignore Trial Lawyers, PLLC, I handle most types of negligence claims, including the following areas:

  • Aviation disasters
  • Automobile wrecks
  • Bad pharmaceutical drugs
  • Bad medical devices
  • Boating and all water sports injuries
  • Catastrophic injury
  • Construction defects
  • Construction site practices
  • Cruise ship injuries
  • Design, sale or manufacture of a defective product
  • Failure of a specially skilled or educated person to meet professional standards
  • Faulty construction
  • Home repair
  • Maintenance of property
  • Medical malpractice
  • Motorcycle wrecks
  • Nursing home injuries
  • Overserving of liquor
  • Property damage
  • Premises liability
  • Slip-and-fall accidents
  • Trucking wrecks
  • Workplace injuries
  • Wrongful death claims

These examples are just a few areas where a claim based on negligence may work to make you whole. If you believe you’ve been a victim of any type of negligence, it is in your best interest to discuss your case with me, attorney Robert Bonsignore, at length. Even if you are unsure if you have a case, let me discuss it with you.

How A Negligence Case Is Handled

If you have a case worth prosecuting, I will offer to represent you at no cost. Bonsignore Trial Lawyers, PLLC, accepts negligence cases on a contingency fee basis.

Initial Consultation And Screening

During the initial consultation, I will screen your case and provide immediate advice as to whether the facts support further investigation. My firm advances all negligence claims on a contingency fee basis. I create an initial opinion that is carefully reached and is based upon my training, education and experience. If I do not believe you have a meritorious claim, I will let you know. If I believe you have a meritorious claim but the cost and strain on you exceed the anticipated return, I will let you know. If I believe you have a meritorious claim that is worth pursuing, I will let you know.

Retention Agreement Is In Writing

When I formally agree to represent you, my firm will provide you with a retention agreement that sets forth in plain language the scope of its representation and how it is compensated. I am only paid for my time and your case expenses if and when you receive a recovery of money.

Investigation Of Claims

After the execution of a written retention agreement, my team at Bonsignore Trial Lawyers, PLLC, will fully investigate the facts and determine who caused your injuries. If I determine that another person or entity did something negligent or careless and caused your injury, I will fight on your behalf and ensure you are made whole. My firm often hires experts and consultants. I will work with individuals, medical providers and anyone else who is assisting you in the ordinary course of your own efforts to minimize the related harm and return to normal.

Informal Attempts At A Fair Resolution

After completing our investigation and gathering all the documentation and expert opinions reasonably necessary to prove liability and damages, Bonsignore Trial Lawyers, PLLC, will contact the other side and attempt to reach a settlement. This is often an insurance company. My firm has earned a reputation for not suffering fools. If a reasonable offer is not made, I file suit.

Filing Of A Lawsuit

Starting a suit simply involves the filing of a civil action or “complaint.” A complaint is a formal document filed in court that sets forth the facts and law supporting a plaintiff’s claims. The complaint is served on the defendant with a summons. The defendant files what is called an “answer.” After that, what is known as “discovery” begins. Discovery is the formal exchange of information. At Bonsignore Trial Lawyers, PLLC, I will rough draft answers to discovery with you, taking the bulk of the effort off your shoulders. I will work with you to get your answers to discovery served on the opposing side as quickly as possible.

Settlement efforts are not absolutely abandoned during discovery. I have learned through experience, however, that the best way to obtain a fair result is to prepare each case for trial. During discovery, I do just that. Keep in mind that it takes two sides to settle.

What You Should Do While The Case Is Pending

While my firm is handling the claim, please do not speak to anyone concerning your claim or injuries. Do not sign anything unless I approve it.

Please forward all of your medical bills or property damage bills to my office so that I can keep a copy of them. If you have health or property insurance coverage, my firm will coordinate the payment of the bills with them. If for any reason your case should be lost, Bonsignore Trial Lawyers, PLLC, works in advance to make sure your medical bills are covered.

Please try to get all of your prescriptions from the same place. Get a receipt for everything that you pay cash for (including cab fare), and forward all receipts to the firm office.

All records and receipts of your actual expenses incurred are very important evidence. They will be included in your SETTLEMENT BROCHURE at a later date. The bottom line is that your attorney needs “every little thing” to document and evidence your claim.

I highly recommend that you set aside an oversized envelope clearly marked “expenses incurred.” Place all records and/or receipts and/or handwritten notes (example: “drove to and from the pharmacy today, May 21”) in the envelope as you perform/receive them.

Following this tip will save you the inconvenience of trying at a later date to remember what bills were incurred, when and also pulling them all together when they are no longer readily available.

It is necessary for a lawyer and a client to have an open and trusting relationship. That is why my firm always enters into a formal written agreement outlining the scope of my legal representation and the terms of my payment, if any.

Other important expenses for personal injury claims include but are not limited to prescriptions, crutches, neck collars, ice packs, medication, taxi fare, car rental, photo film, photo developing, clothing required due to weight gain, mileage of round trips to hospitals, doctors’ offices for visits and reports, etc. Other expenses you incur pertaining to your own personal needs should be given to your attorney.

Other important expenses for property damage claims include but are not limited to documents related to the value of the property, the damage to the property, the costs of repair and lost use.

Give your attorney more rather than less. I will do the screening work.

Once again, feel free periodically to forward these receipts to my firm. Please remember that accurate and complete medical bills and records will help maximize the value of your claim. Contact me at Bonsignore Trial Lawyers, PLLC, today!

What Should You Do?

It is necessary for you to follow your doctor’s instructions. Continue treatment as your doctor thinks it is necessary. Be careful not to miss even one appointment. If your doctor recommends physical or occupational therapy, be certain to go. Your primary concern is always to do what is necessary to get better. Go to whatever doctor you feel will provide you with the very best medical care possible.

You should not ever overtreat. If your doctor indicates you do not need more treatment, do not go back, even if that means you will not have a case.

The bottom line is that your primary concern should be your return to good health. Let your attorney worry about your case. If you have a family doctor, you may wish to start your treatment with them. If you would like a list of orthopedic doctors or neurologists in the area, Bonsignore Trial Lawyers, PLLC, will supply one. You are free to go to any doctor. You are encouraged to go to a physician who will provide you with the very best care possible.

It is important that you tell every doctor, hospital and therapist who treats you, even when the treatment is unrelated to the accident, that you were in an accident, when and how the accident happened, and how you were injured.

Auto Law (Massachusetts Only)

Here is a brief summary of the Massachusetts no-fault automobile collision insurance law:

In order to bring a claim for pain and suffering for injuries received in auto collisions occurring in Massachusetts after Jan. 1, 1989, you must have any one of the following:

  • Reasonable and necessary medical bills over $2,000
  • A permanent scar from the accident

If you do not have one of these things, no matter how much an attorney shows the other person was at fault, a law firm still cannot bring a claim on your behalf. If you have one of these two things, an attorney must still show the other person was at fault in order to bring a case.

Your own automobile insurance will pay for the first $2,000 in medical bills. Bills over $2,000 must be submitted to your private health carrier unless you purchased additional insurance for medical payments on your own vehicle. At Bonsignore Trial Lawyers, PLLC, I will investigate this for you. If your health carrier will not pay the bills, your auto carrier may be responsible for paying up to an additional $6,000 in medical bills. Your private health care insurer has a right to be reimbursed for money they expended to pay related medical bills.

Call 781-350-9080 or email me today to discuss your options.