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February 2013 Archives

Using Criminal Convictions in Civil Cases

Civil cases are based on injury and harm. They form an area of law known as “torts,” but that doesn’t mean they’re entirely separate from crimes.

Legally, the two are separate. Personal injury claims fall under Part III of the Massachusetts General Laws while criminal cases fall under Part IV. But often criminal cases give rise to civil claims.

That’s because a criminal prosecution doesn’t directly benefit the victim. So when a crime results in injury that racks up medical costs and other bills, a civil case is the best option.

But the outcome of the criminal case can have a big impact.

Multiple Defendants? Joint and Several Liability is the Answer

If Bobby and Billy are driving down Massachusetts Avenue and both of their cars hit Susie's van while she's making a left turn, who has to pay for the damage?

It's a trick question. They can both be liable under joint and several liability.

While it's comforting to know that you can hold multiple people accountable for your injuries, the details of how it works can get complicated. How do you divide the damage or determine who owes what? And what if one person can't pay the bill? Don't worry, the answers will soon be made clear.

Damage From Fallen Tree Branches: Who's Responsible?

Winter Storm Nemo has come and gone, but its effects will be felt for a while. Even after the snow melts, the wind damage to trees all over New England means branches and boughs are down everywhere.

For many, that means roof damage or downed power lines as well. But who is legally responsible?

It's not just a hypothetical question. Unless you want to pay the costs of repair out of pocket, it's time to figure out who is required to pay and how to get the money.

Are You Assuming the Risk of a Sports Inury?

Whether you're playing sports or watching the action in person, there's always the risk of an injury. A stray ball, a dangerous play, an overexcited fan... these things happen.

The problem is that after an injury you're stuck with the medical bills. To ease your burden, you could ask the person who hurt you to help you out with the costs. If they refuse to do that, you could file a lawsuit so they don't get away with being stingy.

Or can you?

Turns out, when it comes to sports injuries, you might be prevented from filing that suit.