Seven Insights After 35 Years of Legal Experience in Massachusetts

Clients, friends, and family often ask me what I have learned since I began practicing law in Boston in 1985. What insights do I have? The following are a few that stand out. We hope it helps you.

1. You need to have a will. You may think you have protected your assets with joint accounts and trusts, however, there are instances when no amount of planning is sufficient – any wrongful death action in Massachusetts requires an executor. If you have a will, you get to pick the executor. If you don’t have a will, the Court will pick – based on who petitions.

2. Insurance. The most important missing insurance coverage is having sufficient underinsurance coverage for your vehicles. Vehicles are dangerous. They are in accidents occasionally. For some reason insurance agents in Massachusetts don’t push underinsurance coverage and it is critical insurance coverage. I have represented hundreds of people throughout the years and in the most serious cases there is rarely sufficient insurance. You should buy the maximum underinsurance coverage.

3. Sufficient home or apartment insurance – don’t neglect purchasing sufficient insurance coverage and umbrella insurance for your home or apartment as well. People get injured in homes – stairs, pools, snow and ice, wet leaves, fires – and this type of coverage extends beyond your home in many instances.

4. Social media warnings. Be careful what you post on social media as it can have an adverse effect not only on your personal life but on your legal affairs. This is particularly true in criminal, divorce and personal injury actions where you are the victim.

5. Check your medical records. You should check your medical records periodically for mistakes. Oftentimes doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers, intake folks write something down incorrectly with respect to meds, prior injuries or treatment or even reason for your visit. This can have an adverse effect on your health, if, for example, you are subsequently prescribed the wrong medication. It can also have an adverse effect on an injury case – because something in your medical file, no matter how inaccurate, will be considered by an insurance company to be the truth, and if it’s not accurate, they will use it against you.

6. Distracted driving. Make your driving habitual so that you won’t get distracted. I can’t tell you how many times we have represented a victim where the perpetrator, the operator of the other vehicle, has been driving distracted. It is not just texting – it can be a child, a dog, eating, drinking, the radio, retrieving a falling water bottle. Distractions have caused so many collisions and so much pain and suffering. We see this all too often when we represent the victim of a motor vehicle accident.

7. My most important insight is the easiest to implement. Wear a seat belt! If you already do, insist that everyone in your vehicle to do so. And encourage others to as well. Massachusetts has an exceptionally low rate of seat belt use and this pervasive problem can be easily corrected and save lives save serious injuries.

Burns & Jain Injury Attorneys
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, or as a result of someone else’s negligence on their property, call Attorney Neil Burns and Attorney Roshan Jain. Burns & Jain, located at 6 Beacon Street, on Beacon Hill. Neil Burns has been at that location since 1987.

We offer a free initial consultation. Call 617-227-7423.