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Jokes Aside. ***

Two lawyers met a cocktail party. One asked the other, “How is business?” The other replied, “Horrible. Yesterday, I chased an ambulance for 20 miles. When I finally caught up to it, there were already two other lawyers hanging on to the bumper.”

Ugh. Jokes aside, getting hurt in a car accident can change your life even if the injury isn’t obvious to those around you.

During the mid 1990’s, Faye, one of the partners at WJS Legal, was involved in two car accidents within a short period of time. The damage to the car was notable, but more challenging was the amount of tissue and nerve damage that she sustained. You wouldn’t know it if you saw her on an average day. She tends to wear high heels* and walks without a limp.

The injury was substantial enough that two independent medical examiners approved her for ongoing treatment when her insurance company tried to end coverage of her therapeutic treatments.**  The tissue and nerve damage were significant enough that they impacted how often she could travel for work, thereby making her first career as a sports therapist fairly impractical.  Twenty years later, she still has to think about lumbar support in every seat and and bed, as well as struggles with fibromyalgia and migraines. Occasionally, she twists the wrong way in her sleep and is in agony for a couple of days.

Personal injury cases are not about ambulance chasing attorneys. Lawsuits of this type are an attempt to make you the same or “whole” as you were before the accident.  Even with the best health insurance, medical expenses can add up quickly. Ability to work may be impacted if you have a physical job, one that requires a lot of travel or if you sit for a long amount of time.  If you can’t do the things that you used to be able to do, an injury can also effect relationships with your spouse, children and co-workers. A settlement won’t take away the physical pain, but it can help to make the other burdens of the injury easier.

In Massachusetts, there is a three (3) year Statute of Limitations to file a lawsuit for personal injury. In much more rare circumstances, it is possible that your injury is not known within that window of time and can be extended. The timelines are also slightly different if there is a government agency involved.

Hiring an attorney for a personal injury claim is usually a good idea. We are not intimidated by insurance adjusters who want you to settle quickly and take blame. We specialize in knowing how much an insurance company will actually pay for your injury and are experts in negotiating the best settlement possible.

As always, please let us know if we can assist you with this or any other legal matters.

Thank you.
Regards,
John & Faye

* Yes, Faye wears a lot of high heels because she loves the look of them. She also does it because it’s usually more comfortable on her back; however, she does realize that it is a false sense of comfort and that she is not actually changing her lumbar position.  For that reason, she also rocks more pairs of Vionics than the average person.

** She still does a regimen of chiropractic and message therapy to maintain her back. She also gets scolded by both her message therapist and chiropractor for wearing heels.

*** This blog is dedicated to my friend, Paul Cacolice. He gave me great advice when I first got hurt and continues to lovingly roll his eyes every time a pair of high heels appears on Facebook.

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Put Away the Swords

“You didn’t always hate each other. There had to be nice moments, during the courtship, maybe? Or the wedding?”
-John Beckwith, Wedding Crashers (2005)

The “Divorce Nisi” period is one of the strangest legal concepts for people to grasp. Most people assume that their divorce is final on the day that a Judgement of Divorce is ordered; however, in Massachusetts, parties have to wait 90 days longer for their divorce to become final or absolute.

After months of fighting over airline miles, the Nisi period gives the parties an opportunity to “put away the swords” and consider reconciliation before their divorce becomes final. How often does this happen? Not often, but we always believe in looking at a glass half full and with the hope that it could. There are two defining characteristics of the “Nisi” period:

1. Neither party can remarry; and
2. If the Nisi period has not ended by December 31, the Parties will considered married for tax purposes and must file “joint” or “married, filing separately” for that year.

As always, please let us know if we can be of assistance to you.

Warm Regards,
John & Faye

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Mmmmm….Donuts….

Do you know what goes really well with chocolate chip waffles and Fruit Loops? Donuts!

Not really, but there are many grandparents who believe “what happens at Nana’s, stays at Nana’s.”  We  know one set of grandparents who have something called “BG Day,” where breakfast with grandparents consists of desserts first, followed by an actual breakfast if the kids have room in their bellies.

Grandparents have certain rights. They get to load them them up on empty calories and sugar then send them home to crash. They get to buy them gifts for the rarely recognized holiday of “Saturday.”  Most importantly, they get to visit with their grandchildren.

It’s not uncommon that grandparents get caught in the cross hairs of divorce. In the most extreme circumstances, grandparents are denied visitation by their “outlaw;” however, unless there is a justifiable reason to deny a grandparent visitation, it is usually presumed that it is in the best interest of the child(ren) to foster that relationship.

As always, please let us know if you have any questions about this or any other matter.

Warm regards,
John and Faye

For more information, please see:
https://www.mass.gov/guides/massachusetts-law-about-grandparents-visitation-rights

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Resolutions

What is your New Year’s resolution? Are you going to commit to working out more often? Spend more quality time with your family? Start saving money for retirement? Read one book per week?

If your 2018 goals include buying your first home, re-sizing, or refinancing, these should be your resolutions:

1. Find out your credit score and history;
2. Establish and maintain good credit practices (ie. pay your bills on time, monitor your credit report for fraud, close unused lines of credit);
3. Save a reasonable down payment for the house that you want to buy;
4. Find the right home buying team for you. Identify a realtor, lender, and attorney that work together often.* If the team know one another and work well together, the process will be so much easier and less stressful for you;
5. Get organized: gather pay stubs, federal and state tax documents, current photo identification, bank statements, as well as any divorce, bankruptcy, and investment property documents, if applicable;
6. Obtain a mortgage pre-approval; and
7. Be smart: do not make any large purchases or big changes to your finances.

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2018!