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Helping car accident victims find compensation

Motor vehicle accidents can occur for a variety of reasons, and anyone can be an accident victim in any state, including in Massachusetts. Determining what caused an accident and who was at fault take time, but injuries require immediate medical attention. In a severe car accident, a person can suffer serious injuries that lead to permanent disability. In some car accidents, people die. No matter how severe or deadly the injuries may be, victims and surviving family members do more than suffer physically and emotionally; they also suffer financially. My law firm is based in Beverly Massachusetts and has been helping car accident victims and their families seek damages for years throughout the the Salem area, and the entire North Shore. We attempt to help our clients obtain compensation for lost wages, medical expenses and other liabilities allowed under Massachusetts law for accidents caused by the negligence of other people. David M. Gabriel and Associates have helped clients receive compensation for serious injuries such as brain injuries, back injuries, and lasting emotional distress that result from car accidents. For families who have lost loved ones, we have recovered compensation through wrongful death lawsuits. Our firm is committed to helping our clients obtain compensation to help them move on with medical treatment and recovery or mourn the loss of loved ones. We understand the pain and agony our clients are going through. We know they are often in fragile emotional and financial states, so we take no fees from clients until

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The financial impact of fatal accidents for Massachusetts victims

Residents of Beverly and Salem, Massachusetts, might not know that more than 30,000 people are killed in crashes every year in the United States. Among these thousands are hundreds of Massachusetts residents who lose their lives in preventable fatal motor vehicle accidents. Many of those lives lost could have been saved had the negligent driver who caused the accident followed basic traffic rules and cared about the safety of others on the road. A negligent driver’s minor error could prove fatal, impacting a victim’s family emotionally and financially in a big way. It could be worse for a family if the victim of a fatal crash was the main financial contributor to the household. Any driver or passenger of a vehicle, or a pedestrian near a road, can be a victim of a tragic crash. A fatal car accident causes financial losses not only for a victim’s family, but also billions in medical expenses spread across the country. In 2005, deaths as a result of car crashes cost the U.S. $41 billion in medical expenses and lost wages. According to this data, the cost to Massachusetts victims and residents was a staggering $394 million in medical expenses and lost earnings. The cost of unidentified crash fatalities was more than half of the financial costs, with motor vehicle occupants, motorcyclists, pedestrians, and bicyclists filling out the fatality victim statistics. A family affected by the death of a loved one has a legal right to seek compensation from a negligent vehicle operator

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10 Causes of Car Accidents in Massachusetts

Every day there are over 17,000 car collisions in the United States. On average, those crashes result in 92 deaths each day. While poor weather conditions and faulty roads can cause accidents, most auto collisions are due to driver errors. When we research the reason behind the car accidents, we should all drive safer. Here is a list of the top 10 causes of auto collisions in the United States. 1. Drunk Driving: In the U.S., drunk drivers kill 28 people every day (whether it’s themselves or another person). Those who drive while intoxicated (DWI) cause 35% of traffic accidents in the U.S. 2. Fatigued Driving: Studies show that those who drive while tired are just as dangerous as intoxicated drivers. Fatigued drivers cause about 3% of all traffic accidents, most of which occur at night. Like DWI, fatigued driving is completely avoidable. If you drive at night and see a car swerve in and out of lanes, stay as far away as possible from the car and call 9-1-1. 3. Distracted Driving: Dealing with distractions while driving is deadly. How often do you find yourself trying to change a CD, put on your makeup, eat, or adjust the controls on your vehicle as you drive? Car accidents caused by distracted driving make up about 5% of car crashes. 4. Use of Mobile Phones: Talking on your cell phone is a level of distracted driving all on its own. Every year, the number of car crashes caused by cell phone

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If you are involved in a car accident, Be Prepared

Being involved in a car accident can be one of the most stressful times in the lives of you. It’s crucial to be prepared if you are involved in a car accident. If you have the misfortune of being injured in a motor vehicle accident, you should seek medical attention immediately. Indeed, if you or anyone is injured in an accident, steps should be taken to summon the police to the accident scene so that first aid or emergency treatment can be rendered. It is also important to obtain information concerning the other parties involved in the motor vehicle accident as well as obtain the facts concerning how the car accident occurred. The information you should obtain includes: • the identity, including name, address, telephone number, driver’s license information of all involved parties, operators or witnesses; • the registration and motor vehicle license plate number of each vehicle involved, as well as descriptive information such as make, model and year of the vehicles; • the automobile insurance carrier of each motor vehicle involved in the car accident (not the insurance agent); • the date, time, weather conditions and location of the car accident, including reference to stop signs, traffic lights and intersections; • a pictorial description of the accident scene with directions of travel of all involved vehicles is most helpful. You must report the accident to your automobile insurance carrier and agent as soon as possible. This should certainly be done within one (1)business day of the car accident.

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Mandatory co-parenting classes may be spreading

Learning how to co-parent your children with your ex after a divorce is in many ways like learning how to be a parent all over again — particularly for fathers who may find themselves spending more time alone with their kids than they did during the marriage. If you and your ex have a strained relationship after you’ve gone your separate ways, parenting can be even more challenging. Children are the ones who often pay the price when their divorced parents aren’t able to work together to be the best parents they can. Both physical and mental health issues, including anxiety, depression and substance abuse, increase in children of divorce. Some states, including Massachusetts and Connecticut, mandate that divorced couples take co-parenting classes. Now another New England state may be following suit, if a Rhode Island man is successful in his efforts. The Providence resident says he hopes to speak before the state’s General Assembly next month. He’d like them to form a commission that would study the advantages of requiring divorced parents with kids under 18 to participate in these classes. He’s gotten the support of a number of town managers, mayors and town council presidents. That state has some opportunities for parents who choose on their own to have counseling. However, there aren’t many. He’s hoping that private and public entities can work together to change that. He says he wants the state to provide a “robust marketplace of offerings to help divorced parents co-parent, communicate and collaborate

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Tips for co-parents facing their first holiday season apart

Many Massachusetts parents are facing their first holiday season since their break-up. If you already have a parenting plan in place that outlines how your children will divide their time between their parents, that’s helpful. However, if you haven’t yet started the divorce process, making a holiday schedule can be challenging — particularly if you and your ex aren’t on good terms. The most important thing to remember throughout this season is to minimize stress and uncertainty for your children. They likely already have enough of both. Focus on helping them enjoy the season. Organization is key. The sooner that you and your co-parent can get a plan in place (with the input of the kids, if they’re old enough), the more reassured they will be. Kids are flexible, but they want the security of knowing where they will be spending the holidays. Their friends will all be talking about their plans, and they’ll want to join in. Of course, making plans is just step one. It’s essential to stick to those plans unless unforeseen circumstances arise. Children need to be reassured early on that their parents will keep their word, show up to pick them up when they’re supposed to and return them as scheduled. It’s important to set reasonable expectations for your children. They may have a fantasy that their parents will be together for Christmas and maybe even reunite. If they’re going to be splitting time between homes, emphasize the positives (two Christmas trees, for example). Don’t

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Should you get a postnuptial agreement?

Most attorneys recommend that couples draw up a prenuptial agreement before they get married. Even if they don’t have significant resources or debts going into the marriage, a prenup can detail how marital assets will be divided in case of a break-up. If you don’t have a prenup, you can draw up a postnuptial agreement at any time after the marriage. Like a prenup, a postnup can designate how property and other assets will be divided in case of a divorce. Postnups are more likely to contain stipulations about spousal and child support than prenups. Some people also include language regarding what additional assets or support a spouse may have to part with if he or she is unfaithful during the marriage. Many couples decide to get a postnup if the fortunes of one spouse change significantly, making him or her by far the wealthier. Sometimes, one spouse seeks a postnup upon starting a business in order to protect it. If one spouse decides to take time out of the workforce to raise children, he or she may seek a postnup as financial protection if the marriage ends. In other cases, couples realize that they have very different attitudes toward money, and one spouse wants to protect his or her assets. Some couples draw up a postnup if their marriage is troubled. However, it’s best to draw up this agreement while your marriage is still healthy. It’s best that both spouses have their own attorneys when getting a postnup, just

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Couple married in Massachusetts battling over child custody

Many same-sex couples who were married here in Massachusetts more than a decade ago have gone on to live in other states where marriage equality didn’t exist until it became the law of the land. Massachusetts, of course, was the first state to legalize same-sex marriage back in 2004. One of those couples, who married here in Massachusetts in 2009 and later settled in Mississippi, is now in a custody battle that has made it way to that state’s Supreme Court. The couple, whose divorce was finalized last month, is fighting over custody of their sons. The women had a child conceived via in vitro fertilization while they were married. The woman who didn’t give birth to the now 5-years-old child was not allowed to be listed on the boy’s birth certificate and therefore is not considered his legal parent. She has since been denied the right to adopt him. The two also adopted a son, who is now 16. The woman who has pursued the custody case in court was denied joint physical or legal custody of either child. She was, however, granted visitation and ordered to pay child support. The issue of child custody in gay marriages is still a difficult one. Because same-sex spouses weren’t allowed to be listed as legal parents on their children’s birth certificates for many years if they weren’t the person giving birth, they have no legal rights as parents if the couple divorces. The woman pursuing this case says she hopes that

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Intellectual property is becoming more common in prenups

Prenuptial agreements are becoming increasingly popular among millennials who are entering into marriage. They’ve grown up in a generation where many of their parents have gotten divorced — sometimes after long, bitter battles over property. Therefore, it’s only natural that they’re aware of the possibility of their marriage ending, even though divorce rates in general are in decline. However, a primary incentive for a prenup for young couples may be something more than protecting traditional property, assets and inherited wealth. They’re more likely now to include intellectual property. The last couple of decades have seen the rise of tech entrepreneurs who became multi-millionaires or even billionaires because they had an idea for a software program, an app or a website that became wildly popular. Many people entering into marriage want to protect their right to the fruits of their ideas — even if they haven’t thought of them yet. Prenups can also include intellectual property such as music, screenplays, books and other works of art. They can include ideas for unique start-up businesses. As one divorce attorney notes, prenup stipulations can go “into the future for things that are not yet in existence.” Of course, placing a value on an idea that someone hasn’t even thought of yet can be tricky. However, an experienced Massachusetts family law attorney can help you incorporate language into your prenup that will help you ensure that, in the event of a divorce, you can keep the monetary benefits you’re entitled to for your ideas

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Terminating Alimony Payments

Under Massachusetts law there are a number of remedies available to spouse who pay alimony to modify, reduce or terminate spousal support. If a spouse who is receiving support remarries or either spouse dies, alimony stops. A spouse who is ordered to pay alimony may be required to get a life insurance policy that will provide support after the paying spouse dies. The length of the parties’ marriage plays a significant role in determining when support payments may terminate. Presumptive Durational Limits Marriages of five years or less allow for support payments of no more than half the number of months of the marriage to an economically dependent spouse. If a marriage lasts more than five years but less than 10 years, support may last for 60 percent of the total number of months that the marriage lasted. Support may be provided for 70 percent of the number of total months of the marriage for marriages of more than 10 years but less than 15 years in duration. This number goes up to 80 percent for marriages of more than 15 years but less than 20 years in duration. Payments may also be terminated if it can be proven that the recipient spouse is cohabiting with and has formed a common household with another person for at least three months. Economic interdependence must be proven along with other factors. Alimony may be terminated or modified for a variety of reasons. Spousal support may be ordered as part of a divorce

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