Personal Injury

Whether your injury was caused by a car, truck, or motorcycle accident, brain injury, construction accident, dog bite, spinal cord injury, or wrongful death, Slip and falls, medical malpractice, it has undoubtedly caused unnecessary stress and turmoil in your life. We are here to reduce the stress you are feeling, to get you onto a pathway to recovery, and to the extent possible, put the accident behind you by obtaining appropriate compensation.

Bouchard Baker, PC is well qualified to meet your needs in the Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Our experienced team handles matters including the following:

Wrongful Death

A wrongful death claim occurs when a family member loses a loved one due to the negligence of another – whether in a truck accident, car accident, motorcycle accident, construction accident, or medical malpractice, etc. The wrongful death may have been immediate, or may have occurred as a result of neglect by caregivers, medical providers, or other factors.

Bouchard Baker, PC has firsthand experience with the grieving that occurs with a wrongful death of a loved one. Because of this firsthand experience, we understand the need to balance the goals in working with family members: giving them room to grieve and celebrate the life of their loved ones; with the need to document and obtain evidence of how the loved one’s loss impacts the family.

Our success in handling serious injury matters such as brain injury, spinal cord injuries, and wrongful death actions is grounded upon the simple principal of compassionately listening and learning about how the loved one’s life has impacted the family. The loss of one’s life not only causes financial problems, but more importantly, it causes a loss of emotional support, and the simple but most important loss of enjoying life.

At Bouchard Baker, PC we know that we can never bring your loved one back and we know that no money will compensate you adequately for your loss. However, you are clearly entitled to all of your financial losses that you have incurred, and you should receive a just and fair compensation for your emotional and personal loss as well.

In addition to being good listeners so that we can understand the unique traits and impact the loved one had on your life, we pride ourselves on also being good communicators. We will work endlessly to make sure that you understand the law, the process, and how best to structure or settle a matter for the most favorable impact on you and/or your family.

In the evolving world of the modern family, the lines are becoming blurred as to who has the right to bring an action for wrongful death.  Historically, claims were limited to blood relatives and spouses.  However both the legislature and the judges are becoming more pragmatic in the law, and starting to expand who has the right to bring a claim.   Under the law, domestic partners, children of domestic partners, stepchildren, and even putative spouses and children of putative spouses may have claims for wrongful death.   For the purposes of a wrongful death action, a putative spouse is generally someone who may have been in a void or voidable marriage, but in good faith believed their marriage was valid.   This is a particularly complicated area of wrongful death law, but a major component of deciding who has a claim for wrongful death is premised on whether the person was a dependent.

If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another, please call us to see what we can do to assist you and your family in this unfortunate situation.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, or there has been a wrongful death in the family, please contact Bouchard Baker, PC for a consultation before speaking with the insurance companies. There is no fee for our services unless you are paid.

While there have been significant improvements in the safety features on today’s cars, the number of car accidents is still staggering. There are more than six million car accidents an more than 33,000 car accident deaths a year in the United States alone. With the rise in usage of smart phones, and texting while driving, there has been a corresponding rise in car accidents caused by distracted drivers.

Following a car accident, insurance claims adjusters are very quick to try and contact the victims to obtain their recorded statements. The claims adjusters portray an image of being caring and wanting to work with you. However, the first thing you should remember is that they are NOT your friend! There is a reason they act quick; they want to get statements from you before you are represented by an attorney, as those statements will later be used against you.

There is a direct relationship between an insurance company’s profit and the amount they pay on claims. The less they pay you, the more profit they make. It is a third party insurance claims adjuster’s job to adjust or reduce your claim from a car accident, motorcycle accident, or truck accident to as little as possible to boost their profits.

If an insurance company, police officer or driver tells attribute you with “fault” for the accident, partially or completely, you do not have to agree.  Just like in a construction accident, dog bite case, or spinal cord injury matter, you have the right to have your have your case heard by a neutral party to determine liability.  The determination may be through an arbitration, by a judge, or even by a jury of your peers.

Besides obtaining the most in compensation from the other party’s insurance company, a major benefit of hiring our firm is to help you reduce the liens on your case. When you seek medical treatment for your injuries, the hospitals, doctors, medical providers, and even your own insurance company will try to collect from your settlement for their fees. Unfortunately, the medical providers have continued a practice of over-charging for emergency services even in medical malpractice cases, and thus the medical providers and insurance companies try and pass those high costs on to you. Bouchard Baker, PC has an outstanding record of not only collecting large judgments and settlements in cases ranging from soft-tissue to brain injuries, but also have an outstanding record in reducing and sometimes even eliminating liens completely.

Please call us to assist you not only in recovering your losses, but to assist you in reducing the amount of liens you have to pay.

Motorcycle Accidents

Experienced motorcycle riders enjoy the exhilaration of the open road. However, at Bouchard Baker, PC we know too well that no matter how good a rider, a motorcyclist cannot always protect them-self from negligent drivers and the resulting motorcycle accident.

Our firm appreciates that there can be a bias by judges and juries against motorcycle riders. Too often judges and jurors have an image that the motorcyclist assumed special risks by choosing to ride a motorcycle, and thus do not want treat them the same as those in a car accident or truck accident. We are experienced in educating judges and jurors that motorcyclists have the same rights to the road as cars, and that when a motorcyclist is a victim of an accident caused by an inattentive or negligent car or truck driver, the motorcycle rider is entitled to all remedies under the law!

Just like in major construction accidents, the injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident can be terrifying. Motorcycle riders more susceptible to brain injury, other spinal cord injuries or even wrongful death, than cases such as a dog bite. Additionally, there are significant incidents of medical malpractice in the emergency room as well. With the average American car weighing in excess of 6,000 pounds and an average motorcycle rider weighing less than 200 pounds, the weight differential is staggering.

There is much debate about when and under what circumstances a motorcycle rider is at fault in an accident.   There seem to be a bias by many insurance carriers against motorcycle riders such that they believe that a rider assumes the risk of an accident just for choosing to ride a motorcycle.   This is the furthest from the truth, and we will fight this bias aggressively.   Motorcycles riders have the same rights to the road as other vehicles, and are entitled to the same right-of-ways and protections.

While it is important that as motorcycle riders we pay a little extra attention to inattentive drivers, that extra attention does not excuse car and truck drivers from their standard of care:  to drive as a reasonable person would in the same or similar circumstances.   If a driver fails to act as another reasonable driver would, then that driver would typically be liable for the injuries caused to the motorcycle rider.

Although motorcycles represent just 2% of vehicles on the road, they are involved in more than 10% of all crashes. If you were the victim of a reckless or negligent driver and were injured in a motorcycle accident, you are entitled to compensation for all of the damages that were caused or resulted from the motorcycle accident. These damages include not only your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering that have occurred, but also the future medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering that you may incur in the near or distant future. If you have been the victim of a motorcycle accident, please call us for a consultation.

Brain Injuries

At Bouchard Baker, PC we have the skills and experience to assist you in finding the proper medical assistance in diagnosing, treating, and hopefully finding some recovery and/or rehabilitation from a brain injury to yourself or a loved one. Because we recognize that understanding the problem and getting treatment is everyone’s priority, our law firm will make those goals our priority as well.

Unfortunately, it is estimated that over 1.4 million individuals suffer from some type of brain injury every year caused by a car accident, motorcycle accident, or even truck accident. It is also estimated that just over 5 million people continue to suffer from a brain injury or other spinal cord injury, and the medical costs and lost productivity are over $50 billion a year.

Types of Brain Injuries

Brain injuries are generally classified into two different types: Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and Acquired Brain Injury (ABI). Traumatic Brain Injury is generally associated with a blunt force or trauma such as a blow to the head (as in a car accident, motorcycle accident, or truck accident). In contrast, Acquired Brain Injury generally results from a neurological disease such as a tumor. Although there is some overlap with brain injury, congenital brain damage is often not included within TBI or ABI, and is usually considered something separate and distinct.

Depending on the type of brain injury, our Sacramento Brain Injury Attorneys have seen the long-term repercussions vary dramatically. As most would expect, a mild brain injury is usually temporary and generally associated with headaches, confusion, memory problems, and mild nausea. Fortunately, most people with mild brain injuries recover completely in a relatively short period of time, and less than 15% will have problems lasting more than a year.

In contrast, people suffering from a severe brain injury often suffer permanent disabilities and life-changing problems. These problems often result in not only cognitive and physical disabilities, but quite often our Sacramento Brain Injury Lawyers see behavior disabilities as well. Sadly, most people who are in a coma (or some other minimally responsive condition) will need some type of dependent care from others for the rest of their life.

Brain Injury Symptoms

Some of the most common symptoms associated with severe brain injuries include:

  • Loss of consciousness for a prolonged period of time
  • Inability to wake up
  • Loss of coordination
  • Feeling a numb sensation or weakness in the toes and fingers
  • Headaches that remain persistent or constant
  • Repeated vomiting or nausea
  • Convulsions and seizures
  • Clear fluids draining from the ears or nose

Diagnosing severe brain injuries is generally simple; however, recognizing a mild or moderate brain injury can be more difficult. Some of the symptoms that our Sacramento Brain Injury Lawyers look for in a mild to moderate brain injury are:

  • Feeling dazed or confused (“got your bell rung”)
  • A very brief loss of consciousness
  • Memory lapses, or difficulty concentrating
  • Blurred vision
  • Mood swings
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Odd sleep patterns, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, or sleeping more than usual

With children, it may take an even more careful observation to recognize brain injury, as they are often not capable of communicating. Following a brain injury or head trauma, it is always wise to look for:

  • Changes in nursing or eating routines
  • Uncontrollable crying
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Loss of interest in favorite activities or toys

Brain Injury Treatment

While there have been tremendous advances in the diagnosis and treatment for brain injury victims, there is still a lot about the brain that remains a mystery to the medical profession. The good news, however, is that brain injury treatment continues to improve dramatically.

The first step in treatment is usually to diagnose the extent and impact of the brain damage. This is typically done through a neurological exam, neuropsychological assessments, and neuroimaging testing. The most common means for neuroimaging testing are MRI and CT scans. Once diagnosed, the next concern is to make sure that the brain is not subject to further injury by making sure that the flow of oxygen and blood is not impaired, and that the blood pressure is appropriate.

The next step in recovery is generally therapy. Therapy may be physical, such as learning to control your muscles again. Some brain injury victims require speech and language therapy to help them communicate again. Ideally, there is also occupational therapy to assist the individual either in returning or entering into the workforce. It is also important that in addition to physical, occupational, and speech therapy, that psychological support is also considered.

Long-Term Implications

Once the individual and the family have a handle on the significance of the injury and its long-term implications, we work hand-in-hand with medical professionals, rehabilitation specialists, educators, vocational counselors, and financial and tax planners to understand the impact on the individual’s life, and also how it impacts their family.

Only after the doctors, the family, and our lawyers all have a firm grasp on the long-term implications of the injury do we believe it is even appropriate to discuss a financial resolution of the case. We believe that cases are settled prematurely by other brain injury attorneys too often, and we work hard to distinguish ourselves from those attorneys. We take pride in our work and the results show.

Unlike in less complex matters like a dog bite, when settling a brain injury case, we typically need to spend lots of attention to making sure that the individual’s long-term needs are secure. We can structure settlement in such as way as to provide for lifetime medical plans and structured annuities that provide a monthly living allowance, as well as the establishment of special needs trusts, and the appointment of conservators when necessary.

If you or someone you know has suffered a brain injury, of there has been a wrongful death in the family, we hope you will contact us to see how our team and network of medical and financial professionals can assist you.

Construction Accidents

A construction worker injured on the job needs a construction accident attorney experienced in both civil jury trials and the workers’ compensation system.

The workers’ compensation system forum typically does not provide enough relief to an injured worker, but covers many of the immediate necessities such as medical treatment and temporary disability payments. Although a third party claim in the Superior Court can take significantly longer, it typically provides a better remedy.

Our firm handles cases arising out of scaffolding falls, crane accidents, unsafe trenches, construction equipment failure, contractors’ negligence, contractors’ unsafe acts, OSHA violations, electrical injuries including serve burns, and similar claims.

If you are injured on a construction site, it is important that you apply for workers compensation benefits as soon as possible so as to get the medical treatment and financial support you need. Unlike traditional car accident, motorcycle accident, truck accident, or medical malpractice cases, it is even more important to promptly hire a construction accident attorney to ensure that evidence is preserved. The very nature of a construction site brings with it the expectation of quick changes, and thus if a construction accident attorney is not immediately hired critical evidence may be lost forever.

Once you have applied for workers compensation benefits and hired a knowledgeable construction accident attorney, we will guide you to ensure that you receive medical treatment from some of the best doctors available. Likewise, we will also maximize your temporary disability payments while you recover from your injury. Once your injury has stabilized, our construction accident attorneys will transition the case into the Superior Court where the ability to recover for your injuries is usually better. Our construction accident attorneys can handle not only the prosecution of your case, but also the lien issues so as to maximize your recovery.

Similar to what you see in brain injury, spinal cord injury, and wrongful death cases, our construction accident attorneys have strong relationships with leading structured settlement companies to make sure, when applicable, that any settlement is strategically set up to protect against taxes and creditors.

If you have been injured in a construction accident please call us for a consultation. If you are not unable to travel, we can usually make arrangements to come to you.

Dog Bites

If you or your child suffered a dog bite, you have rights under the law. You may be entitled to compensation from the dog owners, the dog owner’s landlord, or possibly even your own insurance company. Additionally, you may be able to see that the dog is removed from your neighborhood, or if necessary put down. Our firm is very familiar with these cases, and represent victims exclusively in dog bit cases. In many situations, the victim need only establish that they were bitten to recover. In other situations a more traditional standard of negligence is required to recover for your injuries.

Damages from Dog Bite Cases

Dog bite cases are unique to many other areas of law. Most car accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, and construction accident cases involve primarily orthopedic injuries. In those traditional cases, victims often suffer from neck, back, brain injury or other spinal cord injuries.

Our are accustomed to handling the most common injury resulting from dog bites:  physical scarring. Physical scar cases are particularly complex because of the need so often to have plastic surgery in areas of the body that are oftentimes visible and sensitive. There are also complexities in anticipating future scar surgeries (known as scar releases), as well as follow-up surgeries as the body changes.

Many dog bite victims also suffer emotional scarring, mental trauma and stress from the attack. Whether you grew up a fan of Lassie, Benji, or Marley, we all have had a warm spot in our hearts for dogs.  For many of our dog bite clients, the lasting fear of being attacked again is very frustrating and troublesome. Our dog bite attorneys are experienced in dealing with this mental scarring.

If you have suffered a dog bite injury your first goal is to get necessary medical treatment. Once you have, please contact us so that we may work with you to make a report to the proper authorities and determine the ownership of the dog. We will also want to obtain photographs of the dog and the location where the event occurred.

Just like in a Medical Malpractice or Wrongful Death case, if you have been injured by a vicious dog, do not attempt to settle the case on your own. Insurance claims adjusters are skilled at placing doubt in your mind as to the value of your case and your rights. Oftentimes they can convince dog bite victims to settle their case prematurely. There is no fee to meet with one of our dog bite attorneys to evaluate your case, and if you hire us there is no fee unless we win.

If you or someone you know has been bitten by a dog, please give us a call.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries are some of the most complicated cases we handle. Far too often our spinal cord injury lawyers see parties to car accidents, truck accidents, and motorcycle accident pressured into settling their cases without getting an attorney, settling the cases too early, or settling their cases before their injuries have properly healed.  A brain injury or injury to a spinal cord can sometime show few symptoms for long-periods of time, and then flares up causing extreme pain lasting a lifetime. The spinal cord and the brain collectively make up the central nervous system which is responsible for assembling information from all parts of the body, and then coordinating the actions of the body.  When the central nervous system is impacted, the body suffers tremendously. The spinal cord itself is a long tubular collection of nerve tissues and cells extending from the occipital bone in the brain to the space between the first and second lumbar vertebrae located between the ribcage and the pelvis.  The cord itself is very tubular in shape and runs through the cervical and thoracic areas.

Most of the neck and back pain (cervical injuries, thoracic injuries, lumbar injuries, and sacral injuries) seen by our spinal cord injury attorneys are cause by an abrupt trauma such as a car accident or fall.  The spinal cord injury can be caused from an array of things such as simple twist, to the more often seen stretching, pressure, laceration, severing, or bruising of the spinal cord. Sometimes the injury may be something such as a disc protrusion, herniated disc, pinching, or misalignment.  Other times, the injury may be more significant such as a spinal disk shattering (fracture).

Typical symptoms associated with a spinal cord injury may range from muscle weakness or localized pain, to full body paralysis.    Typical signs of a significant spinal cord injury include shooting pains through an arm or leg, tingling in arms, legs, or fingers, as well as loss of feeling or use of body parts such as a hand or foot.

Spinal cord injury treatment continues to remain a very difficult area for medical professionals to effectively treat.    However, as spinal cord injury attorneys we have seen some significant developments, and some of the most common treatments for spinal cord injuries are:

Spinal surgery:   Through surgery, doctors have had success in removing fluid, tissue, bone fragments, or foreign objects that exert pressure on the spinal cord.  Surgery has also been successful in fusing together broken spinal bones, or to put in place spinal braces.

Traction: Traction was one of the original ways to treat spinal cord injuries, and still remains successful.  Through traction, the spine is stabilized and ideally brought into proper alignment.

Epidural Injections:  This is a steroid treatment that is often performed within 8 hours of the injury to reduce damage to nerve cells, and to decrease inflammation.

Physical Therapy/Chiropractic:  While these two disciplines may have different approaches, both have been proven as conservative alternatives to invasive surgery in some cases.   Physical Therapy often focuses mainly on muscle strengthening and mobility, while chiropractic care primarily focuses on realignment and adjustments. Our spinal cord injury attorneys have been successful in getting treatment when necessary for our clients on a lien.

Spinal Cord Litigation

With the assistance of accident reconstructionists, biomechanical specialists, and other qualified experts, our spinal cord injury attorneys have successfully handled many spinal cord cases.   In addition to proving that the car accident, truck accident or other trauma caused the injury, we work with physicians to classify the spinal cord injury, make sure our clients are obtaining proper treatment for that injury, and that the insurance company, judge, and when necessary the jury understand how the spinal cord injury impacts our clients’ lives now and in the future.

Just like in a construction accident, dog bite matter, medical malpractice or wrongful death action, before settling a case with a back or neck injury, we strongly encourage you contact us for a consultation.

Slip and Falls

Bouchard Baker, PC has the experience with this type of injury, and the skill and experience necessary to help you.

Property owners are responsible for injuries that occur as a result of a dangerous or hazardous condition on their property.

While a slip and fall accident may seem like a minor event, it can cause extremely serious injuries, including cuts, bruises, broken bones, head trauma, fractured hips, and neck and back problems.

Slip and falls can happen just about anywhere. Falls are consistently the number one leading cause of injuries in the United States.

These types of accidents are often the result of:

  • Snowy or icy sidewalks or parking lots.
  • Negligently maintained floors
  • Damaged or cracked walkways
  • Leaks/wet floors
  • Dangerous construction sites
  • Negligently maintained or guarded pools
  • Unsafe conditions at malls, markets, office buildings, and retail stores

Compensation you deserve:

If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident you may be entitled to the following compensation:

  • -Money for your pain and suffering
  • -Medical bills
  • -Surgery, if necessary
  • -Lost wages & Lost income
  • -Money for permanent scars and disfigurement
  • -Money for emotional distress
  • The one on one attention you deserve:
  • We’ve helped numerous slip and fall injury victims.

Here’s some of the ways we will help you:

  • -We will come to you within in a few hours of your call
  • -No fees or costs until you win
  • -We help coordinate medical treatment for injuries
  • -We handle all the calls, paperwork and negotiations with the insurance company.

Medical Malpractice

THE EFFECTS OF ANESTHESIA ERRORS

During moments of severe patient pain or while performing surgery, anesthesia can be a valuable tool for medical professionals. Anesthesiologists are physicians who are specially trained to administer these drugs, and in most cases the use of anesthesia is safe and effective. When the anesthesiologist fails to properly administer the drug, however, the patient can experience devastating physical damage. These medical providers should be held responsible for their negligence or wrongful administration of potentially dangerous drugs.

If you or a loved one has suffered due to improper administration of anesthesia, you may have been a victim of medical malpractice. Anesthesia errors can result in any of the following serious injuries:

  • Brain injury
  • Paralysis
  • Nerve damage
  • Heart attack
  • Coma
  • Stroke
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Death

CONTACTING A MEDICAL MALPRACTICE LAWYER

These injuries can be sustained through the negligent acts of administering too much or too little, reducing the anesthesia before completion of surgery, neglecting to give patient enough oxygen or by administering an anesthetic to which the patient is allergic. A talented lawyer from our firm can help you address the legal issues surrounding these dangerous and deadly medical errors.

Anesthesiologists and medical professional are required to provide each patient with a duty of care. Our law firm has dedicated the practice to representing the injured in the region. We understand the need for compensation to pay for your injuries, expenses and other damages. At Bouchard Baker, PC you will find a knowledgeable legal team that is committed to each case we take on.

EMERGENCY ROOM ERRORS

Going to the emergency room is not only stressful, but also a painful and frightening ordeal. We are hurting, confused, and in need of help as we turn to the doctors and nurses who are trained to handle these serious situations. On some occasions, however, the staff fails the patient and ultimately creates further harm by deviating from standard procedure or being negligent in their treatment. Unfortunately, it is a sad truth that if an emergency room doctor or nurse had just taken one more step, ordered one more test or called in a specialist to consult, further injury or even a wrongful death could have possibly been avoided.

LEGAL HELP FOR VICTIMS

If you or a loved one were negatively impacted by an emergency room error, you should contact a skilled and experienced lawyer right away. An error in these circumstances can lead to serious complications and expenses, including additional medical treatments and lost wages during an extended recovery.

At Bouchard Baker, PC we are very well-versed in medical malpractice cases, and one of our passionate and dedicated attorneys may be able to help you. Our firm has access to some of the best doctors in the country and we will thoroughly investigate your case to help you get the answers that you deserve. We will also work closely with you to hold the hospital an ER personnel to account and fight for the fullest level of compensation.

THE EFFECTS OF ERRORS IN THE ER

If you are in an emergency room, you have a right to ask to be evaluated by a doctor. Some emergency rooms assign nurses or physician assistants to see patients putting you at risk of misdiagnosis. In addition, federal law dictates that you are medically screened by an emergency room regardless of your ability to pay. Emergency rooms are often chaotic and a misplaced medical record or medication error can lead to disaster. Our firm will aggressively fight to protect your rights in emergency room error cases.

FAILURE TO DIAGNOSE & MEDICAL MALPRACTICE

A physician cannot properly treat a medical condition without first adequately and correctly diagnosing the problem. This means that proper diagnosis is the first and most essential step in the treatment process. Your medical provider is responsible for recognizing potential medical problems early on. This means that he or she must perform tests that another medical professional with the same knowledge would perform. When the physician fails to act in accordance with the standards set in his or her field, he or she may be guilty of medical malpractice. Our legal team at Bouchard Baker, PC has a wide range of experience litigating medical malpractice cases of this type.

EFFECTS OF FAILURE TO DIAGNOSE

Commonly, doctors fail to properly diagnose patients who have suffered a stroke or other cardiac problems as the symptoms of these ailments can vary greatly. Even so, a physician is required to know potential symptoms and recognize them in patients. Similarly, physicians are required to perform routine tests and diagnostic procedures to patients who have symptoms of any type of cancer. When the medical professional falls below the requisite standard of care established by other medical providers by acting negligently, he or she may be guilty of medical malpractice.

POWERFUL ADVOCACY FOR VICTIMS

If you or a loved one has suffered due to a physician’s failure to diagnose, you may have been a victim of medical malpractice. If you believe you have been improperly diagnosed, do not hesitate to call our firm and discuss your case and legal options with a knowledgeable attorney. We are committed to each case we receive and represent those clients with tenacity throughout the litigation process.

The negligent medical professionals involved in the failure to diagnose the illness or condition must be held accountable. Our firm does the extensive research and obtains the documentation and other evidence necessary to support your medical malpractice claims.

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