Personal Injury results from physical and emotional harm suffered by an individual due to wrongful conduct of another party. In contrast, the term injury, most commonly used in criminal cases, refers to bodily harm sustained from physical assaults. Personal Injury claims ensue from negligence, carelessness, professional misconduct, faulty or defective products, and property mismanagement. A Personal Injury case may also arise when a worker is involved in a work-related accident, which is believed to have been directly caused by their employer's negligence. If the accident leads to the victim’s death, the case in question becomes a wrongful death case.
Personal Injury Claims attempt to secure an award of damages for the compensable harms suffered by a victim in an accident. Compensable harms fall into two categories:
An individual may institute a Personal Injury lawsuit against individuals, private corporations, and the federal, state, and local governments. The Federal Tort Claims Act makes provision for filing a Personal Injury lawsuit against injury inflicted by a federal agency or employee and federal government property. However, strict guidelines and conditions apply. For example, a victim has to prove that the injury was indeed inflicted by a federal employee acting within the scope of his job, that the employee acted carelessly, resulting in the accident, and that the accident directly resulted in the injury suffered by the claimant.
Under the Massachusetts Tort Claims Act, Plaintiffs may bring Personal Injury charges against the state, any county, such as Essex County, any municipality, district, public authority, a public agency, or any public body within the state.
The Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Law makes provision for victims to bring charges against their employer if it is believed that negligence and misconduct on the employer's part is the proximate cause of the injury. Under the law, the victim has between 14 to 90 days to issue the employer a notice of claim and two years to file a formal lawsuit.
Generally, Massachusetts State has statutes of limitation for filing civil cases. For example, the statute of limitation in Massachusetts for both Personal Injury and wrongful death cases is two years from the incident. Exceptions apply if the victim in question is a minor, is not mentally capable.
In Essex County, victims in Personal Injury cases may find Personal Injury lawyers through
Personal Injury lawyers work to secure a fair and just settlement for their clients. They collect available evidence to build a convincing case and tilt the court in their client’s favor. In some instances, lawyers may obtain certified medical records of clients to fully establish the clients' health status before and after the accident.
If the parties intend to settle out of court, the plaintiff’s attorney will negotiate the best possible deal with the defendant in favor of the Plaintiff, and go to trial if the Parties are unable to reach a mutually acceptable agreement.
Not every accident necessitates the assistance of a personal injury lawyer. In some instances, employing a personal injury lawyer is overkill due to the minor nature of the damage or the insurance provider’s willingness to settle. Here are a few examples of injuries that do not require hiring a personal injury attorney:
Nonetheless, before deciding not to press charges in an accident where there seems to be no apparent physical harm, it is best to let a licensed medical practitioner confirm that there has truly not been any injury. This medical examination is necessary because specific injuries are internal and require more than a cursory examination to ascertain the damage’s extent.
The majority of personal injury attorneys operate on a contingency agreement, an arrangement where the victim agrees to pay them a third of the overall settlement. As a result, the personal injury lawyer will likely raise the final payment in the case by more than half. For example, if the insurance provider is offering to pay $30,000.00 in a personal injury case, employing a personal injury attorney would only be worthwhile if he can raise the claim sum by more than $15,000.00. A final claim of $45,000.00 or less would leave the claimant with just $30,000 or less, potentially receiving a smaller total amount.
A personal injury case may be reduced to a small claims case in cases where the harm or claim award is negligible, such as a $1,000 award for medical bills. Since the claim is minor, personal injury attorneys are more likely to want to negotiate a fee rather than work on a contingency basis.
If it seems contentious whether or not to employ a Personal Injury lawyer, it would be wise to use a legal advice service instead. A legal consultation will help put a case into the proper legal context and determine the best course of action.
Some of the types of personal injury cases include:
The amount to demand as compensation in a Personal Injury settlement depends on the peculiarities of the case. The first step towards determining the amount of compensation is to ascertain what the damage and loss are and how much of it is compensable. Settlements are aimed at putting the plaintiff in the position they were before the accident or as close as possible, both financially and medically. Therefore, expert advice is required to determine the monetary equivalent of the loss and cost of recovery.
Settlements cover medical expenses, loss of property, and income lost due to the accident. Under the law, a victim's role in the accident may also influence how much settlement is awarded. Broadly, there are two applicable laws where a victim's part in an incident will affect the outcome of a Personal Injury lawsuit:
In Massachusetts, a modified comparative fault rule is in effect. This law incorporates some of the contributory negligence conditions. Under this rule, If the victim’s contribution to the accident or their personal Injury exceeds 50%, they will not receive compensation.
The duration of a Personal Injury case is determined by factors including availability of supporting evidence, the value of the settlement demanded, the nature of the case, and so on. Defendants, and their Insurance providers, may be less likely to settle quickly if they can argue the defendant was mostly at fault or if the value of the compensation at stake is huge. Medical malpractice cases may also take longer to resolve because of the complex nature of such cases.