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Personal Injury in Essex County

Personal injury in Essex

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.

What is a Personal Injury Claim in Essex County?

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:

  • Economic Damages: These include all monetary costs and liabilities incurred by the victim as a result of the accident. A victim, for example, may lose their ability to earn income, incur substantial medical expenses, and part with a property, such as a car, in a motor vehicle accident. Losses under economic damages can be ascertained or calculated.
  • Non-economic Damages: These are usually awarded to cover losses suffered that can not be ascertained, such as bodily harm, permanent organ damage, and loss of crucial body functions such as sight. Loss of consortium, emotional trauma, and recurrent pain and discomfort. A financial award is merely an attempt to give the victim compensation for their loss.

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.

How to Find a Personal Injury Lawyer in Essex County?

In Essex County, victims in Personal Injury cases may find Personal Injury lawyers through

  • Internet Search: An internet search for Personal Injury lawyers within Essex County may yield useful results.
  • The referral services offered by the Essex County Bar Association provide a lawyer referral service for interested individuals.
  • Recommendation from other people may be useful for obtaining contacts of attorneys that specialize in Personal Injury cases.

What does a Personal Injury Lawyer do in Essex County?

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.

Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?

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:

  • The accident has not resulted in the death of anyone.
  • Only property has been affected.
  • The insurance firm is willing to negotiate a fair settlement.
  • There hasn't been any physical harm, or the damage is minor.

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:

  • Car Accidents: A personal injury case arising from a car accident occurs when an individual, normally in another vehicle, causes serious physical harm as a result of the negligence or misconduct of another driver (the defendant). This type of accident may result in a variety of injuries, including a brain injury, a broken or fractured bone, a spinal cord injury, or even death. In most cases, determining who is at fault in a traffic accident requires knowledge of state traffic laws.
  • Truck Accidents: This form of accident involves an individual suffering bodily harm as a result of a truck crash. The truck would normally cause physical injury to the victim by colliding with the victim's car.
  • Motorcycle Accidents: Motorcycle accidents are events in which a motorcycle rider causes injuries to another rider as a result of negligence or wrongful conduct.
  • Slip and Fall Accidents: These are the most common forms of accidents on private properties and in the workplace. If a person is injured as a result of slipping or falling on another person's property and given that his presence on the property is legal, the victim can file a personal injury lawsuit against the property owner. In work-related incidents, a worker can sue his employer, provided he has fair grounds to believe that his employer's negligence was directly responsible for the accident that led to his injury.
  • Brain Injuries: When the head of the victim is struck in an accident, then this form of injury may arise. The signs and symptoms of brain injury include mild concussions, trauma, or unconsciousness. A medical examination may be recommended in such incidents, as a brain injury are usually not be instantly detectable.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries: The spinal cord, which is made up of nerve bundles, is a crucial component of the nervous system. When this bundle of nerves is impaired as a result of an accident, a spinal cord injury case arises. Such injuries are normally taken more seriously since they can result in total or partial body paralysis. A clinical evaluation is usually required to determine the degree and effects of the injury.
  • Wrongful Death: A wrongful death case occurs when the victim dies due to the defendant's wrongful conduct or negligence. Wrongful deaths can occur in a variety of situations, including auto accidents, truck accidents, industrial accidents, medical malpractice, and so on. Since they involve a loss of life, they are the most extreme types of personal injury incidents.
  • Pedestrian Accidents: A pedestrian accident occurs when a car driver hits a pedestrian, resulting in severe bodily injury. The vehicle involved could be a motorcycle, a car, a bus, a truck, or a bicycle.
  • Bicycle Accidents: Bicycle accident personal injury lawsuits are brought when an incident that causes substantial physical damage to another person is specifically related to a bicycle crash, and the accused party is found to have conducted themself negligently, hence leading to the accident.

How much to ask for in a Personal Injury Settlement in Essex County?

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:

  • Comparative Fault Rule: The proportion of fault on the victim's part will be deducted from the actual settlement award receivable. The defendant only pays the victim for their percentage of responsibility in the incident. If a victim is found to be responsible for 25% of the fault which led to the accident, then the defendant only pays 75% of the actual settlement award.
  • Contributory Fault Rule: If a victim is found to have contributed to the accident, they will be barred from instituting and receiving any Personal Injury settlement.


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.

How Long Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Take in Essex County?

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.