Headlined in Massachusetts Lawyer's Weekly as one of the state's "Most Powerful" attorneyslearn more about us
Your #1 job is to get better, we will take care of everything elseview our results
Hon. Thomas T. Merrigan (Ret.) is a partner in Sweeney Merrigan Law, LLPview attorney profile
There isn't a better testament to the service we provide than the recommendations made by former clientsview testimonials
We are dedicated to getting our clients the results they need. That includes a settlement that fully covers the costs of physical and emotional suffering, but it also goes a step further. We are committed to making our community as safe as possible, and that means holding responsible parties accountable. We have been recognized for personable representation and take pride in building our practice on the recommendations and testimonials of our previous clients. We are ready to help you today.
Whether you are the victim of a personal injury at work or a motor vehicle accident driving home, someone's negligence has caused pain and suffering. We understand that, to keep our friends and families safe, we must pursue legal recourse to ensure offending parties are made aware of their impact on the city of Boston and its surrounding communities. With this in mind, we know that every case we take on contributes to a safer neighborhood.
Suffering an injury can be a life-altering experience, and looking for reparations within our legal system can be confusing and frustrating. But rest assured, we make the process as easy as possible for our clients. We take great effort to reassure our clients, and we explain their options, as well as likely outcomes, so they know what to expect. We handle personal injuries cases ranging from motor vehicle accidents to wrongful death. Other practice areas include:
Immediately following an accident, your energy and focus should be entirely on receiving the proper and necessary medical care.
When ready, it is important to get an attorney involved in order to facilitate the proper payment of medical bills; investigate insurance benefits; collect accident information, evidence, and witness statements; and handle any inquiries from insurance carriers or investigators.
After hiring a lawyer, your job is simply to focus 100% of your time and attention on your recovery. This means following the instructions of your medical providers and making the necessary appointments to achieve a full recovery.
Itʼs our job to manage the coordination of medical bills, keep insurance companies apprised of your recovery status, handle requests for statements from you, and otherwise prepare your file for a lawsuit.
Settlement is a voluntary process whereby an insurance carrier offers compensation in the form of money in order to avoid a lengthy lawsuit or trial. Insurers consider the extent of injuries, pain and suffering, the amount of medical bills, any lost wages, and any permanency when making an offer to settle. Insurers will also consider the extent to which their insurer is at fault in the accident.
Generally, it is not advisable to settle a personal injury case until a full recovery has been achieved. After accepting a settlement offer, the case is closed and cannot be reopened should additional injuries be discovered, or the severity of injuries increase.
After determining that a medical end result has been achieved and no more treatment is scheduled, Sweeney Merrigan Law will begin putting together a “settlement package” for the insurance carrier.
Typically, an insurance carrier will take 30 days to review a settlement demand before making an offer of settlement.
The decision to settle is the clientʼs decision alone – we will make recommendations – but our job is to educate you on the benefits and risks of accepting any offer.
Should the offer be accepted, the money is usually processed in two to four weeks. If an acceptable offer cannot be reached, the next step is to file a lawsuit and/or proceed to trial.
After the decision to file a lawsuit is made, the attorney will draft a Complaint, detailing the nature of the lawsuit and the underlying allegations that are being made against each defendant.
The lawsuit is filed when the court “dockets” the Complaint, which means receives and records the Complaint along with the appropriate filing fee. The filing of the lawsuit is the first step toward going to trial before a jury or a judge, who will decide the outcome of the case.
It is important to know that every state has a “statute of limitations,” which defines the time period within which a lawsuit must be filed. The time period varies depending on the type of case; however, if that time period passes, the case will be forever barred.
The Complaint will then be “served,” which means delivered to each defendant, who will then be required to file an “Answer” whereby the defendant admits or denies the allegations contained in the Complaint.
The discovery process is the period of time whereby each party has the opportunity to learn more about the adversaryʼs case.
While there are a variety of tools the parties use, almost every case involves interrogatories, which are written questions the opposing party must answer, and depositions, which are formal interviews conducted by the lawyers in the case.
The discovery process can last many months to a year (or more), depending on the order of the court and complexity of the case.
At any time throughout the case, but typically at the conclusion of discovery, the parties may voluntarily engage in alternative dispute resolution. Alternative dispute resolution is primarily seen in the form of mediation, arbitration, or negotiations.
Mediation is a voluntary process in which both the clients and lawyers meet with a mediator, who is a trained professional charged with the job of facilitating meaningful and effective negotiations. Mediations can be as short as a half a day or multiple days. Mediations are non- binding, which means that if the parties do not reach an agreement, the case will proceed to trial in the manner it would have had the mediation never occurred.
Arbitration is also a voluntary process; however, the outcome of the arbitration is binding and cannot be challenge absent unusual circumstances. An arbitration functions similarly to a trial where the parties present evidence, testimony, and argument to a hired arbitrator who will make the final decision concerning the outcome of the case.
Lastly, parties might engage in direct negotiations throughout the course of the case and sometimes even during the course of trial. Any offers to settle during negotiations do not constitute an admission of guilt or liability, but instead are efforts to compromise in order to avoid an unpredictable outcome with a jury.
We are trial attorneys and going to trial is what we prepare to do at all times, from the moment you retain us as your attorney.
Typically, when alternative dispute resolution agreements are not met, the case will proceed to trial. A personal injury trial can be as short as a day or as long as a couple of weeks.
The length of the trial will be determined not only be the complexity of the case, but also by the courtʼs schedule and whether the court allows the trial to span over the course of consecutive full days or if the trial will be held on consecutive half days.
Trial can be delayed unexpectedly for a number of reasons, which include the schedules of the court, the attorneys, the parties, and/or the witnesses.
Personal injury trials are typically before a jury; however, if both parties prefer, the case may be presented to a judge.
“Peter Merrigan was very nice from the time I called. I don’t know what I would have done with my son’s hospital bills from the bus accident, but he has been nothing but helpful and understanding. I will definitely recommend him to my family or friends that need a lawyer.”Susan / Marlboro, MA View More
“I am not knowledgeable of the legal system, so I had a lot of questions. Tucker and Peter were very accessible and helpful. They went above and beyond their duties to make sure that I knew the legal procedure. I would recommend them to anyone in need of legal assistance.”Kyle / Boston, MA View More
There's a reason recommendations are one of the main ways we are introduced to new clients. Working with Sweeney Merrigan Law, you can have:
The results you need. Our outstanding settlements are one thing, but we also take great efforts to hold the responsible parties accountable and ensure they are aware of the effects of their actions. With this commitment to our clients and our practice, we make the city of Massachusetts safer for everyone.
Trust and confidence you can depend on. We approach each case with the best imaginable settlement for our clients, but for us, trust means much more. We maintain a relationship with the people we represent. Whether it's simply answers to questions or being available for a phone call or consultation, we stand by our clients to guarantee they are completely informed about the legal process in which they are involved.
Consistent communication. Legal proceedings can be complicated, and it can be easy to worry when medical bills are piling up or you’ve missed days of work. We will keep you informed throughout the process, giving you all the information you need to make a decision. We will keep you apprised of any changes or new information in your case, which we believe is an integral part of representing our clients.