A personal injury can change your life in several ways, from being forced to miss work while you heal to paying thousands of dollars in medical bills. Most personal injuries are preventable. They occur in accidents related to someone’s negligence, such as car crashes or slip and fall accidents. In these situations, you could be eligible for compensation for your damages from the negligent party.
At Sweeney Merrigan Law, LLP, we help people with injuries demand justice and compensation in Massachusetts. Our Boston personal injury attorneys fight for fair and full financial compensation from negligent parties on behalf of injured clients. We do everything we can to help our clients recover. If you wish to hold someone else accountable for your recent losses, contact us to find out if you have a case.
Personal injury in a legal context is the right of an injured victim to file a civil lawsuit against another person or party for causing the accident or injury in question. It is a type of tort claim that demands financial compensation for the damages connected to someone else’s negligence or intent to harm. The goal of a personal injury claim is to make the injured person whole through financial compensation for his or her losses. To obtain compensation, an injured party (or his or her lawyer) must prove four main elements.
Duty of care. The law gives certain duties of care to people based on their jobs and actions. A driver, for example, has a duty to reasonably avoid collisions with others on the road. Someone’s duties of care to you will depend on factors such as your relationship with the person. Your doctor, for instance, will owe you different standards of care than your landlord.
Failure to meet the duty of care. The failure to fulfill a duty of care is negligence. If someone does or does not do something a reasonable and prudent party would have in the same situation, that person may be guilty of negligence. A breach of duty of care could also refer to intentional or malicious acts of wrongdoing.
Causation for the accident. You or your lawyer must establish a provable connection between your accident and the defendant’s failure to meet the accepted standards of care. Your lawyer must prove your accident or injury would not have happened were it not for the defendant’s negligence or recklessness.
Damages suffered. You must have compensable damages because of the defendant’s actions or omissions. Compensable damages in Massachusetts can include physical injuries, property damages, lost wages, medical expenses, disabilities, the loss of a loved one, lost quality of life, legal expenses, physical pain and emotional suffering.
The burden of proof in a personal injury claim in Boston is a preponderance of the evidence. This means enough evidence to convince a judge or jury that the defendant’s liability for the damages in question is more likely to be true than not true. Your Boston personal injury lawyer from Sweeney Merrigan Law, LLP can help you meet the burden of proof during a personal injury case by collecting any available evidence of the defendant’s negligence. Your attorney can help you with every step of the claims process in Boston.
Unfortunately, the odds might not be in your favor during a personal injury lawsuit. The burden of proving the defendant’s negligence rests with you, the plaintiff. Unless you have a legal background, it can be difficult to fulfill the burden of proof. A judge or jury will need enough evidence to agree that the defendant caused your accident and injuries. A personal injury attorney can make it easier for you to collect and present evidence in a way that will persuade the courts to rule in your favor.
In addition, the defendant’s insurance company will not want your claim to succeed. The claims adjuster you speak with may try several tactics to try to convince you to settle for as little compensation as possible. These may include offering a lowball settlement or ignoring your claim. Hiring a Boston personal injury lawyer could enable you to negotiate aggressively for the compensation you need to move forward. Your lawyer can take over communications with the claims adjuster for you, giving you the chance to focus on healing from your injuries.
Personal injury laws in Massachusetts may apply to any situation in which one person’s negligence caused another’s injuries. Common circumstances that lead to personal injury suits are accidents, intentional acts of harm or violence, defective products, and medical malpractice. At Sweeney Merrigan Law, LLP, we accept these types of cases in Boston as well as many others.
This is not a full representation of all the case types we can accept at Sweeney Merrigan Law, LLP. Contact us to discuss a case type that is not on this list. We have successfully represented clients during dozens of different types of personal injury claims. Our Boston injury attorneys may be able to help your family through the injury claim you wish to bring in Boston regardless of the specifics of the situation.
At Sweeney Merrigan Law, LLP, we have helped countless clients receive fair and full compensation for their personal injuries throughout Massachusetts. Some of the most common injuries associated with accidents are broken bones, head, and brain injuries, back and neck injuries, spine injuries, burns, lacerations, soft-tissue injuries, and internal injuries. Our lawyers can also handle catastrophic injury claims – cases involving injuries that have long-term or permanent symptoms.
Injuries generally stem from human errors and negligence. The definition of negligence in law is a breach of one’s duties of care. Common examples of negligence include texting and driving, drunk driving, reckless driving, poor property maintenance, failure to post warning signs, dangerous swimming pools, slip and fall hazards, and lack of child supervision. If someone’s breach of duty caused your injury, that person may owe you compensation. Our lawyers can help you with a case involving any type of personal injury in Boston.
The statute of limitations is a law in Massachusetts that restricts how long a claimant has to file a personal injury lawsuit. You must act within your statute of limitations if you wish to have a valid claim to damages. In general, you will have a maximum of three years from the date of your accident to file a claim. This is the basic statute of limitations on most personal injury suits in Massachusetts.
Your statute of limitations might differ from three years if you have a special type of case. If, for example, you are filing a wrongful death claim, you will have three years from the date of your loved one’s death to file. You could have longer than three years from the date of the accident in this case if your relative passed away days or weeks later. In addition, a case that names a government entity as the defendant will require you to present a case within two years of the date of injury, not three.
Some exceptions apply to the general statutes of limitations in Massachusetts. If the victim is a minor under the age of 18, he or she (or the minor’s parents) will generally have three years from the time the minor turns 18 to file a personal injury claim. If your case involves a crime, such as homicide, you may have three years from the date the criminal case against the same defendant ends rather than the date of the incident.
Speak to a Boston injury lawyer at Sweeney Merrigan Law, LLP as soon as possible after an accident in Boston. The courts are strict with filing deadlines. Filing too late will typically mean forfeiting your right to seek compensation. The courts will generally refuse to take cases filed beyond their statutes of limitations. If they do accept your case, the defendant will most likely use the expired statute of limitations to file a motion to dismiss. Taking prompt action as a plaintiff is important to the future of your case.
Damages have a double meaning in personal injury law. They refer to both the losses you incurred in an accident as well as the financial compensation you could obtain in a lawsuit. The value of your claim will depend on the unique types of damages you and your family have. In general, severe or catastrophic injury claims will be worth more than minor injury claims. The average personal injury case in Boston could lead to compensation for several types of damages.
A Boston personal injury lawyer from Sweeney Merrigan Law, LLP could help you create a list of the damages you and your family can claim in a personal injury suit in Boston. We can come up with an accurate estimate of your case’s worth. This could be various amounts depending on the specifics of your case. Then, we may be able to help you demand a fair amount from an insurance company or defendant. Our past case results showcase the wide-ranging results we have secured for clients. Our lawyers will work hard to maximize your recovery award.
Determining liability, or naming the appropriate defendant, is necessary to bring your personal injury case. Liability will go to the person or entity most responsible for causing your accident. This could be a driver, product manufacturer, property owner, employer, doctor or any other parties. The person involved in the accident who was careless, reckless, negligent or malicious may be liable for your injuries. You and your lawyer will need to determine the duty of care and who breached this duty to identify the defendant.
At Sweeney Merrigan Law, LLP, we can investigate your recent accident to correctly identify the defendant(s) in your case. We can visit the scene of your accident, talk to eyewitnesses, hire experts, look for surveillance footage, gather copies of accident reports, take photographs, reconstruct your accident, speak to your doctors and take many other steps to determine who or what caused your accident. Proof of someone else’s carelessness could make that person legally responsible.
Determining liability in Massachusetts will often involve the question of comparative negligence. Comparative negligence refers to the carelessness of the injured party. If the defendant alleges that you caused or contributed to your accident, this could impact the amount you recover in financial compensation.
Under the state’s comparative negligence law, as long as you are less than 51% at fault for your accident, you could still recover compensation for your injuries. Your percentage of fault, however, will reduce your award accordingly. If the courts find you more than 51% responsible, you will lose the right to obtain any compensation. Working with an attorney could help you minimize your degree of fault to maximize your recovery.
You may have the right to seek compensation from one or multiple parties in Boston after an accident or incident that gives you an injury. While financial compensation will not fix everything, it could provide the money you need to pay your bills and move forward with peace of mind. If someone owes you a recovery award, our lawyers can help you determine who and how much. Then, we can take over the legal process on your behalf.
We begin each personal injury claim in Boston with a 100% free and confidential case evaluation. Discuss the details of your case, including potential defendants and the value of your claim, with our attorneys today. Call (617) 391-9001 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation in Boston. Our Boston personal injury lawyer is here for you when you need legal advice the most.