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Have you been left with serious injuries and financial uncertainty after an accident in Boston, MA? An experienced Boston personal injury lawyer can help you pursue the compensation you deserve from the at-fault party.
Massachusetts Lawyer’s Weekly has recognized Sweeney Merrigan Law, LLP among the “Most Powerful Attorneys” in the state. Our team of Boston personal injury lawyers has over 100 years of combined experience handling personal injury attorneys. We are ready to give you the representation you need for the compensation you deserve.
Get answers to common questions about Boston personal injury law and then contact our law office for a free consultation to learn more. Call (617)-391-9001 today.
Personal injury law, or “tort law,” allows someone to file a civil lawsuit against another party after an injury or accident. Suppose you have suffered injury in an accident or due to intentional wrongdoing. In that case, a personal injury case allows you to hold the at-fault party financially accountable for your financial losses related to the incident.
Personal injury cases often begin by filing an insurance claim with your own insurance policy or the at-fault party’s policy. If you cannot resolve your claim through settlement negotiations, you can initiate a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. Some cases go directly to court through a lawsuit.
Personal injury law is distinct from criminal law. While some personal injury cases involve criminal actions, the case itself is heard in civil court. A personal injury case does not require criminal charges, but a conviction can strengthen a civil case.
There are two main types of personal injury cases:
At Sweeney Merrigan Law, LLP, we handle all types of personal injury cases in Boston.
You may have a personal injury case if your accident was caused by someone else’s behavior or negligence.
Personal injury victims may recover two types of compensatory damages: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages refer to the financial costs associated with your accident.
Examples of economic losses include:
Non-economic losses do not have an intrinsic financial value; these intangible losses may include:
Like many states, Massachusetts has a cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases. Your pain, suffering, and other non-economic losses in a medical negligence case are capped at $500,000. There are exceptions if you suffered (1) substantial or permanent impairment; or (2) loss of a bodily function or significant disfigurement.
You may be eligible to recover punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages. These damages punish the defendant for egregious conduct. However, punitive damages in MA are only available in wrongful death cases that result from willful, wanton, or reckless behavior or gross negligence.
Many state laws will impact your personal injury case.
Here are some of the most critical Massachusetts laws affecting your injury case:
Your Boston personal injury lawyer can help you understand how these laws will affect your case.
A Boston personal injury case has a lower burden of proof than a criminal case. To recover damages, you must prove your case by a preponderance of the evidence. This simply means showing “it was more likely than not” that the defendant caused your injuries.
Criminal cases, on the other hand, require proof beyond a reasonable doubt. This means there is no other rational explanation based on the evidence.
Proving fault requires presenting evidence such as witness statements, expert testimony, and physical evidence. To win your case, you must generally demonstrate the defendant was negligent. However, some cases involve strict liability.
Someone is negligent when they do not behave how a reasonable person would have in similar circumstances.
There are four elements of negligence:
Proving causation is usually the hardest element of negligence.
In Massachusetts, you must prove:
Massachusetts does not have a presumption of negligence, even when someone violates safety laws. Instead, violations of these laws are evidence of negligence. Your case must still prove the other elements of negligence.
While negligence can be defined as carelessness or irresponsible behavior, gross negligence occurs when someone is reckless and displays a lack of concern for others.
In Massachusetts, proving gross negligence is generally only relevant in cases involving wrongful death. If you can prove the defendant displayed gross negligence, you may be entitled to punitive damages.
You must typically show the defendant was negligent to hold them liable for injuries you sustain. However, some cases involve strict liability.
The most common example is dog bites. Massachusetts law holds dog owners strictly liable for injuries caused by their dog. There are some exceptions, such as injuries sustained by someone who was trespassing or abusing or teasing the dog. Massachusetts does not have a “one bite” rule.
Product liability law also involves strict liability. If you are hurt by a defective or dangerous product, you do not need to prove negligence. Instead, you must prove the product was defective in manufacturing, design, or warning/marketing.
Do not let financial concerns prevent you from seeking the experienced legal representation you deserve. At Sweeney Merrigan Law, LLP, our Boston personal injury lawyers work on a contingency-fee basis. You pay nothing upfront for skilled legal representation.
We will assist with your injury claim, negotiate on your behalf, build the strongest evidence-based case possible, and take your case to court if necessary.
You only pay attorney’s fees if we recover a settlement or verdict on your behalf. Your attorney’s fees and other costs come out of your recovery.
You have a limited amount of time to file your personal injury lawsuit. The Massachusetts statute of limitations for most personal injury cases is three years. This same deadline applies to wrongful death lawsuits.
For a medical malpractice lawsuit, you have three years from the date you discover or should have discovered your injury.
If you have a claim against a government entity like the city of Boston, you must submit a claim before proceeding to court. The statute of limitations against government entities is only two years.
Unfortunately, there is no easy way to answer this question. No calculator or formula can estimate the value of your personal injury case. It will depend on factors that are personal and unique to your case.
To estimate your case’s worth, we will consider:
The best way to find out what your case is worth is by scheduling a free case review with a Boston personal injury lawyer at Sweeney Merrigan Law, LLP.
When you are facing mounting bills and financial uncertainty, you want your case to settle as quickly as possible. It is entirely possible for an injury claim to be settled in a matter of weeks or months. However, quick settlements can give you less than you deserve.
You can expect the insurance company to make an offer fairly early, but this will be a low offer. It will likely not compensate you for all of your losses.
The amount of time it takes to conclude your case and recover a settlement or verdict depends on:
The more serious your injuries and the higher the value of your case, the longer it may take to settle. Your case may also take longer if it must proceed to a lawsuit and go before a jury, although most personal injury cases settle.
It’s important to make sure your case is valued properly before settling. Once you reach a settlement, you will not be able to recover additional damages in the future, even if the settlement was far too low. Your personal injury lawyer will help you understand what you can expect and give you a general estimate of how long it may take to settle your case.
Have you been seriously hurt in a car accident? Contact Sweeney Merrigan Law, LLP today to schedule a free case review with a Boston personal injury lawyer.
We handle all types of injury cases, and we are ready to help you pursue fair compensation for the injuries you have suffered.