This is an injury to your body. A personal injury can include mental and emotional
injuries. Personal injuries do not include injuries to property.
Your health is the most important thing when you have been in an accident. Seek
appropriate medical treatment and follow the the doctor's instructions.
If you are able to you should get the names, addresses and phone numbers of the
other party involved in the accident and any witnesses who may have seen what happened
it will be important to your case. Taking photographs of the accident scene is also
You should not make any statements to an insurance company. Statements that you
make could be used against you to limit or even deny you an opportunity for a fair
recovery. Do not sign medical authorizations, offers of settlment or any other documents
an insurance company may send to you.
You should consult an experienced personal injury attorney who can protect your
You could have a case if you have been injured by the negligence of another. An
experienced personal injury attorney can tell you whether you have a valid claim
No one can responsibly tell you the value of your claim until all of the information
that affects it has been gatherered and reviewed. Even then the value of a case
is not always an exact science. Issues like liability (who is at fault), the seriousness
of your injury, how the injury has affected your life, and the kind of insurance
coverage available can affect the amount you may recover. There may also be various
other intangibles to consider like crediblity of witnesses that could increase or
decrease the value of your case. Each case brings its own set of facts and circumstances
that will dictate what is fair and reasonable for your particular situation. A qualified
personal injury attorney can help maximize the value of your case.
I offer free consultations in my office for all injury claims. If we determine that
you have a claim and you wish to retain me as a lawyer I will take your case on
a contingency basis. Most accident lawyers work on a contigency fee basis and thus
will only get paid if you win your case.
Negligence is the basis for a personal injury lawsuit. It occurs when one party
is careless and causes injury to another as a result of that carelessness. The plaintiff
(the injured person) must prove in court that the defendant (the careless person)
1. owed a duty to the plaintiff, 2. breached that duty to the plaintiff by failing
to conform to the required standard of conduct, 3. the defendant's negligent conduct
was the cause of the harm to the plaintiff and 4. the plaintiff was harmed or injured.
Comparative negligence assigns a percentage of fault to parties that are involved
in an accident. For example in a car accident where an injured party attempts to
take a right and hits another car that tries to pass on the right. The car that
tries to pass on the right could be 80% at fault for failing to use due care while
the injured party could be found to be 20% responsible for not using his directional
before he turned. If the plaintiff in that case is awarded $100,000.00, the award
would be reduced to $80,000.00 once comparative negligence is applied.
The attorney-client privilege is a legal concept that serves to protect and keep
confidential communications between a client and his or her attorney made while
obtaining legal advice. It is a client's privilege to refuse to disclose and prevent
another person from disclosing confidential communications between the client and
his or her attorney. The privilege belongs to the client not to the attorney so
only the client may waive the privilege. The attorney is permitted to refuse to
testify about the communications from the client. The privilege does not apply to
communications made to further acts of fraud or other crimes.
An experienced personal injury lawyer can evaluate your case and act on your behalf
against the insurance company who will likely be involved on behalf of the person
or entity who caused you to be injured. The lawyer's job is to make sure insurance
companies pay you the compensation you deserve. The insurance company's primary
objective is to limit the amount of compensation you may be entitled to. They will
likely want to take your statement. They may also want to review your medical records.
Insurance companies frequently ask injured parties to sign documents. Unless you
have extensive experience dealing with these kind of issues you could be jeopardizing
your potential recovery by going forward without a lawyer. While not every situation
may require you to retain an attorney to protect your rights, personal injury liability
and damages can be a tricky and sometimes complicated area of the law. When and
if you decide to hire an attorney can make all the difference in the value of your
This is the term used in civil cases when a court or perhaps an insurance company
determines that a person or entity is responsible for another person's injury. When
a party is determined to be liable then they are obligated to pay the injured party
for their damages.
A lawsuit is an action brought by one party against another party in a court of
law to recover monetary damages. There are numerous reasons for someone to file
a lawsuit including personal injury, breach of contract, or damage to one's property
or business relations. Civil lawsuits are different from criminal prosecutions because
in civil suits are used when someone has been damaged by another's actions or a
product and seeks money and not criminal prosecution. Personal injury lawsuits can
come as the result of an auto accident, a slip and fall or a wrongful death claim
(among other causes of action). In the lawsuit the moving party, the plaintiff,
will need to prove that the defendant is responsible for the injuries suffered.
If the plaintiff is successful in proving liability then the next step is to assess
When a lawsuit is filed the attorney for the plaintiff and/or the defendant will
likely take depositions. A deposition is the process in which an attorney asks questions
of a party or witness about an accident and the answers to the questions are generally
recorded by a court reporter. The person being deposed or the deponent must answer
the questions under oath. Depositions usually take place in a conference room. If
the case goes to trial the answers given by the party or witness at the deposition
will be compared to those given at trial.
The law in Massachusetts provides that an injured party has three years from the
date of the injury to initiate a lawsuit or pursue a claim. There could be an exception
to this rule however. For example if you are injured as a minor (under the age of
18) the time to file your claim may be extended to three years from the date you
turn 18. This time limit for bringing a claim is called the statute of limitations.
Depending on the type of legal issue you have different statute of limitations may
apply. Failure to file suit within the time of time set in the statute may result
in the forfeiture of your claim.
It is probably not advisable to talk settlement until you have finished with your
medical treatment or until you are fully recovered. Each person recovers at a different
pace. Some may take a short period of time, some longer periods of time and others
may never fully recover. If you have been seriously injured your case will likely
take longer to resolve and could take substantial litigation to get what your case
is actually worth. Negotiating with insurance companies can be a lengthy and frustrating
process. They often like to drag the case out. At times it seems as though they
have no incentive to settle the claim. In those instances litigation becomes necessary.
I try to do my best to resolve your case as soon as it makes sense to do so.
These answers are provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided by an experienced attorney in your particular jurisdiction.