What is Personal Injury?
Put simply, personal injury is a legal term that refers to an injury to a person. In order to have a valid personal injury case, the injury must have been sustained as the result of the negligence or recklessness of another person or a company. The most common type of personal injury case involves auto accidents but they can also include several other types of situations, including:
- Wrongful death
- Premises liability
- Boating accidents
- Defective products
What Do I Do If I Believe I Have a Personal Injury Case?
The first and most important step is to contact a qualified attorney. Each case is different and only an attorney can help you understand first if you have a case and second if you have a reasonable chance of winning that case. Stevenson, Lynch & Owens, P.C. provides you with a free hour consultation in order to help evaluate your case.
What if I Didn’t Immediately Know I Was Injured?
One important thing to remember is an injury resulting from an accident will not always be immediately apparent. In many cases, injuries don’t show themselves for days or even weeks. The good news is that this doesn’t mean you don’t have a case. If you’ve sustained an injury due to the negligence of someone else, as long as you can prove that injury was a result of that negligence, you may still be able to bring a case. Whenever symptoms do appear, it is important to be evaluated by a physician so that any injuries can be properly diagnosed and treated. This will also provide important documentation of your injuries.
What Damages Am I Entitled to Recover?
Generally speaking, you are entitled to be reimbursed for your medical bills, your diminished earning capacity (the amount of money you could have earned in employment but failed to earn due to your injuries), damage to your property, and pain and suffering.
In motor vehicle accident cases, however, you are not entitled to recover damages from pain and suffering unless you have sustained at least $2,000 in medical bills. M.G.L. c. 231, § 6D. This is referred to as the “tort threshold”. There are a few exceptions to the tort threshold rule. The attorneys at Stevenson, Lynch & Owens, P.C. can help you if this is an issue in your claim.
What if I Was Partially at Fault?
Many people who deserve a settlement for a personal injury case don’t bring one simply because they are partially at fault and they believe this means they don’t have a case. The truth is that there is such a thing as comparative negligence. This means that as long as you were not more at fault than the other party, you may be eligible for compensation. However, the amount of your award will be reduced based on the amount at which you are deemed to be at fault. For example, if you were in an auto accident and found to be 45% at fault and the other driver was found to be at 55% fault, you would be eligible to bring a case but your award would be reduced based on your partial negligence.
What If I’ve Been in an Accident and the Other Party Wasn’t Insured or Was Underinsured?
A common misconception is that the other party must have sufficient insurance in order for you to collect. However, in some cases you may be able to get the money you’re entitled to directly from your own insurance company. The attorneys at Stevenson & Lynch, P.C. have the experience to guide through this process.
What If I Was a Passenger in a Car?
If you were a passenger in a vehicle that was involved in a car accident, you may be able to bring a case against the driver of the other vehicle or the driver of the car in which you were a passenger. Except in extraordinary cases, the passenger of a car will not be subject to comparative negligence.
Is It Necessary to Work With a Lawyer?
You may think that with a little research you can handle your personal injury case on your own. This approach is not recommended. It is very important to contact a qualified attorney because there is no substitute for experience. At Stevenson, Lynch & Owens, P.C. we have over 25 years of experience working with personal injury cases. We’ve learned the most effective methods for getting you the full settlement you deserve.
Can I Bring a Personal Injury Case Years After the Fact?
The Statue of Limitations does apply to personal injury cases. This means that in the state of Massachusetts you have 3 years after your injury to file a personal injury lawsuit, though there are some limited circumstances when this deadline is extended. As a result, if you feel you have a case, then now is the time to contact us for your free consultation.undefined