The Massachusetts Trial Court Department for personal injury claims and car accident injury claims is divided into two departments. There is the district court and superior court. Currently, the jurisdiction between the Massachusetts District Court and Massachusetts Superior Court for personal injury car accident cases is divided based on the amount of damages presented in the case. For more information on Boston car accident courts, be sure to get in touch with a trusted injury attorney.
Process of a Reviewal of a Claim
When the civil clerk’s office for the court reviews a complaint, they look over the attachment of the complaint that lists the amount of medical bills and special damages including lost wages and property damage. The clerk determines whether the total amount of damages is appropriate for the particular court. For the Massachusetts District Court, a lawsuit can properly be filed in Massachusetts District Court for a personal injury car accident if the damages are $25,000 or less. If the damages are above $25,000, that is a case for superior court.
Differences Between Superior Court and District Court
The district court uses a statement of damages form with different line items for things such as hospital bills, doctor’s bills, physical therapy, ambulance, and chiropractors. The attorney includes the total amount for each of the categories. Special damages such as property damage or lost wages are also included. If the total is $25,000 or less, the case is filed in the district court.
The Massachusetts Superior Court uses a different form. The same information is put on the form, but it is called a civil action cover sheet. The civil clerk for the superior court looks at the total amount of the damages totals to see if it is more than $25,000. When the amount of damages is more than $25,000, the case is properly filed in the superior court.
In some cases, the superior court is the only court that has jurisdiction on the type of case such as a case involving governmental entity. The lawsuit could be against a city, town, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, state agency, or state department. If the at-fault driver is a municipal, state, or county employee, the case is filed in superior court.
Filing a Case in Circuit Court
Massachusetts does not have a circuit court in the state court system. The only circuit court is the Circuit Court of Appeals, which is the federal appeals court. Massachusetts is part of the First Circuit Court of Appeals. Cases go to the First Circuit Court of Appeals on appeal from a court order or a verdict in federal court, in the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts.
If a party is aggrieved by a court order or a jury decision in the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts, they file an appeal with the First Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing that the trial judge in the US District Court, Massachusetts committed a legal error in an order they issued or in a ruling concerning an evidentiary question, in allowing evidence or keeping evidence out, or a legal error concerning an objection made at trial.
Cases Filed in Federal District Court
One could file a case in the federal district court in a Boston car accident case when the at-fault party is a federal employee. For example, the car accident involved a postal worker who was driving a postal vehicle negligently and caused an accident. The injured party must file the lawsuit in federal court. However, similar to the case of the Massachusetts government employee, they must follow the notification requirements under federal law.
Importance of Retaining Legal Assistance
It is important to retain experienced Boston legal counsel to make sure your legal rights are protected. With the help of an attorney, you could also increase the chances of obtaining full compensation for your injuries. However, given the time limit to file an auto injury claim, it is strongly recommended to take legal action as soon as possible. To get started, schedule a consultation today.