Boston Personal Injury Lawyer
Most accidents are not really accidents: they are preventable events that unfortunately caused injury, loss, or pain. The problem with accidents is figuring out who is responsible. Sometimes, the responsible party is obvious from the start. Other times, the responsible party may be a mystery that requires investigation. If you were injured in an accident, a personal injury lawsuit could help you get compensation to cover your injuries and costs.
An accident can be a major setback in your life. If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident, fell on someone else’s sidewalk, was injured in a construction accident, or suffered injuries from a dangerous product, you could be looking at expensive medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses that make it hard to move forward.
The Boston personal injury lawyers at the Law Office of John J. Sheehan represent injury victims and work to get them the compensation they need for all of these expenses and more. For help with your injury case, contact our lawyers today at (617) 925-6407 to set up a free legal consultation where you can go over the facts of what happened to you and learn more about how you might be able to move forward with a personal injury lawsuit.
How to Get Financial Compensation for an Injury in Boston
If you were hurt in an accident, you could be entitled to file a lawsuit to seek relief. The medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering that result from an accident are often too much to handle, and accident victims could be unable to get back to work to cover these expenses. Besides, if someone else was responsible for your injuries, you should never have to pay for the harm that they caused.
In some cases, insurance might be available to help cover your expenses. For instance, car insurance companies often pay for injuries after a crash, and homeowners insurance might pay for an accident that happened at someone’s house or on a slippery sidewalk. These insurance companies often avoid telling you that you could be entitled to additional damages beyond what they pay.
Many insurance companies survive by paying low settlements or refusing to pay at all after an injury. These companies also tend to pay only a percentage of the full damages, and they rarely pay damages for things like pain and suffering and other “non-economic damages” when people file insurance claims.
Non-economic damages can be difficult to calculate because they do not come with their own price tag. Common examples of non-economic damages are pain and suffering, embarrassment, and loss of companionship, among others. A personal injury lawsuit may be the only way to get compensation for these losses as insurance usually does not cover them. Calculating non-economic damages will be unique for each case and usually requires the help of a skilled attorney.
In many cases, the best path to recovery is a lawsuit. Filing a lawsuit can be far more complex and involves rules of court procedure, statutes of limitations, and other rules that you have to follow. That is why it is important to work with our experienced Boston personal injury lawyers at the Law Office of John J. Sheehan. Our attorneys have decades of experience handling these kinds of cases and helping injury victims get the money they need to move forward after a serious injury.
How Much Can You Recover for an Injury in Boston?
A plaintiff is compensated when a fair settlement is reached or when a jury rules that the plaintiff is entitled to a monetary award. The amount of compensation may depend on the extent of the injury, the cost of medical bills, and the victim’s past and future lost wages. Certain types of damages are also capped at specific limits, while other damages may have no limit.
If the plaintiff’s catastrophic injury arises from medical malpractice, a $500k non-economic damage cap applies in most cases, as per Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. 231 § 60H. An exception to this rule is if the plaintiff can show he or she suffered the following:
- An extensive or permanent loss or impairment of a bodily function
- Substantial disfigurement
- Other unusual circumstances in which applying the cap would deprive the plaintiff of just compensation
You may have heard of punitive damages being available in civil lawsuits. Punitive damages are not designed to compensate a plaintiff for their losses. Instead, punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant and hopefully deter future wrongdoing. In Massachusetts, punitive damages are almost always barred, and the plaintiff will not recover for them. Punitive damages may only be available if statutes permit them. Cases allowing punitive damages are usually wrongful death lawsuits where the defendant’s actions were intentional or extremely reckless.
It is important to keep track of all your expenses related to an accident. If you have to take time off work or even leave your job to recover from your accident, you can include lost wages among your damages. If you are unable to return to work because of your injuries, you may also include lost future wages. Our Boston personal injury lawyers can help you determine an accurate measurement of your potential damages.
How Long Does a Personal Injury Case Take to Settle?
The time it takes to settle a personal injury lawsuit can be hard to say. Some cases come to a close rather quickly, while others drag on for years. Negotiating a settlement agreement can be difficult if your case is complex with a lot of details and evidence to sift through. Some cases may not reach a settlement agreement and a trial will be necessary.
A settlement agreement is when the parties involved in the accident agree to handle the matter outside of court. Generally, a settlement involves the defendant paying the plaintiff for their damages and the plaintiff dropping the case. However, the amount of money paid to the plaintiff is usually not the full amount they initially wanted. Additionally, once they drop the case, the plaintiff is legally barred from filing the lawsuit again to get more money.
There may be a lot of money on the table, and the plaintiff could potentially give up their right to bring their lawsuit at all. Negotiations in most cases will take time. However, if you have a strong case supported by solid evidence, a defendant may be more willing to reach a generous settlement. Even if the defendant pays you for the full amount of your damages, they will at least save money by avoiding a costly trial.
Contact our Boston personal injury lawyers about a possible settlement in your case. Our team will help you negotiate the best possible settlement if that is what you feel is best for your case. We are also willing to go to trial for your case if need be.
Types of Injury Cases Our Boston Personal Injury Attorneys Handle
It can be difficult to know if a lawyer practices the type of law you need help with. Some attorneys focus on a few specific types of accidents that may not apply in your case. At the Law Office of John J. Sheehan, we can help people with most types of injury cases, from car accidents to slip and falls to serious work injuries. Some of the most common cases we handle are discussed below, but our Boston personal injury lawyers also handle other types of injury cases as well.
If you were hurt in a car crash, your injuries could be quite severe. Even low-speed car accidents could involve serious injuries like whiplash that can leave you with permanent symptoms and discomfort. Car accidents can happen anywhere there are drivers, not just on the road. We can help you whether your accident was on a highway, in a parking lot, or anywhere in between. We represent drivers who were injured in car accidents as well as pedestrians, cyclists, and other victims.
Talk to a lawyer about what your case could be worth instead of trying to settle your case with the insurance companies.
While these could fall under the category of “car accidents,” truck accidents often involve a more aggressive approach because you have to deal not only with the driver and the insurance companies, but also the trucking company. Many trucking companies seek to protect their drivers with high-power legal teams while at the same time putting drivers at risk with overloaded trucks, overworked drivers, worn-out tires, and other dangerous business practices that lead to trucking accidents.
Trucking accidents tend to be more serious because the injuries involved are more significant. Trucks are very large and very heavy. Most drivers who collide with trucks tend to have very severe injuries. Victims of truck accidents may also have died. If that is the case, we can help you file a wrongful death lawsuit to reclaim damages for the loss of your loved one.
Slip and Fall Injuries
Icy sidewalks are a common feature in Boston, as are other potential dangers on other peoples’ property, like spills in grocery stores, uneven stairs, or other hazards that could cause you to slip or trip. Slip and falls are some of the most common injury cases out there, and they can cause surprisingly severe head and back injuries in many cases.
The nature of your slip and fall case will depend on where it happened and who your defendant is. In Boston, it is common for homeowners to be responsible for shoveling and clearing the icy sidewalk in front of their houses. If you slipped on a sidewalk, you might be suing the individual who should have cleared it.
You could also sue a larger, more complex entity like a business if your fall happened in a store or an office. Slip and falls on wet floors are typical and can cause serious injuries to customers or employees. Proving liability in each case will also be different depending on how your fall happened. Talk to our Boston personal injury lawyer if you were hurt in a slip and fall or trip and fall accident.
The workplace can be a very risky place. Even for office workers, injuries from lifting boxes or repetitive stress from typing can be very real risks. For other workers, loading and unloading injuries, working with heavy machinery, or working in unsafe environments can cause a risk of very serious injury. In any workplace, there is also the risk of workplace violence or assault.
Injuries can happen as part of your job or from workplace accidents. Workplace accidents and injuries often occur in more dangerous work settings like construction sites or manufacturing plants. However, accidents have also been known to happen in quiet workplaces like offices.
Your workplace injury case may be complicated because of Massachusetts’ workers’ compensation laws. Even so, our team of attorneys can help you get the compensation you need after a workplace accident. Talk to one of our Boston personal injury lawyers if you were hurt on the job.
Catastrophic, Permanent, or Life-Altering Injuries
A catastrophic injury can be life-altering. Some recovery may occur but limit the lifestyle you had before the injury. Your injuries may require regular medical care for the rest of your life, physical therapy, and adaptive equipment.
In the context of a personal injury case, a catastrophic injury is defined as one that permanently prevents victims from performing any gainful work. This means they are no longer able to financially support themselves or their family. Their ability to care for their family in other ways may be impacted as well.
Several types of accidents or circumstances can cause a catastrophic injury, such as car crashes, workplace accidents, medical malpractice, intentional acts of violence, slip and fall accidents, and sports injuries. Injuries classified as catastrophic include:
- Spinal cord injuries (SCI)
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Severe or multiple fractures
- Organ damage
The damages for catastrophic injuries are often greater not only because of more costly medical bills and increased pain and suffering but because the plaintiff loses out on future earnings for the rest of their life. Call our Boston personal injury lawyers for help today.
How Long Do You Have to File a Lawsuit for Injuries in Massachusetts?
Massachusetts has a statute of limitations on personal injury cases that gives injury victims 3 years from the date of injury to file their case in court. For most cases, this is long enough to measure your injuries, collect evidence, and file the case. In many cases, you should do this far sooner than 3 years after the accident. Talk to our Boston personal injury lawyers today to make sure you file your case on time.
Not every plaintiff files a lawsuit for their personal injuries within the 3-year time limit. For example, if you were injured in a hit-and-run accident, the defendant would have fled the scene before you could identify them. If you cannot track the defendant down, you cannot sue. However, you may toll the statute of limitations to buy you more time in instances like this.
Other reasons for tolling the statute of limitations can include pausing the time limit clock for plaintiffs with disabilities. A “disabled plaintiff” is one who cannot file a lawsuit due to some mental or physical condition. Plaintiffs who were so injured that they are in comas would be considered disabled and unable to sue. They may toll the statute until they are no longer disabled. Our Boston personal injury lawyers can determine if you are eligible to toll the statute of limitations in your case.
Our Boston Personal Injury Attorneys Are Here to Help
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident, you need the help of our experienced Boston personal injury lawyers. The attorneys at the Law Office of John J. Sheehan fight for injury victims and work to get them payments for medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and other damages related to their injuries. For a free legal consultation, contact our attorneys today at (617) 925-6407.