Cambridge Personal Injury Lawyer
Suffering an injury can be a frightening and overwhelming experience. Even after the initial trauma begins to subside, you may have significant medical bills and expenses to deal with, as well as reduced income due to missed time at work and possibly, decreased earning capacity. Additionally, you might have to negotiate with insurance companies demanding a decision about a settlement offer.
Trying to get your damages paid for can be extremely difficult if you are also healing from bodily injuries. Even if you were not physically harmed in your incident, your damages might be very expensive. You can file a lawsuit against the person responsible for your damages and claim compensation.
Fortunately, our Cambridge personal injury lawyers can help. Our legal team can help you handle negotiations with insurance companies and advocate on your behalf, as well as evaluate settlement offers to see whether they meet your specific needs. Call the Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 925-6407 for a free case evaluation.
How Our Cambridge Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help You
There are a wide variety of cases that might fall under the broader category of personal injury. Our Cambridge personal injury attorneys have handled numerous cases and have the skills and experience to help you navigate the personal injury processes. Some cases our team handle includes but is not limited to the following:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Slip and falls
- Workplace accidents
- Defective Products
- Medical Malpractice
- Uber and Lyft accidents
- Wrongful death
The damages in your accident or incident might be economic or intangible. This means that your losses might come with a price tag or without any monetary cost. In either circumstance, a court can award you compensation for your damages. Whatever the nature of your personal injury case may be, you should thoroughly discuss your situation with an attorney.
Determining Liability in a Cambridge Personal Injury Lawsuit
When an injury can be traced to another person’s reckless behavior or intentional wrongdoing, they may be legally liable for the consequences of that injury. This is the basis for the theory of legal negligence, a term that refers to when someone owes a duty of care to others but fails to uphold that duty and directly causes harm as a result.
Unfortunately, it is not always feasible to file a personal injury claim for an injury. Some accidents cannot be traced back to negligence on another person’s part and therefore may not be deemed actionable. a knowledgeable Cambridge personal injury attorney can help assess the specifics of a case and determine if you can potentially take legal action.
Proving a defendant negligent requires proving four critical elements: duty, breach, causation, and damages. If even just one of these elements is absent from your case, you cannot be successful.
Duty refers to the defendant’s legal duty of care. This duty must have been owed to the plaintiff under the circumstances of the accident. For example, a person driving a car has a legal duty to drive reasonably safely under the current road conditions.
A breach is a violation of the defendant’s legal duty. it might be difficult to identify precisely how your defendant breached their duty as a breach might look different in different cases.
Causation is the connection between the breach and your injuries. The breach must be the proximate or direct cause of your injuries. We must show that a different, independent source did not cause your accident.
Finally, we must prove your damages. This requires not only proving the extent of your damages but that your damages are real and not hypothetical injuries that could have happened but did not.
What Happens After I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Cambridge?
You might be eager to begin your lawsuit to collect your just compensation for your injuries, but the process takes time, and you should consider all your legal options with a lawyer before getting started. Once you file your lawsuit, the wheels of justice will begin to turn.
A lawsuit begins with a complaint. Your complaint must state with specificity how you were injured, who injured you, and how the court can remedy the situation. While this might seem like a no-brainer, complaints are important legal documents that must be carefully prepared. an improperly written complaint could delay your case or be outright rejected by the court.
Once filed, your defendant will be allowed to respond to your complaint. In their response, they can admit or deny your allegations. Anything they deny will be up for debate in court. Be prepared for your defendant to deny almost everything. If your defendant fails to respond on time, our Cambridge personal injury lawyers can ask the court to enter a default judgment in your favor. Such a judgment applies when a defendant does not respond to a complaint, so they lose by default and must pay your damages.
If your defendant responds on time, we must begin preparing for a trial. This may involve gathering evidence, investigating new evidence, preparing arguments, and negotiating with the opposing party. Although your trial might only take a few days or weeks, it might take months or even years to prepare for.
How Much is a Personal Injury Case Worth in Cambridge?
The value of a particular personal injury case might be hard to deduce at first. Some damages are rather obvious, like medical bills and significant property damages. Other damages might not come to the forefront of your mind and go overlooked. Still, other damages might not reveal themselves until sometime after the accident or incident. The best way to get an accurate idea of how much your case is worth is to discuss the matter with our Cambridge personal injury lawyers.
The overall value of your case is directly tied to your damages. Essentially, the more significant your damages are, the greater the value of your case. This is why you must discuss your case with an attorney who can help you identify all possible damages you can claim.
Common forms of damages that might apply in your case include the following:
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Lost income
- Physical and mental pain and suffering
Damages can include current expenses in addition to expenses you expect to incur in the future. For example, you might have spent $10,000 on medical bills by the time you file your lawsuit, but you expect to spend another $25,000 on future medical costs related to your accident. You can claim the future costs of medical treatment even though you have technically not incurred those costs yet. Similarly, you can claim lost future earnings if you cannot return to work after your injuries.
You must be careful about claiming damages when you file your lawsuit. If you forget to include certain damages, it might be difficult to add those damages to your case later. You need an attorney who can help you amend your complaint if amending is possible.
Limitations on Recovery in Cambridge Personal Injury Cases
Two primary factors limit—or sometimes even prohibit—recovery in personal injury cases. The first is the comparative fault rule, which could come into effect if an injured person’s own conduct contributes to causing their injury. If the comparative fault is proven, it will reduce the amount of recovery an injured individual may seek based on their percentage of fault. If a jury finds the injured person to be more than fifty percent at fault for the accident, then there would be no recovery.
For instance, if a driver injured in a car accident is eating while driving, the court might consider them 30 percent at fault. As a result, any damages the court awarded to that driver would be reduced by 30 percent to account for their negligent actions. that is why it is essential to consult with a Cambridge personal injury attorney right away to make sure that you do not miss out on any damages.
Another limitation is the length of time an injured party is given to file a lawsuit. Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 260 § 2A refers to the statute of limitations to file a claim. In most cases, any legal action based on a personal injury must be filed by either the injured party or their personal injury lawyer within three years of the incident. While there are exceptions to this timeframe, claims submitted after this statute expires run the risk of being dismissed by the court. There may be other notification deadlines to meet to preserve your right to seek damages in court if, for example, your injury was caused by a government worker’s negligence.
Settlement Agreements in Cambridge Personal Injury Lawsuits
Some personal injury lawsuits wind their way through the justice system very slowly and culminate in a dramatic courtroom battle. Other cases take a shortcut to the finish line through settlement agreements. If you think a settlement might be the best option for you, our Cambridge personal injury attorneys can help you negotiate the best settlement agreement possible.
A settlement agreement is considered a private resolution to a case outside of court. Even though settlements occur outside of court, they may still have legally binding aspects. Typically, once a settlement is reached, the plaintiff is legally barred from bringing the issue back to court, barring exceptional circumstances. This means you cannot accept a settlement and then turn around and sue the defendant anyway.
If the parties to a lawsuit are open to a settlement, negotiations will likely begin shortly after the lawsuit is filed. Negotiations tend to be rather intense discussions as there is often a lot of money on the line. The more evidence you have supporting your claims, the more leverage you will have in negotiations and the more money you can get in a settlement.
A successful settlement negotiation depends on more than just supporting evidence. You also need strong negotiation skills and tactics. an attorney has the skills to help you effectively negotiate for the compensation you deserve.
Consult with a Cambridge Personal Injury Attorney Today
After an accident, you might feel overwhelmed and confused, and having to navigate the legal system alone might be difficult. Our compassionate Cambridge personal injury lawyers can assist in evaluating your claim and building a strong case for compensation. Call the Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 812-5015 for a free case review.