Boston Personal Injury Frequently Asked Questions

One call or click is all it takes for John J. Sheehan to fight for you!

If you or a loved one has been injured on the job, on the road or on the go, benefit from the advice of an experienced Boston personal injury attorney. I work hard to protect your rights and help you claim the damages you deserve.

Please see our other FAQ pages regarding autotruckmotorcyle and construction accidents.

Call me at (877) 955-4242 or contact me online now so I can start working for you today! I’ll come to your home or hospital if you can’t get to my office.

Hablamos español

Serving injured workers and accident victims throughout Massachusetts and injured workers who live in New Hampshire or Rhode Island who are employed in Massachusetts.

Should I provide a statement to an insurance company without a lawyer’s help?

It is in your best interests to only provide your contact information to an insurance company until you consult with a lawyer. The more significant your injuries, the more imperative it becomes to seek legal counsel before providing any statement.

Will I have to go to trial to recover damages?

About 95 percent of personal injury cases filed settle prior to trial.

What is considered “pain and suffering?”

Pain and suffering includes harm caused by physical injury and mental anguish experienced through avoiding activities you engaged in prior to your accident and the potential of surgery.

What determines the amount I might recover for injuries sustained in an auto accident or third-party claim?

Every case addresses three issues:

  • Liability—establishing someone’s negligence
  • Damages—the amount that will fairly and adequately compensate you for your injuries
  • Source of collection—insurance or other assets from which damages can be recovered

What should I do if I get injured on the job?

You must notify your employer of the injury immediately.  You should ask your employer to fill out an accident report.  If you require medical attention, you should see your doctor or go to the emergency room immediately.  Be sure to explain to your doctor or nurse that you were hurt at work and describe exactly what happened.  If your doctor tells you to stay out of work, get a disability note.  Give a copy of the disability note to your employer; keep a copy for yourself.  A Boston workers compensation lawyer since 1993, I can help you understand the process and your rights to workers comp benefits.

What would cause my claim to be denied?

Your workers comp claim may be denied if you fail to report injuries promptly or fail to provide your employer with a doctor’s note stating that you are disabled and require medical treatment because of a work injury or work-related illness.  Your claim may be denied if your injury did not occur in the course of your employment.  A common example of this is when a person is injured on their way to work or on their way home.  This is called the “Coming and Going Rule.”  You should contact an experienced workers comp lawyer if your workers comp claim has been denied.  I’ve been helping injured workers and accident victims obtain compensation for their injuries since 1993.

Am I barred from workers comp if I was at fault?

In most instances, no.

Can I sue anyone else for a work-related injury?

This is called a third-party suit. If your injury was caused by the negligence of a third party other than another person who is also an employee of the company for which you work, you may have a right to sue that party.

What is no-fault workers compensation?

Some states, like Massachusetts, have no-fault insurance programs that give benefits to employees who suffer job-related injury or illness. In such a program, if you are injured on the job, you receive benefits in exchange for agreeing not to bring a lawsuit against your employer.

Do I have to be injured at work to receive workers compensation?

No.  As long as you were in the course of your employment at the time of your injury, you are covered even if your injury occurred outside your employer’s place of business.

What compensation will I receive following a work injury?

In general, benefits include weekly workers comp benefits paid to you, medical expenses, reimbursement for purchase of prescribed medications or medical devices, medical-related travel expenses such as parking and mileage reimbursement and specific compensation for visible scarring or disfigurement limited to the face, neck or hands.

There are three types of weekly workers comp benefits:  temporary total, partial or permanent total.  These benefits are based on your average weekly wage.  For example, temporary total pays you 60 percent of your average weekly wage for up to three years.  Partial benefits are calculated at 60 percent of the difference of your pre-injury average weekly wage and your earning capacity for up to five years and, in some case, four years.  The most you can ever receive in partial benefits is 75 percent of your temporary total weekly rate.  Permanent total pays you 2/3 of your average weekly wage as long as you are disabled due to your work injury.

Must I see an insurance company doctor, or can I see my own doctor?

The Massachusetts workers comp law allows the insurance company to require you to see a doctor or medical provider who is part of the insurer’s preferred provider group.  After an initial visit with the insurance company doctor, you can be treated by a doctor of your choosing and, generally, switch to another medical professional once.

The insurance company can require you to attend an insurance medical examination (“IME”) with a doctor or medical professional of their choice from time to time.  Usually, workers comp insurers send injured workers to IME’s in order to obtain a report from one of their doctors so the insurer can terminate workers comp benefits.  If you are receiving workers comp and receive a notice to attend an IME, you should contact an experience workers comp lawyer immediately.

Can I ever sue my employer in court over a work-related injury?

No. The Massachusetts workers comp law is the exclusive remedy for an employee injured at work. However, in cases where the work-related injury was caused by the employer’s serious and willful misconduct, the employee may be entitled to double workers compensation, including medical benefits paid. Such double compensation is paid for by the employer’s workers comp insurer.

John J. Sheehan is a Boston truck accident attorney who has been handling truck accident cases since 1993. Here are some common questions he answers for clients:

One call or click is all it takes for John J. Sheehan, a Boston truck accident lawyer to fight for you!

Call me, attorney John J. Sheehan at (877) 955-4242 or contact me online now so I can start working for you today! I’ll come to your home or hospital if you can’t get to my office.

Hablamos español, Nos Falamos Portugues

What makes truck accidents so different than other types of vehicle accidents?

Truck accidents can be much different than other motor vehicle accidents. Here are just a few reasons why:

  • The massive size and maneuverability of trucks require that drivers meet higher licensing standards.
  • The insurance coverage for trucks is higher than for other vehicles.
  • Interstate drivers are subject to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations.
  • Truck drivers are subject to frequent drug testing.
  • Limitations exist on the number of hours driven in a day.

What are some common causes of truck accidents?

Here are just some of the many causes for truck accidents

  • Driver fatigue
  • Lack of vehicle inspection/ maintenance
  • Speeding
  • Tailgating
  • Cell phone use
  • Prescription and over-the-counter drug use
  • Demanding delivery schedules
  • Insufficiently trained drivers
  • Aggressive drivingLack of defensive driving

What types of federal regulations govern truck drivers?

In fulfilling its purpose of preventing commercial motor vehicle fatalities and injuries, the FMCSA strongly enforces safety regulations for trucking that govern:

  • Vehicle maintenance
  • Hours of service
  • Driver logs
  • Insurance coverage requirements
  • Commercial driver’s license qualifications

FMCSA violations often provide proof of cause for a Boston personal injury lawyer to pursue a lawsuit on behalf of an injured plaintiff.

What are hours of service regulations?

The consecutive hours a truck driver may drive are referred to as hours of service regulations. Hours of service vary depending on emergency situations, poor weather conditions, and other factors. However, for every number of hours on the road, the truck number must be off duty for a number of consecutive hours.

How long do you have to file a truck accident lawsuit?

The Massachusetts deadline—or statute of limitations—for filing a truck accident lawsuit is three years from the date of the accident.

Since 1993, Boston truck accident lawyer John J. Sheehan has successfully helped people receive compensation for serious truck accident injuries.

The nature of a truck accident case

In a truck accident case, the plaintiff is the person who brings the lawsuit.  The defendant is the person or party who the plaintiff believes is responsible for the accident. As a plaintiff in a truck accident case, the defendants you face likely will be a large insurance carrier or trucking company, and typically, these parties’ lawyers aggressively defend their side in a truck accident claim. Immediate investigation is crucial to preserve key evidence for proving liability.

Also, the plaintiff must have an in-depth knowledge of trucking industry regulations. A Boston truck accident lawyer with years of experience knows the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations, can recognize violations, and is able to identify liable parties who are sources of compensation in your truck accident.

One call or click is all it takes for John J. Sheehan, a Boston truck accident lawyer to fight for you!

Call me John J. Sheehan at (877) 955-4242 or contact me online now so I can start working for you today! I’ll come to your home or hospital if you can’t get to my office. Hablamos español, Nos Falamos Portugues.

Negotiating skills play a vital role

Because most motor vehicle accidents are settled outside of court, skills brought to the negotiating table are important. You do not want to be saddled with a settlement that does not cover your current and past medical bills, lost wages, future lost income capacity, or need for future medical treatment. Insurance company representatives negotiate claims for a living, and their focus is on saving costs for the insurance company.

A skilled Boston personal injury attorney can anticipate the negotiation tactics used and employ an effective strategy to help you receive the compensation entitled by law. With a competent Boston trucking accident lawyer at your side, reaching a settlement becomes a deliberation between professionals and takes the stress off of you.

What makes truck accidents so different than other types of vehicle accidents?

Truck accidents can be much different than other motor vehicle accidents. Here are just a few reasons why:

  • The massive size and maneuverability of trucks require that drivers meet higher licensing standards.
  • The insurance coverage for trucks is higher than for other vehicles.
  • Interstate drivers are subject to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations.
  • Truck drivers are subject to frequent drug testing.
  • Limitations exist on the number of hours driven in a day.

What are some common causes of truck accidents?

Here are just some of the many causes for truck accidents in the Boston area:

  • Driver fatigue
  • Lack of vehicle inspection/ maintenance
  • Speeding
  • Tailgating
  • Cell phone use
  • Prescription and over-the-counter drug use
  • Demanding delivery schedules
  • Insufficiently trained drivers
  • Aggressive driving
  • Lack of defensive driving

What types of federal regulations govern truck drivers?

In fulfilling its purpose of preventing commercial motor vehicle fatalities and injuries, the FMCSA strongly enforces safety regulations for trucking that govern:

  • Vehicle maintenance
  • Hours of service
  • Driver logs
  • Insurance coverage requirements
  • Commercial driver’s license qualifications

FMCSA violations often provide proof of cause for a Boston personal injury lawyer to pursue a lawsuit on behalf of an injured plaintiff.

What are hours of service regulations?

The consecutive hours a truck driver may drive are referred to as hours of service regulations. Hours of service vary depending on emergency situations, poor weather conditions, and other factors. However, for every number of hours on the road, the truck number must be off duty for a number of consecutive hours.

How long do you have to file a truck accident lawsuit?

The Massachusetts deadline—or statute of limitations—for filing a truck accident lawsuit is three years from the date of the accident.

When a claim becomes a lawsuit

Sometimes a fair settlement cannot be reached. When this occurs, your lawyer files a lawsuit and takes your case to court. The best lawyers are both highly skilled negotiators and effective trial lawyers. I invite you look at some of my results and rely on my skills. Your initial consultation is free and you owe no fees unless I am successful.