North Reading Car Accident Lawyer
Auto collisions are a sad reality many people face every year. The physical, emotional, and financial fallout from an accident can be severe, and a lawyer can help you sue for your damages.
Before beginning your case, you and a qualified lawyer must assess your damages. Although damages awards are determined at the end of a case, the court needs to know what kind of damages you have and how much relief (i.e., compensation) you need to make up for these losses at the beginning of the case. You and your attorney must also determine who should be named in the lawsuit and how to prove their negligence and have them held liable. It is wise to speak to an attorney about filing your claims as soon as possible, as there is a strictly enforced deadline on when you can file your claims.
Speak with our car accident attorneys to schedule a free assessment of your case at the Law Office of John J. Sheehan by calling (617) 925-6407.
Assessing Your Damages in a North Reading Car Accident Case
Your damages reflect the losses and injuries you experienced as a direct result of the accident and the defendant’s negligence. Even though damages are awarded when a case is finished, they must be assessed early on.
The potential injuries from a car accident can be devastating, and damages might be significant. Physical injuries like broken bones, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, and scarring or disfigurement often lead to very high medical bills. On top of that, accidents often leave psychological scars that victims deal with for years.
Non-economic injuries like psychological or emotional trauma are often difficult to assess because they are so subjective. Your physical pain, mental suffering, humiliation, and even damage to your reputation may be claimed as non-economic damages. These experiences have no price tag, but we can help you argue for the greatest compensation available. Ultimately, the jury has the final say on how much these losses are worth.
Your economic damages encompass the money you lost because of the accident. As mentioned, serious injuries lead to serious medical bills, which must be factored into your economic damages calculations. You should also consider the income you lost because you cannot return to work and the cost of replacing a totaled vehicle.
Liability for North Reading Car Accident Cases
Liability is perhaps the biggest concern in a car accident lawsuit. Not only do we have to identify those responsible for your accident, but we also have to find evidence and proof of their negligence. Only if our car accident lawyers can prove negligence will the defendants be held liable.
Who Should Be Held Liable?
Figuring out whom to name in your lawsuit is step number one. Often, plaintiffs are struck by one other vehicle, and the person driving that vehicle can be named as the defendant. Unfortunately, many other car accidents are not so simple. Often, multiple drivers are involved in a crash, and several of them might share liability. In that case, we will help you figure out who is and is not responsible so we name the appropriate parties as defendants.
Not all drivers are just regular people – many of them are on the job when accidents happen. For example, your accident might involve a taxi, delivery truck, or a bus. In those circumstances, you can also sue the driver’s employer.
Under the legal doctrine called respondeat superior, an employer can be held vicariously liable for damages and injuries caused by a negligent employee. However, the employee must be acting according to their professional duties when the negligence occurred. If the defendant in your case was off duty or performing unauthorized work, we might be unable to sue their employer.
How to Prove Liability in Court
In a lot of bus accident lawsuits, liability is based on the defendant’s negligence. The defendant may only be held liable if we can prove to the jury that the defendant was negligent. Negligence is a legal concept that is comprised of four important elements: duty, breach, causation, and damages. All four elements must be established to prove the defendant was negligent.
The element of duty refers to the defendant’s legal obligation owed to the plaintiff. In car accident cases, this is the defendant’s duty to drive with reasonable safety under the circumstances while obeying the traffic code. Next, the breach is how the defendant violated their duty. Traffic violations, distracted driving, or drunk driving are common examples of a breach. Proving causation means proving that the defendant’s breach was the direct cause of the accident. Finally, we have to show that your damages are real and not just possible or hypothetical.
When to Call a Lawyer About Your Car Accident in North Reading
The best time to call an attorney might vary based on your specific situation, but it is a good idea to call sooner rather than later. The statute of limitations under Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 260 ֻ§ 2A states that a plaintiff has only 3 years to file their lawsuit with the courts. This is not nearly as much time as it might seem, and there are a million things to do before we get your case to court.
It can take a long time to file a case for various reasons. Many injured plaintiffs navigate the insurance claims process before submitting a lawsuit, which also takes a significant amount of time. You might also need additional time to sufficiently recover from your injuries before dedicating your energy to a lawsuit.
If the 3-year deadline is fast approaching or has even passed, an attorney can help you determine if you can have the statute of limitations tolled. Tolling the statute allows plaintiffs to buy some extra time to file their case, but only under limited circumstances.
Call Our North Reading Car Accident Lawyers Now
Call our car accident lawyers at the Law Office of John J. Sheehan by calling (617) 925-6407 to schedule a free case review.