Plymouth Personal Injury Lawyer
If you were injured because of another person’s negligent conduct, then you may be entitled to payment in a personal injury lawsuit. There are several forms of damages that you may pursue compensation for. However, the at-fault party will likely attempt to dispute important aspects of your case.
Our legal team can help assess the strength of your claims and gather evidence on your behalf. Furthermore, we will handle all communication with the defendant and fight for the full range of monetary damages you deserve.
For help with your case in Plymouth, MA, reach out to our experienced personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of John J. Sheehan today by calling (617) 468-7752.
Proving Negligence in Plymouth Personal Injury Claims
Since many cases involve accidents rather than intentional acts of harm, plaintiffs are often tasked with proving how the defendant behaved negligently rather than intentionally. However, personal injury cases involving intentional torts are possible, and you should speak to an attorney immediately if someone hurt you on purpose.
While most people understand negligence to entail unintentional behavior or failure to take certain precautions, the law has carved out a more specific definition. When proving negligence, you must establish the defendant’s duty of care, the breach of duty, causation, and damages.
The element of duty is the defendant’s legal obligation toward the plaintiff. Even total strangers might be bonded by a duty of care. For example, when driving on public roads, all drivers have a duty to drive with reasonable safety under the circumstances while following the traffic code.
The breach is whatever the defendant did or failed to do that violated their duty of care. Again, this tends to vary between cases and can be difficult to identify in certain circumstances. Continuing with the previous car accident example, a possible breach might be a simple traffic violation, like running a red light or speeding. It might also be something more serious, like drinking while driving.
The causation element connects the defendant’s breach to the accident and your injuries. In short, the breach must be the direct and proximate cause of the accident. Even if you can prove the first two elements of duty and breach, you cannot win your case if you cannot show causation.
The final element of negligence is damages. To put it simply, your damages must be real. You cannot sue for a near miss or injuries you might have sustained had things been worse. You can only sue for injuries you really experienced.
What is Negligence Per Se in Plymouth Personal Injury Lawsuits?
“Negligence per se” is a legal doctrine that allows a plaintiff to establish a defendant’s negligence by demonstrating that they violated a law designed to protect the public’s safety. Simply put, if a defendant breaks a law that was designed to prevent certain harm, and their conduct directly causes an injury to someone whom the law was designed to protect, then there will be a presumption that the defendant was negligent.
For example, a personal injury lawsuit may be filed after a pedestrian accident that occurs because the defendant was traveling at an excessive speed in a residential neighborhood. Speed limits are enacted to ensure the safety of pedestrians and other motorists. Accordingly, in that case, the plaintiff may be able to establish negligence per se.
Applying the doctrine of negligence per se to your case can be complicated without help from our personal injury lawyers. We can discuss the relevance of this legal principle during a free case review.
Typical Personal Injury Cases in Plymouth
The field of personal injury law is very broad, and numerous accidents and injuries might fall under the personal injury heading. Below are a few of the more commonly claimed types of personal injuries our personal injury lawyers have experienced, although many more exist. Speak to an attorney about your injuries to determine what kind of claim you have and how to get compensation.
Premises Liability Claims
Some personal injury claims are based on accidents due to dangerous conditions on someone’s property. Arguably, the most common kind of premises liability claim involves a slip and fall, although many other claims are possible.
For example, suppose you are shopping in the grocery store when you slip and fall on a freshly mopped floor. Perhaps you did not realize the floor was wet because nobody placed a wet floor sign to warn customers. If you are injured, you can sue the grocery store for damages.
Premises liability claims revolve around hazards on the property that the defendant knew about, reasonably should have known about, or learned of through reasonable inspections. Additionally, you typically cannot sue if you are not lawfully present on the property (i.e., you are a trespasser).
Car accidents are not just one of the most commonly filed personal injury cases, but they might be among the most commonly filed cases, period. These cases often involve severe injuries, and damages are known to be high.
Evidence in car accidents often comes from the scene of the crash. Photos and videos recorded right after the crash can be very helpful. If plaintiffs have difficulty finding evidence, they can consult police reports to find additional evidence.
A product liability case involves injuries sustained from a defective or inherently dangerous good or product. For example, if you are injured in a car accident because your brakes failed, you might sue the car manufacturer because their defective brakes caused your crash.
One of the biggest hurdles plaintiffs must overcome in product liability cases is allegations of contributory negligence. If the plaintiff was misusing the product when they were injured, the defendant might argue that this misuse of the item caused it to malfunction, not the defendant’s negligence. As such, it is important to establish that the item in question was faulty and that you were using it for its intended purpose when the accident happened.
Evidence Used to Prove Fault for a Personal Injury in Plymouth, MA
To recover damages in a personal injury lawsuit, you must be able to prove that you incurred your injury as the result of the defendant’s negligent behavior. There is a wide range of evidence that can be presented to establish this link. The following are all common forms of evidence that are utilized by our team:
Recordings from surveillance cameras can be very helpful to plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits. These recordings can often explain why specific accidents happened.
For example, a recording from a security camera on a construction site may show that a worker slipped and fell because of a broken handrail on an elevated walkway. Further, footage from a home’s doorbell camera may help identify the cause of a car accident in a residential neighborhood.
Unfortunately, the parties in control of pertinent surveillance recordings may be reluctant to work with plaintiffs. Also, they may not store their footage for very long. It is important that you begin searching for relevant surveillance recordings in the immediate aftermath of your accident.
Like surveillance recordings, statements from eyewitnesses can be very helpful when seeking to demonstrate how your accident happened. Eyewitnesses can provide both oral and written testimony explaining the events that unfolded before, during, and after the accident.
For instance, a witness may assert that your car crashed because another motorist swerved outside their lane. Further, an eyewitness statement may help establish that your construction site accident occurred because of a defective safety product.
In any case, you should attempt to retrieve witnesses’ contact information right away after suffering a personal injury. You can consult with our lawyers before reaching out for their possible cooperation.
Evidence from the Scene
Multiple types of evidence may be collected at the scene where your accident occurred. This evidence can be very useful in your claim.
Physical evidence collected at the scene can be used in several ways. For instance, physical evidence may be used to either identify a contributing factor or disprove a defendant’s alternative theory of fault. However, some evidence may be difficult to preserve or too large to bring into court. In these cases, other means of evidence collection can be implemented.
You can also use photos from the scene of your accident to establish fault in your case. Like physical evidence, this evidence can be utilized to demonstrate how your accident happened or discredit the defendant’s argument. Our legal team can help review any photos you captured at the scene during a free assessment of your claim.
Damages You Can Claim in a Plymouth Personal Injury Case
Damages in personal injury claims may be varied and valuable. Many damages are based on the money the plaintiff lost because of their injuries. Other damages are based on painful experiences that do not necessarily come at a monetary cost.
Physical injuries are perhaps the biggest source of damages in a personal injury claim. To begin, your injuries require medical treatment, which can be extremely expensive. Serious injuries that require extensive care (e.g., x-rays, surgery, medication, physical therapy) can be so costly that plaintiffs might never get out from under their medical debt.
Physical injuries might also be the source of significant emotional distress and anguish. Non-economic injuries might not come with a price tag, but they may still be financially compensated in a lawsuit. Damages might include physical pain, humiliation from the accident, depression, anxiety, and even PTSD. Talk to your attorney about your experience during and after the accident to get an idea of what non-economic injuries you might be able to claim.
If you lost any property in the accident, you can claim the value of that property as part of your damages. For example, after a car crash, a plaintiff can claim the value of their totaled vehicle among their damages. If you lost valuable personal belongings, like jewelry, watches, or your phone, you may claim them as well.
Who You Can Sue for Personal Injuries in Plymouth
It is crucial that you talk to your lawyer about whom you can sue after an accident, as the answer to this question is not always obvious. In some cases, only one other person is liable, and you might sue only that individual. In other cases, multiple defendants have varying degrees of liability, and sorting everyone out is difficult.
When thinking about lawsuits, many prospective plaintiffs probably imagine suing only one other person. This is often because they are aware of only one other person’s involvement. For example, you might want to sue a truck driver after they cause an accident. While you can certainly sue that person, there are other parties to consider.
Depending on the circumstances, you might also sue the defendant’s employer. This is common in cases where the defendant was working when they caused the accident. You might also sue numerous other individuals if they somehow contributed to the accident. For example, in the truck accident mentioned before, other drivers might have made the crash worse, and they should be included in your lawsuit. Speak to a lawyer in depth about your accident so they can help you determine whom you should sue for damages.
If You Were Hurt Because of Someone Else’s Negligence in Plymouth, MA, Call Our Lawyers for Help
Seek assistance from our personal injury lawyers by calling the Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 468-7752.