Salem, MA Personal Injury Lawyer

When one person harms or wrongs another, that person might face criminal penalties. However, not every wrongful or harmful action against another person is considered a crime. People who have been hurt or had their rights infringed upon by others can often file personal injury lawsuits in civil court to get justice.

Although the damages in your case might seem obvious to you, a personal injury case is rarely straightforward. You must prove that the defendant acted with negligence or was otherwise liable for your injuries. Such a feat requires evidence and effective legal strategies. an attorney is helpful to guide you through this complex process.

An injured victim might feel angry, frightening, and overwhelmed in their situation. Our Salem, MA personal injury lawyers can help put you at ease and work to get you compensation. Call the Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 915-4523 for a free initial case review.

When Can I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Salem, MA?

Filing a lawsuit is no simple task. In fact, filing a lawsuit is often only the beginning of a lengthy and exhausting legal process. it is understandable to question whether filing a personal injury lawsuit is worth your time and energy. Considering your injuries, damages, and other losses might help you come to the decision that you should file. If your expenses are too much for you to pay, then a personal injury lawsuit might be necessary to get compensation.

For some plaintiffs, money is not the issue. Instead, they want to bring a personal injury lawsuit to hold a wrongdoer accountable for their actions. This is a perfectly good reason to file a lawsuit, and our Salem, MA personal injury attorneys can help you get justice.

If you want to file a personal injury lawsuit, you must be mindful of deadlines. According to Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 260 § 2A, you have 3 years from the date of your accident or injuries to file a personal injury lawsuit. If this time comes and goes without a complaint being filed, you might forfeit your right to bring the case.

Damages for Personal Injury Cases in Salem, MA

There are numerous forms of damages that you can claim in your personal injury lawsuit. The damages available to you depend on how you were harmed and the extent of your injuries. In cases where injuries are extensive, damages can be quite high. Our Salem, MA personal injury lawyers can help you assess your damages.

Compensatory Damages

The court awards compensatory damages to make the plaintiff “whole” again. The idea is to return the plaintiff to the same financial position they were in before they were injured. Basically, if you were injured in an accident and spent $5,000 on medical bills, you should be awarded $5,000 in compensatory damages. Compensatory damages can be economic or non-economic.

Economic Damages

Economic damages typically have a pre-determined value. This value is often based on how much money the plaintiff spent on these damages. For example, medical bills, the cost to repair or replace property, and lost income from missing work are all considered economic damages.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are usually not attached to a specific cost or price. The value of non-economic damages in each case is debatable and may vary based on your circumstances. Proving non-economic damages often requires demonstrating how these damages impacted your life. Pain and suffering, both emotional and physical, are common examples of non-economic damages. Talk to our Salem, MA personal injury attorneys about how to prove non-economic damages in your case.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are different from compensatory damages because they are designed to punish defendants rather than compensate plaintiffs, although plaintiffs are awarded these damages in the end. However, punitive damages are very rarely awarded. Generally, the only cases where punitive damages are available are wrongful death lawsuits. Even in those cases, the defendant’s conduct must have been extreme or outrageous, such as demonstrating malicious intent or a startling level of recklessness.

How Long Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Last in Salem, MA?

The duration of your personal injury lawsuit depends on your case’s various factors and details. Generally, more factually or legally complex cases tend to take more time. a complicated case often requires attorneys and the court to wade through the legal process a bit more slowly and carefully. If your case is more straightforward, it might be resolved faster. Our Salem, MA personal injury attorneys have the experience to help you as quickly as possible.

The strength of the evidence can speed up or slow down a case drastically. Even a fairly simple case might take a long time to resolve if the evidence is scant. Alternatively, complicated cases can go a lot faster when strong evidence supports your claims. Having as much strong evidence on your side as possible can help you get the compensation you need as fast as possible.

Another important factor in your case is the cooperation between parties. When plaintiffs and defendants are willing to cooperate and compromise, they can reach a settlement agreement, and the case can end quickly. However, if settlement negotiations drag on or a settlement cannot be reached, the case might take more time to complete.

Personal injury cases are often connected with criminal behavior. For example, a car accident case could also be a hit-and-run criminal case. Defendants might also be criminally charged and tied up in criminal court hearings in these cases. Your civil case might be temporarily placed on the back burner until the criminal matters are resolved, thus delaying your lawsuit.

Types of Personal Injury Cases Our Salem, MA Injury Lawyers Handle

Our personal injury lawyers handle all sorts of injury cases and can help you get compensation in many different situations, including the following:

Auto Accidents

Auto accidents are one of the most common causes of serious injury and death among most age groups. Injuries from car accidents can leave you with mild to moderate injuries that might lead to a few days out of work or lifelong disabilities that could mean years of expensive medical care and a loss of independence. Getting full compensation for these injuries is often difficult to do through an insurance claim, and you might need to consider suing in court to get full compensation.

If you were hit as a pedestrian or cyclist, then your injuries might be much more severe without the protection of a vehicle around you. Additionally, if you were hit by a large truck, the weight and momentum of that vehicle could leave you with substantial injuries.

If the crash did involve a commercial driver, you might be entitled to sue not only the driver but also their employer. This is common in trucking accidents and can lead to higher compensation since the trucking company is likely more able to pay than an individual truck driver.

Slip and Falls

One of the other most common causes of injury is slip and fall accidents. Injuries from a slip and fall might not seem like they are too severe when you think about a relatively fit person falling down, but people with preexisting disabilities or injuries, older adults, and children can be seriously injured in falls. Especially if you hurt your back or hit your head while falling, you could be left with surprisingly difficult injuries that could potentially affect you for years to come.

Do not take these accidents lightly. When a property owner allows dangerous conditions such as ice and snow or wet tiles to injure guests on the property, they can often be held liable.

Often, people are injured on sidewalks, especially when there are roots pushing up through the sidewalk, uneven surfaces and cracks, or icy and snowy surfaces. Generally, the owner of the building or property alongside the sidewalk is responsible for upkeep of the sidewalk, not the local city or municipal government.

Other Premises Liability Accidents

Other injuries caused by dangerous conditions on the property can also lead to lawsuits. This includes things like falls from heights or falls down a staircase because of broken railings or unsafe construction. You can also sue for burns and smoke inhalation from fires, electric shock injuries from exposed or dangerous wiring, dog bites, drowning, and other accidents.

In most cases, the property owner is responsible for maintaining their property and keeping it in a safe condition. If they allow hidden dangers to injure guests, customers, renters, or passersby, they can be held responsible for the resulting injuries. This is true of private homes, apartment buildings, stores, restaurants, parking lots, and other structures or lots.

Work Injuries

All kinds of injuries can happen in the workplace. Many result in small injuries that might not even require medical attention, but other injuries can be very serious. When injuries happen at work, your ability to sue your employer might be restricted. Under Workers’ Compensation laws, you might need to file a claim through your employer’s insurance instead of suing them in court. However, our injury attorneys can help you file a lawsuit against other parties who might be liable for your injuries, potentially opening access to additional damages beyond what Workers’ Compensation would cover.

Generally, insurance claims against an employer only cover medical bills and lost wages. When you sue, you could be entitled to pain and suffering and other non-economic damages as well. However, our lawyers can help you determine whether this type of lawsuit is possible. Not all cases involve an employer’s negligence, and some accidents at work are truly accidents, or they are the result of the workers’ own mistakes and cannot form grounds for a lawsuit.

Wrongful Death

If a loved one died in an accident, then you and your family could be entitled to substantial compensation. Wrongful death cases often stem from car accidents, property injuries, work injuries, and other cases discussed above. No matter the type of underlying accident, the claims you file for a loved one’s death are more complex and should only be taken on with the help of an experienced attorney.

Our lawyers can help you understand what damages are available in a wrongful death case and help you pursue the damages you need from the at-fault parties.

Medical Malpractice

Improper diagnosis, prescriptions, surgeries, and other medical procedures can often leave patients with more injuries and worsened conditions compared to what they came in with. If your doctor made material mistakes that put your health or life in danger, we can claim compensation for your injuries.

These cases often involve the death of a loved one, making them incredibly serious cases – as discussed above.

Whether or not the case involved death, you might have difficulty understanding whether what happened truly qualifies as malpractice or whether the results you experienced were just “complications.” In most medical malpractice cases, you must produce experts to testify as to what the doctor did or did not do wrong to convince the jury that malpractice was actually committed. Our lawyers can help you find these experts and build a strong case for your potential claim.

Defective Product Claims

When manufacturing mistakes and dangerous designs make their way into consumer products, pharmaceuticals, tools, appliances, and safety gear, people can be seriously injured. Claims against defective product manufacturers make up a large portion of the lawsuits you can file for injuries at work when you cannot sue your employer. In other contexts, lawsuits for defective product injuries can help you get compensation for your injuries and move on with your life after an unfortunate accident.

You should usually save the defective or dangerous product to use it as evidence in your case. We can have industry experts examine the product and determine what went wrong so that we can build a strong case to file against the product manufacturer or seller.

Call Our Salem, MA Personal Injury Attorneys

If you were in an accident or suffered injuries because of someone else’s negligent or reckless behavior, you can file a personal injury lawsuit and get compensation. Our Salem, MA personal injury lawyers are here to help you. Call the Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 915-4523 for a free initial case evaluation.