Personal injuries occur very frequently in Massachusetts. When an injury is caused by negligence or intentional bad behavior on the part of another, the victim may be entitled to recover compensation.
However, proving liability requires evidence. It is important for anyone suffering an injury to avoid delay in acting to collect and preserve the most important pieces of evidence with the help of a passionate injury attorney. A Somerville personal injury lawyer may assist in the process of investigating and preparing evidence, as well as other actions that can help obtain the maximum available compensation in a particular case.
Possible Recoverable Damages in a Personal Injury Case
While it is true that no amount of money can restore health, compensation received as a result of filing a personal injury lawsuit can shift the burden from the injured party to the party who is determined to be at fault for causing the injury.
Compensation awarded by the judge or jury may include amounts to cover past expenses such as medical bills and lost wages. The court may also award funds to pay for medical expenses anticipated in the future such as doctor visits, physical therapy, and modifications needed to be done to the home. If you are expected to miss work or are unable to work in the same capacity as you did before your injury, compensation for reduced future earnings may also be awarded.
Besides these economic losses, a court may award damages for consequences that are intangible and hard to quantify, though no less real. Effects such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, and mental anguish may be provided for through compensation.
Even if a case is settled before it goes to trial, compensation for these various factors is usually included in a settlement offer. An experienced personal injury attorney can calculate past and future effects to determine a fair settlement so that an offer can be evaluated from a position of knowledge.
Effect of the Comparative Negligence Rule
In many situations, an accident may be caused by numerous factors. When someone owes a duty and fails to live up to these obligations, they may be held liable for the effects under the theory of negligence.
Negligence of the Injured Party
Sometimes, the injured person’s own negligence contributes to the cause of an accident. When that happens, so long as that contributing negligence is not considered to be 50 percent or more responsible for the injury, the injured person’s own negligence would not prevent recovery. However, that comparative negligence would reduce a damage award by the percentage of fault attributed to the injured party.
For instance, if a shopper in a store tripped on display that blocked the aisle, a court may decide that most of the fault was due to the dangerous condition posed by the display and the store should be considered 80 percent liable. However, if the shopper was checking for coupons on a phone and not watching out, the court might also decide the shopper’s own negligence was 20 percent responsible for the fall.
In that case, if the shopper was awarded $10,000, a 20 percent deduction would be taken to account for the comparative negligence of the shopper. The award would then be reduced to $8,000.
Talk to a Somerville Personal Injury Attorney Today
Every situation is unique, and it may be difficult to determine who may be held liable for an injury. If you have suffered harm in an accident and are not certain whether it is reasonable to seek compensation, it is a good idea to consult a Somerville personal injury lawyer. A seasoned attorney could evaluate your case and explain your options.
The Massachusetts statute of limitations sets time limits in which a personal injury lawsuit must be filed, potentially barring your chance of recovery if you wait too long to file a claim. Before the statutory limit becomes an issue, it is important to take early action to collect evidence which may not be available later. Call now to speak with a personal injury lawyer and learn what may be possible in your case.