What is the Statute of Limitations for a Work-Related Injury in Massachusetts?
Accidents can happen in the workplace at any time. It does not matter if you work in a factory, office, or construction site, accidents will happen and people may get hurt. For many injured employees, a personal injury lawsuit is necessary to get compensation for their injuries and medical expenses. However, Massachusetts law imposes a strict time limit on how long you have to file your lawsuit.
In Massachusetts, the statute of limitations on lawsuits for work-related injuries and other similar personal injury cases is three years. This rule means that a person has three years from the date of their injury to file their lawsuit.
If you suffered a work-related injury and have not yet filed a personal injury lawsuit, our Boston personal injury attorneys may be able to help. If the statute of limitations has not passed, we can begin filing your lawsuit. If the deadline has unfortunately passed, we can discuss other options you might have. Call the Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 925-6407 to set up an appointment for a free legal consultation.
Statute of Limitations for Work-Related Personal Injuries in Massachusetts
A statute of limitations is a law that places a deadline on filing a lawsuit and legal actions. These statutes exist in criminal and civil law and apply to many different types of lawsuits and cases. For example, the government is restricted by statutes of limitations when bringing criminal charges against a defendant. Similarly, individuals are subject to statutes of limitations when they want to file a personal lawsuit against someone else. Different cases and different claims may be subject to varying statutes of limitations. Some are shorter, while others can be very long.
In Massachusetts, the statute of limitations for bringing a personal injury lawsuit related to injuries sustained at work is three years. You have three years from the date of your injury to file your lawsuit. However, your lawsuit does not have to be completed within that time frame, as some cases have been known to last for years.
On the one hand, statutes of limitation may feel a bit unfair. If you were hurt because of someone else’s actions or negligence, should you be able to hold them accountable? While people should be allowed to settle legal disputes in a court of law, there must be limits on when cases can be filed. If there were no statutes of limitations, a person could be hit with a lawsuit decades after the fact. It would be too challenging to try a case where probably nobody remembers what even happened. For more information about the statute of limitations on your case, call our Massachusetts personal injury lawyers.
Extending the Deadline of the Statute of Limitations for Work-Related Injuries in Massachusetts
Statutes of limitations usually impose hard deadlines. Even missing it by one day will leave you out of luck. However, there are exceptions in place that toll the statute and may provide you with more time to file your case. You should consult with one of our Cambridge personal injury lawyers to determine if your statute of limitations may be tolled.
One example of an exception that would toll a statute of limitations is a disability. If you were disabled when you were injured or disabled due to your injury, your statue might be tolled. However, tolling only occurs if you are prevented from filing because of your disability. This is a somewhat narrow rule that does not apply to all disabilities. Generally, a person must be so incapacitated that they cannot possibly file a lawsuit. A person in a coma or who is mentally impaired might meet such criteria.
Your statute may also be tolled if you are unable to identify the defendant. Depending on the nature of your injuries and how your accident happened, identifying the proper defendant may be complicated. In some cases, defendants flee the area or the state because they want to avoid litigation. When a defendant evades a plaintiff to run down a statute of limitations intentionally, the statute can be tolled. For this tolling exception to apply, you must make a good faith and diligent effort to track down the proper defendant.
Reasons a statute of limitations may not be tolled include things like not knowing you were allowed to sue or changing your mind about suing a little too late. This is why it is crucial to speak with a lawyer as soon as you have been injured so that you can begin the legal process right away. Our Massachusetts personal injury lawyers can help.
When is the Best Time to Begin a Personal Injury Lawsuit for Work-Related Injuries in Massachusetts?
In many cases, the sooner you file your lawsuit, the better. Waiting to file can cause complications later on. Over time, you may lose evidence or key witnesses may move away. However, there are certain circumstances where waiting to file may be used strategically.
If you were injured in a work-related accident, waiting to file your lawsuit could give you time to uncover the truth about your injuries. Sometimes, injuries seem relatively minor at first, but later we realize they have long-lasting or permanent consequences. For example, maybe your work-related back injury does not appear that bad, but you might be dealing with permanent chronic back pain a year from now. Waiting to file may allow you more time to gather supporting evidence.
If you are unsure about when you should file your lawsuit, or if it might be too late, please reach out to our Malden personal injury lawyers for help. Our team can review your case and help you determine your best course of action.
Contact Our Massachusetts Work-Related Injury Attorneys for Advice
If you were injured in a work accident, you might want to consider filing a personal injury lawsuit to claim damages. However, if your statute of limitations is almost expired, we may have to move quickly. Call the Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 925-6407 right away to schedule a free legal consultation with our staff.