Personal injury accidents such as workplace accidents, car accidents, slip and fall, medical malpractice, and the like are quite rampant in the state of Massachusetts than most people think. Sustaining an injury due to the negligence of another party is painful and distressing and becomes even more excruciating when you factor in the cost of dealing with the injuries. If you have been injured as a result of another person or entity’s negligent actions, both state and federal law allows you to seek compensation for the resulting damages. The party responsible should be held accountable for their actions.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to someone else’s negligence, our Taunton personal injury lawyers can help you seek the justice you deserve. We deal with a wide array of personal injury cases from car accidents, medical malpractice, and wrongful death to nursing home abuse and slip and falls. Our lawyers will handle all the complex elements of your case, giving you time to focus on recovery. Contact our personal injury firm in Taunton at 508-506-5681 for a free initial consultation today.
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What Should You Do After Being Injured?
Being involved in an unforeseen injury can be painful, traumatizing, and confusing. However, the steps you take following the incident play a vital role in the outcome of your claim. To avoid inconveniences and frustrations down the road, here’s what you should do.
Get Medical Attention
Seeking medical attention immediately after the accident is not only vital for your health but also your claim. The sooner you seek treatment, the better. Delaying won’t do you any good, both for your body and the case. Some people tend to overlook the importance of visiting a medical professional, only to develop injuries or conditions way after the accident and because they are delayed, they are unable to make a solid case.
Through a full body examination, the doctor will be able to determine the extent of the injuries. The records they make will come in handy in proving your case later on.
Take Photos And Videos
If possible, you should take your phone and take photos and videos of the incident. If it’s a car accident, for example, record the damages inflicted on both cars, your injuries, traffic lights, signs, presence or absence of skid marks, weather and road conditions, etc.
If it is a slip and fall, take photos of the hazardous conditions including the liquid you slipped on.
Collect The Names And Numbers Of Any Witnesses
In addition to writing down the name, address, and contact details of the other party (if it’s a car accident) you should also get the names and phone numbers of any witnesses present at the scene.
Report the Incident
If it’s an auto accident, be it major or minor it’s important to contact the relevant authorities. Calling the police will not only ensure you get an official report about the incident, but it’s a legal requirement in the state of Massachusetts. After all, you need solid evidence if you want fair compensation for your injuries and damages. If you can’t get in touch with the authorities, then visit the nearest police station and report the incident.
If your case is a work-related injury, the law requires you to formally report it to your employer within 30 days.
Never Admit Fault
One of the biggest mistakes people make is to apologize to the other party or admit fault. The other party’s insurer will try to make you talk about the accident or submit a recorded statement. It’s advisable to avoid talking about the accident without consulting a lawyer first. Anything you say might compromise your claim, so avoid talking until you get a personal injury attorney.
Get A Personal Injury Lawyer
After visiting the doctor, the next important step is to seek a competent personal injury attorney. Given your situation and the complexity of personal injury law, it’s in your best interest to seek a legal representative. Also, it’s important to note that the other party including their insurance company will have a team of skilled attorneys and so, taking the case on your own will be suicide. Robert Shea Law Firm is always prepared to help personal injury victims in Taunton, Massachusetts, fight for their rights.
Why Do I Need A Lawyer For A Personal Injury Claim?
Retaining a lawyer is vital for almost every personal injury case if you want to get fair compensation. First, personal injury law is complicated and any mistake can jeopardize your case. Next, these cases tend to be time-consuming and if you’re severely injured, you’ll want to use this time to recover. Also, the other party will likely retain lawyers as well to prove your case wrong. Other than taking away this burden from your shoulders, a personal injury attorney will handle the following elements of a claim:
Prepare Your Case And File A Lawsuit
Your lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation in order to create a solid case. This process entails hiring expert witnesses and garnering as much evidence as possible to support your claim. They will also get the official police report and medical documentation to show the severity of your injuries.
Personal injury lawyers have unparalleled negotiation skills, one of the primary reasons to hire one. They use all the dirty tricks and tactics insurance adjusters use to avoid paying full compensation to personal injury victims. Your lawyer will work on your behalf to negotiate a fair settlement amount.
Trial Preparation And Representation
If your lawyer and the party at fault cannot reach a desirable settlement amount, they will proceed to take your case to trial. This is usually the last course of action and there are several things they will do in preparation for trial. This includes gathering all relevant evidence, securing witnesses, and every other element involved in a case.
A competent lawyer will properly present your case in front of the judge or jury to ascertain the best outcome.
What Type Of Damages Can I Recover In Massachusetts?
When you make a personal injury claim and the party at fault is deemed responsible by the law, you are eligible to recover the following damages:
These refer to all the financial losses you have incurred or are bound to incur as a result of the accident. These include medical expenses, lost wages, rehabilitation and therapy, transport costs, home care costs, loss of earning potential, house modifications, vehicle repair, etc.
These are meant to compensate you for the intangible losses. They include pain & suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of companionship, loss of bodily function, etc.
These are damages awarded in situations where the party at fault acted recklessly or deliberately, leading to injured victims and damage of assets. They are awarded to not only punish the party at fault but also discourage others from engaging in such behavior.
How Is Liability Determined In Massachusetts?
In order to get a settlement for your injuries, you need to prove that the other party was negligent. Massachusetts is a comparative negligence state. This means that liability in personal injury accidents is determined by the contributions of each party to the accident. As such, damages are awarded proportionally based on the degree of the said negligence.
When you attorney on your case, they will need to prove negligence by considering the following:
Duty Of Care
Every individual has a duty of care to avoid causing harming others. This varies depending on the situation. For example, motorists have a duty of care to follow traffic rules and doctors have a duty of care to treat patients as far as their skills allow.
Breach Of Duty Of Care
When a party doesn’t act in a reasonable way and their actions result in injury, they have breached their duty of care. However, it’s imperative to note that not every accident is due to a breach of duty of care. An example is a branch falling on the road and the driver swerves to avoid it but ends up colliding with another car. This can’t be considered a breach of duty of care.
The lawyer will ideally assess if your injuries are indeed a result of the accident in order to show negligence.
Your lawyer will also have to prove that you really suffered monetary damages. This tends to be the easiest thing, particularly when you have documents proving medical expenses, lost wages, etc.
How Much Time Do I Have To File A Personal Injury Claim In Massachusetts?
The statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Massachusetts is three years. Beyond this period, you cannot make a claim.
How Much Will It Cost To Hire A Taunton Personal Injury Lawyer?
Fortunately, when dealing with competent lawyers including us, you don’t have to worry about the lawyer fees. We operate on a contingency basis, meaning you only have to pay us if we win your case.
Schedule Your Free Consultation With Our Attorneys
Personal injury accidents can be life-changing, especially in severe cases like burn injuries and car accidents. Bring the party at fault to justice and get the settlement you deserve by calling The Law Office of Robert C. Shea, P.C. today at 508-506-5681!