Filing a Personal Injury Claim in Massachusetts
If you’ve been injured in an accident in Massachusetts, you have the right to seek compensation for your losses and damages. Whether you experienced a car accident, slip and fall accident, medical mistake, injury at work, or any other injury caused by someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or wrongdoing, you’re entitled to fair compensation. A successful claim means the party responsible for your injury or their insurance provider must compensate you for medical bills, lost wages, and any pain and suffering you’ve endured.
Maximizing profit is the goal of any insurance company and that means taking in more in premiums than they pay out in claims. Often it takes an experienced negotiator and litigator to help you gain the settlement you deserve or to win damages in a lawsuit. But first, it helps to understand how to navigate the legal system when filing a personal injury claim in Massachusetts.
Do I Have a Case for a Personal Injury Claim?
The area of Massachusetts law covering compensation for accidents and injuries is personal injury law. If you’ve been hurt in any type of accident caused by the actions, carelessness, recklessness, or maliciousness of another person you have a case for personal injury. A personal injury claim covers four important areas of recovery:
- Injury and bodily harm
- Financial losses from medical expenses and wages lost during your treatment and recovery period
- Pain and suffering, including physical and emotional
By filing a personal injury claim you’re seeking compensatory damages in the form of a monetary settlement or court award. It’s money meant to pay for medical expenses related to your accident, make up for the pay you’ve lost while dealing with your injury, and to act as a form of financial compensation for the pain and emotional stress you’ve endured as a result of someone’s actions or neglect of their duty of care.
To determine whether you have a case for personal injury, ask yourself a few simple questions:
- Did another person’s actions or failure to take proper care cause you direct harm?
- Do you share fault in the accident that led to your injury, and if so, what percentage was your fault compared to that of the other person?
- Does your accident qualify for litigation, for instance under Massachusett’s no-fault laws for car accidents that only allow lawsuits for medical expenses over $2,000 or for accidents resulting in serious lasting harm like physical disfigurement, broken bones, or damage to hearing and vision?
If you aren’t sure whether or not you have a legitimate case for a claim of personal injury, ask an attorney like the skilled lawyers at Boston’s Cashman Law Firm to evaluate your case.
What Filing a Personal Injury Claim in Massachusetts Involves
Before filing a claim, it helps to gather evidence to support your case. Police reports, medical records, witness statements, and photos taken at the accident scene all help to support your claim. In workplace accidents, ask your employer for copies of accident or incident reports.
While many accident victims worry about the stress of going to court, it’s important to note that nearly 95% of claims are reasonably resolved in a settlement with no need for lawsuits or courtrooms. Most personal injury victims reach a settlement through the process of filing the appropriate paperwork with the state and then engaging in skillful negotiations with the insurance carrier to find an agreeable figure that works for both sides.
A diligent and experienced personal injury attorney can get the best outcome for your claim, typically without the need for a judge or courtroom, but will strongly advocate in court on your behalf if necessary.
If you’ve been injured and feel that someone else was at fault in your accident, keep detailed records, document your experience, and let an attorney help build your case for the compensation you deserve.