Sometimes accidents are just accidents, but other times they are the result of another party acting negligently. Whether you fell on a slick surface at the store, sustained an injury in a car wreck, or even were attacked by a dog, you may have a valid personal injury claim that an experienced attorney could help you pursue. You could receive a case evaluation and assistance with your claim by reaching out to an established Medford personal injury lawyer.
Many different situations can merit a personal injury lawsuit, ranging from motor vehicle wrecks and medical malpractice to falling accidents and animal attacks. Regardless of the specific cause of action, a personal injury lawsuit aims to answer two essential questions:
Personal injury lawsuits are almost always rooted in the argument that the defendant was legally negligent—or in other words, did not exercise the same care that another reasonable person would have under the circumstances. If a Medford personal injury lawyer can prove before a court or in private negotiations that the defendant was negligent, they may be able to establish legal liability for all ensuing damages.
Damages are financial compensation for the losses a victim suffers after a personal injury. They differ from case to case but often include medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, emotional and mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Damages that come with a value already attached, such as a medical bill or a certain period of lost wages, are simple to identify as compensable losses. On the other hand, subjective damages such as pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life are more difficult to place a value on and may require outside counsel to properly evaluate.
In rare cases, a court may award punitive damages to the plaintiff if the defendant acted with reckless indifference or intentionally tried to harm the plaintiff. Under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 229 §2, wrongful death is the only type of personal injury case in which the jury has the option of awarding punitive damages.
According to the American Bar Association, most personal injury claims settle before going to trial. Settlement negotiations in Medford usually take place between the defendant’s legal representative and the plaintiff’s personal injury lawyer. Negotiations can occur in-person with a formal mediation session or through other forms of communication.
Attorneys are not allowed to make decisions for the plaintiff. Instead, their role is to provide them with sound advice and legal knowledge, discuss settlement offers with them, and pursue a comprehensive damage award that accounts for the plaintiff’s needs and best interests.
Settlements are often beneficial for all parties involved as they decrease the time and expense of going to trial. Plaintiffs may also benefit from avoiding the emotional turmoil of going to trial.
If your injuries were caused by the negligent actions of another person, you might be entitled to compensation under Massachusetts law. A settlement or court award for your damages could help you pay your bills and maintain brighter future prospects. Learn more about your rights as a personal injury plaintiff by contacting a Medford personal injury lawyer and scheduling a consultation.