Before answering this question, it’s important to understand the basis behind personal injury law. Personal injury claims and cases fall under the umbrella of tort law, not only in Massachusetts, but throughout the country. A tort is a civil wrong for which the wronged party may be compensated.
In a nutshell, personal injury law is intended to protect someone if they are injured or hurt due to another’s failure to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances. This is the very definition of negligence. Thus, personal injury law provides for the legal means for the injured party to seek and obtain compensation from the careless, negligent party for the harm and damages caused.
Every Accident is Different and Must Be Evaluated on Their Specific Facts
Now, enough of the legal jargon and let’s get to the question you are looking for the answer to: whether you have a personal injury claim after an accident in Massachusetts. Unfortunately, the answer is not as simple as yes or no. I know most hate the answer “it depends” but, it depends.
If you were involved and hurt in a car accident in Massachusetts, whether you have a personal injury claim to be made from that accident depends on how the accident happened and who caused it. Let’s say, for example, you are driving your car home from Boston down Route 9. You enter Framingham and come to a stop at a red light. While you are at a complete stop waiting for the light to turn green, another driver coming from behind is distracted by his cell phone and doesn’t notice the stopped traffic. The other driver crashes into the rear of your vehicle and you suffer a back and neck injury in the rear-end collision. In this example, you would have a valid personal injury claim against the careless driver and his auto insurance company because he caused the accident. In the injury claim, you would seek damages to compensate you for your injuries and losses caused by the accident. These include compensation for medical bills, lost wages – both past and future, and pain and suffering.
However, if you happen to be the driver that rear-ended another vehicle because you were not paying attention to traffic and were hurt in the collision, then you would not have a personal injury claim because you caused the accident.
Another common type of accident, especially here in Massachusetts is the slip and fall accident. If you happen to slip and fall on snow and ice on someone else’s property or a commercial store’s parking lot, you may have a claim for personal injuries. With slip and fall cases from snow and ice, you as the claimant or plaintiff has the burden to prove that the property owner or person/entity responsible for maintaining the premises failed to use reasonable precautions to keep the property in a reasonably safe condition.
Seek the Expert Opinions of a Qualified Massachusetts Injury Lawyer
If you were hurt in an accident and are not sure whether you have a personal injury claim, the best way to find out is to speak with an experienced injury lawyer in Massachusetts. A qualified and knowledgeable accident attorney will be able to review the facts and circumstances of your accident and injuries and explain whether you have a valid claim or not.
The injury lawyers at the Framingham, Massachusetts law firm, Mahaney & Pappas, LLP have over 50 years of combined experience helping injured clients obtain the compensation they deserve for their injuries and losses. We have obtained millions of dollars for our clients, who have been hurt because of the negligent and carless acts of others because we know personal injury law. Feel free to contact our lawyers to evaluate your accident, advise if you have a claim for personal injuries, and what type of compensation you can purse.