An unforeseen accident may leave a victim with many personal injury questions unanswered. You might be unsure what to do next, whether or not to pursue a lawsuit, and what submitting a claim entails. The Law Office of Matthew M. Foti's personal injury attorneys in Malden and Boston give thorough answers to some of the clients' most frequently asked questions.
- What Is Personal Injury Law?
- What Kinds of Personal Injury Cases Are There?
- Do I Need to File a Case Against an Individual or a Company to Recover Compensation?
- In Massachusetts, How Does a Personal Injury Attorney Prove His or Her Case?
- Who Will Cover my Medical Expenses?
- What Is the Cost of Handling a Personal Injury Case?
- How Long Will It Take for My Personal Injury Case to Resolve?
- Will I Require the Services of a Massachusetts Personal Injury Attorney in My Case?
- Should I Consider My Attorney's Qualifications and Experience?
- Should You Talk to Your Insurance Provider?
- What Is the Deadline for Filing a Personal Injury Claim in Massachusetts?
- Are Settlements for Personal Injury Cases Taxable?
- I Have a Pre-Existing Medical Problem. Is It Still Possible for Me to File a Claim?
- How Can I Get My Lost Wages Compensated?
- What Is the Value of My Personal Injury Case?
Personal injury law, often known as tort law, exists to protect you and your property in the event that you or your property are injured or harmed as a result of someone else's negligent conduct or failure to act. After an injury or accident, a plaintiff in Massachusetts can initiate a civil action against another negligent party under personal injury law. Assume you were injured in an accident or as a result of intentional negligent conduct. In that situation, a personal injury case empowers you to hold the at-fault party liable for damages and your losses incurred as a result of the injury and occurrence.
In many personal injury situations, the first step is to file a claim with your own or the at-fault party's insurance company. You can file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party if you are unable to resolve your claim via settlement talks. Some matters are taken straight to court in the form of a lawsuit.
Individuals who are injured as a consequence of the negligent or willful actions of others have the right to seek compensation for the damages incurred as a result of their injuries. Our Malden Massachusetts personal injury lawyers handle a wide range of situations. Car accidents, asbestos-related illnesses such as mesothelioma, construction accidents, workers' compensation injuries, and unsafe items such as toxic prescription medications are only a few examples.
Claims are filed against the individual whose negligence resulted in your injury. If that individual was working at the time, you'd probably file a claim against their employer as well. The majority of people and companies in today's society carry insurance. You would pursue a recovery claim of compensation from their insurance carrier even if you did not name the individual or firm. An attorney could explore seeking the wrongdoer's personal assets in rare situations of severe damage. That is, however, exceedingly uncommon. Most individuals are hesitant to sue friends or family members who may be responsible for their injuries. If, on the other hand, insurance has been acquired specifically for this reason, an injured claimant should feel confident in claiming compensation under that plan.
Personal Injury lawyers must provide persuasive evidence showing all parties at fault, their proportion of liability, and the total amount of damages. They begin by recording the facts of the case, conducting research, questioning witnesses, and conducting a comprehensive investigation. Documents are gathered and organized. Expert testimony may be sought from a variety of medical, financial, and other specialized professionals.
Most accident or injury victims are concerned about how they will pay their medical costs. There are several solutions to this issue depending on your situation. Your medical expenses may be covered by your auto or health insurance, or you may have to depend on the at-fault party's insurance carrier. In any situation, speaking with an attorney at our firm to explore your alternatives is the best course of action.
The majority of personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. In most cases, the lawyer will take a third of the settlement for a favorable decision in the case. Many attorneys, but not all, will cover out-of-pocket costs connected with pursuing the claim. Some attorneys may require the client to pay for the attorney fees upfront. In that situation, if the case is lost, the money is lost by the client.
You may want your case to be resolved as soon as feasible when you are facing rising costs and financial uncertainties. An injury claim might be settled in a matter of weeks or even months. Quick settlements, on the other hand, may provide you less than you deserve.
The insurance company is likely to make an offer quickly, but it will be a low one. It is unlikely that it will cover all of your losses.
The length of time it takes to resolve your case and get a settlement or verdict is determined by the following factors:
- Whether the fault is obvious and/or if you share the blame
- The number of insurers and parties engaged in your case.
- Whether you'll require medical care in the future
- Whether the insurance company is negotiating a settlement in good faith.
- How long does it take to get to the point of maximal medical improvement?
- Your injuries' severity and non-economic losses
- The amount of evidence and paperwork you have to back up your claim.
- Whether your matter may be resolved without going to court or if it must go to court
The more serious your injuries are and the more valuable your case is, the longer it may take to reach a settlement. Although most personal injury claims settle, if your case has to go to court and be heard by a jury, it may take longer.
Before agreeing to a settlement, be sure your case is fairly valued. Even if the settlement was far too low, you will not be able to collect more damages in the future if you reach a settlement. Your personal injury attorney will explain what to expect and provide an idea of how long it will take to resolve your case.
There is no legal obligation to engage an attorney. In a personal injury case, one can definitely represent oneself. However, you should always obtain legal assistance to ensure that your rights are completely safeguarded. An expert personal injury lawyer will assist you in navigating your case through the claims procedure and, if required, the judicial system. As a result, you will receive the greatest possible settlement at the conclusion of your case with the help of a personal injury attorney.
Just ask, is the easy response. When you engage a lawyer to represent you, you are making an important decision. You wouldn't buy a car without first taking it for a test drive or asking friends about their experiences with similar vehicles. You wouldn't employ a contractor without first checking references. It is quite acceptable to inquire about an attorney's references. It's also a good idea to inquire about an attorney's specialized experience with your sort of case. You have every right to know whether or not your prospective attorney is competent to represent you. All you have to do is ask.
For a variety of reasons, giving a recorded statement to the defendant's insurer might damage your personal injury claim. The most important thing to remember about insurance providers is that they are in business to earn money. The insurance adjuster has to make sure that happens. So, no matter how pleasant an adjuster appears to be, keep in mind that he is on the watch for anything that he may use to undermine your credibility and reduce the amount of money you receive for your claim. When the adjuster records your statement, he will be prepared, having studied any police records, witness statements, and pictures, having devised a strategy, and having taken recorded statements beforehand. Furthermore, the adjuster would most likely seek to obtain your story within a few days after the accident and before you retain an attorney. When the adjuster accepts your statement, on the other hand, it's unlikely that you'll be ready. You may be in incredible pain, be on pain medication, haven't gone through any paperwork, reports, or photographs, and haven't given any thought to the accident's conditions. The insurer will have a permanent record of your statement, which will compare to any later statements you make, other witness statements, and, if there are any discrepancies, to undermine your credibility. Statements to your doctors, police reports, interrogatories, and deposition and trial testimony are all examples of the following statements. Before making such a statement, you should at the very least consult with an experienced personal injury attorney.
With few exceptions, the statute of limitations in Massachusetts for a personal injury claim is typically three years. This indicates that if a lawsuit is not brought within three years, the claim will be permanently barred. From the date of the accident, the statute of limitations begins to run. There are generally no exceptions to the statute of limitations, therefore filing a lawsuit within that time frame is critical.
Personal injury settlements in Massachusetts are not considered taxable income under federal or state law. The reason for this is that a settlement is not regarded as a taxable event because it is solely meant to compensate the victim. That is, the settlement is meant to put the injured claimant in the same financial situation as he or she was at the time of the accident. Compensation for emotional distress can be considered taxable income in some instances, although that decision is based on the facts of the case.
It's possible that your pre-existing condition exists before the injury. Your pre-existing condition, on the other hand, does not excuse someone else from being negligent. You may be able to file a claim if the accident was caused by negligence and your present injuries are related to it. It is critical to speak with an expert Massachusetts personal injury attorney if you have been injured as a result of someone else's negligence. He or she will be able to provide you with guidance.
If the claim is for an automobile accident, PIP coverage might pay lost wages. If the case involves any other sort of injury, the victim's lost wages must be compensated as part of the final settlement. If the claim is for Workers' Compensation, the injured worker's lost wages will be paid by Workers' Compensation.
If an injured worker is entirely unable to work, he or she is entitled to 60 percent of his or her typical weekly wage under Massachusetts workers' compensation law. If an injured worker is only partially able to work, he or she is entitled to 75 percent of the total disability rate. Workers' Compensation Law is distinct from Massachusetts Personal Injury Law in that it is codified in Massachusetts law under Chapter 152 of the Massachusetts General Laws.
Remember, do not believe an attorney or law firm that immediately provides you a financial value for your case. They're either making impossible promises, or they're trying to persuade you to accept for less than your case is worth in order to get it over with as soon as possible. Before researching the severity of any injuries incurred, medical bills, lost income, unexpected costs, and pain and suffering, it is difficult to determine what type of compensation to expect. This is why you should engage an attorney who will do a comprehensive investigation and never encourage you to accept a settlement that is less than you deserve. Because each situation is different, speaking with an attorney at Foti Law in Malden and in Boston is the best approach to learn about the compensation you may be entitled to.