As Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys, We Know You Have Questions.
To provide immediate assistance, we have provided the answers to many commonly asked questions. Furthermore, Massachusetts Personal Injury Law Center has provided ESSENTIAL AND VERY IMPORTANT GUIDELINES FOR OUR PERSONAL INJURY CLIENTS. Please Review The WHAT TO DO / WHAT NOT TO DO

In a personal injury case, compensatory damages typically can cover all economic losses caused by the injury, including past, current and likely future medical expenses, loss of the earnings that you would have earned “but for the injury, and, if the disability is permanent, the loss of future earnings. For those without a wage history, such as children, courts may take into account probable earning capacity. You may also be entitled to recover for non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering and emotional anguish.

Further damages may be recovered for any property that was damaged, such as your vehicle, the cost of hiring someone to do household chores when you could not do them, for any permanent disfigurement or disability, and any other costs that were a direct result of your injury

Courts generally award damages in a single lump sum. The portion of the award that relates to potential future income and future medical expenses is often “discounted to take into account the interest income that may be earned.

Initially, keep in mind, that lawyers are never allowed to loan money. This is against the ethical rules that lawyers are required to follow in most states, including Massachusetts. However, in some cases where you may have a “substantial personal injury case, there are a number of companies that will provide you with an “advance on your case. However, there are generally unfavorable terms, including the fact that interest rates are quite high, and so going into it, you will want to be sure that this is what you want to do.

Therefore, if this is something you may be interested in, you would need to carefully consider whether the benefits justify the unfavorable terms. In some circumstances, they just may.

In Massachusetts, insurance companies are required to provide their own customer, or insured, with certain basic benefits. These are called PIP benefits. PIP stands for “personal injury protection. They are designed to cover you for a certain amount of medical bills and lost wages related to your accident if you get injured in a motor vehicle crash even if the crash is your own fault. This is why it is sometimes called “no-fault coverage.

The simple answer is, it depends.

If your injury is significant and there is only a small amount of insurance money available, the settlement could happen quickly. In many situations, the insurance company, once they learn of the severity of the injury, is actually calling to see if they can pay their policy limits and settle the case. In situations where your injury is not as severe, or where the policy limits are high, then the claim will generally take longer to resolve. In these cases, we may wait to see what the full scope of your medical treatment is, including waiting until we have all of your medical bills. If your treatment looks like it will extend into the future, we may ask your doctor to give us an opinion letter outlining the expected costs of those procedures.

Now sometimes your treatment might end fairly quickly, such as within a few months. However, in some cases it can take over a year. Sometimes over two years. It really depends on the nature of your injury and the medical treatment you get. Generally speaking, cases involving a “soft tissue injury resolve quicker than cases involving an “objective injury, or one that can be seen on an X-ray or MRI. So once we have a handle on your case, we will package up all the documentation regarding it and send it to the insurance adjuster with a demand for a fair settlement. This may be considered the start of the negotiation period. In the demand, we ask the adjuster to contact us and will usually will get a response in 2-3 weeks or 30 days. The negotiation can sometimes go very quickly or can drag on for a while. It can go quick if the insurance company comes to the table with what we feel is an above-average offer for that kind of case which is the goal that we have for our clients: to get them fair value for the injury they experienced.

Negotiation often continues at this point by our making a counter-offer. The insurance company then responds with their counter-offer, and so forth. Depending on how easy it is to contact the adjuster, this process might take a few days, or if the adjuster is hard to contact, weeks.

In situations where the insurance company is paying less than what we feel is fair value, then the whole process will take longer. And then when we, or you, feel we never receive a counter-offer which we feel is fair, we will either arbitrate the case, mediate the case or request a jury trial.

A person who carelessly operates a vehicle may be required to pay any damages caused by that carelessness, either to the victims or to their property. Generally, people who operate automobiles must exercise “reasonable care under the circumstances. Failure to use reasonable care is the basis in most lawsuits for damages caused by an automobile accident.

However, in Massachusetts, you do not have to be completely blameless in order to recover. As long as you are less than 50% responsible for your injuries, the other party at fault can be held liable for his share of the blame.

f you have been injured using a consumer product, the manufacturer or the seller of the product may be responsible under a “products liability legal theory. In these cases, we would need to prove that: (1) the product had some sort of defect or it did not have adequate warnings; (2) the defect or lack of warnings caused your injury; and (3) you suffered damages.

In Massachusetts, generally, you only have three years to file a lawsuit against the person who injured you. Some types of cases have different time limitations, so it is best to consult with us quickly to make sure important deadlines are not missed that will permanently bar you from bringing a claim. If your lawyer has not been able to come to an agreement with any involved insurance companies, you will definitely want to file a lawsuit before the typical three-year statute of limitations runs out.

There are other time limits as well, including providing notice to the insurance companies involved, and, if your case involves a claim against a federal, state or local government, then there are very strict rules that must be followed when filing a claim against a governmental entity.

The most important thing to do is to talk to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to make sure that you do not waive any of your rights. In these cases, we would need to prove that: (1) the product had some sort of defect or it did not have adequate warnings; (2) the defect or lack of warnings caused your injury; and (3) you suffered damages.

Required documentation will vary depending on the type and circumstances of the claim. However, please visit our “Resource Center section for a non-exclusive list of commonly required documents.

I was in an accident where my car sustained little damage but I am in a lot of pain. The insurance adjuster is telling me that I could not have been injured.

Many insurance adjusters will try and convince you that because the vehicles sustained little or no visible damage, then the occupants could not have been injured. This is not necessarily true. While cars are designed to handle low speed impact forces, the human body is not. Serious injuries can result from what may appear to be a minor impact. See your doctor and call or email us now.

This page may be considered “advertising under Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. The information presented on this page in no way constitutes legal advice and does not establish an attorney client relationship, which can only be done after you and an attorney meet and agree on the terms of that relationship