Personal injury law concerns compensating victims who were injured by the negligent, careless or reckless conduct of another person or entity. People who suffer injuries from the wrongful or careless conduct of others are entitled to compensation. You should consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer if you or a loved one were harmed in an accident caused by another party’s negligent behavior.
Although there are other ways to show liability, most accidents concern the negligent conduct of a person or company that led to an injury. When you engage in certain activity such as driving, operating a retail business, caring for the elderly or manufacturing or designing a product, you have a duty to use reasonable care. If you fail to do so, you will have breached that duty of care. Examples include driving while intoxicated, failing to fix or replace a broken step in your store, using faulty or improper building materials, or allowing untrained nursing home staff to ignore the needs of the persons your facility was expected to care for. Your failure to use reasonable care must have led to, or been a substantial cause of, the injury that resulted.
Merely because you were in an accident does not automatically entitle you to compensation. In many cases, your own negligent conduct might have contributed to your accident. Massachusetts has a comparative negligence statute whereby your degree of fault must be less than 50% or you will recover nothing. Any degree of comparative fault that is 49% or less will reduce your damages award accordingly.
Examples of Types of Personal Injury Cases
There are a wide variety of personal injury cases that a personal injury attorney can handle for you, including but certainly not limited to:
Motor vehicle accidents are the most common type of injury accident with millions of collisions occurring each year in the US. Drivers are required by law to have minimum auto liability insurance. If they do not, you may still recover under your own uninsured motorist coverage if you have it.
These are injury claims brought against manufacturers and suppliers of consumer products who produce and sell defective or flawed products that cause injuries. Such cases typically include a failure to warn the expected or intended user against certain potential hazards or complications if the product is used in a certain foreseeable manner. Many of these cases involve negligent health care where a doctor or nurse failed to monitor a surgery patient, left medical equipment inside a patient, or performed surgery at the wrong site
Professionals also have a duty to use reasonable care or to adhere to at least the minimal standards of a reasonably competent professional under similar circumstances. Many of these cases involve negligent health care where a doctor or nurse failed to monitor a surgery patient, left medical equipment inside a patient, or performed wrong site surgery.
Lawyers are also held to standards of professional care. Common legal malpractice claims against attorneys is their failure to file a lawsuit in time or failure to follow the applicable law in a case.
Certified Public Accountants are bound by their own set of professional standards and have an obligation to maintain a certain standard of due care. Examples of malpractice include accounting fraud, providing incorrect tax advice and failing to properly audit financial statements.
Most people think of premises liability as slip and fall cases but they also include any kind of negligent conduct that occurs on someone else’s property that causes an injury. Businesses have a duty to regularly inspect their property and repair hazardous conditions or to warn business invitees or customers of the danger. A business that maintains a parking lot where assaults or robberies have occurred has an obligation to its business invitees to provide adequate lighting and security. A homeowner may be civilly liable if a child wanders into the pool area and drowns because he failed to have a locked gate or had a fence that was too short.
Medical Devices Injury
While medical technology has vastly improved the quality of life for many suffering from severely injured or arthritic hips or knees or other joints, a number of defectively designed artificial replacements have caused additional pain and suffering for thousands. These include prosthetic knees, hips, breast implants and heart valve implants. A device’s failure to work or work properly, to break down, leak certain material and other defects can lead to infections, infertility, miscarriages, damage to the immune system, chronic pain and death.
Consult a Personal Injury Attorney
For any personal injury matter in anywhere else in the Commonwealth, consult a personal injury attorney. These cases can present difficult issues of proof and causation. You will also want an experienced attorney negotiating your settlement for you to ensure you get the most compensation for your particular injury.