Named as one of the best places to live within the United States, Massachusetts central city of Worcester is no doubt vibrant and diverse. However, even the most utopian of cities pose risks, and every year in Worcester, people are injured in slip and fall accidents, construction site incidents, car accidents, pedestrian accidents, and more.
When accidents and injuries occur, those affected–be it the victims themselves of their family members–may not know what to do. At the offices of Tetzel Law, LLC, our experienced Worcester personal injury lawyers can guide you through what you need to know about recovering compensation for your harm via a personal injury action.
What Is a Personal Injury Claim?
A personal injury claim is a type of civil action that seeks to hold another party liable for the damages (economic and noneconomic losses) of another. In order for a party, called the plaintiff, to bring forth a successful personal injury suit, they must prove the other party, called the defendant: owed them a duty of care; breached the duty of care owed to them via an act of negligence (like speeding or failing to remove snow from walkways); and that the breach of the duty of care was the direct cause of their injuries and damages.
Damages Available in a Worcester Personal Injury Action
Personal injury claims are designed to help those who are harmed by others’ actions recover compensation for their losses. Victims are entitled to economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages are actual financial damages – which typically include medical expenses and lost wages. Noneconomic damages are intangible, immeasurable losses, such as the value of a claimant’s pain and suffering.
Personal Injury Claims Must Be Filed within Three Years
In Worcester, state law requires an injured party file a personal injury claim within three years from the cause of action, which refers to the date the accident occurs. Waiting longer than three years time means the victim no longer retains the right to bring forth a suit.
The Defendant Is Only Liable for Their Degree of Fault
It is important to note that in many accident types, one party is not 100 percent at fault; sometimes, fault is shared, although rarely equally. When this is the case, the defendant is only liable for damages that are proportionate to their degree of fault. For example, if a defendant is found to be 70 percent at fault for an accident that leaves the plaintiff with $100,000 in damages, the defendant is only liable for 70 percent of those damages, or $70,000. This is known as the law of comparative negligence, and is found in Massachusetts General Laws Section 85.
Working with an Attorney Can Improve Your Chances of Success
You are not required to hire an attorney if you want to file a personal injury claim. However, working with an attorney significantly improves the chance that not only will you receive a settlement, but that that settlement offer will be in the maximum amount possible.
If you are injured in Worcester, please contact our experienced Worcester personal injury lawyers at the office of Tetzel Law, LLC today. Consultation are offered free of charge, and you can reach us today by sending us a message online or calling (617) 933-3858.