If you were hurt in a car crash in Lawrence, MA, a car accident lawyer at Michael Kelly Injury Lawyers can help you pursue compensation. We can investigate the accident, evaluate your claim, and gather the evidence to build your case.
We can negotiate with the insurance company to try to get a settlement. If the insurer refuses to pay a fair amount for your losses, we can file a personal injury lawsuit. Call us today at 1-800-LAW-GUYS for your free consultation.
What We Have to Prove to Establish Liability for Your Injuries
Before we can pursue a claim for compensation against someone, we have to show that the person is legally liable to you. We cannot secure damages from someone merely because he was driving the other car. We have to prove all four of these factors before the law will hold the defendant responsible for your losses:
- Duty of care. This element is usually the easiest one to prove since every person who operates a motor vehicle on public streets has a legal obligation to drive safely and obey the law.
- Breach of duty. The defendant must violate the duty of care to be accountable for your injuries. Failing to live up to a legal duty of care is negligence. Let’s say that the other driver looked away from the road ahead because a passenger in his car showed him a funny video on his cell phone. Distracted driving is negligence.
- Mere carelessness is not enough to hold a person liable for paying financial damages. The negligence must be the thing that caused the wreck. If the driver rear-ended your car because he was looking at the cell phone and did not notice that traffic had slowed, the facts satisfy this element of liability. His distraction caused him to collide with your car.
- Measurable damages. You must have quantifiable losses to pursue an injury claim against the defendant. If the rear-end accident did not cause you physical harm, you do not have an injury claim, even though you might have experienced a frightening event. You must have physical injuries as a result of the defendant’s negligence.
Once we establish all four of these factors, we can go after financial damages for your injuries.
Damages in Car Accident Claims
The actual compensation you can receive will depend on the unique facts of your situation. Every case is different. You can have three people in the same accident with various injuries and damages amounts.
Some of the categories of damages we have won for our clients include:
- Lost wages. When you miss out on income because of a car accident and the time you needed to recuperate from your injuries, we can add that amount to your damages claim. This factor can consist of lost wages, salary, self-employment income, and other types of income.
- Diminished earning capacity. Sometimes severe injuries make you unable to make as much money as before. For example, you might have to take a lower-paying desk job after a significant back injury because you cannot stand for the long periods of time that your previous job required.
- Pain and suffering. This category addresses the physical discomfort and emotional distress you experienced.
- Other intangible losses. Depending on the facts of your case, you might have a claim for disfigurement, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), loss of enjoyment of life, and other damages. These losses are not easily measured in terms of dollar value because they do not come with invoices or bills.
- Medical expenses. You can get compensation for the reasonable cost of medical treatment for your injuries. These damages can include things like the ambulance, emergency room, doctors, hospital, surgery, imaging studies like x-rays and MRIs, lab tests like blood work, and physical therapy. Some people need specialized care in a rehabilitation facility for catastrophic harm like spinal cord damage or traumatic brain injury.
- Long-term care. Devastating injuries can leave a person needing ongoing daily assistance with medical treatments and personal tasks. These expenses can be astronomical.
- Wrongful death. If your close relative died from injuries sustained in a car accident, we might be able to pursue additional damages..
You do not have to figure out what your damages are. We will get the information we need to determine the number of your losses and calculate a fair amount of compensation for your unique situation.