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Needham is one of the most historic cities in Massachusetts and is home to such landmarks as the Mary Eddy Baker Historical Site and the Frederick Law Olmstead Historic Site. Despite its beauty, car accidents and other serious personal injuries happen all too often.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Injuries sustained in a car accident can permanently affect your quality of life. You may become partially or fully disabled, unable to work, and have thousands of dollars’ worth of medical expenses to pay due to another person’s negligence or willful recklessness. Unfortunately, car accident cases often become one driver’s word against another. As an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney, Mr. Kelly works with crash reconstruction specialists, doctors, psychologists, public safety experts, and other professionals to prove that your injuries happened exactly as you state.

If you win the lawsuit, you may receive compensation for your medical costs, lost wages, loss of earning power, and reduced standard of living. You may also receive additional compensation for punitive damages if the judge decides that the other driver’s behavior was especially dangerous.

Premises Liability

Premises liability occurs when you sustain significant injuries due to unsafe conditions on someone else’s property. Slip and fall accidents are a common reason that people file a personal injury lawsuit. In this situation, Mr. Kelly proves how the accident was avoidable if the person or group responsible had used reasonable precaution. For example, assume you broke your leg falling on a wet floor at Trader Joe’s or Roche Bros in Needham. You would have an excellent case if no one put up a sign warning you of the danger.

Medical Malpractice

To win a medical malpractice claim, the burden of proof is on you as the plaintiff to prove the following:

  • The existence of a doctor-patient relationship
  • The doctor owed you a certain standard of care
  • The doctor failed to provide that standard of care
  • You were injured as a direct result of his or her incompetence

The act of malpractice could have occurred at the Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital or one of the many clinics in town.

Workers’ Compensation

Even when employers accept liability in workers’ compensation cases, the results are often less than satisfactory for the injured worker. Your employer may dictate which doctor you see, deny certain claims, or pay an inadequate amount to cover your medical expenses and lost wages. Some employers may even intimidate workers so they never file a claim. You may be eligible for temporary total disability, permanent total disability, or permanent partial disability depending on your situation.

In addition to weekly payments equaling up to two-thirds of your salary, you may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation, physical therapy, and other benefits. Massachusetts sets minimum and maximum weekly benefits for workers’ compensation that that changes annually. For 2018, the figures are $276.88 and $1,383.81.

Professional Negligence

Professional negligence is a breach of the normal duty of care expected between a person acting in a professional capacity and his or her client. While medical malpractice is the most widely known type of professional negligence, it also occurs with lawyers, mental health workers, builders, architects, and other professionals whose actions caused physical or emotional distress. Potential compensation includes medical or therapy expenses, lost wages, and recognition of the diminished quality of life.

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Categories of Financial Compensation in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

When a jury awards you money in a personal injury lawsuit, it is to compensate you for the physical, financial, and emotional losses you have suffered due to the negligent behavior of the other party. Some of the most common classifications of compensatory damages in a personal injury case include:

  • Loss of income: The court recognizes that you can’t work when you’re in the hospital or at home recovering from serious injuries. Most people do receive payment for lost wages, even when they had enough vacation or sick time accrued to receive a salary while recovering. This category also covers future loss of income due to the limitations imposed by your new disability. You could receive payment for missed raises and promotions, known as loss of earning capacity, or the difference in pay between your former job and the one you had to take to accommodate your restrictions.
  • Medical Expenses: This includes medical treatment you have already received due to the accident, such as hospitalization, medication, and physical therapy, as well as what your doctor expects you to need in the future.
  • Property Loss and Damage: This can include money to repair or replace your car and any valuables inside the car at the time of the accident.

The above categories are direct reimbursements of actual costs or anticipated costs due to financial losses you suffered because of the accident. The categories below are far more subjective. A jury must determine how your injuries have affected your emotional state and quality of life and then reward a monetary amount to compensate you for it. Typical classifications of these types of payments include:

  • Emotional Distress: Generally reserved for the most serious accidents, payment for emotional distress compensates the crash victim for anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, insomnia, and other non-physical reactions to the accident. Some juries include emotional distress as part of the payment for pain and suffering while others create a separate category for it.
  • Pain and Suffering: If you struggle with ongoing physical or emotional pain due to the accident, you could receive compensation for pain and suffering. This also covers pain and suffering in the immediate aftermath of the car accident.
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life: Juries award this category of compensation when the accident has made it difficult or impossible for the person filing suit to enjoy activities he or she participated in before the accident. This can include hobbies, exercise, travel, and other daily activities that add enjoyment to your life.
  • Loss of Consortium: In a personal injury case, this typically refers to the physical and emotional relationship between spouses. You or your spouse may receive this award especially if you’re unable to maintain a sexual relationship as a direct result of the accident. A jury may also consider Loss of Consortium for permanent changes in a relationship between parent and child. Some juries will require the payment made directly to your spouse or family member while others will instruct the defendant to pay you directly.

PRACTICE AREAS

We deal with a range of injury cases and our team will help you fight for justice and maximum compensation if an act of negligence left you injured.

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Massachusetts law allows personal injury victims three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against the responsible party. It is also a comparative negligence state, which means the jury could reduce your reward if it finds you partially responsible for contributing to the accident. You need an attorney on your side who knows both personal injury law and state law to give you the best chance of a successful outcome. Please contact us today to schedule a free case review with Mr. Kelly.

PERSONAL INJURY CASE RESOURCE CENTER

UNDERSTANDING YOUR OPTIONS & YOUR CASE

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