Personal Injury Lawyer in Burlington, MA
After a Catastrophic Injury, We Fight to Get You Compensation
At DiBella Law Offices, P.C., we understand that any injury can have life-changing results. For many innocent victims, an unexpected accident can result in expensive medical bills, lost time and wages from work, damaged property, and in the worst-case scenarios, the tragic loss of a loved one. No matter what your case involves, our Massachusetts personal injury attorneys can advocate for your rights and work to make sure your losses or damages are compensated.
As our client, you can expect the following:
- Several millions of dollars recovered for past clients by verdict and settlement
- Thousands of cases handled in New Hampshire and Massachusetts
- Spanish translations available for Spanish-speaking clients
- Free consultations and all calls or emails returned within 24 hours
Do I Have A Personal Injury Claim?
If your injury was caused by the careless, negligent, or intentional act of another party, you do have grounds for a personal injury claim.
In Massachusetts, anyone who contributed to your injury in any way can be held liable in a personal injury claim. This could be a driver that hit you, the owner of a property where you slipped and fell, the owner of a dog that bit you, a person who assaulted you, or the manufacturer of a defective product that injured you. Liability in a personal injury case is based on "duty of care." Duty of care is the legal concept that a party (person, company, or organization) has a responsibility to act toward others with the watchfulness, attention, and caution that a reasonable person would under the same circumstances.
Examples of Personal Injury Cases
One of the most common causes of personal injury is a car accident. Because we tend to spend so much time behind the wheel, some drivers allow themselves to become distracted. Whether it’s fiddling with the radio, carrying on a conversation with a passenger, or using a cell phone while operating the vehicle, these distractions can be considered negligent behavior and contribute towards that driver’s liability for a crash.
Dog bites are another reason for a personal injury case. Let’s say that a dog escapes from its backyard and finds its way over to your yard and bites you. Since it was the dog owner’s responsibility to keep his dog in his fenced-in yard, the dog owner was negligent and thus liable for your injuries caused by the dog.
Even in a hospital, a place we associate with recovering from injuries, you can suffer a personal injury. From mistakes made during surgery to misdiagnosing conditions, there are a variety of preventable mistakes that can lead to serious injury - which is ultimately caused by the negligent actions of medical providers.
What About Catastrophic Injury?
Catastrophic injuries are injuries that impact you for the rest of your life. These injuries include the loss of a limb, nerve damage or paralysis, traumatic brain injury, spine injury, permanent loss of sight or hearing, or birth injuries. Victims of catastrophic injuries are rarely able to return to work or care for themselves. These injuries often result in extremely large medical bills and the cost of care providers for the rest of the victim’s life.
The most common cause of a catastrophic injury is a motor vehicle accident, whether a car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle, or pedestrian is involved. But there are many other causes, including:
- Boating accidents
- Trampoline accidents
- Sports-related accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Horseback riding accidents
- Jet ski accidents
- Defective products
- Violent crimes
- Slip-and-fall accidents
- Work-related accidents
Compensation for Catastrophic Injury
Most catastrophic injuries result in large medical bills. Treating soft tissue damage can be much more in-depth than treating broken bones, and a complete recovery to pre-accident condition might never be achieved. So, medical bills can be an ongoing issue for the rest of the victim’s life. When thinking about asking for compensation, victims should consider all of the aspects of their life that have been altered and how much those changes cost.
By filing a personal injury claim against a negligent party in Massachusetts, victims of catastrophic injury may be able to recover compensation for:
- Medical bills for care and therapy
- Long-term medical care or assisted living
- Lost wages
- Home alterations to make the home accessible for the victim
- Pain and suffering as well as diminished quality of life
Facing the rest of your life with a catastrophic injury can be overwhelming, and you may not know exactly what damages to ask for in a personal injury claim. For this reason, contact our legal team in Burlington at (781) 262-3338 to learn more about your options.
Modified Comparative Negligence
It’s not quite as simple as "You hurt me, now pay me." Massachusetts follows what’s known as "modified comparative negligence." This is a legal concept where the two parties involved in an incident can share negligence. In the state of Massachusetts, you can only collect compensation for damages if you were less than 51 percent at fault for your injuries. Let’s look at an example...
Let’s say you’re driving at night when another car runs a red light and hits your vehicle. After the accident is investigated, it’s revealed that you were speeding when the other car hit you. A judge could find that, while the other driver ran a red light, the accident may not have happened or been as bad if you had not been speeding. The judge assigns 30% of the fault to you and 70% of the fault to the other driver. This would mean that you could sue the other driver for compensation, but he could not sue you. However, if the jury awarded you any compensation, it would be reduced by your percentage of fault. Instead of getting $100,000 for your injuries and losses, you’d receive $70,000.
Won’t Insurance Cover the Costs of My Injuries?
Hopefully, both you and the other party are fully insured. Unfortunately, insurance policies have limits. For example, suppose the other driver has a policy covering him up to $40,000, but your medical expenses were over $1 million. The only way to recover your losses would be to sue the other driver personally. It’s also important to remember that insurance companies are in the business of making money, not losing it. Any compensation offers you receive from the insurance will be as low as they can make them.
Do I Need A Personal Injury Attorney?
If you’ve been injured, you certainly don’t have to be represented by a personal injury attorney. However, to obtain the best results possible for your case, hiring an attorney is absolutely vital. An experienced Massachusetts personal injury attorney will know how to calculate the full cost of your injuries, factoring in lost wages from missed work, costs of future medical procedures, effects on your quality of life, and more. When the attorney comes up with an estimate of the costs of your injuries, he or she will present it to the other party’s insurance company. If the insurance company disagrees, your attorney can litigate an amount that is agreeable to both of you, or represent you in a trial. In any event, hiring an attorney will always give you peace of mind, knowing that you’re going to be properly compensated for your injuries according to the letter of the law.
Statute of Limitations
In Massachusetts, you have three years from the date of your injury to file a personal injury claim. However, waiting to file can do irreparable damage to your personal injury case. That is, the more time that passes from the actual incident to a thorough investigation of the incident, the more likely it is that evidence and eyewitness testimony will be lost, and your case may not be as strong as it could have been. To ensure that you are properly compensated, it’s always best to contact an experienced Massachusetts personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
At DiBella Law Offices, P.C., our firm represents individuals and families in both Massachusetts and Rockingham County, New Hampshire, who have experienced serious injuries and losses due to someone else’s negligence. If you’ve been involved in an accident or know someone who has been seriously wronged by another person, please contact our firm at (781) 262-3338 immediately for assistance.
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- National Institutes of Health
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention