When you file a personal injury claim in the state of Massachusetts, it’s important to understand that your lawsuit will be governed by, and evaluated under, state laws. This is precisely the reason it’s so important that you consider hiring a personal injury attorney familiar with handling claims in the state of Massachusetts.
He or she will be accustomed to arguing fault and liability under state statutes and will know how to deal with claims that fall outside the scope of the standard statute of limitations, if necessary. A Massachusetts personal injury attorney can also help determine if your claim is winnable and will always work to achieve the fairest settlement or award of damages possible in your case.
Massachusetts is a “Comparative-Fault” State
Some states require you to have absolutely no hand at all in your own injuries in order to qualify for filing a personal injury lawsuit. In Massachusetts however, you can be partially responsible and still file a claim against another individual or entity. As long as a comparable-fault determination or contributory negligence evaluation does not show you as holding more than 50 percent of the responsibility or fault for your own injuries, you can file a suit against the other individual or entity responsible for the injuries you’ve suffered.
It’s important to realize though that your degree of negligence or fault for your own injuries will reduce the damages you can receive in your claim. In other words, if you are 30 percent responsible for the injuries you suffered, you can only hold those you name in your claim 70 percent at fault, and will therefore receive damages at a 30 percent reduced settlement or award, if your claim is successful.
Potential Damages for Personal Injury in Massachusetts
The damages that can be sought in a personal injury claim vary from one state to the next. Damages that can be included in a Massachusetts claim encompass the economic and non-economic losses you’ve suffered due to your injuries.
Medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, cost of supportive care and household help, and loss of future earnings can all be included in the economic losses you seek in your personal injury claim. Non-economic damages can include compensation for the pain and suffering you’ve experienced.
Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims in Massachusetts
There is a statute of limitations placed on the filing of personal injury claims in every state, and in the state of Massachusetts, you have three years to file any personal injury lawsuit.
Filing a claim immediately after injuries are suffered is always advisable, but you may not realize immediately that you’ve suffered harm. As some injuries are not readily apparent, the statute of limitations clock does not actually begin ticking until you realize you’ve suffered harm at the hands of, or due to the negligence of, another.
If you’ve suffered injuries that exceed the statute of limitations in Massachusetts, you may still be able to have your claim reviewed. You will however, need the help of a personal injury lawyer to make it happen. An attorney may be able to prove extenuating circumstances justify the waiver of the statute of limitations in your case.