Have you suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence?
Personal injury lawyers handle cases involving a wide range of injuries. Most commonly, these cases arise from motor vehicle accidents. However, a personal injury lawsuit can stem from a slip and fall accident, workplace mishap, animal bites or attacks, defective products (including medications) and medical malpractice. The injury does not even need to be physical; loss of a family member or damage to one’s reputation can also be causes of action in a personal injury case.
Those who suffer from another’s negligence find their lives upended. On top of debilitating injuries and massive medical expenses, injury victims may find themselves unable to work, either temporarily or permanently. These are expensive, life-altering events—and victims are entitled to compensation. In the majority of cases, pursuing this compensation, or damages, involves dealing with insurance companies. The team at Jason Stone Lawyers has won millions of dollars for personal injury clients and knows how to deal with insurers in order to get the maximum compensation. Most of the time, our clients do not even have to go to court, as most personal injury as the majority of personal injury cases settle.
Furthermore, Jason Stone Injury Lawyers charges no upfront fees—we get paid only if we win your case.
Common Types of Injury Cases
As mentioned earlier, personal injury lawsuits result when one party (the plaintiff) suffers an injury due to the carelessness or negligence of another (the defendant). The injury itself is known as the “cause of action.” These are the most common:
Motor Vehicle Accidents
By far, these are the most frequent cases personal injury lawyers handle. In March of 2022, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released its annual report for 2020. There was some good news: the number of injury accidents on the nation’s roads and highways was down 17 percent from the previous year. However, the number of fatalities rose by almost seven percent; approximately 39,000 people lost their lives in traffic-related accidents that year.
Factors in highway fatalities include:
- alcohol and/or drugs (including legally prescribed medications)
- reckless or aggressive driving (including tailgating and road rage)
- distracted driving (i.e., cell phone use or drowsiness)
- mechanical failure or defect or poor vehicle maintenance
- failure to properly wear a restraint
The majority of states allow you to file suit against the responsible party, although it is usually the insurance company that is responsible for payment. This is the primary reason that accident victims need expert legal counsel.
Massachusetts is one of 12 “no-fault” states. This means that an injury victim’s insurer pays out, regardless of liability. In no-fault states, motorists carry Personal Injury Protection, or “PIP.” No-fault insurance was primarily intended to keep insurance rates low, make it easier to obtain payment for medical bills and reduce the amount of litigation. While no-fault insurance was a great idea in theory, in practice it has actually resulted in higher insurance rates and more uninsured drivers on the road. In addition, litigation over traffic accidents continues unabated.
Even though your insurer will pay regardless of liability, there are many circumstances that can make it necessary to step out of the Bay State’s no-fault insurance system. This happens when the injury victim’s medical expenses exceed $2000 and said injuries involve permanent disfigurement, disability (such as blindness or deafness) and bone injuries. In this case, you may sue for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, which are not covered under PIP.
Traffic accidents involving commercial vehicles (i.e., tractor-trailer rigs, construction vehicles or buses) and mechanical defects are special cases. Determining liability can be far more difficult; fault can lie with a trucking company, the crew who loaded it, the mechanics responsible for maintaining the vehicle or its manufacturer as well as the vehicle’s operator.
This is another complex area of personal injury law or tort litigation. If the alleged malpractice occurred at a hospital, it is not just the attending or operating physician who may bear liability. Anyone who was involved in the plaintiff’s treatment may be responsible or have contributed to the injury. These individuals may include:
- nurses, orderlies or other hospital staff
- medical or surgical assistants
- pharmaceutical companies
- medical device manufacturers
Most physicians are independent contractors, so if the doctor is liable, he or she would be the named defendant. In Massachusetts, all practicing physicians are legally obligated to carry malpractice insurance, so your attorney would again be dealing with an insurance company. If the doctor was a hospital employee, the institution would also be named in the lawsuit.
Workplace accidents make up yet another vast area of tort litigation. Construction sites, factories, warehouses, loading docks and transportation centers (i.e., airports) are all known to be hazardous work environments. However, workplace accidents can happen almost anywhere. The cause of action need not be a sudden, traumatic injury; work-related illnesses and conditions such as repetitive stress injuries are not uncommon.
Under state law, most employers must carry workers comp insurance. However, not all of them do. If this is the situation, you can sue your employer, or file a traditional worker’s comp claim with the state.
Independent contractors do not have the same legal protections as employees; many times, these individuals must sign an agreement to indemnify the company in case of injury. In these cases, a contractor may be able to file suit against a third party (such as another contractor, a delivery driver, the property owner or the manufacturer of a piece of machinery) if their liability can be determined.
Damages, which is the legal term for compensation awarded in an injury case, fall into two broad categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are easily calculated; they consist of medical bills, rehabilitation costs, loss of wages and earning power—anything that can be assigned a dollar amount. Non-economic damages are more difficult to determine; these include pain and suffering, emotional trauma and even loss of companionship (consortium). While assigning an exact dollar value to non-economic damages is difficult, various jurisdictions have guidelines.
A third type is punitive damages. The court may award punitive damages when a defendant’s conduct is particularly egregious. As the name suggests, these damages are designed to punish the defendant’s conduct. However, punitive damages are only awarded in conjunction with compensatory (economic and non-economic) damages.
If you have grounds for an injury lawsuit, time is of the essence; the longer you wait, the more difficult the case becomes. Furthermore, injury cases are subject to time limits (known as the statute of limitations), so if you don’t file your complaint within that time frame, you can lose your right to compensation.
As experienced litigators who understand the financial burdens of recovery from an accident, Jason Stone Injury Lawyers offer the Stone Cold Guarantee: if we do not win your case, you pay nothing. There are no upfront fees. Under no circumstances should you sign anything without consulting with an attorney. The good news is that your chances of having to go to court are extremely small; only about 5 percent of injury cases go to trial.
Contact the team at Jason Stone Injury Lawyers today. There’s No Obligation, Just Information®.