Massachusetts Personal Injury Overview
Many types of cases fall under personal injury including, medical malpractice, auto accidents, identity theft, and more. Although the basic concepts of personal injury law are the same across the country, each state is a little different. It is important to understand the unique laws in your state in order to successfully pursue your case.
If you were injured in Massachusetts, compensation to which you may be entitled includes:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Permanent disability or disfigurement
- Emotional distress
- Interference with family relationships
- Property damage
- Expenses incurred as a direct result of your injuries
You do not have to be completely blameless for your injuries in order to have a case in Massachusetts. Under the doctrine of modified comparative negligence as long as you are les than 50% responsible for your injuries, the other party at fault can be held liable for their share of the blame.
Joint and several liability
When more than one party (besides yourself) is responsible for your injury Massachusetts employs joint and several liability holding each party responsible for the full amount of compensation awarded.
In most personal injury cases you will need to prove negligence in order to prove fault. You do not have to prove that the responsible party intentionally caused your injuries, just that they failed to use reasonable care and that this failure caused your injuries.
If you are injured by a defective product, in Massachusetts, you must prove that there was a breach of implied warranty of merchantability. Similar to strict liability, the doctrine used for defective product cases in most states, under implied warranty of merchantability the following elements must exist:
- The product was defective and/or dangerous
- Your use of the product was foreseeable by the seller
- The defect caused your injury
Statute of limitations
Every state has time limits for bringing legal action called the statute of limitations. In Massachusetts the statute of limitations for most personal injury lawsuits is three years. Certain types of personal injury cases have special rules and how the time limit is applied and calculated.
For more in depth information about time limits in Massachusetts read our Massachusetts Statute of Limitations page.
Personal injury laws vary from state to state. If you believe you have a personal injury claim and you live in Massachusetts, please contact one of our Massachusetts personal injury lawyers for a free claim evaluation.