Personal Injury in Worcester County results from an individual suffering Injury or damage as a result of the negligence or omission of another. Personal Injury is the area of civil litigation for injuries and accidents that cause emotional or physical harm. This is different from the standard bodily Injury that may not give rise to litigation.
Unlike Personal Injury which arises only in civil cases, the term bodily Injury may be used in criminal cases when referring to the harm sustained by a crime victim. In insurance, bodily injury coverage generally covers the expenses of the individual who did not cause the accident and subsequently suffered injuries. On the other hand, Personal Injury coverage also covers the expenses of the person who caused the accident.
Under Massachusetts law, Personal Injury protection coverage is mandatory for all drivers in Worcester County. Anyone injured in a car accident may seek compensation under their own coverage. The only situations that the law allows a car accident victim to pursue a claim against another party is if they
For Personal injuries in Worcester County, the law allows the victim to receive compensation only if their share of the blame is less than 51 percent. In other words, Personal Injury victims can only recover damages as long as they are not more or at fault than the defendant or defendants collectively. This is generally referred to as the “modified comparative fault rule.”
In such cases, the jury calculates the total monetary value of the plaintiff's damages and the percentage of fault that belongs to each party. The Court then reduces the damages in proportion to the plaintiff’s negligence.
A Personal Injury claim in Worcester County is a legal case instituted by a plaintiff or an injured party after sustaining injuries in an accident they believe was due to the defendant’s fault. It is the formal process of obtaining compensation from the relevant insurance company or the defendant.
In Worcester County, a party must file a Personal Injury claim within three years of the accident. After filing a personal injury claim, the plaintiff and the defendant usually begin negotiations and try to reach a settlement outside of court. If the negotiation process is successful and both parties agree on the monetary value of the claim, the plaintiff receives a settlement.
However, if both parties cannot reach an agreement, litigation is usually the next step and the case goes to trial.
In 2019, there were a total of 48 fatal crashes in Worcester County. The State of Massachusetts reported 460 transport injuries in 2017 including 408 motor vehicle-related injuries, 52 motorcyclist injuries, and other transport injuries.
There were 3,273 small claims filed at the Worcester District Court in 2020. It is important to note that although many of the cases filed at the Small Claims Court were Personal Injury cases, not all of them were. The Court also has jurisdiction over certain breach of contract disputes, false arrest claims, and loan repayment cases.
The traditional way to find a Personal Injury Lawyer in Worcester County is by word of mouth. A local general practice lawyer may provide a referral to a Personal Injury law firm. The Worcester County Bar Association also offers a lawyer referral service to assist individuals in need of legal advice and representation. This service is a full fee program, the Association does not make referrals for lawyers that take on pro bono cases. In trying to find a Personal Injury Lawyer in Worcester County, it is important to note that there are lawyers who specialize in different types of injuries like car accidents, wrongful deaths, motorcycle accidents, and other kinds of Personal Injury.
Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer in Worcester County can take the burden off the plaintiff to personally fight for their rights after getting hurt in a car accident, due to medical malpractice, or due to any other type of accident caused by the negligence of a company, public agency, an individual or other institution. An experienced Personal Injury attorney specializes in intervening on the plaintiff’s behalf to obtain redress for the damage or injury they have suffered. Personal Injury lawyers understand the Massachusetts Torts Law, can envisage, and plan ahead to address legal issues that may arise in such cases, by
A Personal Injury claim does not always require a lawyer's help. If the injuries are minor, and the property damage less severe, the victim may settle the claim through insurance or a Small Claims Court against the other party on their own. Personal Injury covers a wide variety of situations and accidents including
In Worcester County, there are no guidelines or formula for determining how much to ask for in a Personal Injury case, the sum awarded as redress is dependent on the facts of each case. Personal Injury claimants must consider several factors, consult with an attorney that has experience in handling similar cases for advice or use their best judgment to arrive at a fair and reasonable amount as compensation.
Under Massachusetts law, juries may only award compensatory damages to Personal Injury victims. Compensatory damages provide a victim with the monetary amount needed to replace what the plaintiff lost, and nothing more. This monetary amount may be substantial, the Worcester Superior Court awarded up to $1 million and $8.6 million in a 2017 and 2015 Personal Injury lawsuit respectively.
The plaintiff must calculate their financial losses, physical and emotional suffering, and pain to determine and demand an amount they consider as fair compensation for their loss. The Court may require receipts and other evidence to show that the claim for compensation is reasonable and fair.
The court may award compensatory damages such as:
The duration of a Personal Injury lawsuit is different. Courts in Worcester County have guidelines for different types of cases, the least complicated cases may take up to one and a half years, while more complicated cases may take up to three years from the time a case is filed in court until trial. However, it is not unusual for certain cases to take longer. The trial itself may last one day or up to two months depending on the complexity of the case. Some of the factors that may influence the timing of a Personal Injury lawsuit include,