If you’ve been injured in the course of your employment in Massachusetts, it is extremely helpful to have a fair understanding of its state laws governing accidents and personal injury claims. These laws may apply whether you choose to file a lawsuit or agree to an out-of-court settlement. The most common, and probably most the important ones, include:
The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit in a Massachusetts civil court is set at three years. Usually, this time limit starts from the date of the accident, so you have to factor that in when calculating the period. In some rare cases, however, where the victim suffers from a dormant injury that wasn’t detected until a considerable time after the accident, then the three- year limit may start from the date of discovery.
The rules of comparative fault are used to settle cases in which the injured individual is found to share some of the blame for the injury. In Massachusetts, if you are found liable in comparative fault, the damages awarded will be reduced if you share less than half of the fault, or completely eliminated if you amass 50 percent or more of the fault.
So be prepared and make sure you have a qualified injury lawyer, because this rule must be applied when an injury lawsuit reaches the trial stage and may also come up during insurance settlement negotiations.
“No Fault” Law
When it comes to matters concerning vehicle accidents and auto insurance, Massachusetts is a no-fault state. Basically, this means that those injured in car crashes are expected to seek compensation under their own insurance coverage. There are certain exceptions to this rule, though, like when your reasonable medical expenses exceed $2,000 or when you suffered serious and permanent disfigurement leading to the loss of your vital functions, such as sight or hearing.
As it stands, this threshold is a bit vague because there is no science that exactly determines the level of injury that can classify it as a “serious disfigurement”. Your personal injury lawyer may then have the flexibility to seek further negotiations on whether or not your claim can be limited by the no-fault rule.
Some states place a limit on damages in certain cases. For example, Massachusetts sets a cap of about $500,000. This cap is limited to non-economic damages from medical malpractice circumstances.
If, after understanding these laws, you decide to pursue a lawsuit, you can consult law firms that concentrate on long-term disability and personal injury related cases, like Low & Canata, who will seek to enforce your rights and help you get a fair claim.
General Laws. The 189th general court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
MA Personal Injury – Do You Have a Legal Claim? Personal Injury Legal Guide