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Will the Person Who Caused Your Injury Get Punished?

Suing for Damages in Peabody, MA

If you’ve been hurt in an accident, you can be looking at some very hefty medical expenses, and there’s a chance that your injury will render you unable to work. It’s also possible that you’ll be left facing a great deal of physical and mental suffering.

In an accident resulting in death, not only do the surviving family have to cope with the pain of losing a loved one, but they also have to deal with the funeral costs and the loss of financial support.

All of the above-mentioned losses can be heartbreaking in any accident scenario. It’s especially tragic if the accident happened because someone or some company was negligent or did something wrong.

If you are looking into suing for damages, seek legal advice from a reliable Peabody, MA personal injury lawyer to ensure you are getting the maximum compensation for your losses.

Massachusetts Law Provides Means for Accident Victims

suing for damagesWhile it may be cold consolation, Massachusetts law does provide a means for accident victims and their loved ones to seek compensation for damages. Compensation can be sought through a personal injury lawsuit, a wrongful death lawsuit, or an out-of-court settlement.

Whatever the case may be, you should seek the advice of a personal injury lawyer to ensure you receive the maximum compensation to which you are entitled. The Law Offices of Barry Feinstein & Affiliates P.C. in Peabody, Massachusetts, represent clients in personal injury cases and aggressively pursue maximum compensation for its clients.

For a free consultation and discussion of possible compensation in your case, please call or email us right away.

Personal Injury Claims: Will the Person Who Caused My Injury in Massachusetts Get Punished?

No. Criminal cases, not civil ones, are the ones that result in punishment. In a personal injury lawsuit, the defendant does not face imprisonment or draconian fines as punishment. Those are penalties for crimes, while lawsuits over personal injuries are considered civil disputes. When the actions of the defendant were clearly intended to cause harm, however, juries and courts may impose punitive damages.

What Are the Different Types of Damages?

In a personal injury case, you can usually sue for three types of damages: general damages, special damages, and punitive damages. General damages and special damages are both compensatory damages. 

  • General damages. These types of damage pay the victim for noneconomic damages such as emotional distress as well as pain and suffering. Most of the time, juries give bigger settlements to people who have been through a lot of trauma.
  • Special damages. These types of damages are economic damages. These include the income you lost because of your injury, your medical bills, property damage, and any other losses that are measurable because of what the defendant did or didn’t do. Typically, these damages are computed based on the plaintiff’s automobile damage, medical expenses, and lost wages.
  • Punitive damages. When a court gives punitive damages, which doesn’t happen very often, the amount isn’t based on what the plaintiff lost or how badly they were hurt.   The court decides how much a person must pay in punitive damages based on how dangerous their actions were that led to the accident.

You can file a lawsuit for damages for economic, emotional, or physical injuries. You can also sue if someone injured your reputation or violates your property, your privacy, or your constitutional rights. You can sue for the following types of damages:

  • current and projected earnings loss
  • medical bills
  • future medical treatment costs
  • household expenditure
  • costs for trips that had to be canceled or plans that had to be changed because of your injury
  • mental distress
  • pain and suffering

In a successful wrongful death lawsuit, “damages”—or the plaintiff’s asserted losses—are granted to the deceased’s family to compensate them for the death. In a wrongful death lawsuit in Massachusetts, survivors can be awarded damages for a variety of losses, including:

  • the deceased’s projected lifetime earnings
  • the support, protection, and help the departed would have provided to surviving family members
  • the deceased’s advice, care, comfort, companionship, counsel, and guidance to family members, and
  • reasonable expenses for funeral and burial

Massachusetts Tort Claims Act: Suing the Government for Negligence

Let’s say someone else causes you personal injury in Massachusetts and they’re at fault. You get run over in a car accident or hurt yourself falling down a damaged stairway. You might file a personal injury claim against the vehicle’s driver or from the building’s owner in such a case. But what if the vehicle’s driver works for the state, or the building is a state government office? You can seek compensation in Massachusetts by filing a claim against the Massachusetts government, but you must follow a strict procedure.

Public Employee Negligence

Government liability for “public employee” negligence is governed by the Massachusetts Tort Claims Act. According to Section 2 of the MTCA, “public workers will be accountable for the injury, loss of property, or personal death” caused by their negligence, unlawful conduct, or omissions. The Act does, however, restrict government liability in other respects, including a $100,000 maximum limit on damages for each plaintiff in most cases.

Sovereign Immunity

The Massachusetts Tort Claims Act modifies the usual norm of “sovereign immunity” by permitting the state government to be held liable for negligent behavior. This law, which was employed for hundreds of years in England and the United States, stated that the “sovereign” (the government) can not be sued for its acts or decisions, even if people were harmed as a result.

It should be noted that public employees are immune from liability for any negligent conduct done in the course and scope of their job, but this immunity does not extend to deliberate acts.

What the Massachusetts Tort Law Does and Doesn’t Cover

The MTCA (Massachusetts Tort Claims Act) allows injured people to sue negligent government personnel in the same manner that an injured person can sue a negligent private institution. For instance, the following kinds of claims might be heard in the Massachusetts Court of Claims:

  • Negligent operation of a government-owned vehicle. If a government employee causes an injury while driving for work, the public employer can face liability in the Court of Claims.
  • Flaws in public structures. Spills, cracked floors, and loose handrails are just a few of the potentially hazardous or defective property issues that might occur in a public facility. If staff members knew about the condition or should have known about it but did not take the necessary action to rectify it or alert visitors, the government may be held liable.
  • Medical care or treatment for patients. Doctors and nurses who work for government-run medical institutions may be held liable for medical malpractice if the treatment they offer patients falls short of established medical standards.

However, the MTCA limits liability against government employers in a number of ways, including a $100,000 per-plaintiff damage cap, with the exception that “all claims for serious bodily injury against the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority shall not be subject to a $100,000 limitation on compensatory damages.”

Call a Reliable MA Personal Injury Lawyer in Suing for Damages 

If you or a family member were injured because of someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible for financial compensation for your pain and losses.

Thousands of people have benefited from the help of our experienced attorneys at The Law Offices of Barry Feinstein & Affiliates P.C. in obtaining the financial compensation they need following an accident. Our team has the expertise and insight to secure full and fair compensation for your hardship. Our attorneys have considerable experience in all aspects of personal injury and have been working with families and individuals in Massachusetts for over 25 years.

Our law firm can help you defend your legal rights no matter what kind of accident caused your injuries. We work hard to make sure that our clients understand that their needs are being met and that their best interests are being fought aggressively throughout the whole duration of their case.

Boston, Brookline, Cambridge,  Dedham, Lowell, Newton, Norwood, Peabody, Quincy, Somerville,  and Waltham are just some of the places in Massachusetts where The Law Offices of Barry Feinstein & Affiliates P.C. is able to represent victims. Call our office or message us online now if you have concerns about your rights and alternatives under the law.

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