What is Negligence?
According to Cornell University Law School’s Legal Information Institute, the five requirements below must be met in order for an individual to be found guilty of negligence:
- The other party failed to exercise a reasonable degree of care – a trucking company did not follow standards for how loads should be secured.
- The victim suffered financial damages as the result of the injury – the victim couldn’t work or incurred medical bills as a result of the injury.
- Exercising reasonable care was the legal duty of the other party – motorists are required to obey traffic laws and doctors are required to look out for their patients.
- The injured party’s harm falls within the scope of liability – the injury was not the sole fault of the victim’s own actions.
- The negligent actions of the other party caused physical injury to the victim – the victim was permanently injured from a dog bite because the neighbor did not restrain the pet.
The injury sustained by the victim must also have been foreseeable by the accused party. For example, the driver knew that texting could lead to a crash but engaged in it anyway.
Intentional Wrongs and Strict Liability
In addition to negligence, the American Bar Association also lists two other scenarios that can be used as a basis for a personal injury claim. Intentional wrongs are civil claims that are handled separately from criminal charges. These claims are fairly rare, but if an individual commits a criminal action that results in the injury of another, a personal injury claim can also be filed based on an intentional wrong. For example, if person “A” physically assaults person “B” causing extensive injuries; person A just committed an intentional wrong since he or she knew that his or her actions could physically harm individual B. Strict liability occurs when a company manufactures a product that is dangerous (when used as intended).
What Types of Compensation May a Massachusetts Personal Injury Attorney Pursue?
There are two basic types of compensation that a personal injury attorney may pursue for his or her client: compensatory damages or punitive damages. Compensatory damages include any money lost due to the inability to work or return to work; medical treatments; or physical, mental or emotional pain and suffering; or. On the other hand, punitive damages are reparations required to serve as punishment for the defendant, awarded when it is determined that the responsible party’s behavior is deemed intentionally harmful or reckless.
How a Massachusetts Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
If a victim suffers a personal injury caused by the wrongdoing or negligence of another party, he or she may be entitled to compensation for damages resulting from their injuries, including:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income or ability to work
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish resulting from an injury
The families of those who have died may be eligible to recover money for funeral expenses and the pain that comes with losing a loved one.
People who have been injured due to another’s negligence are advised to seek the advice of a Massachusetts personal injury attorney to help them protect their legal rights.