Personal Injury Lawyer Northampton

If you have been injured in an accident or have lost a loved one due to wrongful death, you will need to hire a personal injury lawyer to provide legal counsel if you want to claim damages. First, you will want to consult with different attorneys to find the right one. More on this vital step will be explained later, but it is important to note that who you choose as your attorney is probably the most important decision you will make in the entire process.

Personal Injury Lawyer Northampton

Damages

There are two types of damages: economic and noneconomic damages. 

Economic Damages

Economic damages, as the name suggests, are those in which a numerical or dollar value can be assigned to the sum total of all of your damage and injury expenses. These include medical costs, lost wages, anticipated lost wages, and property loss in the accident. While this type of damages is easier to calculate than non-economic damages, an accident attorney is better suited to make a full tabulation of the mounting costs of your injuries.  

Noneconomic Damages

Noneconomic damages, on the other hand, are often more difficult to calculate because they often entail estimating the value of intangible things, like pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of physical capacity, etc. As human beings, we have complex thoughts and emotions. Consequently, the courts recognize that there is often more to recovery than merely healing from the physical wounds and financial expenses of an accident. They understand that accidents can have life-long emotional and mental effects on individuals. 

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), for instance, may be so intense that clients are afraid to drive, limiting their economic opportunities after the accident. In some cases, the stress of the accident puts an undue burden on family relationships, which eventually ends in divorce or estrangement. It’s difficult to know the long-term emotional repercussions of a serious accident, so it’s essential to involve an experienced, licensed personal injury attorney. 

If you want to file a suit to claim noneconomic damages, then you will need a knowledgeable accident attorney representing you. While emotions are subjective and often esoteric, there are indications that can be used to show emotional distress:

  • Trouble focusing or concentrating
  • Difficulty with memory
  • Mood swings, or a sudden change in mood/personality
  • Irritability
  • Much more easily frustrated, disturbed, or startled
  • Insomnia, sleeping too much, or other sleep disturbances
  • Loss of interest in activities formerly enjoyed
  • Anxiety

Punitive Damages

In some instances, the court decides to award punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages, which are the economic and non-economic damages described above. Punitive damages are meant to further penalize the defendant for egregious or intentional negligence. For example, we sometimes see punitive damages in DUI car accidents where the driver’s irresponsible and criminal behavior causes serious injuries to others. 

Punitive damages are not always awarded. Your personal injury attorney should be able to tell you the likelihood of receiving punitive damages for your case.

Massachusetts Car Accident Statistics

Even when you include motorcycle accidents and truck accidents, Massachusetts actually has one of the lowest rates of fatal motor vehicle crashes in the United States, at 0.54 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. They have found that initiatives that educate the public and prevent distracted and drunk driving have been helping in keeping those numbers low. But there are a variety of other accidents that result in death, such as side-swipe accidents, head-on collisions, and rear-end collisions.

Every driver has a duty of care to operate their vehicles responsibly and legally. It’s important that all drivers in Northampton and the surrounding areas stay safe and alert to prevent injuries and death on the road. However, if you have been injured due to the negligence of another, contact our accident attorney immediately.

Car Accidents and Other Vehicular Accidents

Car Accidents

When you have been injured in a car accident, there are some things that you can do to help your case. Always take pictures from a position of safety when you have been involved in any sort of accident. There are a variety of documents you will need to provide to your personal injury attorney:

  • A copy of the police report 
  • Photographic evidence was taken from the scene
  • If you did not take pictures after the accident, go back to the scene and see if you can get pictures of conditions similar to the day of your accident (i.e., construction, obstructed signs, dangerous intersections, debris, extremely large potholes, etc.)
  • Medical records
  • In some cases, employment records to show lost wages

If you were unable to get these documents due to the severity of your injury, a personal injury lawyer could request them, but this can slow the progress of your case.

Truck Accidents

Truck accidents can vary widely, and there are several potential parties who can be held liable for the damage or loss of life caused by the accident. If the accident was caused by a faulty part in the truck, then its manufacturer will be liable, and they may face massive recalls. However, the trucking company or the driver can also be held liable for your accident. In the case of the former, if the company hired a driver without performing a sufficiently thorough background check, then they are to blame for not having prevented a dangerous person from getting on the road. Unfortunately, this can happen, especially when companies are trying to cut costs by paying workers less, meaning possibly hiring people with a criminal record of recklessness or even DUI. 

Truck Accidents

Your attorney can investigate for you. For example, a driving log may show that a driver had worked more than the allowed hours, and their exhaustion could have contributed to the accident.

Motorcycle Accidents 

Because of the lack of protection, motorcycle accident victims almost always sustain injuries. Just because you’ve chosen to ride a motorcycle, however, does not mean that you forfeit your right to recover damages. Choose a personal injury law firm that will fight aggressively for your full financial recovery.

Slip and Fall

If your injuries were caused by negligence of a manager, owner, or custodian of a property, you are entitled to damages. Slip and fall is also referred to as “premises liability” because it covers a wide range of mishaps that can occur on physical property. If you’re injured on private or public property, contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your claim.

Medical Malpractice  

Patients have the right to expect a level of healthcare that meets the standards of the medical community. When healthcare providers fail to deliver that level of care, it can lead to life-changing injuries or even death. Medical malpractice law covers everything from improper prescriptions and dosages to anesthesia errors to surgical implements left inside the patient and much more.

Wrongful Death

When someone dies due to the negligence, recklessness, or criminal intent of another person, their family is entitled to compensation from the party that is liable for the death. This compensation could help with family expenses if the deceased was the main source of income for the household. Damages for wrongful death can include pain and suffering in recognition of the loss of care, support, and companionship.

Dog Bite Injuries

It is important to contact an attorney immediately after a dog bite accident, as certain statutes limit the amount of time these suits can be filed and heard in court. So if you have been attacked by a dog, then you will want to provide the name, phone number, address, and email address of the owner to your attorney. In most cases, the owner of the dog is liable for the attack, even if they were not aware that the dog would bite the other person.

Some dog bites are covered by homeowners’ insurance if the bite occurred on the insured’s property. You can file a claim for compensation for your medical expenses, treatment, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

What Should You Do Immediately After an Accident?

There is no universal process for what you should do right after an accident. The following tips may keep you safer and help with your personal injury claims.

  • Always get to a position of safety. Do not remain in a hazardous situation that can put you at further risk. 
  • Call first responders to the scene. Call 911 or have someone nearby do it. 
  • Take pictures or video of the accident scene. The accident scene is bound to change, so try to document the way it looks in the moments afterward. Only take photos if it will not put you in further danger. 
  • Ask witnesses to remain with you. If they can’t, try to get their contact information so your personal injury attorney can follow up later. 
  • Allow rescue workers to examine you for injuries. Follow up with your doctor. 
  • Seek legal representation before filing a claim. In Northampton, contact the Law Offices of John P. DiBartolo, Jr. for a free consultation.

Personal Injury Frequently Asked Questions 

If you’ve been injured in an accident, contact our attorney. He will be happy to answer specific questions about your case free of charge. Here are some of the most common questions accident attorney DiBartolo hears from clients. 

How long does it take to settle a personal injury lawsuit?

This depends on several factors, including the size of the claim, the strength of the case, and how cooperative the insurance company is. You may be looking at a year or more to settle your claim. However, you’re much more likely to receive a full settlement if you allow your accident attorney to pursue the claim properly. 

How can I afford a personal injury lawyer?

Massachusetts personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis. That means that they only get paid if you win your case via a settlement or a court award. You don’t have to pay out of pocket for professional legal services from the Law Offices of John P. DiBartolo, Jr. 

What is the statute of limitations for a personal injury claim in Massachusetts?

For most types of claims, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of the accident. While this may seem like a long time, you shouldn’t wait. Accident attorneys require time to build an effective case, so call today. 

Northampton Personal Injury Law Firm

If you’ve been injured in an accident, you deserve full compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The Law Offices of John P. DiBartolo, Jr. represents accident victims in Northampton and the rest of western Massachusetts. Call today for a free consultation with attorney DiBartolo.