Frequently Asked Questions by a top Boston Accident Attorney
The Law Firm of Jonathan D. Light, P.C. is prepared to answer any of your questions throughout your case, but the firm understands that being involved in a personal injury case can give rise to confusion and concern. Please use the questions below as basic information regarding your legal issue. For specific guidance on your case, call the office at 1-617-245-0220.
- Should I provide a statement to an insurance company or the police at the scene of an accident?
- What determines the amount I might recover for my personal injury case?
- What is a typical settlement amount?
- If I may have contributed to my own injury, can I still sue?
- Should I accept any money from an insurance company or sign any papers before I have legal representation?
- What is the time limit to file a workers compensation claim in Massachusetts?
- What benefits am I entitled to under workers compensation?
- Under what circumstances can an employee on workers compensation file a claim against a third party?
- What are the requirements for obtaining Social Security Disability benefits?
Contact the firm for a free consultation on your injury case
If you have sustained injuries as a result of another party's negligence, contact the Law Firm of Jonathan D. Light, P.C. online or call the Boston law office at 617-245-0220 today to schedule your free initial consultation.
It is in your best interest to only provide your contact information to an insurance company or to police until you consult with a lawyer. Following an accident, many people are in shock and may unintentionally provide inaccurate information or fail to mention important details. The more significant your injuries, the more imperative it becomes to seek legal counsel before providing any statement.
Every personal injury case addresses several issues:
- Liability — establishing the responsible party's negligence
- Injuries — determining the full extent of your physical and emotional injuries and the degree to which these injuries cause you to suffer lost wages, diminished earning capacity, diminished quality of life, pain and suffering and permanent impairment of any bodily functions
- Causal relationship — establishing that your injuries were caused by the negligent actions of the responsible party and not by some other aspect of your medical history
- Monetary damages — calculating your money losses based on your lost wages, future diminished earnings, medical bills, and the other aspects of your injuries discussed above
- Source of collection — insurance or other assets from which damages can be recovered
The Law Firm of Jonathan D. Light, P.C. can assist injury victims in fighting for rightful compensation following a negligence-based injury.
As every injury and every circumstance is different, there is no average or typical settlement amount. An experienced personal injury lawyer reviews and interprets your case information to determine the appropriate value for your claim:
- Incurred medical bill amount
- Future medical bills
- Loss of past income
- Your age
- Any permanent limitations caused by the injury
- Impact on future earning capacity
- Activities you can no longer do
- Activities you can do but do not enjoy as much
- Prognosis for further problems
- Diminished quality of life
- Strength of lay witness and expert testimony
The goal is fair and adequate compensation for your injury. After reviewing the facts of your case, the Law Firm of Jonathan D. Light, P.C. may be able to provide a reasonable settlement or verdict figure. Contact the firm to begin your case
If you were less than 50 percent at fault, you may still be entitled to compensation in Massachusetts for your injuries, but your compensation may be reduced based on the percentage of your fault. For instance, if you were determined to be 25 percent at fault for your accident, you may receive 25 percent less compensation than if you were totally guiltless.
Should I accept any money from an insurance company or sign any papers before I have legal representation?
If you are contacted by an insurance representative who offers to pay you a sum of money in exchange for you signing some document, you should refuse the money and not talk with anyone from the insurance company before you have spoken with an experienced personal injury attorney.
Once you are injured in an on-the-job accident, you should report the injury or illness to your employer immediately. Even if the injury does not seem critical, it can get worse over time and your employer should be aware of it from the beginning. And your boss must be certain that the injury began on the job and was not sustained outside of work. Seek medical treatment as soon as possible, even if you must leave work to do it.
As long as your injury has been reported to your employer and documented in writing, you can file a workers compensation claim up to four years after the injury or discover of the injury or illness.
An injured employee who is totally disabled and unable to do any job is entitled to 60 percent of his average weekly wages based on the past 52 weeks including any overtime but excluding fringe benefits. If an employee is partially disabled and can do some form of work but not his former job than he is entitled to a maximum of 75 percent of his total disability rate but the exact amount is determined by the employee's earning capacity.
The injured employee is also entitled to have his medical bills paid by the insurer if the treatment is reasonable, related to his injury and medically necessary. Total disability benefits are for a maximum of three years and partial for five years but subject to a combined total of seven years for both total and partial. Finally, an employee is entitled to vocational services through the Department of Industrial Accidents.
Under what circumstances can an employee on workers compensation file a claim against a third party?
An injured employee may bring a third party claim against any responsible person or company which caused the employee's injuries but not against his or her employer or any co-employees. An employee has 7 months from the date of the accident to file a legal action against the responsible third party or the workers compensation insurer can file the third party action on behalf of the employee.
You must prove that you are disabled in that:
- You can no longer perform the work you did before the onset of your disability or illness
- Your medical condition prohibits you from performing other work
- Your disability is total and permanent which means that your total disability is likely to last for the foreseeable future
If the Social Security Administration finds that you meet these criteria, it will grant your application for disability benefits. If you need to reapply, file for reconsideration or appeal the SSA's decision, the Law Firm of Jonathan D. Light, P.C. can assist you.