If you or a family member has been hurt in an accident, it is important to know your legal rights. The victim of a traumatic brain injury, or the family of someone who has suffered a wrongful death, has only a limited time to take legal action against the responsible party, or else the right to pursue financial compensation will likely be barred. There may be required notice requirements where the defendant must receive a letter within a certain period of time since the incident or the lawsuit will be at risk for being dismissed. Time is often of the essence to preserve your rights. It is important that evidence be preserve, defendants be informed not to destroy or spolioate evidence, which is extremely important with record to electronic evidence of website, texts, emails and alike. With passage of time, witnesses' memories may fade, witnesses may be unavailable, of parts unknown eliminating crucial eyewitness testimony essential to a successful claim.
With decades of experience behind him, Attorney Kenneth I. Kolpan can help victims who have sustained brain injuries in car accidents and other incidents related to negligence in Boston and elsewhere in Massachusetts. As a Boston brain injury lawyer, Attorney Kolpan works with local and nationally renown medical experts whose expertise is in the evaluation, treatment and diagnosis of those with traumatic brain injury.Bringing a Negligence Claim under Massachusetts Law
Personal injury cases, including those involving severe brain injury, are usually based on a theory of negligence. A person or business is said to be “negligent” when it fails to use the appropriate level of care under certain circumstances and harms someone else as a result.
There are four steps to proving a negligence case. The first step is establishing the duty of care, or legal obligation, that the defendant owed the plaintiff in the particular set of circumstances giving rise to the lawsuit. The duty that is owed will vary from case to case and is highly fact-dependent. For example, the standard of care owed by a doctor to a patient is different from the standard that is appropriate for truck drivers operating big rigs. The next task for the injured person consists of showing that the defendant breached the duty of care. A breach of duty is simply a failure to do what was required to meet the appropriate level of care, or an action that fell short of the standard.
Also, the causation element must be proved. The victim needs to show that the defendant’s breach, rather than some unrelated event, led to the accident. The final step requires the injured person to identify certain damages that arose from his or her harm. These must be reasonably quantifiable and not too speculative.
If a victim has proven all four elements of negligence by a preponderance of the evidence, the question becomes the amount of compensation that it will take to fairly and adequately compensate the plaintiff for the costs and losses arising from the accident. This evaluation typically takes into consideration both economic damages, such as medical expenses and lost wages, and non-economic damages like pain and suffering.
Sometimes negligence rises to a higher level called “recklessness.” This happens when a party disregards or is indifferent to the possible consequences of an action. In such cases, a victim may consider asking for punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages. If the parties are unable to reach a settlement, a judge or jury will be called upon to determine the amount of damages, as well as any relative fault between the parties.Consult a Boston Attorney to Seek Compensation Following a Brain Injury
If you have suffered severe brain trauma or lost a family member due to brain injury, you are likely facing significant medical or funeral expenses, in addition to emotional hardship. Boston brain lawyer Kenneth I. Kolpan is dedicated to helping victims of slip and fall accidents and other preventable events who have suffered traumatic brain damage. In addition to being named both a Massachusetts Super Lawyer and a New England Super Lawyer, Mr. Kolpan has received an AV rating (the highest possible peer rating) from Martindale Hubbell for each of the last 15 years. To schedule a free initial consultation concerning your case, call 617.426.2558 or complete our online form today. We represent injured individuals across Massachusetts.