How to Determine if you Have a Valid Personal Injury Claim?

Accidents can happen to anyone, anywhere. Whether you’re injured in a slip and fall, a motor vehicle accident, or as a result of medical negligence, you may be wondering if you should file a Massachusetts personal injury claim. The information below can help you determine how to move forward. Step one is to consult with an experienced injury lawyer; without skilled counsel, your chances of success are limited. If you’ve been injured in any type of accident, contact a Boston injury lawyer today.

Did Negligence Play a Role in Your Injuries?

Simply defined, “negligence” is careless behavior that results in an accident. This accident can cause property damage, bodily injury, emotional trauma, or all three. If a store owner fails to wipe up a spill because she wanted to enjoy her cup of coffee, and a customer slips and falls, the store owner is likely to be found negligent, and thus, liable for any injuries suffered as a result.

But How Do You Prove Negligence?

In most injury cases, five elements must be present to prove another’s negligence. These are:

  • Duty: In the above example, the store owner had a duty to her customer. The customer didn’t require an invitation to enter the store or browse the aisles. The store was open to the public and the store owner should have reasonably expected that any customer could walk in at any time. On the other hand, if a homeowner fails to wipe up a spill on the kitchen floor and a thief breaks in and slips on the spill, the homeowner is not likely to be found liable as he or she owed no duty to the thief.
  • Breach of Duty: In the above example, the store owner breached her duty to the customer because she failed to act as a reasonable person would in fulfilling the duty owed to the customer.
  • Cause in Fact: Also known as the “but-for” test, this element of negligence shows that, but for the store owner’s actions, the customer would have avoided injury.
  • Proximate Cause: If the customer breaks a hip in the slip and fall accident, the customer will likely be awarded damages for this injury. If, however, the customer was unable to pick up her son from school that day due to the injury, and her son was injured in a bicycle accident on the way home from school, these injuries will be outside of the “proximate cause” of the defendant’s negligence. Even though the bicycle accident wouldn’t have occurred, but for the neglected spill, its proximity to the harms at issue does not qualify it to be part of the lawsuit.
  • Damages: Finally, without actual damages, you don’t have much of a lawsuit. If the customer slipped and fell in the spill, but suffered no injuries, the customer will experience no damages as a result of the accident. Damages can include pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages, and property damages.


Altman & Altman, LLP – Personal Injury Law Firm Serving Boston and the Surrounding Areas

If you have been injured in any type of accident, the skilled legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. We have been protecting the rights of accident and injury victims for more than 50 years. If another’s negligence has caused you harm, we can help you get the compensation you deserve. Our attorneys have an impressive track record of obtaining compensation for clients. We will analyze the details of your case, and ensure that you understand your rights and options, before moving forward with a legal strategy. Our skilled attorneys will position you for the most favorable outcome possible. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.

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