Amounts Of Damages in Massachusetts
Let an Experienced Lawyer in Massachusetts Determine Your Compensation
The monetary compensation imposed by Massachusetts law for loss or harm resulting from injury to person, property or reputation is known as "damages."
While there is no simple equation to determine the amount of damages a victim may be owed, an experienced injury attorney can help you sort through the myriad factors involved in making sure that your case is not settled for less than it is worth.
Some of the factors include:
- Medical Expenses
- Loss of Income
- Pain and Suffering
- Mental Anguish and Emotional Distress
- Loss of Consortium
- Lost Opportunity
Future medical costs must also be factored into compensatory damages in the case of a long-term injury requiring significant rehabilitation or on-going treatment.
Loss of Income
If the injury prevents the plaintiff from working, compensation can be sought for the amount of money normally earned during that time period, otherwise known as "lost wages." The injured person can also claim lost wages for any absences due to medical treatment of the injury.
An injury severe enough to prevent a person from working for the remainder of his or her life may allow for damages to cover the loss of one's future earnings.
Finally, if a person dies due to an accident, family members can choose to sue for the lost income that the victim would have earned based on his or her age and current salary.
Pain and Suffering
Each individual's tolerance for pain is different, which makes the quantification of suffering complicated, but certain factors can be measured accurately to document one's discomfort level:
- The amount of medication the injured person required
- The types and length of treatments necessary
- The duration of the recovery period
- The extent of change to the victim's quality of life.
Mental Anguish and Emotional Distress
While mental anguish and emotional distress often coincide with pain and suffering, mental anguish and emotional distress are distinct in that they refer to mental responses to the trauma of a physical event.
Common symptoms of mental anguish would include:
The charge of "infliction of emotional distress" is viable when one person purposefully does something that is intended to and does cause severe mental anguish in another.
There are several factors that determine the extent to which a perpetrator may be liable in such a claim:
- First, the wrongdoer's behavior must be deemed as extreme and outrageous.
- Second, it must be done intentionally to cause emotional distress or with reckless disregard to such a consideration.
- Third, it is also helpful if the victim can show other non-emotional damages such as loss of gainful employment.
Although the damages awarded for loss of consortium are generally less than other types of compensatory damages, they can be significant in tragic cases of accidents that lead to severe impairment such as paraplegia.
Lost opportunity damages are sometimes recoverable in addition to the damages sought for lost wages and loss of future earnings. These refer to a business opportunity that has been precluded due to an accident.
How to Reach Us
The Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone serves Boston, Worcester, Springfield, and communities throughout Massachusetts. Contact us today for a free consultation. We are contingency fee lawyers, which means you don't pay us unless you win. Contact a Boston personal injury lawyer with our firm today.