What is Personal Injury Law?

Personal injury law is that area of the law which deals with injury or death caused by another person, or a product or a business. Personal injury cases usually involve the negligence of another party, but also include defective products, such as dangerous consumer products or dangerous drugs. The injury can be a physical injury, mental injury, or a wrongful death. The injury can also be a psychological injury. Often, people who have had physical injuries have also suffered psychological injuries.

Personal injury law, which is also known as the law of torts, provides that the person who has been injured can recover his or her damages from the responsible party or parties. The damages that will be awarded are monetary. Personal injury law helps victims with their recovery and compensates for pain and suffering.

Some specific types of personal injury cases include motor vehicle accidents, such as car accidents or bus accidents, train accidents, bicycle accidents, construction site accidents, medical malpractice, dog bites or other animal attacks. Many other types of cases are listed on our Personal Injury Practice Areas page.

The Elements of Proof in a Personal Injury Case
In most personal injury cases, there are three basic elements that must be proven in order for the plaintiff (the injured person) to win. The first element is negligence, which generally means the failure of a person to use reasonable care. Negligence involves first a legal duty that one person has to another, such as the duty to not be careless. The second part is a breach of that duty, such as the failure to use reasonable care. An example: You have a duty to stop at a stop sign, and if you fail to do so, you have breached that duty. 

The next element is causation. The negligent act or omission must actually cause some sort of injury. Negligence by itself does not lead to damages. Whether the negligent act caused an injury is often hotly contested. For example, in many malpractice cases, the physician will argue that even if there was a negligent act, it did not actually cause harm.

The third element is damages. Damages are what the injured person has suffered as a result of the negligence of a defendant. Damages can be compensated by settlement or by a jury award. 

Compensation in personal injury cases includes:

•    Medical, hospital, and rehabilitation expenses
•    Lost earnings
•    Physical pain and suffering
•    Damage to family relationships (loss of affection)
•    Physical scarring or disfigurement
•    Impairment of bodily functions
•    Wrongful death damages
•    Emotional and psychological injuries
•    Punitive damages (only in wrongful death cases)

Boston, Massachusetts Personal Injury Attorneys
The attorneys at Breakstone, White & Gluck of Boston have over 100 years combined experience proving personal injury, product liability, and wrongful death cases. The basic elements of proof in every case include identifying the responsible parties, gathering the relevant factual information, finding qualified experts, developing all aspects of the damages portion of the case, and proving, through a lawsuit if necessary, that the injuries or death were the result of the other party’s negligence or gross negligence. We understand what your rights are, and we have the experience to prove your case.

If you have a personal injury case, it is very important that you contact a qualified Boston attorney as soon as possible. You may need to preserve your rights under certain notice statutes, and Massachusetts statutes of limitations are very strict. Also, acting on your case promptly allows for prompt investigation and preservation of evidence.

Read More About Personal Injury Law in Massachusetts

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Client Reviews
  • "David really cared about me as an individual…and he really cared about seeking the justice that needed to be sought in the case."
    ★★★★★
  • "Ron got the insurance company to settle for the maximum on the policy. And so as a result of that, my son went back to school."
    ★★★★★
  • "Marc just guided us through the whole process. He told us exactly what would happen and how we needed to go about doing everything."
    ★★★★★
  • "I would recommend David…The outcome of my case, I was very pleased with it. I hope I don't have another accident, but if I do we'll be back to see David."
    ★★★★★
  • "Ron was excellent. He was on top of everything. He answered every question."
    ★★★★★
  • "Marc was extremely professional. I felt very confident that he knew exactly what he was doing. This is his area of practice and I had total confidence in him and I actually have recommended him to other people who have been in accidents."
    ★★★★★