Have you recently been injured in Boston due to someone else’s negligence and wondering if pursuing legal action is worth it? It is! You might be pleasantly surprised by the compensation you get. The Department of Justice states that nearly 96% of personal injury cases end in settlements.
But how much compensation can you actually expect? We have no short answer, as it depends on your case’s specifics. However, you’d be happy to know some personal injury cases can even leave you a 6-figure -settlement richer. Skeptical? Check out these ten personal injury cases that can lead to a 6-figure settlement in Boston, MA.
1. Injuries Caused by Dangerous Trees
The charm of having mature trees on your property is undeniable. They beautify your property, provide an oasis for relaxation, and even boost your home’s value. But while these perks are amazing, they come with a responsibility to ensure safety. Massachusetts laws require property owners to inspect and evaluate their trees for potential hazards. If a tree is deemed hazardous, they must address the issue by removing dangerous branches or cutting down the tree altogether.
When you or someone you know sustains an injury from a falling branch or tree, you have the legal right to book a lawsuit against the property owner. But the catch is that the key factor determining liability is whether the property owner was aware of the tree’s hazardous condition. If it’s found that they were aware but didn’t take action, they can be held accountable for the resulting injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional distress.
Proving liability in such instances requires carefully examining the incident’s circumstances. You (the victim) need to establish that the property owner had legal responsibility for the tree, they failed to maintain it adequately, you were harmed in the process, and your injury is a direct result of the falling branch or tree. While complex, these cases often lead to favorable 6-figure settlements, frequently exceeding $150,000, depending on the specific details.
Hiring a professional arborist may strengthen your chances of obtaining this settlement. Their experience in tree service can provide crucial evidence regarding whether the property owner negligently maintained the tree, which significantly enhances your case.
2. Exposure to Biohazardous Waste
Biohazardous or biomedical waste encompasses any waste materials that pose a potential risk to human health or Mother Nature due to biological, chemical, or physical properties. Biowaste is typically generated in healthcare settings, research facilities, and labs
It can range depending on the source but often include used needles, contaminated dressings, tissues, bodily fluids, microbiological cultures, and other materials that may carry pathogens or toxins. Unfortunately, exposure to biowaste can lead to serious health risks. For instance, if not properly handled or disposed of, the pathogens in this waste can spread to healthcare workers, waste management, or the general public.
To mitigate such occurrences, Massachusetts requires entities with biohazardous materials to manage and dispose of their waste safely. Alternatively, they may hire bio waste management companies to do the dirty work as it’s an ethical, and social responsibility to ensure the waste is well-handled.
Failure to comply could result in fines, citations, and legal actions. Healthcare workers and individuals exposed to these wastes, especially due to negligence, are also often welcomed to file a personal injury suit. The potential for a 6-figure settlement depends on particular exposure circumstances and the damages suffered. To push for a reasonable settlement, victims should:
- Get immediate attention to establish a connection between exposure and the damages suffered.
- Gather evidence, including medical records, expert opinions, and the documentation of the biohazardous waste involved
- Secure legal representation from experienced personal injury attorneys in Boston
- Collaborate with medical experts to establish the link between exposure and their health conditions.
3. Exposure to Toxic Chemicals
Toxic chemicals in household products, industrial processes and products or even pest extermination services, can pose serious health risks to individuals who come into contact with them. These harmful chemicals can originate from pesticides, cleaning agents, and industrial pollutants.
The harm they cause varies depending on exposure. It ranges from immediate symptoms like skin irritation and respiratory issues to severe, chronic health problems, including cancer, neurological disorders, and reproductive complications.
That is why the laws in Boston mandate proper labeling, storage, transportation, and disposal of hazardous substances. Victims of toxic chemical exposure have the right to pursue legal action and seek compensation against the parties responsible. And they can get a pretty handsome settlement for such a suit. For instance, in 2014, Unilever Home & Personal Care USA, got a 3-year probation and paid over $1 million in fines for improperly and knowingly managing its industrial process wastewater.
4. Serious Burn Injuries
Serious burn injuries can occur while you’re at home, work, or even on the move and may be due to a fire, electricity, or even chemicals. Whatever the setting, or the cause, these injuries can potentially end with you having physical limitations and scars.
For instance, severe burns may damage nerves, tendons, and muscles, resulting in severe scarring requiring reconstructive surgery or permanent physical damage. You’re entitled to a burn injury claim if you’ve suffered a serious burn in Boston. However, note that, in Massachusetts, cases involving serious burns are subject to the legal principles of negligence.
That means you’ll need to prove the defendant owed you a duty of care and that they breached it by acting negligently. You must also establish that their negligence directly caused your burn and that you suffered actual damages, including medical expenses, pain, and suffering, or lost wages.
Beyond proving these four elements of negligence, you’d also need to file the lawsuit within the statute of limitations, typically three years from the date of the injury in Boston. While the process might seem hectic, it often pays off. For instance, a New Mexico jury once awarded a McDonald’s customer $2.7 million in punitive damages after she sued the franchise for burns that she got from their hot coffee.
5. Unsafe Work Environments
Every employer has a legal duty to provide a healthy, safer work environment for employees. This duty is outlined in various state and federal regulations, including the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), which sets standards for workplace safety. The Department of Labor Standards in Boston also expects employers to identify and address potential hazards, provide proper training, and implement safety measures to prevent accidents and injuries.
If you’re an employee, you can file a lawsuit against your employer if they’re negligent or fail to provide a safe workspace. Note, however, your suit is only valid if their negligence or violation presents an imminent threat to your well-being or directly causes your injuries.
Besides pursuing legal action, you can refuse work, request health and safety standards training, and even request an OSHA inspection if your employer violates work safety rules. And if you get injured due to unsafe working conditions, you can sue for a 6-figure settlement. Consulting with a qualified workers’ compensation attorney who understands the laws surrounding workplace injuries in Massachusetts will significantly increase the likelihood of a successful settlement.
6. Work-related Accidents
Work-related accidents are a pretty prevalent problem in Boston. According to MassCOSH, a non-profit organization for occupational safety, there were 51 workplace deaths in Massachusetts. While this figure might seem insignificant, it doesn’t account for the non-fatal injuries. These injuries vary in nature but often include:
- falls, slips, and trips
- Cuts and bruises from contact with equipment
- Hearing loss
- Respiratory issues due to exposure to harmful substances or environments
Work-related accident incidents also vary in prevalence from one industry to another in Boston. For instance, industries like tex tile product mills, furnace repairs, truck transportation, and state government hospitals report higher rates of work-related accidents.
Thankfully, workers who suffer work-related accidents can receive respite through worker compensational laws. These laws are designed to provide financial and medical benefits to injured or ill employees due to their job-related activities. Can they get a 6-figure settlement? In a word, yes. In more words, OSHA reports that job-related injuries cost employers an estimated $1 billion weekly in compensation.
7. Slip and Fall Accidents
Although they might seem insignificant, slip-and-fall accidents account for a million emergency room visits. These accidents can happen to anyone and anywhere in Boston and are often due to slippery tile or flooring surfaces, uneven flooring, and sometimes even poor lighting.
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident in Boston, whether or not you’ll get a 6-figure settlement or any compensation depends on the accident’s circumstances and whether negligence played a role.
As with most personal injury cases, to prove negligence in a slip and fall accident, you must prove the property owner (where you slipped) caused or knew of the hazardous condition. You also need to demonstrate they failed to correct the condition when there was a reasonable opportunity to do so and that their negligence is the direct cause of your injury. If successful, you may receive compensation between $50,000 and a 6-figure settlement, depending on the nature of your case.
8. Defective Product Cases
A defective product case in the realm of personal injury refers to a legal claim that arises when a person is harmed by a product manufactured, designed, labeled, or marketed dangerously or unfit for its intended use.
For instance, if a manufacturer produces glass shower doors using substandard materials, the doors could break into sharp shards while someone is using the shower. This could result in cuts, lacerations, and other injuries to the person using the shower. In this scenario, if the injured party can demonstrate that the glass shower doors were defective due to manufacturing flaws and that these defects directly caused their injuries, they might have grounds for a defective product case.
That said, when handled by an experienced lawyer, defective product cases could result in lucrative settlements. For example, a Lincoln town widow once obtained a $43.7 million settlement from Ford Motor Co after alleging the location of their Ford’s fuel tank caused a fire that killed her husband and maimed her.
9. Vehicle Accidents
Vehicle accidents, while common, can result in a 6-figure settlement depending on the circumstances of the accident and the severity of injuries sustained. Accidents that result in severe injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, multiple fractures, permanent disabilities, or disfigurement typically yield higher settlements. This is due to the extensive medical treatment, rehabilitation they require and their long-term impact on the victim’s life.
A handsome compensation is also more likely if the injuries, whether from a moving truck or a regular car, prevent the victim from working temporarily or permanently. You may also get good compensation for a personal injury caused by an auto accident if you prove pain, suffering, emotional distress, and reduced quality of life.
10. Unsafe Living Environments
Live in a space with poorly maintained staircases, faulty electrical wiring, dysfunctional HVAC systems, or one that lacks proper security measures? You are living in what is legally known as an unsafe living environment.
Unsafe living environments refer to conditions in which a person’s home or living space poses hazards or dangers that result in injuries. These conditions could be due to negligent maintenance, inadequate security measures, or failure to address known safety risks. You can pursue legal action against the property owner if you’re injured due to such conditions. Proving liability in such cases takes demonstrating that the property owner had a duty of care to maintain a safe living environment and failed to do so, directly causing the injuries.
When pursuing legal action against such a case, your compensation can be potentially higher if the injuries result in substantial medical expenses, pain, and suffering. You can also enhance the chances of a good settlement by collecting strong evidence that the property owner was negligent.
In Boston, MA, the potential for a 6-figure settlement is a reality for those who have suffered due to negligence. Each of the cases above holds unique circumstances that can influence compensation. But keep in mind such settlements aren’t always a sure thing. The path to higher settlements often lies in the severity of injuries, liability, damages, and the impact on victims’ lives. If you’re navigating these legal waters, consulting with experienced personal injury professionals can help you understand your rights and maximize the compensation you deserve.