Liability & Damages in Personal Injury Lawsuits
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Liability & Damages in Personal Injury Lawsuits

Every personal injury claim has two basic issues: liability and damages.

The first issue is who is liable for the damages you sustained and secondly, what type of damages have you sustained and to what extent have they affected you, physically, emotionally and monetarily? The likelihood is that you will need to retain the services of a Boston personal injury lawyer to prove both liability and damages in order to receive compensation.

Personal injury can be divided into 2 areas: Strict Liability & Intentional Wrongs.

Strict Liability is where you hold a manufacturer or designer responsible for a defective product. In a case of strict liability, you do not have to prove that the manufacturer or designer was intentionally negligent, instead you need to show that the product was unreasonably dangerous for the use for which it was intended. An example of this type of claim is a child’s toy that has been painted with lead paint. There have been many instances of this type of case with toys imported from China. Other times, the toy may contain small parts that can be removed and swallowed by a child and result in choking. Often, by the time the problem has been recognised and the product recalled, the damage has already been done. Children are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning or choking because they frequently put the toys into their mouths.

Intentional Wrongs, such as when someone plays a practical joke on you that results in an injury or unlawful imprisonment, is a rarer type of claim but one in which the perpetrator can still be held liable. A Boston personal injury lawyer can readily determine the nature of your claim and give you the legal advice you need, whether it is a matter of strict liability or intentional wrong, and a winning legal strategy.

How to identify a potential personal injury lawsuit

We are all aware of some of the more outrageous claims, such as the woman who sued McDonald’s when she spilled a hot cup of coffee in her lap. Stella Liebeck was ultimately awarded $2.7 million in punitive damages. Then there was the case of the two carpet layers, Gordon Falker and Gregory Roach, who suffered bodily burns when their container of carpet adhesive exploded because it had been placed next to a hot water heater. They claimed that despite the warnings of ‘flammable’ and ‘keep away from heat,’ they did not expect it to explode. They were awarded $8 million.

However, not all frivolous or outrageous lawsuits, even with the best Boston personal injury lawyer, succeed. When Stephen Joseph attempted to sue Kraft foods for putting trans-fat in Oreos, he dropped it like a hot cookie when the media besieged him. Richard Harris thought the beer he drank would make him more attractive to women because that’s what it said on the television advertisement. When the women failed to materialize and the beer did little more than make him vomit, he decided to bring a lawsuit against the brewery. The judge threw the case out of court.

While these cases might cause us to laugh or groan, there is a serious side to all of this.

If you think you may have suffered a personal injury and deserve compensation, consult a Boston personal injury lawyer.

The Boston personal injury lawyer will most likely sit down with you for no charge and help you to decide whether there is in fact liability, the cost of the injuries and the likelihood of success.


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