Boston Catastrophic Injury Lawyer
No one in Boston expects to suffer a catastrophic injury. Tragedy strikes when you least expect it. A commuter’s legs get crushed in a multi-car pileup on Storrow Drive. A tourist falls overboard while on a sightseeing cruise on Boston Harbor. A hockey player suffers a spinal cord injury during a pickup game at a rink in Dorchester.
We sometimes refer to these incidents as freak accidents, but more often than not, they’re preventable, and they happen because someone other than the injured victim—an individual, a corporation, or an institution—made an irresponsible choice that resulted in life-altering harm.
Finkelstein & Partners represents Boston-area victims of catastrophic injuries in legal actions seeking compensation from those at-fault parties. Contact us today to learn how we can help if a catastrophic injury has affected you or a loved one.
About Our Team
For more than 60 years, Finkelstein & Partners has set the standard for sophisticated, tireless, successful advocacy on behalf of victims of personal injuries. Founded in a single office in New York’s Hudson Valley, our practice has steadily expanded to become a national powerhouse. Today, we represent clients in Boston and throughout New England in legal actions seeking maximum compensation for preventable, catastrophic injuries.
Our team has compiled an impressive track record of successful high-stakes, complicated personal injury matters. Our achievements do not guarantee results, but they do give our clients the peace of mind of knowing that we know how to win cases against even the most powerful, well-funded opponents.
What Makes Catastrophic Injuries Different
As lawyers for victims of other peoples’ careless and reckless actions, we take all injuries (even so-called “minor” ones) seriously. Still, we recognize that some injuries take an especially heavy toll on victims and their loved ones. We refer to these as catastrophic injuries.
A catastrophic injury causes physical, emotional, and financial harm that will stay with you throughout your life. Virtually any type of injury can qualify as catastrophic, depending on the circumstances.
Many catastrophic injuries, however, fall into these categories:
- Spinal cord injuries, especially those resulting in paralysis
- Brain injuries, both traumatic (TBIs) and non-traumatic, that cause permanent unconsciousness or severe physical, emotional, and cognitive impairments
- Severe burns and other injuries that result in disfigurement and scarring
- Crushed and/or amputated limbs or appendages
- Loss of bodily functions, including sight, fertility, or major organ function.
- Chronic and/or terminal illness, such as severe respiratory illness or cancer
Catastrophic injuries have a broad and deep impact on the victim’s life and the lives of the victim’s loved ones. They often limit the victim’s future physical or mental development. They deprive victims and families of important relationships. They require extensive care and impose enormous financial costs.
In other words, every injury is serious, but in every way you might imagine, a catastrophic injury is worse.
How Catastrophic Injuries Happen
As we alluded to at the outset, catastrophic injuries can happen anywhere in Boston, at any time.
The bulk of the catastrophic injury cases we handle at Finkelstein & Partners, however, tend to involve:
- Motor vehicle accidents, which constitute a leading cause of severe injury nationwide according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Falls, which disproportionately affect seniors, young children, and construction workers, and contribute to tens of thousands of brain and spinal cord injuries annually
- Cycling and pedestrian accidents, most often those involving collisions with motor vehicles
- Boating accidents, including vessel collisions with other vessels and fixed objects, and near-drownings
- Swimming pool accidents, especially diving into shallow water, falls on hard pool decks, and near-drownings
- Sports and recreational accidents, including collisions on playing fields, overexertion injuries (e.g., heatstroke), and falls at speed (such as while skiing or skateboarding)
- Use of defective products that dangerously malfunction and cause injuries directly (such as by exploding) or indirectly (such as by triggering a fall or motor vehicle accident)
- Toxic exposures, both acute and long-term, resulting in severe illness.
- Medical errors that cause injuries to patients or exacerbate existing health conditions
This is not a complete list, of course. It wouldn’t be possible for us to catalog all the ways a catastrophic injury might happen in Boston. No matter how a catastrophic injury occurs, the team at Finkelstein & Partners possesses a wealth of experience and know-how that can help victims secure the compensation they need from the parties whose dangerous decisions and actions caused them harm.
How We Can Help Boston Victims of Catastrophic Injury
Finkelstein & Partners understands the challenges that face victims of catastrophic injuries and their families. Our mission is to get them the compensation they need and deserve, so that they have the resources they need to confront the challenges and expenses ahead.
How do we go about getting our clients paid for their injuries? That depends entirely on the facts and circumstances of each case. For us, there is no such thing as a “cookie-cutter” catastrophic injury claim. Every matter we handle involves a unique individual client whose life has been permanently altered by an unexpected, tragic event. Our team gives every client personalized attention and services tailored to that client’s specific needs and priorities.
That said, the job we do for each client often entails two important tasks.
We Identify Who Owes Our Client Compensation, and Are Prepared to Hold Anyone Accountable
A catastrophic injury can easily overwhelm a victim’s life, relationships, and perspectives, and make it difficult to know exactly who should bear the blame for what happened. As lawyers for catastrophic injury victims, our job is to bring our wealth of experience and know-how to bear in investigating the circumstances of our clients’ injuries. We do what they cannot: we dig into the details and identify the party or parties who should face legal and financial accountability for the devastating harm our client suffered.
After more than 60 years of representing injured individuals, we know that the evidence can lead us in many directions. What may seem like a straightforward auto accident in which one driver made a tragic error that harmed another could, in fact, turn out to be a case of a defective auto part involving the liability of that part’s manufacturer. Or, a mistake by a single medical provider might reflect a dangerous decision by hospital administrators to under-staff a critical care unit.
Catastrophically injured individuals who hire Finkelstein & Partners get a team of attorneys who are prepared to follow the facts wherever they lead. Our firm has successfully represented clients in legal actions against some of America’s largest corporations. No matter how complicated the case or well-funded the adversary, we know how to win.
We Evaluate Our Client’s Injuries and Needs and Pursue the Maximum Compensation Available
Knowing whom to hold accountable for our clients’ injuries and losses is only half of the equation, however. The other half involves figuring out just how much money our clients should receive, and how much it’s realistic to believe they actually can hope to receive.
In this way, too, our decades of experience at Finkelstein & Partners serve our clients handsomely.
Our experienced attorneys and legal professionals understand how to evaluate two critical factors:
- The scope of our clients’ injuries and losses. We understand that the harm our clients have suffered from a catastrophic injury runs deep and wide and that our job is to appreciate and calculate the full extent of it. We work diligently to uncover all financial impacts of a catastrophic injury on our clients, both past, present, and (often most importantly) future. We also strive to understand and evaluate the non-financial impacts of our clients’ injuries—how their circumstances prevent them from living the lives they dreamed of and enjoying the relationships most important to them. We frequently enlist the help of medical and financial experts to help us quantify these harms. Our goal: to make sure that any action we take for our clients seeks every last penny that they deserve as compensation for what happened to them.
- The financial resources available to pay our clients what they deserve. Our team at Finkelstein & Partners also understands that even the strongest case has little value if you can’t find someone to pay for the damages your client has suffered. Drawing on our decades of experience and legal acumen, we know where to look for funds that might compensate our clients, and how to apply legal principles to compel payment to our clients from those funds. It’s a job that takes creativity, determination, and professionalism, which are characteristics that our team has in abundant supply.
As we mentioned above, we can never guarantee to our clients that they will receive the funds they deserve. And, we work hard to establish realistic expectations for our clients, and to explain in plain and straightforward terms the risks and obstacles that may arise as their case proceeds. With that said, we are also proud of our firm’s long list of achievements on behalf of catastrophically injured clients and can say with confidence that we do not take cases unless we believe we can deliver a favorable outcome for our client.
You Suffered a Catastrophic Injury in Boston. What Now?
We recognize that you have many decisions to make after suffering a catastrophic injury, and picking a lawyer is just one of them. Oftentimes, it’s not easy to know what choice to make first, or how one might impact another.
Here are two observations that six decades of experience have taught us and our clients about priorities after suffering a catastrophic injury.
First, seeking appropriate medical care is most important. Though it might not seem possible right now, a catastrophic injury can get better … or worse. The direction it takes can depend on your diligence in getting the care you need and doing what your doctor says. If there is one bit of wisdom we can share that we hope you will take away from reading this page, that’s it. Make your care and treatment your first, top, and most enduring priority. If you do that, you put yourself in the most favorable position possible to confront the other challenges you might face.
Second, talking to a lawyer as soon as possible can make your life much more manageable. There are several reasons for this. To begin, your legal rights to compensation for your injuries come with an expiration date, called a statute of limitations. In Massachusetts, in most (but not all) cases, that date falls three years after the date of your injury.
Missing this deadline can result in the loss of your rights altogether. But also, like food that sits in your refrigerator, the expiration date is not the target date for taking action.
A skilled lawyer may well need all three of those years to build the strongest possible case on your behalf. And evidence critical to your claim for compensation may start disappearing almost immediately after you get hurt. The sooner you contact a lawyer, the better your odds of securing that evidence and winning your case.
In addition to giving you the strongest possible chance of succeeding in a compensation claim, lawyers also serve as advisors and counselors in the numerous decisions you may have to make about your life after a catastrophic injury.
At Finkelstein & Partners, we pride ourselves on being our clients’ allies and advocates. We can guide, explain, and facilitate their interactions with insurance companies, we can advocate on their behalf with social services agencies and charities, and we can act as their representative in negotiations with impatient creditors.
In short, catastrophically injured individuals often need a team on their side. Lawyers are valuable team members who can contribute from day one.
Boston Catastrophic Injury FAQ
All bodily injuries impact your life, but some injuries have the potential to alter your future. You may not fully recover from a catastrophic injury. Catastrophic injuries include spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and amputations.
The lingering effects of a catastrophic injury change your life forever:
- Loss of sight or hearing
- Loss of fertility
- Brain damage
- Loss of limbs
If you sustained a catastrophic injury because of another party’s negligence, you could pursue a settlement.
You should contact a catastrophic injury attorney as soon as possible to protect your legal rights. It is a myth that you do not need an attorney unless the insurance company refuses to offer you a payout. Negotiations are an important part of what an attorney does, but they do more.
A lawyer can establish liability
A catastrophic injury payout is expensive for the insurance company. To lower costs, the insurance company’s lawyers may unfairly blame you.
Your attorney makes sure that your accident is thoroughly investigated and presents evidence to support your claim. They prevent the insurance company from attempting to devalue your claim.
A lawyer can help maximize your settlement
A settlement will help you recover both the economic and non-economic damages you incurred due to your injuries.
Economic damages are those that have an associated price tag.
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Property damage such as car repairs
Non-Economic damages are the intangible effects of a catastrophic injury.
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Permanent disfigurement or scarring
If another party is responsible for your catastrophic injury, they should have to pay for these accident-related expenses.
A lawyer can represent you in court
If a court trial could be in your best interest, your attorney will let you know. As the injured party, the choice to go to trial is always yours to make. Many individuals do settle their catastrophic injury cases out of court.
If you choose to go to court, you will need legal representation. The sooner your attorney can get started on your case, the better prepared you both will be.
It is difficult to talk about your injuries from a monetary standpoint. No amount of money can make up for how your life has changed.
Catastrophic injuries have more monetary value than less severe injuries. Lifelong expenses can reach staggering amounts. Listed below are some expenses that could arise after a catastrophic injury.
Catastrophic injuries can result in a permanent disability. Most people’s homes are not handicap accessible.
If you require a wheelchair, your home will need renovations to be accessible. Renovations can include the installation of ramps, a wheelchair-accessible shower, and lowered kitchen cabinets and countertops.
Around the clock care
You may need help with activities like getting dressed, bathing, and taking medications. A loved one may have to quit their job to take over this role, or you may need to hire a personal care attendant.
Loss of income
A catastrophic injury can end your career. Losing the ability to work is financially and emotionally devastating. Depending on your age, you may have had several working years or even decades left in your career.
Lifelong medical expenses
You may need lifelong medical care for your catastrophic injuries. That includes physical therapy, prescription medications, and regular doctor visits.
A catastrophic injury claim is a type of personal injury lawsuit. While each case is different, they all center around the concept of negligence.
Someone—either an individual or an entity—owed you a duty of care. They failed to meet that responsibility by acting negligently.
Examples of a breach of duty of care include:
- A distracted driver ran a red light. They hit you while you were crossing the street.
- The owners of a sports stadium failed to perform routine maintenance. You were injured when a guard rail broke.
- A city allowed its roads to fall into disrepair. You sustained injuries when your bicycle hit a pothole.
- A dog owner failed to obey local leash laws. Their dog attacked you while you were on public property.
In many situations, you sue the responsible party’s insurance company. However, you can hold uninsured parties liable for your catastrophic injuries.
A catastrophic injury can happen anywhere at any time. Many people are seriously injured while going about their daily lives. They are in an accident while driving to work, watching a sports game, or out shopping.
However, there are certain places in Boston where a catastrophic injury may be more likely to occur.
Dangerous Boston roadways and intersections
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) records top crash locations throughout the city.
Three roadways with a history of motor vehicle crashes and pedestrian accidents are:
- The northern portion of the Washington Street and Arborway/203 intersection
- Where Melnea Cass Boulevard and General Casimir Pulaski Skyway intersect with Massachusetts Avenue and Southampton Street
- Washington Street between Lenox Street and East Brookline Street
Any busy road shared by vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians presents dangers.
Sports stadiums and concert venues
Catastrophic injuries can occur when you least expect it—while enjoying leisure activities with family and friends. Large crowds coupled with outdated facilities and a lack of building maintenance can lead to severe injuries. CBS Boston covered the story of a woman who sustained catastrophic injuries at Fenway Park. She bumped an elevator door, and it swung open, causing her to fall down the elevator shaft.
The winters in Boston are harsh. The temperature often hovers at or below freezing. It is common for sidewalks and other pathways to be icy, snow-packed, and slick.
Homeowners, apartment managers, business owners, and the city all must keep their premises safe. Proper snow removal plus salt and sand can reduce slip and fall accidents.
No. You have a limited time after an injury to file a legal claim. This deadline is called a statute of limitations. Under Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 260, § 2A, you have three years to take legal action.
The courts will likely refuse your case if you try to file a catastrophic injury claim after this deadline. However, there may be some exceptions. You should speak with a lawyer if you have questions about the statute of limitations.
If someone dies due to a catastrophic injury, certain surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
A wrongful death settlement can cover:
- Certain funeral, cremation, and burial expenses
- Any medical care that the deceased received for their fatal injuries
- Loss of companionship and affection, for the surviving spouse
- Loss of parental guidance and nurture, for the deceased’s minor children
- The cost to hire someone to perform tasks the deceased did, such as childcare, housekeeping, and home maintenance.
- Any income that the deceased would have earned, had they survived
Often, the deceased’s spouse or children can file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, each individual’s family and circumstances are different. Speak with a lawyer about your eligibility to file a wrongful death claim.
Not necessarily. Many catastrophic injury cases do settle out of court. A trial costs both sides time and money, so it can help everyone to come to an out-of-court agreement.
Also, a trial can be uncertain for both you and the insurance company. There is no way to predict how a jury will react to your case.
That said, sometimes, a court trial is the best route to take. As the claimant, you decide if you want to go to court or accept what the insurance company offers. Your attorney can advise you of your options, but the choice is yours to make.
Personal injury law firms handle catastrophic injury claims. Many of these firms work on what is called a contingency fee basis. The attorneys take their fees out of your settlement.
In addition to attorney fees, you may have to pay court costs and other expenses. Before hiring a Boston catastrophic injury lawyer, you should understand their fee structure.
Ask these questions:
- Do you charge a flat fee, an hourly rate, or a percentage of my settlement?
- When are your fees due?
- What other costs may arise during my case?
- What expenses do I have to pay if I lose my case and do not win a settlement?
Many law firms offer a free consultation, where you can get answers to these questions.
There are dozens of attorneys in the Boston area willing to take on catastrophic injury cases. However, some law firms are more qualified than others to handle these unique cases. When you look for a lawyer, consider these attributes.
Experience with catastrophic injuries
Not all lawyers have much experience with catastrophic injury cases. These types of lawsuits require a certain level of manpower and resources that not every law firm can provide.
Offers a free consultation
Attorneys who offer a free consultation are serious about pursuing justice for their clients. They believe that it should not cost you anything to find out if you have a valid legal case or not. A consultation is also an opportunity for you to decide if the attorney is a good fit for your case.
Easy to contact
If a problem or question arises, you do not want to wait for answers. It should be easy to get a hold of someone at the firm to discuss your case.
Everyone has a preferred way to communicate. Some catastrophic injury law firms have an online portal where clients can check up on their cases. Firms may also have a live chat or 24/7 phone support.
Flexible meeting options
A catastrophic injury can leave you with a lengthy hospitalization or stay at a rehabilitation facility. You or your loved ones will not be able to travel to attorney appointments—you already have enough on your plate.
Look for a lawyer that offers flexible meeting options. They should be willing to travel to you or offer online meeting options.
Catastrophic injury cases often take longer to settle than cases with less severe injuries.
These factors can affect how long your case takes to settle successfully:
- Any debate over who is liable, and to what extent
- If there is more than one responsible party
- If your case settles out of court, or if you go to trial
We cannot predict how long it will take to receive your settlement, but we will do our best to bring your case to the fastest resolution we can without sacrificing any of the money you need to deal with your injuries.
Experienced Lawyers for Catastrophically Injured Bostonians
After suffering a catastrophic injury in Boston, you need an ally and advocate who can fight to get you the money you need and deserve. Contact Finkelstein & Partners today at (877) 472-3061 for a free consultation to learn how we can help.