Injuries Caused by a Public Employer
Know Your Rights to Get the Best Recovery Possible
Public employers in Massachusetts include almost every agency and department of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and its cities, towns, and counties. This includes claims against the MBTA. The employees of these municipal bodies drive vehicles and conduct themselves in ways that impact our lives. They can cause car accidents, injure someone while on the job, and even cause a wrongful death.
Bodily injury claims against public employers are covered by G.L. c. 258. Under G.L. c. 258, s. 4, a specific notice letter must go out to the head of the public agency responsible for the injury within two years of the incident. This process is typically called "presentment." Failure to present your claim letter under the statute will result in your claim being denied and you losing your rights to a recovery.
Once presentment is made, the public employer then has six months to accept or deny your claim in writing. In practice, the agency will either deny your claim or wait out the six months without responding. After this six month waiting period, you can then file suit against the appropriate public employer.
In addition to the two year presentment requirement, the statute of limitations for claims against public employers is three years. If a lawsuit is not brought within three years of the injury, you will likely lose your right to a bodily injury recovery against the public employer.
Damages against public employers are capped at $100,000 under G.L. c. 258, s. 2.
Massachusetts comparative fault rules apply to claims against public employers.
If you have been injured as the result of an incident with a public employer, there are several important steps you can take to improve your chances of getting the best recovery possible:
Get the medical treatment you need for your injuries. Your health cannot be replaced. Do not delay. Go to the hospital or your doctor immediately if you are experiencing any injuries from an on-the-job accident.
Preserve all evidence of the incident, including getting witness names and contact information and photographs of your injuries and from the scene of the incident.
Call a lawyer! There are many rules and laws that apply to your claim against public employers. Speak to a professional today to make sure you have an expert on your side. Hiring a lawyer to fight for you at no out-of-pocket cost is the smartest move you can make.
With over a decade of experience representing clients injured in accidents with public employees, the professionals at the Law Offices of Samuel A. Segal know what it takes to get you the best recovery possible.
The time to file your claim is limited, so reach out to us today for your Free Consultation.
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