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He Who Hesitates

It is generally stated that personal injury cases in Massachusetts, really tort cases, have a three year statute of limitations. The problem is that, as with most generalizations, there are exceptions. In suing a public agency, such as the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), the plaintiff must bring the action within two years. In suing a municipality or, as the statute says, a political subdivision thereof, a suit must be brought within three years but an appropriate notice ‘ referred to as ‘presentment’ ‘ must be done within two years. There are numerous twists and turns for minors and for various entities who have made what is termed, ‘improvements to realty.’ The medical malpractice statute and another statute, to which I have just referred, the Statute of Repose, present other traps.

In essence, three years is a good guide. However, it is just that; it is only a guide. The best approach is to bring a potential case to the immediate attention of an attorney. Waiting is fraught with risks and, in a worst case scenario, can preclude your right to recovery. Bear in mind that if the lawyer misses the deadline, you have a cause of action against that lawyer. If instead, you have failed to bring your personal injury case to a lawyer, you will have absolutely no recourse.

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  • The Boston firm of Feinberg & Alban, P.C. specializes its practice in the area of personal injury.

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