Damages such as medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and the type of injury suffered are all relevant to a variety of personal injury claims, such as motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall accidents and product liability accidents. While a municipal liability claim is a common type of claim brought in Massachusetts, unlike these other claim types, there may be a statutory limit as to how much money can be recovered.
If you’re considering a claim for municipal liability, before bringing any type of claim against the city or any other municipality, it’s imperative to check whether there is a statutory cap in place which would limit the amount of damages, and whether the type of bodily injury or damage is covered under the statutory scheme.
Municipal liability claims, whether brought against a city, town or county, may be difficult to bring particularly in light of the fact that many municipalities are self-insured, meaning that there may not be an insurance company indemnifying the municipality for damages assessed against them. In a municipal liability claim, it may be worth considering, when suing a municipality for personal injury or property damage, if the city is more likely to want to resolve the municipal liability claim or whether a trial to resolve the issue must take place.
Added “punishment” – or, in other words, added damages, such as an unfair and deceptive practice claim — generally may not be brought against a municipality. Also, pre-trial interest and the collection of litigation costs associated with the municipal liability claim may also be limited or not recoverable against a municipality. Before bringing any type of claim, it is imperative to check the statutory scheme to see whether it is worthwhile to pursue such a personal injury claim or property damage claim. Unlike other responsible parties, such as landlords and operators of motor vehicles, there are unique considerations when suing a municipality and bringing a claim of municipal liability against in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.