Car Accidents FAQs
If you are involved in a car accident, the first step should be to call an ambulance. Next, all parties involved in the accident should exchange necessary information, including: the name(s) of the driver(s), contact number(s), and insurance details. If possible, you should take photographs of the scene of the crash, and of the respective cars. You should also get the name(s) of any witness(es), as well as their contact information. Finally, you should contact the police.
Your compensation rights in Massachusetts rely on several factors, including: who was responsible for the accident and the resulting type of injury(ies). Before you let an insurance provider determine the value of your case, you should contact a car accident attorney at the Bellotti Law Group, P.C.. To help you get the maximum amount of compensation for your case, our car accident attorneys are here to help you while you focus on getting better.
You may prove the other driver is at fault by collecting evidence that the other driver was responsible for the crash. Photographs taken at the scene of the crash, pictures of vehicle damage, witness statements, testimonies from car mechanics, and the police report of the accident are strong sources of evidence of the negligence of the other driver(s). If required, our car accident attorneys will help you gather evidence, including the testimony of an expert in accident reconstruction.
Generally, an insurance company will pay for the medical bills following the accident. Massachusetts is a "no-fault" car accident state. This means that the automobile insurance provider of each driver will pay for the medical expenses of their respective passengers, whether or not they may have caused the accident.
Under Massachusetts law, the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) section of your automobile insurance policy is responsible for paying your medical costs, lost wages, and any associated expenses up to $8,000. However, if you have private health insurance, the surplus should be sent to the health insurance carrier, even if the medical expenses exceed $2,000. If the health insurance carrier declines coverage, PIP will cover up to a limit of $8,000 for the remainder.
Massachusetts law limits lawsuits regarding automobile accidents. These lawsuits are limited to injured people who have sustained only those forms of injury or victims of accidents, that as a consequence of their injuries, have surpassed a certain dollar value in medical expenses. When one of the following requirements is met, Massachusetts accident victims (and their survivors, if an injury causes death) can sue for damages from the responsible party(ies) for a car accident:
- Death of the victim
- The victim suffers a “permanent and serious disfigurement”
- Fractured bone
- The loss of one of the “five senses”
- Limb loss
- When the medical costs from the injuries equal or exceed $2,000
You must say absolutely nothing to the other driver’s insurance company. The other insurance company aims to find a justification to give you the least possible amount of money. To that end, they will use whatever you may say against you. Instead, you should direct them to talk to our car accident attorney from Massachusetts. If you do not have an attorney, you should let them know that you are not going to speak with them until you seek legal advice.
It depends on the amount you are at fault for the car accident. Massachusetts is a modified comparative fault state. This means that if you are less than 50 percent at fault, you will only recover damages. You will then reduce the overall damage you incur by the percentage of fault you share in causing the accident. For instance, if you were found to be 25% liable for the accident, you will receive 75% of the overall damages. However, if you are held liable for more than 50 percent of the accident, you would not be able to recover any damages at all.
When a driver leaves a crash scene, it is referred to as a hit and run accident. In this sort of case, there are some safeguards to assist you. Massachusetts drivers are allowed, by law, to cover their motor vehicle insurance policy with Uninsured Motorist coverage. In a hit and run case, for the insurance carrier, our attorneys will make the claim directly. Accident victims may be worried that their insurance rates may be raised by such a claim. Luckily, this is not the case for uninsured motorists' claims. Your insurance carrier will not raise the rates if you are involved in a hit-and-run and the other driver was the party at fault.
In Massachusetts, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases, including car accidents, is three (3) years. You must file any lawsuit within three (3) years from the date of the car accident. The exceptions to this rule are limited, so it is important to seek out legal advice as soon as possible after your accident.
Every case is different. The amount of medical treatment needed by the person involved in the accident is the most important factor in deciding how long it will take to resolve a specific case. Before any claim is settled, the individual must obtain a medical result. If the claim cannot be settled, then the next move would always be a lawsuit. Based on which court is involved, litigation can take two (2) to three (3) years from the date a case is filed, to the date of trial. Other factors involved can be discussed once you speak with one of our accident attorneys.
If you or your loved one was injured in a car accident in Massachusetts, you should immediately consult with one of the car accident attorneys at the Bellotti Law Group, P.C.