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Massachusetts Lawyers and Attorneys for Car Accidents
If you have been in car accident and think your injuries will not be compensated fully without a lawyer, you are probably right.
Most insurance companies (maybe even your own) make a business decision to deny responsibility for injuries resulting from an accident. Regardless of who is at fault an insurance adjuster will usually deny liability for an injury inflicted by the driver of the automobile the company insures. Insurance companies do this for two reasons: 1) It saves the company money, because many people do not get a lawyer and pursue the available insurance; and 2) The insurer has a legal duty to protect its insured from injury lawsuits. Thus in the vast majority of cases an insurance company will not pay the full value of a claim unless a lawyer is involved. In fact, without an attorney, the insurance companies will not even tell you what they insure or the amount of the available coverage. Because of these conflicting interests you should not make a statement to an insurance company, even your own (other than to report the accident itself), until you have an attorney.
In Massachusetts the minimum amount of legally required insurance coverage is up to $20,000 per person in an accident. Thus most vehicles will have this amount of insurance to compensate you. In some cases the medical bills and permanent injuries will exceed the $20,000 and a good lawyer will be needed to locate additional assets. Commercial vehicles or higher income individuals may have policies of up to several million. There may also be many different (undisclosed) policies that cover the driver(s), passenger(s) and vehicle(s).
In most two vehicle collisions the driver at fault is reasonably clear. Insurers use common sense and guidelines called Standards of Fault, which rely heavily on which vehicle had the right of way. Witnesses may aid the determination of who is at fault or in a few cases overturn it, but the vast majority of property and auto damage cases are resolved by insurance companies referencing these standards. However, if there is an injury the insurers calculus changes (especially in serious injury cases). Insurance companies will usually deny any liability or responsibilty for the accident, while at the same time offering a low ball figure. Your attorney can put a stop to this game playing by demanding to know the policy limits (a right accorded to injured people under Massachusetts law); and threatening to file a lawsuit. In many cases a lawsuit will need to begin before an insurer will even make a "serious offer."
Common accident scenarios include:
Rear End Accidents: Among the most common, they may result in whiplash. The driver who hits the person in front is usually (though not always) at fault.
Left Hand or Right Hand Turn Collisions: Result in side impacts; fault is determined by who had right of way- usually vehicle going straight.
Head on Collisions: Many fatal accidents result because of the full combined forces; usually occur during attempts to pass another vehicle.
Filing your Accident claim
In Massachusetts, a person injured in a car accident can bring a lawsuit in the event of: death; broken bone; permanent or serious disfigurement; a lost "sense" such as hearing, sight, taste or smell; loss of a body part; or, where "reasonable and necessary" medical bills equal or exceed $2,000. In general, the $2000 is the basic threshold for many whiplash, back and neck injuries. It is important to seek all appropriate medical attention right away.
Car Accidents.com ( A Massachusetts-based web site) is affiliated with Massachusetts lawyers who have experience handling all automobile claims ranging from simple rear end accidents to helping families of people killed or seriously injured in accidents. The attorneys handle the case for no money up front, and then deduct their fee from any eventual settlement. Thus there is no financial risk to you.
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