If you suffer injuries in a car accident, our Boston car accident lawyers are here to help you get a fair settlement for your losses. The compensatory damages go towards covering your medical costs, lost wages as well as other losses that are a result of your crash-related injuries. In the case of more serious cases, seeking compensation is also a way of holding the at-fault party accountable.
Before you file a compensation claim for car accident injuries, it is important to understand certain basics. Here is a look at the Massachusetts state laws, procedures and other standard practices that apply to car accident cases.
Things to Do After a Boston Car Accident
When you are involved in a car crash, you are understandably shaken right after the accident. That is if you have minor injuries. In the case of more serious injuries, you may be unconscious or in a lot of pain. That being said, it is still important to follow some practices which can improve your odds of winning a fair compensation later. These are as follows:
Get medical help: It is highly recommended that you always get medical help in the wake of a car accident. Some injuries are not immediately visible while others which appear minor may actually become worse a day or two later. If you refuse treatment right after the crash but later discover your injuries, the insurance company can claim that your injuries were not related to the crash. Getting medical help right after the crash puts the possibility or presence of an injury on the record. This supports your compensation claim if and when you file one.
Gather evidence: It is possible to gather a lot of valuable evidence on a crash scene. If you have a smartphone, you can easily snap photos of the crash site. The photos should cover all the vehicles involved, the visible damage to the vehicles, the final resting position of the vehicles, your own injuries as well as any objects or landmarks nearby. All this material will later be useful in filing your claim. It will also persuade the insurer to give weightage to your claim.
Talk to witnesses: Any witnesses on the scene can play a key role in substantiating your version of the events later. So make sure you talk to the witnesses and get their contact details.
Consult a lawyer: Before you sign anything, accept a settlement from the insurer, or make any other decision of the kind, it is critically important to consult reputed Boston car accident lawyers. A good lawyer will help you make the right decisions without being tricked by the insurance companies.
Massachusetts Laws That Apply to Car Crashes
A number of state laws apply to car crash cases that take place in Boston and across Massachusetts. A quick rundown of these laws is given below.
- A three-year statute of limitations applies to all car crash compensation claims in Boston and anywhere in Massachusetts. The period is counted from the day of the actual crash-related injury.
- Massachusetts is a no-fault state. So if you have a car crash in Boston resulting in injuries, you must first contact your own insurer to cover you. However, there are exceptions when you may file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
- A modified form of the comparative negligence rule is used in car accident claims in Massachusetts. According to this modified form, the amount of damages you receive will be reduced in proportion to your percentage of fault in a car accident. If your fault is above 50%, you do not receive any damages at all.
- There is no cap on the maximum amount of economic or non-economic damages.
There are various other legal requirements that must also be met in a compensation claim. It is best to get the help of Boston car accident lawyers when preparing and filing a claim. This ensures that your claim is sound and legally correct.
Damages You Can Seek in Car Accident Claims
When you are injured in a car accident, you are legally entitled to seek the full range of expenses caused by the injury. These include:
- Medical costs. You can seek damages to cover costs of doctor’s treatment, hospital visits, prescription medicine, therapy, rehabilitation, medical equipment, medical tests as well as any physical or residential accommodations required to cater to your injury.
- Property damage. Compensatory damages can include any property damage you suffer due to the crash.
- Lost wages. If a crash injury leaves you unable to resume work for a period, you can file for lost wages. You can also file for lost future earning potential and capability if the limitation is long-term or permanent.
- Non-economic damages. These cover the pain, suffering, distress as well as any social or mental issues you have to face in the wake of the crash.
When Can You File a Lawsuit in a Car Accident Claim?
Typically, your injury-related losses are covered by your insurer as Massachusetts is a no-fault state. However, there are circumstances where you can legally sue the at-fault driver. This is possible when you meet one of the following requirements:
- You suffer a permanent disfigurement after a crash-related injury.
- You have a broken or fractured bone.
- The medical costs of your crash injury are $2,000 or more.
- You suffer permanent loss of sight or hearing due to the injury.
When one of these cases is true for your crash-related injury, you can actually seek damages directly from the at-fault driver.
Why Should You Hire Boston Car Accident Lawyers?
After a car crash, it is immensely important to file a compensation claim. A fair amount of compensatory damages can go a long way towards helping you financially during a difficult period. This is why you should take no risks.
The professional attorneys at TorkLaw are here to advise you, work with you and fight for your rights. We believe in getting you a fair settlement, whether it is with your own insurer or with the insurance company of the other driver. Call us today for a detailed in-person discussion with our seasoned lawyers and see if we are a good fit for you.