Motor Vehicle Accident FAQs
In 2009, 16 people in the city of Boston were killed by car accidents1 and 364 people were killed throughout the state of Massachusetts.2 In addition to the fatalities, many more individuals were injured in car accidents as well. These accidents included single vehicle accidents, multiple vehicle accidents, as well as accidents with pedestrians, bicycle riders, and motorcycle riders.
Whenever a car crash occurs, it can have life-changing consequences. It can also have legal consequences. To help you better understand the legal implications of a car accident so you can protect your rights, the Boston car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, LLC have prepared some motor vehicle accident FAQ. These facts give you a good introduction to what you need to know after a Boston auto accident, but there is no substitute for proper legal advice. That's why we also offer free no-obligation consultations to car accident victims. Contact us today using our online form or via phone at (617) 367-2900 to learn how we can help.Massachusetts Car Crash FAQ
The following motor vehicle accident FAQ provides general information on car crashes in Massachusetts. Remember, every case is different and you should always consult with a car accident lawyer for advice on your situation:
- Who is responsible for paying the bills after a car accident?
Massachusetts is referred to as a no fault auto accident state. This means that each driver is required to buy personal injury protection (PIP) coverage when they purchase auto insurance. Your own PIP coverage will pay for your medical costs and lost wages up to a limit of $8,000. You have PIP coverage and can receive these benefits regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
If you are seeking additional damages for pain and suffering or if your medical bills exceed the amount covered by PIP, you will need to meet the tort threshold under Massachusetts law in order to make a claim against the person who was at fault for the auto accident.
- What does the tort threshold mean?
In Massachusetts, the no-fault laws prevent you from making a claim for damages (such as pain and suffering) against the party responsible for causing a car accident unless you meet the tort threshold. You meet this threshold when you suffer a broken bone, an injury that causes a disfiguring scar, a permanent eye injury, permanent hearing damage, or have medical bills that total more than $2,000. If you meet this threshold, you may make a personal injury or tort claim against the person who caused the crash.
- What must I prove to hold someone responsible for my car accident damages?
In order to recover pain and suffering and other compensation from the person who injured you, you will need to prove that the other party was legally at fault for the accident. This means proving that he or she was negligent and that the negligence led to an injury. Typically, you can prove negligence by showing that the other driver broke some safety law (such as by breaking the speed limit) or you can prove negligence by showing that a hypothetically reasonable driver would have been more careful than the driver who caused the accident.
- How can I prove fault?
You can prove fault by collecting evidence including police reports from the accident scene and witness statements. An accident reconstruction expert may also be able to help you prove fault. Your Boston car accident lawyer will explain to you what types of evidence you need and will help you to gather that evidence so you can build a case.
- Should I settle my claim?
In many cases, auto insurers will try to settle a case outside of court, which means they will try to offer you a lump sum payment in order for you to release their client (and them) of liability for your injuries. Whether to settle or not will depend upon whether the settlement offer is fair and provides full compensation for your injuries. Your Massachusetts auto accident attorney will help you to make that determination.
- Do I really need a lawyer?
Getting help from an experienced car accident attorney after a Massachusetts motor vehicle accident is always a smart choice. Your lawyer can help you to get your personal injury protection claim made on time and can assist you in determining if you have a tort claim to make. If you do have a tort case, your attorney can protect your legal rights, negotiate a settlement or represent you in court so you can get the maximum compensation available to you under the law.
To learn more about how a car accident lawyer can help you after you've been involved in a Massachusetts motor vehicle crash, contact The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, LLC today at (617) 367-2900 or using our online form.