Underinsured Motorist Accident Claims Lawyer in Boston
Car accidents are no joke. There’s the practical matter of dealing with damage to your car, but more importantly, being a victim of another driver’s negligence can take a physical and emotional toll, especially if you’re in a serious or catastrophic collision.
In addition to experiencing physical pain and emotional distress, you might be stressing out about navigating an insurance claim and trying to figure out what steps to take to make sure you receive full and proper compensation for your damages.
Now factor in one more complication: the other driver is underinsured. A car accident can cause serious financial harm if the at fault driver doesn’t have enough insurance coverage.
Auto insurance provides coverage for medical costs, lost wages and property damage following a car accident, but what happens when the driver who causes a car accident is underinsured?
The Boston underinsured motorist accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman understand the challenges of dealing with motor vehicle accidents involving underinsured drivers. Whether you have been in a car accident, truck accident, bicycle accident, motorcycle accident, pedestrian accident or any other type of motor vehicle accident, it’s critical, for you as a car accident victim, to hire experienced and aggressive legal representation in Massachusetts, or elsewhere.
If you have been seriously injured in a car accident, it is possible the at-fault driver will not have adequate insurance to compensate you for your damages. When you take into consideration the high cost of today’s medical care, including ambulance fees, emergency room visits, hospital stays and diagnostic tests and treatments, it’s not hard to imagine an at-fault driver’s insurance policy being insufficient to compensate a car crash victim in full for damages sustained in a car crash.
A failure to act in a swift and timely manner can prevent a car accident victim from collecting damages for lost wages, current and future medical bills, pain and suffering and other damages related to the accident.What Auto Insurance Coverage is Required in Massachusetts?
Car insurance requirements vary state by state. Massachusetts requires drivers to have the following minimum car insurance coverage for the operation of a motor vehicle:
- Bodily injury to others: $20,000 per person, $40,000 per accident.
- Personal injury protection, also known as PIP: $8,000 per person, per accident. PIP benefits include medical expenses and lost wages.
- Bodily injury caused by an uninsured auto: $20,000 per person, $40,000 per accident.
- Damage to someone else’s property: $5,000 per accident.
When a policyholder is underinsured, the person is not carrying enough bodily injury coverage to cover the cost of your injuries. Underinsured motorist coverage is referred to as UIM.
Unlike uninsured motorist coverage, underinsured motorist coverage is not mandatory under Massachusetts law. However, it’s a good idea to have underinsured motorist coverage to protect yourself and your family. Underinsured motorist coverage will provide compensation if your losses exceed the amount of an at-fault driver’s insurance.
For example, if the at-fault driver’s liability policy limit is $50,000 and you end up with $60,000 worth of damage from an accident, underinsured motorist coverage could allow you to collect the other $10,000 from your underinsurance policy, if your policy limits are greater than $50,000.
Underinsured motorist damages include both property damage and bodily injury damage.
To receive underinsured motorist benefits, you must prove that another party is to blame for the accident and that the at-fault party does not have enough insurance coverage to compensate you for the full value of your claim. In addition, you must be able to prove how much your case is worth.Why Would a Driver Be Underinsured?
There are many reasons why an at-fault driver might be underinsured and unable to cover damages from a collision. Oftentimes, policyholders will reduce the amount of coverage that they carry in order to save money, especially when they are experiencing financial difficulties.
In certain cases, individuals will cancel their auto insurance policies in their entirety, which means they are driving as uninsured motorists.
Studies have shown that more people have been forced to lower their coverage or drop their insurance during the recent economic downturn.
In 2015, 13 percent of motorists, or approximately one in eight drivers, was uninsured, according to a 2017 study by the Insurance Research Council. The data, which is the latest available, has been rising since it hit a record low of 12.3 percent in 2010.
Massachusetts had one of the lowest percentages of uninsured drivers—6.2 percent—in 2015, the study reported. Still, there are large numbers of motorists on the road who are underinsured or uninsured.What Steps Should a Car Accident Victim Take After an Auto Accident?
btain contact information for the parties involved and any witnesses at the scene. Document the accident scene to the best of your ability by taking cellphone pictures and making detailed notes.
Your next step is to speak with an experienced auto accident attorney about the proper course of action. Don’t delay.
An attorney will help you understand your rights under the law and review all options that you have.
In addition, your attorney can work with your insurance company and the insurance companies of any at-fault drivers on your behalf and make sure that they treat you in a fair manner and in accordance with the terms of all insurance policies involved. In general, insurers have a duty of good faith and fair dealing when handling a claim. This means that they must always act in the client’s best interests.
When you’re filing a claim with your own insurance company and attempting to collect against your insurance policy, you’re creating an adversarial relationship with your insurer. In this scenario, your insurer might be more concerned with its own bottom line than in your best interests. Don’t assume that your insurance company will treat you fairly when an accident occurs.
That’s why it’s paramount that you protect your rights with your auto insurance carrier. If an insurance company contacts you, refer the insurer to your car accident lawyer and refrain from making any other statement.
Your attorney will negotiate on your behalf for the maximum amount of compensation available under your insurance policy. In addition, your attorney will help identify other parties who might be liable.
Depending on your situation, you might be covered under other insurance policies such as policies issued to people in your household or to an employer.
If you’re not sure if another party is liable for your car accident and your injuries, your attorney will help you make that determination.
If the at-fault driver is not the owner of the vehicle, the vehicle owner could be liable.When Should an Injured Party File a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against an Underinsured Motorist?
An experienced Boston personal injury attorney will help you decide whether you should proceed with a personal injury action against the at-fault driver.
If the driver is underinsured and does not have adequate coverage to compensate you for your car accident damages, a personal injury lawsuit is one tact to take to seek compensation and make you whole.
Keep in mind that a lack of insurance often means that a driver is unable to afford additional coverage and has little money or financial assets. In such a case, a personal injury lawsuit might not be your best course of action. A skilled personal injury lawyer will help you make the right call.Consult with an Experienced Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney in Boston
A traffic accident lawyer should be aggressive, skilled at negotiations and experienced in dealing with auto insurance companies. Insurance companies are infamous for using strategies to delay or dodge their payment obligations.
Oftentimes, an insurance company will offer a car accident victim a settlement soon after an accident. The insurance company might make a “low-ball” settlement offer in an attempt to skirt its duties and boost its own bottom line. That’s why it’s imperative that you speak with a car accident lawyer who is an experienced and skilled negotiator and litigator.
Remember, every car accident case is different. The key to a successful outcome is personalized legal advice tailored to your situation and the facts of your case.
The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman has successfully handled underinsured motorist accident claims on behalf of individuals in Boston, Brockton, Cambridge, Lawrence and other areas in Massachusetts.
If you or a family member is dealing with a Massachusetts underinsured car accident or other motor vehicle accident, contact the Boston personal injury lawyers and wrongful-death attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights at 1-888-367-2900. Or visit our website at https://www.jeffreysglassman.com/.