THE CAR ACCIDENT CLAIMS PROCESS IN MASSACHUSETTS
May 3, 2021
Statistics from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation indicate that there were tens of thousands of traffic crashes reported statewide in 2020. Car accident victims in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts can exercise their legal rights and pursue rightful compensation for their injuries by filing a personal injury claim. If you or a loved one was hurt in a car accident, you may be eligible to recover damages.
At the Law Office of James A. Maniatis, I am committed to handling personal injury cases and protecting the rights of car accident victims and their families. As an experienced Massachusetts personal injury attorney, I can review the circumstances surrounding your case and explore your legal options. I will fight aggressively to protect your rights and help you pursue fair financial compensation to cover medical expenses, future medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity, loss of work-life expectancy, loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, and compensation for partial and permanent disabilities.
My firm proudly serves clients in the Shrewsbury, Southborough, and Webster areas, all surrounding towns/cities within these areas, and all towns and cities throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Reach out today to schedule a consultation.
CLAIMS IN MASSACHUSETTS
Massachusetts operates under a "no-fault" car insurance system. According to this system, regardless of who was at fault, accident victims will first turn to their own car insurance policy to cover medical expenses (PIP & Medical Payments Coverages) incurred from the accident, up to their coverage limits.
MODIFIED COMPARATIVE NEGLIGENCE
Massachusetts adheres to a "modified comparative negligence" rule, with a 51% bar. Under this rule, an injured party cannot recover damages if they are determined to have been 51% or more at fault for the accident. If you are determined to have been between 1% and 50% at fault, the amount awarded to you will be reduced by your fault percentage.
For instance, if the court awarded a total of $50,000 as compensation, but you were found to be 25% responsible, $12,500 would be deducted from your award and you will only receive 75% of $50,000 ($37,500).
In Massachusetts, drivers are required to carry minimum amounts of insurance coverage, including:
$20,000 liability coverage for bodily injury per person in a single accident
$40,000 total liability bodily injury coverage per accident
$5,000 liability coverage for property damage
$8,000 in no-fault coverage or personal injury protection (PIP)
Uninsured motorist coverage of $20,000 per person or $40,000 total per accident
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
In most car accident cases, a civil action for personal injuries must be filed within three years of the date of the accident or injury. However, most personal injury cases are resolved well within this three-year period through settlement negotiations, pre-litigation mediation, or arbitration. There are exceptions to this three (3) year statute of limitations rule. It is essential that you speak with an attorney immediately after an accident so that your rights are protected.
PERSONAL INJURY PROTECTION COVERAGE
If you are injured in an auto accident, your PIP coverage will pay:
Up to $8,000 worth of medical expenses (minus your deductible, if any) or
75% of your lost wages, up to $8,000
STEPPING OUTSIDE OF
"NO-FAULT" IN MASSACHUSETTS
To step outside of the no-fault car insurance system in Massachusetts and pursue a claim against the at-fault party, one of the following conditions must be met:
You must have incurred at least $2,000 in reasonable medical expenses or
Injuries suffered in the accident included bone fractures, permanent or serious disfigurement, or substantial loss of hearing or sight
PAYING FOR REPAIRS
Massachusetts' no-fault car insurance system does not cover claims for vehicle damage or repairs. To repair your vehicle after an accident, you can make a claim for damage to your vehicle or the total loss of your car against your insurance carrier or the insurance carrier for the at-fault party. An experienced attorney can review your case and determine the best course of action.
WORK WITH A SKILLED
CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
Being injured or suffering vehicle damage in a car accident can be a difficult, painful, and financially burdening experience. Such an accident can affect you financially, physically, and emotionally. Fortunately, you don't have to go through it all on your own. When involved in a car accident, it is important that you hire an experienced Massachusetts car accident attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights and help you pursue rightful compensation.
At the Law Office of James A. Maniatis, I have the resources and experience to help you hold the responsible parties accountable for your injuries and vehicle damage. Using my extensive knowledge and understanding of Massachusetts' personal injury law, I can fight to represent your best interests and help negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance companies. Having me on your side can improve your chances of obtaining the best available outcome in your car accident case.
Contact my firm — the Law Office of James A. Maniatis — today to schedule a one-on-one consultation. I am proud to represent car accident victims in Shrewsbury, Westborough, Grafton, Northborough, Boylston, Southborough, Marlborough, Framingham, Webster, Dudley, Oxford, Charlton, Southbridge, Auburn, and all other towns/cities throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.