Personal Injury FAQs
If you’ve been injured in an accident that wasn't your fault, you probably know you can file a personal injury claim to receive damages from the at-fault party, but you may not know exactly how to go about doing this or what you can expect during the process.
Throughout my time serving the communities of Shrewsbury, Southborough, and Webster, Massachusetts, I’ve gathered the most frequently asked questions about personal injuries to help you better understand your options during this time. At the Law Office of James A. Maniatis, I’m able to serve clients throughout the Commonwealth including Westborough, Northborough, Grafton, Boylston, Millbury, Upton, Dudley, and Oxford. Call me today to schedule an appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Personal Injuries
The first question you’ll need to answer when preparing a personal injury lawsuit is, “Is Massachusetts a fault or no-fault state?” because this will determine your first steps.
Regarding insurance claims, Massachusetts is a “no-fault” state, meaning that after an accident, you’ll first file a claim under your own policy, regardless of who caused the accident. This can expedite the claims process and get you compensation quickly, but it won’t always cover all your expenses. When this is the case, you can then file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance.
Below are several additional FAQs regarding personal injury claims in Massachusetts:
What if I was partially at fault?
In addition to its no-fault model, Massachusetts also uses a comparative negligence rule when one party is partially at fault. This law states that fault can be shared and the total damages due to the injured party will be reduced by their share of liability. For example, if you’re found to be 20% at fault and the total settlement was $10,000, you would only receive $8,000.
I don't feel hurt. Should I still see a doctor?
Yes! You should always seek medical attention after an accident even if you don’t think you’ve been injured or you think your injuries are minor. Only a trained medical professional can adequately assess you, and many car accident injuries can take hours and even days to notice symptoms. If you fail to get this care quickly, you could be giving up your opportunity for future compensation.
Should I talk with the insurance adjuster?
You can speak with the insurance adjuster during the claims process, but there are certain things you should and should not say. You can give them basic information about yourself and the accident, but stick to just the facts: who was involved, where it happened, and what kind of accident it was. Never try to assign or claim blame and never agree to make a statement or sign a statement without first reviewing it with your attorney.
How long do I have to file a personal injury claim?
The statute of limitations in Massachusetts for filing a claim like this is three years. This may seem like a long time, but since you first must file a claim with your own provider before you can seek compensation with the other driver’s insurance or file a lawsuit, this can take several months or even over a year. If you wait too long to file, your claim could be thrown out completely.
Do I need to hire a personal injury attorney?
Theoretically, you can file a claim on your own, but those who work with a personal injury attorney often see higher levels of compensation and a faster claims process in general. An experienced attorney will work to ensure you fully understand your options, make sure you have adequate evidence to back your claim, and can negotiate on your behalf so you can focus on your own healing.
A Personal injury Attorney You Can Trust
With offices in Shrewsbury, Southborough, and Webster, Massachusetts, I can help individuals throughout the state with any of their personal injury needs. Reach out to me at the Law Office of James A. Maniatis to get started.