What To Expect Following Your Accident
Life is unpredictable, and accidents can happen to anyone. In fact, according to the NHTSA, there are more than 14,000 car accidents, on average, each and every day in the United States.
But what happens after an accident?
Following an accident in Massachusetts, it's normal to feel overwhelmed and unsure about the next steps to take. That’s where I come in.
Here at Law Office of James A. Maniatis, I’m prepared to guide you through the aftermath of a car accident or any other kind of personal injury. If you live in Shrewsbury, Southborough, Webster, or anywhere else in Massachusetts—including Westborough, Northborough, Grafton, or Boylston—set up a consultation with me. I will listen to your story and strategize a path forward.
Personal Injury Claims Process in Massachusetts
It’s important to understand that Massachusetts is a "no-fault state," which means that individuals are required to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) with their auto insurance.
PIP covers medical expenses and other related expenses, regardless of who was at fault. It is only when the injuries resulting from the accident are severe that you can pursue a case outside PIP limits—or when an accident is caused by significant negligence.
Such significant injuries might include broken bones, severe burns, disfigurement, and even death.
The claims process in Massachusetts involves several steps:
The first step is to inform the insurance company of the accident. A claim adjuster will be assigned to the case to oversee the investigation of the accident and analyze the evidence collected. During this process, it's important to be honest and thorough with the insurance adjuster and to provide relevant documents, such as medical bills resulting from the accident and police reports. However, only provide the necessary details and nothing more.
The next step is to negotiate with the insurance company to obtain compensation. Most insurance companies aim to offer a lowball settlement, which is why it's so important to work with an experienced personal injury attorney.
Once an agreement is reached, your car accident attorney will draft the settlement agreement, and you will sign it before receiving the payment. However, if the insurance company fails to settle, the next step may be litigation, where you may end up in court.
One of the first things you might expect following a car accident is the process of getting your vehicle repaired. Your insurance company will work with you to determine the best course of action for your car.
The investigation to determine fault usually takes place fairly quickly after an accident. This process can either be very straightforward or very complicated, depending on the facts surrounding the accident. Your insurance company will guide you through the process by determining if the other driver was at fault.
Once your vehicle has been evaluated by a mechanic or a body shop, your insurance adjuster will assess the damages. The adjuster may need to take the car apart to estimate any damages that may be concealed.
In most cases, payment is made directly to the repair shop. Some shops work directly with insurance companies, while others require you to pay and then submit your claim for reimbursement.
One of the first things you should do immediately after an accident is to seek medical attention. Even if you feel like you weren't injured, some injuries don't present themselves until days or even weeks after the collision.
Seeking medical attention will ensure that any underlying injuries are diagnosed and treated before they have a chance to worsen. Even if the injuries are minor, it is still important to seek medical attention. You will need to have official documentation of the injuries for any potential insurance claims or lawsuits.
Additionally, when you file an insurance claim, you will need official documentation of your injuries to support your case. This includes medical records, bills, and any other expenses related to the accident. It is important to keep track of all documentation associated with your accident, as it will be useful during the claims process.
Recovering expenses following an accident can be challenging. A skilled attorney can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to help you recover fair compensation. However, in the case where the insurance company fails to offer the amount you expect, it's important to consider filing a lawsuit. Your lawyer can represent you and handle all the necessary legal processes while pursuing the compensation you truly deserve.
For individuals living in a no-fault state like Massachusetts, though, remember that the injured party can only sue the at-fault driver under specific circumstances. These conditions usually involve a situation in which there has been a severe injury or in which medical costs exceed specific thresholds. Always contact an attorney for help.
Compassionate & Skilled Legal Guidance
At Law Office of James A. Maniatis, I understand the emotional and financial strain that comes with an injury. I’m dedicated to providing compassionate and skilled legal guidance to anyone who has suffered a personal injury in Southborough, Webster, and Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, along with clients throughout the entire Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Contact me today for a free consultation.