If you were injured in a car accident, you may be wondering if you can pursue a claim, speak to the insurance adjuster, or hire a car accident attorney.
You can get answers to these questions and other valuable information about car accident claims by obtaining our free book on personal injury claims and taking a few minutes to review the information here.
The Insurance Company
One thing above all else that you must understand about insurance companies is that they are in business to make money. It is the job of the insurance adjuster to make sure that happens. So, no matter how friendly an adjuster may seem to you, remember the insurance adjuster is on the lookout for information that they can use to impeach your credibility and pay you less money for your claim. One exception is that you must cooperate with your OWN insurance company following a car accident.
Also, don’t sign any forms for the other driver’s insurance company before you speak to an experienced car accident attorney. When you sign these forms, you may be allowing the insurance company access to your medical records including records which may not be related to the accident.
Every person who registers a car in Massachusetts must have auto insurance. There are four kinds of compulsory insurance including Bodily Injury, Uninsured Motor Vehicle Coverage, Personal Injury Protection (PIP), and Property Damage.
There are also seven kinds of optional insurance available such as Optional Bodily Injury, Med Pay, Collision, Limited Collision, Theft and Fire, Rental, Towing, and Underinsured coverage.
Each owner of a motor vehicle receives a Coverage Selections Page from their insurer which lists the kinds of insurance and amount of the policy limits they have under their insurance policy. For more information on auto insurance, read our free book on Buying Car Insurance in Massachusetts.
Car Accident Claims
There are a number of different types of car accident claims you may pursue following a car accident. Here we will discuss Bodily Injury, Uninsured, Underinsured, and PIP claims.
You may pursue a Bodily Injury Claim against the insurance company of the car that caused your injury.
Uninsured coverage is available for people who are injured in a car accident caused by the driver of an uninsured car. An Uninsured Claim may arise when the car causing the accident is either stolen, a hit and run, or does not have any insurance. You may pursue an uninsured claim against the insurance policy of the car you were riding in or your own car insurance if you were a pedestrian.
The car causing the car accident may not have sufficient bodily injury coverage to cover your damages. If the car in which you were traveling and/or your own car has Underinsured coverage in excess of the available bodily injury coverage, you may pursue an Underinsured Claim.
In bodily injury, uninsured, and underinsured claims, you must prove that the other driver caused the accident, that you suffered damages and that you meet one of the statutory requirements discussed below.
A Personal Injury Protection Claim is available to compensate you for medical bills and lost earnings as a result of the car accident.
Massachusetts Car Accident Claim Requirement
In order to pursue a Bodily Injury, Uninsured or Underinsured claim in Massachusetts, you must meet one of the following statutory requirements (M.G.L. c. 231, s. 6D):
- Reasonable and necessary medical expenses incurred in treating your injury exceed $2,000.00;
- Causes death;
- Consists in whole or in part of the loss of a body member;
- Consists in whole or in part of a permanent and serious disfigurement;
- Results in loss of sight or hearing; or
- Consists of a fracture.
Statute of Limitations
There are time limitations within which you may pursue car accident claims such as:
- Bodily Injury Claims: If you are pursuing a bodily injury claim, you must settle your claim or file a lawsuit within three years of the date of the accident.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Claims: In uninsured and underinsured claims, you have six years within which to settle or arbitrate your motor vehicle claim.
Car Accident Attorney
An experienced car accident attorney has the skills, knowledge and expertise to establish who caused the accident and the nature and extent of your damages, deal with insurance companies, and help you obtain fair and just compensation.
If you were injured in a car accident, contact Attorney Bob Allison now for a free consultation by calling 978-740-9433 or filling out our free consultation form. We look forward to talking to you about your Massachusetts personal injury claim.
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