Americans of all ages spend much of their lives on streets, roads, highways, and byways. Considering this, it is not surprising that traffic accidents are the leading cause of accidental injury and death in this country. Traffic accidents don’t just affect drivers; they affect passengers, pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists.
A crash can happen in a second, especially on the busy roads around Massachusetts, but the impact it can have on victims sometimes lasts the rest of their lives. In addition to physical injuries, a variety of complications can wreak havoc on your recovery and quality of life: permanent disability, financial instability, and severe emotional distress are just a few of the challenges you may face following an accident. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a traffic accident, you may be entitled to significant compensation, so be sure to talk to a Burlington personal injury lawyer.
While car insurance companies may offer a quick settlement, it will likely not fully cover your injuries and expenses. To get the settlement you deserve, a qualified Burlington car accident attorney must represent you. At DiBella Law Offices, P.C., our Burlington car accident lawyer can calculate the total lifetime costs of your injuries and advocate for proper compensation.
Frequently Asked Questions for Car Accident Victims
For injury victims, the aftermath of a collision can pose many uncertainties. Physical injuries and economic damages can throw your life out of control. Are you eligible to seek compensation, will your insurance cover your expenses, and do you need legal representation?
Below, we look at some of the more frequently asked questions injury victims have following their accidents and some reliable answers from our knowledgeable car accident lawyers in Burlington. Call DiBella Law today to schedule a free consultation.
Can I Receive Compensation for My Car Accident Injury?
Generally, yes, you can file a claim with your insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company to cover the costs of your injuries. Still, without an attorney, you may be offered a small settlement. Insurance companies want to pay out as little as possible to accident victims.
But, if you have a skilled attorney, we can advocate for total compensation for your injuries through settlement negotiations or a personal injury trial. It is essential to know that in a personal injury trial, Massachusetts follows the concept of “modified comparative negligence.” This means you are only eligible for compensation if you are less than 51% responsible for your injury.
In addition, a jury can also reduce your monetary compensation by the amount of fault. If the court finds you 20% responsible for the crash, it will take 20% away from your verdict. Let a car accident attorney in Burlington help you today.
Can I File a Claim with My Own Insurance Company?
Massachusetts is a “no-fault” state, meaning that if you are in an auto accident, you can file a claim against your insurance provider to receive compensation for your injuries. All registered drivers are required to carry a minimum car insurance policy, which includes personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. PIP provides medical coverage up to a specific limit, and drivers, at minimum, should have $8,000, and this kind of compensation can be recovered even when the other driver was not negligent or if you were in a single-car accident.
On paper, this is a fair system, except that your injuries may exceed the $8,000 minimum. While these minimums can cover expenses resulting from minor accidents, they are usually not enough for victim relief when serious injuries occur. In addition, PIP coverage only applies to medical expenses, which means you will not be able to recover compensation for lost wages or pain and suffering from this policy, and you may need to pursue a claim against the other driver’s insurance company to cover the costs of your injuries fully.
Additionally, insurance providers want to protect their bottom lines and often contest claims – even claims involving minimum liability coverage. While you may hope that your insurance company will treat you fairly, that is not always the case, and it may offer a lowball settlement or deny your claim altogether. In these cases, it is recommended that injury victims seek legal counsel to negotiate with the insurance provider aggressively and, if necessary, bring them to court.
We've offered crucial support and guidance to individuals who have suffered injuries, ensuring their financial and emotional well-being.
Can I Seek Compensation for the Negligent Driver’s Coverage?
Given that Massachusetts is a no-fault state, you must first go through your own insurance company to receive compensation for an accident, even if the other driver acted negligently and caused your injuries. However, you can seek compensation from a negligent driver if your accident meets certain conditions. If the other driver was negligent and you have more than $2,000 in medical expenses or have suffered permanent effects due to your injury, you may file a claim against the other driver’s policy.
This is especially important if you only have a minimum insurance policy and it does not fully cover the costs of your injuries. Negligence is any irresponsible conduct that caused the crash to happen. We often see negligence examples like the following:
- Impaired driving (drugs, alcohol, fatigue, etc.)
- Failing to signal
- Distracted driving (texting, phone calls, etc.)
- Failing to obey traffic lights or signage
What If the Other Driver does Not Have Insurance?
The state of Massachusetts has specific auto insurance minimums every driver must have if they wish to register a vehicle. Unfortunately, many drivers fail to meet these requirements or allow their policies to lapse. If you are hit by an uninsured driver or a driver with a minimum policy, you may face difficulties covering your medical expenses.
However, if you have minimum liability insurance, then your insurance company is also required to provide uninsured (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. These policies are designed to match your standard liability insurance minimums. They will apply to specific situations, such as the following:
- UM: UM coverage applies when you are injured by a driver who does not have insurance or leaves the accident scene, meaning they committed a hit and run. If you cannot file a claim against their insurance policy, you can instead file it with your insurance company up to your liability policy maximum.
- UIM: UIM coverage goes into effect when the other driver does not have enough coverage to cover the total costs of an accident. Most drivers in Massachusetts only have minimum coverage, meaning you may still have bills left over after filing a claim. In this situation, you may file a claim against your own insurance company to make up the difference. UIM coverage, like UM, is designed to match your liability policy limits and can prove incredibly useful in helping you recover from a collision.
What Types of Compensation Can Be Pursued?
If your claim is serious enough to be pursued outside the no-fault system, several types of damages can be pursued. A car accident lawyer in Burlington can help you recover compensation. These include the following:
- Property damage
- Medical bills
- Permanent injury or disability
- Costs of future medical costs related to your injury
- Lost wages/income (past and future)
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Wrongful death damages if you lost a loved one in the accident
- Lost support and services that the victim provided your family
- A court may also award you punitive damages, depending on the circumstances
Other types of non-economic damages can be pursued, as well. These include pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and more. Talk to our team today to have your case reviewed.
What Should I Do If I’ve Been in an Accident?
We understand that the moments after an accident can be shocking and confusing, making it difficult for most accident victims to respond accordingly. Remain as calm as possible so you can think with a clear head. However, if you can, it is in your best interest to follow these steps after an accident:
- Call 911: Even if you do not think you are injured, everyone involved in an auto accident must report it to the police immediately, according to Massachusetts state law. You should also speak to the police to explain the accident from your perspective as their report will prove incredibly useful when you need to file a claim.
- Exchange Insurance Information: If you, a friend, or a family member are capable, it is essential to exchange insurance information with the other driver so that you can review their insurance policy and file a claim later. Even if you are not physically able to, the police may be able to collect their information for you and include it in your accident report.
- Seek Medical Attention: Due to the shock of the collision, you may not immediately notice specific injuries, such as internal trauma, soft tissue injuries, brain injuries, or even broken bones. Even if it has been a few days since the accident, you should speak to a doctor about the incident.
- Take Photos of the Accident: If possible, take photos of the accident, including damage to both vehicles, nearby traffic signs, skid marks, and even your injuries. These photos can be analyzed by an auto accident expert who can determine what caused the crash.
- Speak to a Lawyer: You may be tempted to call your insurance company to begin filing a claim immediately, but that can be a mistake. The insurance company may try to convince you to accept a low settlement or sign away your rights to proper compensation.
How Long do I Have to File a Car Accident Claim?
In Massachusetts, there is a statute of limitations for car accident cases: a deadline to file a lawsuit to claim compensation against another driver, not including the government. In Massachusetts, you have three years from the date of your crash to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party. If someone was killed in a car crash, an executor or administrator of the deceased’s estate has three years from the date of death to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Whether you are filing a claim with your insurance company or a negligent driver, you may need solid legal representation to receive compensation for your injuries. Insurance companies profit by collecting premiums and paying out as little as possible in claims. They may try to trivialize your injuries, argue that you do not need long-term care, or even blame you for the wreck.
To get the compensation you deserve, you must show how the other driver’s negligence caused your injuries. This means collecting evidence of wrongdoing, thoroughly reviewing the police report, speaking with accident experts, and negotiating with the other driver’s insurance company. All of this can be difficult while you are recovering from your injuries, but if you work with the legal team at DiBella Law Offices, P.C., we can handle the legal legwork for you.
How do Our Attorneys Help Your Case?
The legal claims process is not easy or quick. This is why you need a car accident attorney on your side. Our attorneys can guide you through the claims process, which can include:
- Ensuring you receive proper medical treatment for your injuries
- Collecting witness statements and evidence of negligence
- Reviewing the police report
- Calculating the costs of your injuries
- Speaking to auto accident reconstructionists
- Negotiating with insurance companies
- Representing you in a jury trial, if necessary
If you are worried about paying an attorney, know we operate under a contingency fee. This means we cover all of the upfront legal costs of your claim, including collecting evidence and speaking to experts, and you only have to pay us if we win your compensation. We also offer potential clients free consultations to discuss their cases, so there is no cost to speak to us.
What Difference does a Burlington Car Accident Attorney Make?
If you believe you have a legitimate car accident claim against a negligent driver – or are experiencing resistance from your insurance provider – contact a proven Burlington car accident lawyer immediately. Insurance companies think about their bottom line before they think about you. You must receive the proper compensation to cover the economic damages and injuries you have suffered.
Don’t let a negligent driver throw a wrench in your life. Vigilant counsel can not only assess the details of your case but, if necessary, start establishing a thorough and compelling claim that seeks maximum compensation for the losses you have suffered. The Burlington personal injury attorneys at DiBella Law Offices, P.C., understand the law as it applies in these cases, so you can be confident in our ability to pursue fair compensation for you.
For nearly two decades, we have represented clients injured in all types of vehicles. These vehicles include taxicabs, tour buses, airport shuttle buses, and long-distance buses, such as Greyhound buses. We have achieved the following:
- Successfully represented thousands of cases
- Serve Massachusetts and New Hampshire
- Recovered millions of dollars for our past clients
- Offer translations for Spanish speakers
- Give free car-accident case reviews
- Have 24-hour availability
Call a Burlington Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one has been in a crash in Burlington, please get in touch with the trusted lawyers at the DiBella Law Offices, P.C. Call our office today for a free initial consultation. No Fee Until We Win.