No matter the extent of injuries or damage to property, being in a vehicle accident is a terrifying experience. In the case of an accident, even if you believe you know what to do, it’s easy to forget the basics. Avoiding further harm, complying with state regulations, and recovering damages all depend on your prompt actions following an automobile collision.
In the event of a collision, drivers are protected by legislation enacted by each state. Protecting oneself from legal trouble and making an insurance claim easier can be accomplished by strictly adhering to these regulations. Follow these guidelines to keep yourself and your passengers safe in the event of a car accident in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts law mandates that you stop at the scene of an accident, even if it was just a fender bender. If you are involved in an accident that causes injury or property damage, and you do not stop to exchange information, you may face criminal penalties. For those who flee the scene of an accident, consequences include jail time and/or fines.
It’s best to get safely off the road if you and your car are both okay. Take this precaution to lessen the likelihood of suffering further harm or being involved in a subsequent collision. But, before transferring a person injured in a car accident, it is crucial to make sure they are okay. Anyone experiencing severe back or neck discomfort should not be moved until medical personnel arrives.
Whenever someone is hurt or killed, or if the damages exceed $1,000, it is required by law in Massachusetts to file a report of the incident. During the confusion that follows an accident, it can be hard to take an accurate count of the number of injuries and the amount of property damage. That’s why it’s crucial to report every accident, no matter how minor, to the authorities. It’s important to check for injuries and get as much information as you can before making this call. Let the other party know right away if anyone in your car or their vehicle was hurt.
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Those who have been hurt in a vehicle crash often delay getting medical help because they fear they won’t be able to afford it. This is a terrible idea because injuries often worsen with time. Many injuries incurred in automobile accidents, such as a concussion, back damage, or neck injury, may not show any symptoms right away. Moreover, elevated adrenaline might hide the signs of damage.
Waiting to disclose injuries puts your health at risk and may make it harder to show liability in a personal injury claim. It’s easy to understand why. If you wait too long to see a doctor about your injuries, you may have trouble proving that they were caused by the collision. Take pictures of any obvious wounds if you can’t go to a doctor right away.
Auto insurance is mandatory for all drivers in the state of Massachusetts. It is recommended that you and the other people involved in the accident do not discuss what happened, but it is necessary to exchange contact information. Please pass along the following details.
Kindly respond to police officials’ inquiries concerning the collision. Try not to respond negatively or get into conflicts with the other side. In the event of a legal battle, the details of the accident as stated in the report will be crucial evidence. You should also request a copy of the accident report to use with your insurance claim.
Once the accident site has been cleared, all physical evidence will have been removed. Every motorist nowadays probably has a smartphone that can take pictures. Take as many pictures as you can with your device to help paint a clearer picture of what happened. Document the area and the crash itself by taking pictures. Photographs are a reliable method of displaying information like vehicle locations, weather, debris, and collision damage. You may need these pictures for an insurance claim or a lawsuit over a personal injury.
Quickly reporting the incident to your insurance company is essential. Next, consult with an independent insurance agent in your area for guidance on what to do. If you don’t notify your insurer right away, you may have trouble submitting a claim. Your insurance agent should be able to get all the info they need from a brief description of the incident.
When it comes to personal injury claims, Massachusetts is a “no-fault” state. Therefore if you want your medical bills covered, you’ll have to go via your own insurance. In order to make a claim directly with the other driver (third-party claim), you need to show that you suffered at least $2,000 in reasonable medical expenditures and/or that your injuries include permanent and significant disfigurement, one or more shattered bones, or substantial loss of hearing or sight.
Certainly, it might take hours or even days for your or the other driver’s injuries to become apparent. It’s also possible that drivers who lack insurance will try to work out a solution to the collision alone rather than involve the authorities.
It’s a good idea to make a claim if you’re at fault for an accident that includes another driver. To prevent premium increases, it may be preferable to pay the deductible out of pocket if your vehicle is damaged in an accident when no other vehicles were involved.
The report is available for free on Mass.gov or upon request to any local police department. Your insurance company, the police station, and the DMV should receive a copy of your completed report.
There are no hard deadlines for when claims must be resolved. Legally, insurance providers must settle claims within a fair time frame. The time it takes to receive payment once a claim is granted might change according to the specifics of your accident. Many cases, however, are settled inside that 30-day window.
Even if the other motorist was at fault, you’ll have to go through your own insurance company for reimbursement after an accident, using your PIP coverage. But, if your injuries are severe enough to surpass the state’s threshold, you can opt out of the no-fault system. When accessible, this is the most rewarding choice for victims. Because of this, the other driver’s insurance company can contact you soon after you report the collision.
The other insurance company wants to talk to you to prevent you from suing them for damages. It’s possible they’ll try to trick you into verifying the other side’s version of events or making remarks they may use against you in court. Even worse, they can offer you a settlement that pays you considerably less than you stand to gain from filing a claim.
The other driver’s insurance company can’t force you to do anything they want. Don’t give them any reason to suspect you caused the accident or that your injuries aren’t significant by saying anything to the contrary. If you would rather not risk jeopardizing your right to fight for compensation, your Massachusetts car accident attorney may handle any correspondence on your behalf.
The statute of limitations establishes the time limit within which an injured person must take legal action against the party at fault for an accident. If you were injured in a car accident in Massachusetts, you only have three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. If you don’t file your petition before the deadline, the other party will very certainly succeed in having your case thrown out of court. If your lawsuit is dismissed because it was filed too late, you will likely never get any compensation.
It’s easy to think that three years is a long time, but in reality, it goes by quickly, especially when you’re coping with the after-effects of a catastrophic injury. Furthermore, if you wait to get in touch with a lawyer until right before the deadline, you may not have enough time to gather the necessary materials to submit your case. The process of filing a formal complaint can take some time; starting early provides your lawyers more time to investigate the situation and gather the information that may be more difficult to come by later.
Certain costs, like hospital and automotive repair expenditures, arise immediately after an accident and must be paid. Some victims may be concerned that if they pay or accept insurance coverage for these fees, it could compromise their potential to collect in a pending case.
You should not feel guilty about filing an insurance claim to help pay for your accident-related expenses if you are qualified. Taking out an insurance policy will not affect your right to sue and collect damages.
Instead, your insurance company is more likely to try to offset whatever money you recover in court by claiming the amount they paid in coverage. Insurance firms frequently operate in this fashion. A personal injury lawyer in Massachusetts may help you figure out how to divide up your settlement money so that you can pay off all of your bills in a timely manner.
Those injured in vehicle accidents in Massachusetts who hire an attorney stand a significantly better chance of winning their case and receiving a larger settlement.
When victims are trying to deal with both injury rehabilitation and legal proceedings, it’s not uncommon for crucial facts and dates to fall through the gaps. Hiring an experienced Massachusetts car accident attorney early on will help you keep track of evidence, fulfill important deadlines, and deal with the other party and their insurance company.
Prior to consulting with an attorney, you should focus only on getting the medical attention you need. Don’t put off getting help right away. Your attorney will be better able to analyze your losses and give you a sense of what your case could be worth if they have access to your medical record information at the time of your consultation. If you have been diagnosed and need specialized care, reliable Massachusetts attorneys will find you a doctor who is qualified to not only help you physically but also testify as an expert witness in your favor.
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East Orange, NJ
Fort Lee, NJ
North Bergen, NJ
Palisades Park, NJ
Union City, NJ
West New York, NJ