CAR ACCIDENTS FAQ
1. What to do if you have been involved in a car accident
If you are involved in a car accident, you should take certain steps to protect yourself and your rights.
- First and most important, call 911;
- Get the names, drivers’ licenses, insurance, and contact information of all the drivers involved in the accident;
- After that, note the location, time, and date of the accident as well as any factors that may have contributed to the accident;
- Next look to see if anyone witnessed the accident and if there did, get their contact information;
- You should also take photographs of the scene and damage to the vehicle involved if it is safe to do so;
- When police arrive, be sure you tell them exactly what happened;
- Go seek medical treatment if you need to;
- Finally, call us at 781-344-6200.
2. If I am injured, who will pay for my medical bills?
Under Massachusetts law, the automobile insurance company that insured the vehicle you were in when the crash occurred is responsible for paying up to the first $2,000 of your medical bills. If you were a pedestrian or riding a bicycle when you got injured, the first $2,000 of medical treatment is paid by the vehicle’s insurance company that hit you. Once the first $2,000 is paid, your private health insurance then becomes primary. If you do not have health insurance or you have a particular type of health insurance, the automobile insurance company will pay up to the first $8,000 in medical expenses treatment.
This is also referred to as PIP coverage in Massachusetts. Another way to have your medical expenses paid is if the automobile you were in had available Med Pay coverage. If we take your case, The Law Offices of Jason M. Ranallo, P.C. will advise you as to the insurance specifics that apply to your individual situation and assist you with the documents required to ensure that your medical expenses are promptly paid.
3. Who will pay for my lost income as a result of the accident?
If you cannot work as a result of the accident, you can also submit a claim for your lost income. Under Massachusetts Law, the PIP coverage will reimburse you for 75% of the income you would have otherwise earned.
It is important to know that the $8,000 in PIP coverage applies to both medical bills and lost income.
4. Can anyone who was injured in a car accident bring a personal injury claim against the responsible party in Massachusetts?
Massachusetts law limits lawsuits involving motor vehicle accidents to injured victims who have suffered either certain types of injuries or accident victims who have exceeded a certain dollar value of medical expenses as a result of their injuries. Massachusetts accident victims (and their survivors, if an injury causes death) may sue for damages from the responsible party(ies) for a car accident when one of the following criteria is met:
- The victim has died
- The victim suffers a “permanent and serious disfigurement”
- A bone is fractured
- The loss of one of the “five senses”
- The loss of a limb
- When the medical expenses from the injury(ies) equal or exceed $2,000
5. What if the responsible party did not have insurance, can I still be compensated for my injuries?
Yes, your automobile insurance policy carries coverage for bodily injury caused by an Uninsured automobile.
6. Who pays to get my car fixed?
If you are found not at fault for the accident, and you elected to carry full coverage on your automobile insurance company, you can choose either to have your insurance company or the other insurance company pay to fix or replace your car. If you did not elect full coverage on your automobile insurance policy, you will have to make your claim with the other person’s insurance company. Their company will only pay for your property damage if they find their operator responsible for the accident.
7. What types of damages can I recover?
Damages include, but are not limited to, payment for pain and suffering, scarring, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, and economic loss.
8. How long do I have to bring a claim or file a lawsuit against the responsible party?
Generally, there is a three-year statute of limitations to file a lawsuit against the responsible parties, with limited exceptions. Which means, if you do not file a complaint in court against the proper party or parties, you will never be able to recover monies from them or their insurance company for your injuries. However, if the action is against the Commonwealth or a city and town, there are strict time-sensitive notice requirements that that must be made long before the three-year statute of limitations.
That is why it is critical to contact us immediately after a car accident. Also, most of the time, we can resolve the claim with the responsible party or parties insurance company long before the statute of limitations expires or there is the need to file a lawsuit.
Let us show you what our knowledge, experience, and skills can do for you or your loved one. Your car accident case will always be our top priority. Call or contact us today!