If you are still at the accident scene, call 911, seek medical attention, and try to document the damage to the other car. But if you are no longer at the location, don’t speak to anyone from the insurance company and call us.
Do I Need To Call The Police If Someone Has Been Injured In An Auto Wreck That I Am Involved In?
Will My Attorney Have Access To The Police Report Or Any Other Pertinent Information Right Away?
Yes, because once a police report is generated, it will be uploaded to the RMV database. Sometimes the RMV might take a couple of days or even weeks before getting the police report. But yes, call 911, call the police, and then we will be able to get your police report through the RMV.
How Would It Impact My Personal Injury Case If I Was Partially At Fault For The Accident?
If at the scene, do not answer any questions or make any comments. It depends on how much of the fault was yours. In Massachusetts, the law allows you to recover damages as long as you are 50% or less at fault. If you are more than 50% at fault, you don’t have a good personal injury case. In Massachusetts, there are situations where the fault is automatically presumed to be more than 50%, like a collision with a parked car, out of lane collision, rear-end collision, or single-car collisions. See 711 CMR 74.00. If you receive a notice from the insurance company that you’ve been determined to be more than 50% at fault, call us, and we can help you appeal that determination and probably save your personal injury case.
Having said all of that, please remember that Massachusetts is a no-fault state that requires motorists to carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Therefore, no matter who is at fault, your insurance company must pay for the first $8,000 of your medical bills and a portion of your lost wages. If you have private health insurance, your insurance company will pay the first $2,000 and will then coordinate payments of any bills above the $2,000 mark with your private health insurance.
What Is the Statute Of Limitations For Filing A Personal Injury Claim After A Car Accident?
Generally, it is three years from the accident date, and the courts will toss out lawsuits filed outside of this time limits. For example, if a car accident happened on January 1, 2021, the injured person would have up to January 1, 2024 to file lawsuit. The idea is that you can’t sit on your right to file a personal injury claim, or you’ll lose them forever.
As said before, in most cases, this three-year limitation is a firm deadline with no exceptions, but unique situations exist. For example, suppose you are the victim in a car accident that involves a government employee who was performing their government employment duties. In that case, you may need to make a “presentment” (basically, a formal notification of claim) to the government agency that you have been injured and that you seek to file a claim against them. The presentment must be made within two years of the accident. As you can see, this is a shorter deadline than the general three-year statute of limitations.
The second special situation is if the accident involved a minor child, then the minor may have three years from their 18th birthday to file a claim for pain and suffering, trauma, and other damages personal to the minor child. This special time limit doesn’t apply to the parent’s claim for the amount of the child’s medical expenses that they covered; such claim is still subject to the three-year statute of limitations.
Thirdly, due to COVID-19, the Supreme Judicial Court in Massachusetts suspended and put-on hold, all civil statute of limitations between March 17th and June 30th, 2020. This order can possibly change how you compute statute of limitations deadlines in your case.
In addition to the time limit imposed by the stature of limitations, you must also be mindful of the monetary threshold, that you must have at least $2,000 in damages before you can file a personal injury claim against the other driver’s insurance company.
How Important Is Seeking Immediate Medical Attention Following A Car Accident?
Medical issues must always get documented by medical professionals. Go to the hospital and get medical attention because even if you feel like you are not hurt, there might be hidden injuries that you don’t realize, like a concussion or internal bleeding. Some of these injuries can be fatal if left untreated.
Furthermore, if you do not seek prompt medical attention, it can also be a detriment to your case. The adjuster can argue that since you waited for three to four weeks before going to the hospital, the injuries may not be as severe as you claim. Or, they can say that your injuries were not related to the accident because there was no documentation of those injuries right after the accident. Your medical records are also very important because they tend to show the degree of your injuries—how bad they were. This is why it’s important that you seek medical attention immediately.
Will Any Of My Past Unrelated Injuries Or Conditions Hurt My Personal Injury Case?
Probably not. The general rule is that you must be able to show that you suffered injuries that were caused by the defendant’s negligence. So, the issue here is causation. So, was the accident the real cause of your injuries? The insurance company’s defense attorney will probably ask for your medical records dating back to well before the accident happened. Chances are, if they find pre-existing medical conditions in your medical history, no matter how small or unrelated, they might try to blame or explain away your injuries. For example, they will probably argue that the accident couldn’t have caused your injuries due to your records’ information. They might say you were diagnosed with a herniated disc a few years ago, and it is the source of your pain. This is why you need an attorney to represent you because we know the defense attorney’s playbook, and we know how to handle it.
However, there are exceptions. It’s called the eggshell plaintiff doctrine, and the defendant must take the plaintiff as they find them. You can’t raise as a defense that the injury victim was frailer than the average person. Even if the plaintiff has pre-existing medical conditions that made them more vulnerable to an injury, the defendant is still responsible for the conditions worsened, exacerbated, or aggravated by the accident.
The question of how much you should be compensated for the aggravation of your pre-existing medical condition depends on factor such as the severity of your condition and the quality of life you had before the accident.
For more information on Being Injured In An Auto Wreck In Boston, MA, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (617) 752-7571 today.
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