Car collisions have become so commonplace that if you are involved in a car accident, you must meet certain qualifications to file a lawsuit or a third-party insurance claim. If you need help determining your legal rights and options after a car accident, a Brookline car accident lawyer may be able to help you evaluate the cause of the car wreck and determine whether you have a valid claim for compensation. Working with a dedicated personal injury attorney could fight for a favorable outcome to your injuries.
Massachusetts maintains a “no-fault” law for auto insurance and car accidents. This means, no matter who is at fault for a wreck, each person will file a claim with their own auto insurance for their out-of-pocket losses under their personal injury protection (PIP) or medical payments coverage. Insurance companies are required to pay up to the coverage limit, no matter who caused the accident.
Massachusetts General Laws Ch. 175 §108 outlines insurance laws and requirements related to accident claims. Unless the injuries meet certain requirements, injured parties are prohibited from filing a third-party insurance claim or a lawsuit against an at-fault driver. This typically means people may not file a lawsuit and claim pain and suffering or other non-economic losses under most circumstances.
In order to file a lawsuit alleging injury, the victim’s reasonable medical expenses must be at least $2,000 or their injuries must include permanent or serious disfigurement, broken bones, or substantial loss of hearing and sight.
If one or both conditions apply, the injured party can file a lawsuit, file a third-party claim with the at-fault’s insurance company, and can pursue compensation for all losses. In these cases, a victim could pursue non-economic damages like pain and suffering and loss of consortium.
Potential plaintiffs who are unsure if they meet these conditions may wish to consult a Brookline car accident lawyer. Since these qualifiers are open to interpretation by a jury, an accomplished attorney could help a plaintiff if they could recover damages and what steps they could take.
The purpose of a lawsuit after a car wreck is compensation for the damages the victim sustained as a direct result of the accident. Although compensation may vary from one case to the next, damages may include:
The jury may consider how long the victim’s injury could last, disfigurement, and the level of pain when determining a potential compensation award. To this effect, it may be valuable to have a legal representative collect documentation, such as a physician’s notes or paystubs.
The injury threshold for filing a lawsuit is open to interpretation. An attorney could help you determine whether your legal claim must remain in the no-fault system or if you should seek remedy through legal action. Allow a well-versed Brookline car accident lawyer to stand beside you after a car accident. Call an attorney today to learn more about the compensation that may be available to you.