If you find yourself in a car accident in Dorchester, Massachusetts, whether it is a fender bender or a total loss, it is essential to know the legal challenges that may lie ahead. You may benefit from consulting a personal injury attorney in your local area if you are injured in a car accident.
Failing to seek the help of a dedicated Dorchester car accident lawyer could hinder your ability to fully enforce your rights and pursue fair compensation. An experienced attorney could help guide you through the process and work with you to seek a positive outcome.
Massachusetts requires drivers to have automobile insurance coverage, which can affect recoverable civil damages for those injured in car collisions in Dorchester. Also referred to as compulsory coverage, the minimum insurance policy required by law covers the following:
While Massachusetts state law requires this basic coverage, other additional coverages for bodily injury, uninsured auto, property damage, underinsured, medical, and collision are available. Purchasing additional auto insurance may provide greater protection for an accident victim if the at-fault driver does not have insurance or enough coverage under their policy.
Massachusetts has specific laws and rules that are important for plaintiffs to be aware of, as they dictate the procedures—and often the outcomes—of auto accident claims and cases. A Dorchester car accident lawyer could help an injured victim understand these rules and ensure they adhere to them during the course of their case.
Massachusetts is a no-fault car insurance state, meaning that regardless of who caused an accident, injured parties cannot bring a lawsuit directly against the at-fault driver unless their claim meets certain requirements. To pursue a claim against an at-fault driver in Dorchester, the injured party must have incurred more than $2,000 in medical expenses—above the minimum personal injury protection coverage—or suffered permanent and serious disfigurement, fractured bones, or substantial loss of hearing or sight.
If one driver is determined to be the sole party responsible for an accident, they may be ordered to pay damages to the victim(s). But what if the plaintiff filing suit is found to be partially responsible as well?
Under the modified comparative negligence system that Massachusetts follows along with 20 other states, an injured party cannot recover damages if they are found 51 percent or more at fault for causing the accident. However, they may still recover if they are 50 percent or less at fault, but their recovery would be reduced by the percentage of fault they are determined to bear. For example, if the plaintiff is found 20 percent at fault, they would only be eligible to recover for a maximum of 80 percent of their total damages.
The statute of limitations is a law that determines the time frame in which an interested party may bring a legal action to enforce their rights or seek redress for their injuries. Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 260 §2A sets a statute of limitations of three years to recover for personal injuries after the cause of action accrues.
Because of this, anyone injured in a car accident in Massachusetts must file their lawsuit within three years from the date of their injury that resulted from the accident, as failure to do so may bar them from recovering compensation. Among other services, a qualified Dorchester car accident lawyer could help make sure a plaintiff files their case prior to the applicable deadline.
If you were injured in a car accident in the Dorchester area, do not hesitate to seek help from a professional. A Dorchester car accident lawyer who understands the aspects of automobile accident laws and procedures could review your situation and give you options for how you should proceed. An attorney could also work on your behalf, leaving you to focus on healing from your injuries. Call today to schedule a consultation and get started with your case.