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Boston Car Accident Lawyer

Confused After a Boston Car Accident? Know Your Rights and Take Action Now!

Accidents happen, especially on busy Boston streets. You’re not alone if a car accident left you injured and confused. Our Boston car accident lawyer can assist you in understanding the legal process. They can also advocate for the compensation you deserve.

Car accidents occur when a vehicle crashes into another vehicle, pedestrian, animal, object, or obstacle, whether it’s moving or stationary. These accidents vary from minor bumps causing minor damage to severe crashes resulting in injuries or even death. If you’ve been in a car accident in Boston and are unsure what to do next, continue reading. 

Quick Summary: 

  • Common causes of car accidents in Massachusetts include distracted driving, speeding, drunk driving, and weather conditions.
  • Injuries resulting from car accidents can range from minor bruises to severe trauma and even wrongful death.
  • Following a car accident, it’s essential to ensure safety, gather information, and protect yourself by avoiding admitting fault and seeking medical attention.
  • Pursuing compensation for a car accident involves proving duty of care, demonstrating the defendant’s failure to fulfill it, establishing causation, and documenting your injuries and losses.
  • Massachusetts operates under a no-fault system, but exceptions exist for serious injuries and loss of work, while the state follows a modified comparative negligence system.
  • You have three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit, with exemptions for minors and those mentally incapacitated.
  • Compensation for car accidents can cover economic damages like medical expenses and lost wages, as well as non-economic damages like pain and suffering.

What are Car Accidents? 

Car accidents are also known as traffic collisions or motor vehicle collisions. They occur when a vehicle collides with another vehicle, pedestrian, animal, object, or another moving or stationary obstruction. These accidents can range from minor fender-benders with little damage to very serious crashes with injuries or fatalities.

There are many different types of car accidents, with some of the most common being:

  • Head-on collisions: When the fronts of two vehicles collide head-to-head.
  • Rear-end collisions: When the front of one vehicle strikes the rear of another vehicle.
  • Side-impact collisions (T-bone accidents): When the side of one vehicle hits the side or front of another vehicle.
  • Rollover accidents: When a vehicle flips over onto its side or roof.
  • Single-vehicle accidents: When a vehicle crashes into an object or terrain without hitting another vehicle.

Beyond the immediate impact, these collisions can have long-lasting consequences. Determine the factors contributing to car accidents and explore ways to keep ourselves and others safe.

What are the Common Causes of Car Accidents in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts roads are busy, and unfortunately, accidents happen. Here are the most frequent factors contributing to collisions on Massachusetts roadways.

  • Distracted Driving
  • Speeding
  • Drunk Driving
  • Reckless Driving
  • Weather Conditions
  • Drowsy Driving
  • Failure to Yield Right of Way
  • Unsafe Lane Changes
  • Mechanical Failures
  • Inexperienced Drivers
  • Road Conditions
  • Driving Under the Influence of Drugs
  • Tailgating
  • Running Red Lights or Stop Signs

If you have been involved in a car accident, understanding the common causes of car accidents in Massachusetts can help you check your options in pursuing legal claims. 

What Injuries Result from Car Accidents? 

Car accidents can result in various injuries, ranging from minor to severe. Some common injuries include:

  • Broken Bones
  • Severe Bruising
  • Amputations
  • Scarring and Disfigurement
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Internal injuries
  • Psychological trauma
  • Wrongful Death

The severity of these injuries can vary depending on factors such as the speed of the vehicles involved, the use of seat belts and airbags, and the presence of other safety features in the vehicle.

Are There Speed Limits in Massachusetts?

Yes. Massachusetts has speed limits in place to regulate traffic flow and promote safety on the roads. Here’s a breakdown of speed limits in Massachusetts:

  • Unposted Speed Limit: On undivided highways outside of thickly settled or business districts, the speed limit is 40 mph.
  • Thickly Settled or Business District: In these areas, the speed limit is generally 30 mph for at least 1/8 of a mile. Some municipalities may have adopted lower limits under specific provisions of Massachusetts law.
  • Posted Speed Limits: Many roads have specific speed limits posted with signs. These limits can vary depending on the type of road, traffic conditions, and surrounding development.

Massachusetts has been working hard to deal with the dangers caused by speeding. Drivers must follow the speed limits shown on signs. If there are no signs, you should drive at a safe speed, considering the road conditions, weather, and any dangers.

What Should I Do After a Car Accident?

Here’s a breakdown of what you should do immediately after a car accident, focusing on safety and protecting your rights:

Ensure Safety

  • Check for Injuries: Before anything else, assess yourself and any passengers in your car for injuries. If anyone is seriously hurt, call 911 immediately.
  • Turn on Hazard Lights: Turn on your hazard lights to warn other drivers of the accident and avoid further collisions.
  • Move to a Safe Location: If possible, move your car to the side of the road or a safe area away from traffic. That minimizes the risk of further accidents and allows emergency responders easy access.

Secure the Scene

  • Call 911: Even for minor accidents, it’s crucial to call the police and report the accident. This creates an official record and allows officers to investigate and direct traffic if needed.
  • Exchange Information: Once it’s safe, exchange contact information with all involved drivers, including names, phone numbers, and insurance companies. Take pictures of driver’s licenses, insurance cards, and license plates if possible.
  • Gather Information: If there are any witnesses, try to get their names and contact information. Take pictures of the accident scene, damage to vehicles, and any surrounding landmarks or traffic signs.

Protect Yourself Legally

  • Avoid Admitting Fault: Don’t apologize or say anything that could be interpreted as admitting fault for the accident. Stick to the facts and explain what happened from your perspective.
  • Don’t Discuss the Accident on Social Media: Avoid posting about the accident on social media until you’ve spoken with your insurance company and a lawyer (if needed).
  • Contact Your Insurance Company: As soon as possible, contact your insurance company and report the accident. Follow their instructions for filing a claim.

Additional Tips

  • Don’t Leave the Scene: Leaving the scene of an accident, even a minor one, is a crime. Stay at the scene and cooperate with the police.
  • Document Everything: Take pictures, and videos, and gather as much information as possible to support your case.
  • Seek Medical Attention: Even if you don’t feel immediate pain, get checked out by a doctor after an accident. Some injuries may not be apparent right away.
  • Consider Legal Advice: For complex accidents or serious injuries, consider consulting with a Boston car accident lawyer. They can advise you on your legal rights and help you navigate the claims process.

By following these steps, you can take control of the situation after a car accident, protect your health and safety, and ensure you have the information needed to move forward.

How Can I Pursue Compensation for My Car Accident?

Serious car accidents are often complicated. Figuring out how to safeguard your legal rights can be tough. In Massachusetts, you must prove specific things before you can get compensation.

  1. Proving Duty of Care – First, you have to prove that the person you’re suing had a responsibility to be careful. When driving, everyone has to be as careful as a good driver would be in a similar situation. This means they must be careful not just for their passengers but also for other drivers and people walking.
  2. The Defendant Failed to Fulfill Their Duty of Care – Next, you have to show that the person being sued didn’t drive as carefully as they should have. There are many ways they might not have been careful, like texting while driving, going too fast, or driving drunk. You might need witnesses or other evidence to show how the accident happened and how their carelessness caused it.
  3. The Defendant’s Conduct Caused the Collision – If you prove that the person being sued didn’t drive as carefully as they should have, you also must show that the crash and your injuries were directly because of their actions. If they can prove that something else (like bad weather or a problem with the road) caused your injuries more than their actions did, you might not get compensation.
  4. Your Injuries and Monetary Losses Were Related to the Crash – Lastly, you have to show how the crash affected you. You might get money to cover things like doctor bills, money you couldn’t earn because you were hurt, and how the crash made you feel emotionally.

What Do I Have to Consider in Pursuing a Car Accident Claim?

Here’s a breakdown of some key legal considerations when pursuing car accident claims in Massachusetts:

Massachusetts No-Fault System

Massachusetts operates under a no-fault car insurance system. That means that regardless of who caused the accident, you initially file a claim with your insurance company for medical expenses and lost wages up to your policy limits.

Exceptions to No-Fault

There are exceptions to the no-fault system where you can pursue a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company:

  • Serious Injuries: If your injuries are considered “serious” according to Massachusetts law, you can take legal action against the driver who caused the accident for all the harm you’ve suffered, like pain, lost wages, and damage to your belongings. A “serious injury” usually means you have permanent disfigurement, lost some body function, a major fracture, or a second or third-degree burn.
  • Loss of Work: If your injuries cause you to lose more than two weeks of work and incur medical expenses exceeding $2,000, you can also sue the at-fault driver.

Modified Comparative Negligence

Massachusetts follows a modified comparative negligence system. That means that your recovery can be reduced by the percentage you’re found to be at fault for the accident.

For example, if you’re deemed 20% at fault and your total damages are $10,000, you’d receive $8,000 ($10,000 x 80%).

Statute of Limitations

You have three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit for personal injury or property damage in Massachusetts. However, some exemptions to this rule can extend the deadline for filing a lawsuit including:

  • Minority: If the injured person was a minor (under 18) at the time of the accident, the three-year clock doesn’t start ticking until their 18th birthday. They would then have three years from that date to file a lawsuit. 
  • Mental Incapacity: If the injured person was mentally incapacitated at the time of the injury and unable to understand the nature and consequences of their legal rights, the statute of limitations may be tolled until their mental capacity is restored. A doctor’s evaluation would be necessary to establish this.

Missing the deadline to file a lawsuit can significantly impact your ability to recover compensation for your damages. Make sure you file your claim timely. 

What Compensation Can I Recover?

The type and amount of compensation you can recover after an accident depends on the specifics of your case. Here’s a breakdown of some common categories of recoverable damages in car accident personal injury claims:

Economic Damages

  • Medical Expenses
  • Lost Wages
  • Property Damage
  • Home modification

Non-Economic Damages

  • Pain and Suffering
  • Loss of Consortium
  • Scarring and Disfigurement
  • Wrongful Death

Call our Boston Car Accident Lawyers Now!

We have seen many times how stressful and life-changing a car accident can be for a victim. The legal system can be complicated and confusing, especially if you have never been involved in a lawsuit. The Law Offices of Barry Feinstein & Affiliates P.C. can stand by you throughout the entire process. We can guide you from investigating the claim to protecting your rights against insurance companies

We have served victims and their families in the areas around Boston, Cambridge, Waltham, Lowell, Newton, Somerville, Quincy, Dedham, Norwood, Brookline, Peabody, and more areas in New England. Call us today to schedule a free consultation with our attorneys following a car, pedestrian, motorcycle, or bicycle accident.

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