How Does Fault or No-Fault State Apply to an Auto Accident Claim?
Massachusetts is a no-fault state. What that means is there are what’s called PIP benefits and that applies to automobile accidents. If you have this coverage, and most people do (although some people waive the coverage in an attempt to lower their insurance costs), then no matter who is deemed at fault, their insurance company will pay the first $2000 in medical bills, then it goes to the health insurance carrier if they have health insurance.
If the health insurance doesn’t cover that particular form of treatment, the PIP carrier will pay up to $8000 in medical bills and/or lost wages regardless of who is deemed to be at fault.
If the other party is deemed to be at fault then that insurance company will collect whatever they paid from the other party’s insurance company. It’s a little bit of a complicated system and that’s why it is a good idea to have an attorney help you.
Diligent Attorney Serving Boston Victims of Motor Vehicle Collisions
Determining which party is at fault following a car accident can be a complicated matter. There are multiple factors that go into this determination and sometimes the evidence isn’t clear. Many drivers involved in accidents are curious about how the insurance policies involved in the accident may apply and whether or not being at fault is a component of obtaining policy benefits.
At The Law Offices of Barry Feinstein & Affiliates P.C., we have over 25 years of experience handling motor vehicle accidents on behalf of injured Massachusetts residents.
Our team will handle each component of your claim, and has a good understanding of how fault and no-fault state laws apply to auto accidents. We work hard to gather evidence and negotiate with insurers, which don’t always have your best interests in mind.
Contact us to have an experienced Boston car accident lawyer assess your claim and answer your questions about your legal rights.
Am I Required to Notify my own Insurance Company Once an Accident has Occurred?
Yes, it is advisable to notify your own insurance company once an accident has occurred as soon as possible.
Am I Responsible for Notifying the Other Driver’s Insurance Company of the Accident?
If you hire our law firm, we’ll take care of notifying the other driver’s insurance company of the accident for you.
How Important are Evidence and Witnesses in Auto Accident Cases?
Evidence and witnesses are very important in any personal injury claim. If there is a dispute as to who is responsible for the accident, evidence and witnesses are vital. With the advance of technology, it’s important for clients to utilize their smartphones to photograph the evidence, the locus of the accident, tire tracks, skid marks, and pictures of the point of impact.
What Sort of Injuries do People Generally Sustain in Motorcycle Accidents as Opposed to Auto Accidents?
The types of injuries that we see in motorcycle accidents are oftentimes more serious. Common sense would dictate that in cases involving motorcycle accidents, there is nothing between the operator of the motorcycle and the road. So when you are comparing a motorcycle accident to a car accident, in cars there is metal between the driver and the point of impact. The physics of the motorcycle accident often has the driver being thrown over the handlebars and that can provide a very serious injury.
Is a Motorcycle Driver or Passenger Required to Wear a Helmet and Safety Gear in Massachusetts?
Yes, a helmet is required when operating or riding on a motorcycle. If someone is not wearing a helmet, I would think that it would be a factor in ascribing some sort of comparative negligence upon the operator if they fail to comply with the law on wearing a helmet.
Could not Wearing a Helmet Affect the Value if my Accident Claim?
Yes, not wearing a helmet can affect the value on an accident claim. Specifically, if the other party is deemed to be at fault and you weren’t wearing a helmet, it may possibly reduce your award by a certain percentage based on the fact that you were not wearing a helmet. The theory here is that if you were wearing a helmet, then maybe the injury would not have been as severe.
What do You Look for in a Viable Motorcycle Accident Case?
In a viable motorcycle accident case, I’m specifically looking to see if the fault is on the other operator.
What is the Importance Of Hiring an Attorney who is Specifically Experienced in Handling Motorcycle Accident Cases as Opposed to one who Only Handles Auto Accident Cases?
An attorney who is experienced in handling motorcycle accident cases would be an individual who is experienced in the nuances involved in motorcycle riding. Further, the recognizance of blind spots which may exist in the locus of the accident and be aware of the vulnerability of the driver of the motorcycle. Motorcycle riding is very popular in Massachusetts and throughout the nation, and of particular importance is the fact that a lot of Massachusetts’ roads are narrow. They are winding and there are blind spots. This is why somebody should be experienced in handling motorcycle cases and be aware of the locus of where the incident occurred.
For more information on Fault And No-Fault States, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (800) 262-9200 today.
The Role of Fault in Insurance Claims
Massachusetts is one of the few states in the US that take a no-fault approach to auto insurance following an accident. Massachusetts requires drivers to carry a Personal Injury Protection policy of at least $8,000 that provides compensation for lost wages and medical bills in the event that you are involved in an accident. Your insurer will provide you with these benefits regardless of whether you were ultimately at fault for the accident or not. Massachusetts describes itself as a modified no-fault state because it requires an insurer to pay you the policy limits on your insurance policy if you are injured in an accident regardless of who is at fault, but allows you to bring a lawsuit against the at-fault party for any non-monetary damages like pain and suffering if the damages exceed $2,000 or if other criteria are met.
The majority of states apply a fault-based approach to determining which party is liable for the damages and injuries that result following a car accident. In the fault-based system, the driver who is deemed responsible for the crash is the one who is responsible for paying for the other party’s injuries and damages. Fault may be easy to determine in some types of crashes like rear-end collisions, but it can be more difficult in complex cases. Also, there are many situations where both drivers are at fault for the accident.
Bringing a Lawsuit After a Car Crash
If you are injured in a car accident, you can file a personal injury claim against the driver who caused the accident to happen.
A knowledgeable injury attorney can answer any questions you may have about how fault and no-fault state laws apply to auto accidents. In the litigation, you will need to show that the other driver failed to operate his or her vehicle with adequate care and skill like a reasonable and prudent driver would when faced with a similar situation.
This includes paying attention to the road, driving appropriately for current roadway and weather conditions, and not engaging in distracted driving activities like texting or checking social media.
Obtaining a copy of any police reports prepared regarding the crash is a great way to determine whether the other driver breached the standard of care.
The next step in the lawsuit requires the plaintiff to show that the defendant’s failure to use the appropriate level of care was the direct and foreseeable cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.
If the defendant can show that some other factor was the cause of your harm, the defendant may not be required to provide you with compensation. Massachusetts has adopted the comparative negligence doctrine, which takes into account any negligence on the part of the plaintiff at the time of the crash.
Under this standard, the plaintiff will be barred from recovering any compensation if the plaintiff is deemed to be 51 percent or more at fault for the accident and his or her injuries.
The last phase of the legal matter involves determining the amount of compensation that the plaintiff is entitled to receive. There are many different types of damages that you can claim, including
- past and future medical bills,
- lost earnings,
- diminished future earning capacity, and
- pain and suffering.
A seasoned car accident lawyer can explain how fault and no-fault state laws apply to auto accidents like yours, and help you seek the full amount of compensation that you deserve.
Meet With a Reliable Car Accident Lawyer Serving Boston
There are countless different types of car accidents that can arise in a bustling metropolitan area like Boston.
At The Law Offices of Barry Feinstein & Affiliates P.C., we have provided reliable and compassionate legal counsel to Boston residents and their families for many years, which means we have the knowledge and experience it takes to help you pursue resolution of your claim as efficiently and promptly as possible.
Our legal team is available to serve clients in areas around Boston, Cambridge, Newton, Lowell, Waltham, Somerville, Quincy, Dedham, Norwood, Brookline, and Peabody. To set up your free consultation call us at (800) 262-9200 or contact us online.