Insurance Claims Attorney in Massachusetts
Experienced Attorney Advocating for the Rights of Accident Victims Against Insurers
One of the most daunting aspects of a personal injury lawsuit is dealing with insurance companies. Whether it is your insurer or the insurer for the person or entity at fault for the accident, these companies may not have your best interests in mind. In some instances, they will do whatever they can to avoid paying benefits for an accident victim’s injuries and damages.
Our insurance claims lawyers in MA can provide you with the aggressive advocacy that you need to ensure that you receive the fair treatment that you deserve. This is especially critical in claims involving uninsured or underinsured motorist accidents. Whether you have already started the claims process or have questions about how to get started, The Law Offices of Barry Feinstein & Affiliates P.C. is ready to assist you. Contact us now to schedule a free consultation with our Massachusetts personal injury attorneys and learn more about your legal options.
Understanding Insurance Claims
An insurance claim is a contractual arrangement between the policyholder and the insurance provider. Insurance claims are formal requests made by policyholders to their insurance companies, seeking compensation for losses or damages covered under their insurance policies. These claims serve as the means by which individuals and businesses can recover financially from unforeseen events that result in financial losses, such as accidents, injuries, property damage, or medical expenses.
When an insured event occurs, the policyholder notifies the insurance company, which then initiates a process to assess the validity of the claim and, if approved, provides compensation as stipulated in the insurance policy. The goal of insurance claims is to alleviate the financial burden that unexpected events can place on individuals, families, and businesses. Whether you’re dealing with property damage, personal injury, or other insurance-related issues, our Massachusetts insurance claims attorney can guide you through the complexities of the legal process.
Handling Insurance Claims and the Issue of Bad Faith
If you were injured in a car accident, a slip and fall, or another serious accident, the chances are that you will need to file a claim with an insurance company. This is especially difficult in situations in which the person who caused the accident to occur lacks sufficient coverage to compensate you for your damages. According to Massachusetts law, each insurance policy contains an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. This means that an insurer needs to abide by the terms of the policy and respond to claims and related communications in a timely fashion.
If your insurer or the at-fault party’s insurer refuses to adhere to the policy requirements, an insurance attorney at our firm can potentially bring a bad faith claim against the insurer. This essentially means that the insurer is violating the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. If it is the at-fault party’s insurer that is refusing to abide by the coverage terms, the at-fault party is technically the party that has standing to assert this claim. That party can assign you the right to pursue compensation from the insurer in exchange for a waiver of pursuing any claims against the at-fault party. If it is your own insurer who is refusing to comply, you have to stand to assert this claim. Insurance policies can be complex and often contain intricate terms and interrelated provisions. Having an experienced lawyer on your side can make all of the difference when it comes to ensuring that you receive the full compensation that you deserve.
Identifying Common Bad Faith Tactics Used By Insurance Companies
There are many ways to tell if an insurance company is engaging in bad faith tactics, with which a Massachusetts insurance claims attorney will be familiar. Approving claims often means lower profits for the company, which leads many insurers to try to avoid paying a meritorious claim if at all possible.
A common way that insurers may attempt to avoid paying benefits is by disputing the injuries or damages that you suffered. The insurer may try to argue that your injury stems from a pre-existing condition or that some other event after the accident was the direct cause of your injuries. Some policies also have provisions limiting the scope and types of medical treatment that the insurer will reimburse, which often is phrased as the reasonable medical treatment directly related to the injury.
Here are some of the ways insurance companies may try to take advantage of you:
- Requiring you to take an Examination Under Oath (EUO): During this process, you will be sworn under oath, and the insurance company’s attorney may ask you any question at all that they feel is relevant to the case.
- Requiring you to get an Independent Medical Examination (IME): The insurance company requires that a second physician confirm that your injuries are as bad as you claim.
- Limiting the amount of money offered for specialty prescription drugs you need to take after your injury: If you are prescribed a drug that has just hit the market, a biological drug, or a drug that has no generic alternative, your insurance company may refuse to provide full coverage.
- Failing to provide you with any compensation for lost wages in the settlement offer: Insurance companies love to prey on victims who aren’t aware that they are entitled to these wages when extending an initial settlement offer. If your insurance policy covers lost wages, you are entitled to compensation for the income from time off work while you were recovering from your injuries.
- Demanding that you sign unlimited medical release authorizations, essentially giving them insight into every aspect of your well-being: A medical authorization release is a document that does nothing but hurt your claim; it gives the insurance company permission to dig through all of your medical records.
- Limiting the amount awarded to you for Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance: PIP insurance is a mandatory form of insurance coverage that generally comes into play when you have been injured in a no-fault state. This coverage is supposed to pay for medical bills and lost income following your accident.
- Trying to get you to settle before you realize the full extent of your injuries: If you have a personal injury claim, the insurance company might call you immediately after the incident, offering to settle. The reason for pressuring you to settle early is to keep you from having the time to realize the full extent of your injuries.
- Demanding a confidential settlement, which can make any proceeds you receive taxable by the IRS: In a normal insurance settlement, the compensation that you receive is not considered income and thus is not taxed by the federal or state government. If your insurance company demands a confidentiality clause in your settlement agreement, however, this should raise a red flag.
- Conning you into signing documents you don’t understand: When you sign a settlement agreement with an insurance company, you don’t simply sign a one-page document and go on your way. Oftentimes, a person signs these documents without reading carefully into what the paperwork subjects him to.
- Taking notes or recording during conversations with the insurance claims adjuster: When it comes to communicating with your insurance adjuster, you can almost guarantee that every second of your conversation is being recorded. Insurance companies can bait you into saying things that hurt your case to validate a low settlement offer.
How To File For An Insurance Claim?
Filing an insurance claim in Massachusetts is a step-by-step process that involves careful documentation, communication, and adherence to specific guidelines. Whether you’re dealing with property damage, personal injury, or any other covered event, our Massachusetts insurance claims lawyer can help you understand the process and ensure a successful outcome.
Report the Incident
As soon as an event occurs that could lead to an insurance claim, notify your insurance company. Prompt reporting is crucial to initiate the claims process.
Provide Essential Information
During the initial report, provide essential information about the incident. This includes details such as the date, time, location, and a brief description of what happened. The accuracy of this information is essential for the claims process.
Document the Scene
If it’s safe to do so, document the scene of the incident by taking photographs or videos. This documentation can provide valuable evidence for your claim and help demonstrate the extent of damages or injuries.
Obtain Police Reports
For incidents involving accidents, thefts, or other criminal activities, it’s advisable to obtain a police report. This official document can support your claim and provide an objective account of the incident.
Gather Supporting Documentation
Collect all relevant documentation, such as medical records (for personal injury claims), receipts for expenses incurred, repair estimates, and any other evidence that supports your claim. These documents help substantiate your case.
Communicate with the Adjuster
Your insurance company will assign an adjuster to your claim. The adjuster’s role is to assess the damages, review your documentation, and determine the extent of coverage. Cooperate fully with the adjuster and provide any requested information promptly.
Provide a Detailed Statement
When requested, provide a detailed statement about the incident. Describe what happened, the factors leading up to the event, and any relevant circumstances. A clear and accurate statement is crucial for a fair assessment.
Wait for Evaluation
Once you’ve provided all necessary documentation and statements, the insurance company will evaluate your claim. This process may involve a thorough review of the evidence and negotiations if the extent of damages is disputed.
Review Settlement Offer
If your claim is approved, the insurance company will make a settlement offer based on their assessment of the damages and your policy coverage. Review the offer carefully and consider whether it adequately addresses your losses.
Acceptance or Appeal
If you’re satisfied with the settlement offer, you can accept it, and the insurance company will disburse the agreed-upon compensation. If you’re dissatisfied, you have the right to appeal the decision by following the insurer’s appeal process.
Massachusetts Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases
In Massachusetts, the statute of limitations for insurance claims can vary depending on the specific details of your claim and the type of insurance. The statutes of limitations can be complex and might be subject to exceptions or extensions under certain circumstances. If you’re unsure about the applicable statute of limitations for your insurance claim, our Massachusetts insurance claims attorney can provide you with accurate information based on your particular situation.
For personal injury claims, such as those arising from car accidents or other incidents causing bodily harm, the statute of limitations in Massachusetts is generally three years from the date of the injury. This means that you have three years from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for your injuries.
In some situations, the three-year personal injury statute of limitations deadline can be extended—or, more accurately, the “clock” might be paused—including:
- If the at-fault person resides or moves outside of Massachusetts at some point after the accident, the statute of limitations “clock” probably won’t run during the absence.
- If the at-fault person “fraudulently conceals” their liability or otherwise takes steps to keep the injured person from understanding their right to file a lawsuit, then the time during which the fraud/concealment is ongoing probably won’t be counted as part of the three-year filing period.
- If, at the time of the underlying accident, the injured person was under 18 years of age or was mentally ill, they’ll likely be entitled to the full three years to get their personal injury lawsuit filed once they reach 18 or have their competence restored.
Get in Touch with our Personal Injury Lawyer Today!
If you were involved in a car crash or another serious accident, you likely have questions about the best way to proceed in the aftermath. Navigating the complex world of insurance claims can be a daunting task, especially when unexpected events throw your life into turmoil.
Although you may feel that you are doing everything possible to hold the insurer accountable, our personal injury law firm is here to be your dedicated advocate in this journey. Our Massachusetts personal injury lawyers may be able to investigate the situation more thoroughly and build a strong case of bad faith against the insurer. We understand the challenges you face when seeking fair compensation from insurance companies.
At The Law Offices of Barry Feinstein & Affiliates P.C., we can handle claims for people in Boston, Cambridge, Waltham, Newton, Somerville, Lowell, Quincy, Dedham, Norwood, Brookline, Peabody, and other cities. To schedule a free consultation, call us or contact us online.