Insurance Companies and Motor Vehicle Accidents
An Experienced Boston, Worcester and Springfield-area Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer Will Fight for Your Rights
The Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone knows that your immediate concerns after an accident are paying medical bills, receiving compensation for lost wages, and making sure the insurance company will pay for future treatment relating to your injury.
Our personal injury lawyers have a reputation for being fierce advocates for victims’ rights, and insurance companies know that we will hold them accountable for their obligation to adequately compensate victims for their injuries. We will fight relentlessly for the money owed to you by the insurance companies.
Speak to us Before Speaking to the Insurance Company
As soon as your own car insurance company and the insurance company of the person who caused the car accident are notified, each of them will want information for different reasons.
Before submitting to any recorded statement by an insurance adjuster or investigator, even if the other person’s liability seems obvious, contact the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone for direction and advice on how to proceed.
The insurance company is a business that feeds on a victim’s confusion, thus it is important that you make sure your rights are protected.
Types of Insurance Coverage for Car Accidents
In many states including Massachusetts, drivers are required by law to have a minimum amount of liability coverage. Liability coverage is insurance that pays for damages to others if you cause an accident.
In Massachusetts, the minimum liability coverage is $20,000 per person injured in any one accident, and $40,000 for all people injured in any one accident. You can pay for greater coverage if you wish, to protect you from loss if you are found at fault in a car accident.
Remember, liability insurance pays only to settle claims or pay judgments against you if you are found negligent.
Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Benefits
To protect yourself against claims from other drivers or passengers in case of a car accident, you can purchase a coverage known as “uninsured or underinsured motorist benefits.” This allows you to get paid by your own insurance company if a negligent driver has not enough liability insurance to pay for your bills.
Medical Payments Coverage
Medical Payments Coverage is an additional coverage that takes care of medical bills. It is meant to pay for the medical needs of a driver or passengers, and only covers those who are in the insured car.
Personal Injury Protection Coverage
In Massachusetts, personal injury protection will cover up to $8,000 in medical and work loss expenses, regardless of who is at fault in the accident. However, Massachusetts Personal Injury Protection does not cover riders and passengers involved in a motorcycle accident.
Another type of voluntary coverage is Collision Coverage. It helps to pay for repairs to or replacement of your vehicle after an accident, regardless of who is at fault.
What to Do If Your Insurance Company is Acting in “Bad Faith”
Insurance companies notoriously do everything they can to keep payments to a minimum. They often make low-ball offers or they delay making payments. They might even deny legitimate claims. The less they pay people, the better their business does. That’s one of the big reasons why people injured in car accidents hire personal injury attorneys. They need someone on their side who can fight to protect their rights.
Get Multiple Extra Recoveries for the Insurance Company’s Unfair Tactics
Sometimes insurance companies skirt their obligations to policy holders and act in “bad faith.” A bad faith insurance claim might involve the company delaying, discounting or denying payment without a reasonable basis for doing so. But there are many other instances of insurance bad faith:
- Using deceptive or ambiguous wording in the policy
- Failing to investigate a claim
- Failing to act within a reasonable time
- Failing to offer a defense if you are sued
The contract you sign with your insurance company has what is called an “implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.” This means the insurance company owes a duty of good faith and fair dealing to the people they insure. A bad faith insurance lawsuit may be related to any type of policy. Whether you bought a homeowners insurance policy or an automobile policy, you expect the company to stand by you when you need to file a claim.
If you are a victim of insurance bad faith, you may be entitled to seek not only compensation for your losses related to the original claim, but you may also be entitled to punitive damages from the insurance company. This is compensation awarded to people when the defendant’s behavior falls outside the bounds of acceptable conduct. If the insurance company has acted maliciously in the denial or delay of your claim, you may be entitled to such damages. Additionally, you may be entitled to compensation for emotional distress.
Compensation in Car and Truck Accident Claims
After you’ve been in a car or truck accident, you may be able to receive damages or compensation for:
- Recovery of medical expenses
- Payment for future medical care
- Recovery of lost wages and payment for loss of earning capacity
- Payment for pain and suffering
- Payment for property damage
Getting Your Medical Bills Paid After Your Accident
Generally, medical bills are not paid until the time your case is settled. However, if you have Personal Injury Protection or Medical Payments Coverage under your automobile insurance policy, you may be able to pay your medical bills as they are incurred by making a claim against your own coverage. Also, if you have health insurance, your medical bills may be paid by your health insurance company as you incur them.
If the other driver is at fault and has liability insurance, you may have the right to get compensation for your past and future medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, disfigurement, and physical impairment. If the at-fault driver does not have insurance, you may be entitled to get compensation from your own insurance company if you purchased Uninsured Motorist Insurance Coverage.
It is very important that you get medical care immediately after your accident. It’s equally important that you keep your doctor’s appointments. Being on top of your medical care strengthens your personal injury case.
Disputed Liability – Our Lawyers Fight for the Rights of Clients
You’ve been in a car accident in Massachusetts and know it wasn’t your fault. However, the other driver’s insurance company is not accepting blame. A claims adjuster might even say you were at fault. You and the other driver may be giving two very different accounts of what happened.
A liability dispute after a car accident can involve any number of circumstances. The following are a few different examples of disputed liability claims our car accident attorneys handle:
- Police report says you were at fault: Police may say you were to blame for the car accident, but you might have documentation, photos or witnesses who can vouch for you. Our attorneys can help support your claim. If any driver in the accident was more than 50 percent at fault, that driver must pay for all the losses. That means you can be partially at fault and still recover from the other driver’s insurance company.
- 50-50 responsibility: If it’s determined that you and the other driver are both 50 percent responsible for the accident, you can recover compensation, but your recovery will be reduced by half. This can become a problem if you don’t have collision coverage and receive only half the amount to cover fixing your car. If you have steep medical bills, you may not be adequately compensated. If you believe the other driver was more than 50 percent responsible, then the other driver’s insurance company must cover all your losses and expenses. You won’t have to pay anything out of your pocket. If this is the case, contact the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone as soon as possible to learn about your rights.
- Intersection accidents: Accidents at intersections with traffic lights or four-way stop signs can lead to liability disputes. These are classic “he said-she said” accidents. You and the other driver might claim to both have had green lights. You and the other driver might claim to have had the right of way at the four-way stop sign intersection. In such cases, it’s wise to have a skilled attorney with a team of investigators to help prove your side of the story.
- You’re deemed at fault, but other driver was cited: If the other driver broke the law and was cited by a police officer, you will have strong evidence that the other driver was at fault. We can examine the police report to show the insurance company that the other driver acted negligently.
How to Appeal a Decision that You Were at Fault
If you disagree with a ruling that you were at fault in an accident, one of your options is to appeal the determination to the Board of Appeal at the Division of Insurance. You must request this appeal within 30 days of the date shown on the at-fault notice that you receive from the insurance company. You will need to either appear in person at the hearing; submit a written statement in lieu of your appearance; or select a representative to appear on your behalf.
Our attorneys have experience helping people with such appeals. We can help you gather relevant information, including documents and photographs, to support your claim. You also can bring witnesses to the hearing. For more information about how we can help, call 800-WIN-WIN-1.
Contact the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone
If you believe an insurance carrier has failed in its obligation and is not negotiating with you in good faith, call 800-WIN-WIN-1 today for a free consultation. Our Massachusetts attorneys are very familiar with the tactics insurance companies use to keep payments out of the pockets of injury victims and families who lost loved ones. At the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone, we are well-versed in Massachusetts laws and will fight hard on behalf of clients to make sure they are treated fairly.
There is no obligation. If we handle your case, you pay us nothing unless we win. That’s because we work on a contingency fee basis. In bad faith settlements and verdicts, the insurance companies often are ordered to pay the victim’s attorney’s fees in addition to other damages. Contact us a Boston Car Accident Lawyer at the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone. Tell them you mean business.