Who Pays For My Car Accident?
You deserve to be compensated for your crash. We can help
Immediately after a car accident, your main concern is getting the proper medical care you or a loved one needs to get better due to a serious injury. Then comes your next big issue - how will you pay for everything?
Expenses associated with a motor vehicle accident can add up fast. We know because our car accident lawyers deal with serious motor vehicle accidents every single day. Along with emergency medical bills, there's the cost of repairing or replacing your car, lost wages, future medical care and even modifications to your home if you or a loved one sustains a permanent disabling injury.
In most cases, the insurance company for the driver who caused your crash should compensate you for everything. But things aren't often as simple as they seem. That's because many insurance companies do everything they can to avoid paying accident victims the money they deserve after their crash. That's why it's critical that you contact us as soon as possible.
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Insurance companies know that accident victims rarely know what to do immediately after an accident. They feed on that confusion. They often contact injury victims immediately after an accident and ask seemingly simple questions or make an offer that sounds reasonable.
In truth, most insurance companies only care about one thing - paying injury victims as little as possible. That's why they go fishing for information they can use to reduce or deny an accident victim's claim. That's not right. That's why we want to help.
- Fault vs. no fault auto insurance states
- Types of Insurance Coverage for Car Accidents
- "What should I do if an insurance company is acting in 'bad faith'?"
- Compensation for Car Accident Claims
- Disputed Liability - What if the other driver's insurance company does not accept blame?
Our accident attorneys have a reputation for being fierce advocates for victims' rights. Insurance companies don't intimidate us. We know how to hold them accountable and make sure they honor their obligation to fairly compensate victims for their injuries.
So before submitting any recorded statement to an insurance adjuster or investigator, even if the other person clearly caused your crash, contact the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone in Massachusetts or the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone & Morelli in Connecticut for advice on how to best proceed. We're familiar with the tactics insurance companies use to keep payments out of the pockets of injury victims and families who lost loved ones.
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. Call 1-800-WIN-WIN-1 and schedule your free case evaluation right now.
Depending on where your accident took place, different rules could apply to your accident. This is especially true in terms of car insurance in "fault" and "no fault" states. Massachusetts is a "no fault" insurance state. Connecticut is a "fault" state.
In Massachusetts, peopled injured in a car accident file a claim with their own insurance company, regardless of who's at fault. In Connecticut, the insurance company for the driver found to be fault in an accident pays for injury-related expenses.
However, a lot of confusion exists regarding these rules. Because Massachusetts is "no fault" state, many people think they cannot take legal action against a driver who caused their accident. That is absolutely not true. You can take a driver to court in Massachusetts if they caused your accident and your medical expenses exceeded $2,000 or your injury resulted in a permanent disability.
That's why we strongly urge you to contact our law firm if you've been involved in a car accident in Massachusetts or Connecticut. Even if your accident seems minor, you would be amazed by how quickly expenses can add up after a crash. And if you don't take legal action, you could end up paying those expenses out of pocket, even if your accident wasn't your fault.
- Liability Coverage
In most states, including Massachusetts and Connecticut, drivers must have a minimum amount of liability coverage. This is a form of insurance that pays for damages to others if you cause an accident.
In Massachusetts and Connecticut, the minimum liability coverage is $20,000 per person injured in an accident and $40,000 total per accident. You can also purchase more liability coverage if you want to protect your financial assets in case you are found at fault in a car accident.
However, such insurance only applies if you have been found at fault in an accident. You do not need to worry about compensating other injury victims in most cases if you did not cause your car accident.
- Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Benefits
By law, drivers must have insurance in Massachusetts and Connecticut. However, many drivers ignore those laws and drive without insurance. If an uninsured driver causes your car accident, you might have a hard time obtaining the compensation you rightly deserve for your accident.
Fortunately, insurance companies provide insurance designed to protect drivers against exactly this situation. Such insurance can also apply to accidents involving drivers who are "underinsured," meaning their insurance coverage does not cover the full cost of your accident.
Known as "uninsured or underinsured motorist benefits," this allows you to get paid by your own insurance company if a negligent driver does not have enough liability insurance to pay all the bills associated with your accident.
Connecticut motorists also have access to a unique type of coverage called underinsured motorist conversion coverage. With normal underinsured motorist coverage, you can only claim benefits from your insurance company up to the difference between your underinsured motorist coverage and the at-fault driver's liability coverage. For instance, if you have $75,000 in underinsured motorist coverage and the at-fault driver has $50,000 in liability coverage, you can only claim an additional $25,000 from your own insurance for $75,000 in total compensation - even if the cost of the accident was higher than $75,000. Underinsured motorist conversion coverage allows you to claim up to the full amount of your underinsured motorist policy regardless of how much coverage the at-fault driver has.
- Medical Payments Coverage
Medical Payments Coverage is an additional insurance coverage designed to pay an accident victims' medical bills. Such coverage is meant to pay for the medical needs of a driver or passengers, but only covers people who were in the insured person's vehicle.
- Personal Injury Protection Coverage
In Massachusetts, drivers must be offered Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. This insurance is designed to compensate people injured in a car accident for medical expenses and lost income regardless of who caused the accident. In Massachusetts, drivers must be offered a minimum of $8,000 per person per accident in PIP coverage, but this critical coverage can be waived by a car owner. However, Massachusetts Personal Injury Protection does not cover riders and passengers involved in a motorcycle accident. PIP coverage is voluntary in Connecticut.
- Collision Coverage
Another type of voluntary coverage is Collision Coverage. This form of insurance helps pay for repairs or replacement of your vehicle after an accident, regardless of who is at fault.
Insurance companies notoriously do everything they can to keep payments to a minimum. They often make low-ball offers or delay making payments for weeks or months. They might even deny legitimate claims. The less they pay people, the more money their business makes.
When insurance companies don't act according to the terms of the insurance policy or don't follow the law, that's known as acting in "bad faith." Such actions often violate state laws. As a result, you could have grounds for taking legal action against an insurance company for its actions. 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 offer a defense
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 is required by law to act in good faith and deal fairly with the people they insure, including you. A bad faith insurance lawsuit may be related to any type of policy. Whether you bought a homeowner's 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.
If you suspect an insurance company is acting in bad faith, we strongly urge you to take the following steps:
- Compile all written documents you have received from the insurance company about your accident. Even if a certain document doesn't seem important or relevant to your accident, make sure you keep all written information you have received from the insurance company.
- If you have had phone conversations with the insurance company, write down what they said to you. Also make sure to write down the date and time of the conversation, as well as the name of the person you spoke with, if possible. That way, you'll have a record of what happened
- Contact the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone. We have years of experience fighting for the rights of accident victims treated unfairly by insurance companies. If we believe an insurance company has acted in bad faith, we can help you take legal action, including filing a lawsuit if necessary.
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
Generally, medical bills are not paid until the time your case is settled. However, if you have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) 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.
You've been in a car accident 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 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 might 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 us 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 light You and the other driver might claim to have had the right of way at the four-way stop. 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 might 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.