Auto Accidents Are:

All claims for injury caused by the negligent operation of a car or another motor vehicle.

Automobile accidents include:

  • Truck accidents
  • Car accidents
  • Bus accidents
  • Passenger in a motor vehicle
  • Pedestrian injured by a motor vehicle

AUTO ACCIDENTs - an attorney's overview

These claims, which occur more often than any other type of personal injury claim, are far more complex than they seem. There is a highly developed series of laws and regulations that deal with these cases, many of which the average practitioner is generally unfamiliar. For example, Massachusetts law requires that before you file a lawsuit for motor vehicle negligence, you must have incurred reasonable medical expenses related to your injury in excess of $2,000.00.

Just because an accident occurs doesn't mean that either driver is "negligent". My job as your attorney is to identify the person or person(s) who were negligent; develop evidence of that negligence; identify the appropriate insurance company (see more below); track and develop evidence of your injury, including correspondence and reports from treating doctors and other medical experts; arguing with the insurers, their lawyers, and occasionally the courts; filing a lawsuit on your behalf if the insurer does not wish to settle; proceeding through formal "discovery", or information exchange; taking depositions; cross-examining witnesses; and, if need be, trying your case before a judge or jury.

The overwhelming majority of motor vehicle cases do settle prior to actual trial. My experience is, however, that there are very few insurers who will settle fairly prior to having to file suit and commence proceedings in court. You need someone in an automobile case, therefore, who is known for his ability to try cases, and is "at home" in a court setting. I have those skills, and have used them to try cases. I've also used the threat of trial as an extremely effective tool in settling clients' cases fairly, often well before trial occurs.

"PIP" (or "Personal Injury Protection") claims:

These are so-called "no fault" claims against the insurance carrier of the car you are occupying, including your own insurance, when you are injured in an automobile accident. Your own PIP claim does not affect your insurance rates, so you do not have to worry that by presenting a claim that it will "cost" you later on. PIP is a fund of $8,000 per claim. The first $2,000 is spent on reasonable medical benefits for conditions caused by the accident, after which you must "coordinate" benefits by seeking care through your health insurer, if available. You should also receive 75% of your lost wages for time out of work. It is my job as your lawyer to track your medical expenses, obtain information about your lost wages, and to argue with your insurer if and when they attempt to deny you benefits, which in my experience frequently occurs.

"Underinsured Motorists Claims":

Under Masssachusetts law, all drivers are required to carry a minimum of $20,000.00 per person /$40,000.00 per accident of insurance coverage. This is the 2000's, though, and $20,000 doesn't pay for what it used to fifteen years ago when that amount was set. You or a household member probably now carry more than $20,000 in "uninsured" or "underinsured" motorists' coverage yourself. I recommend to my clients that they obtain coverage limits of at least $50,000 to $100,000 for this coverage, to ensure that they will receive fair compensation if they are seriously injured. The added cost for this coverage adds only a few dollars a year to your insurance premium - it's the best insurance bargain in Massachusetts.

If the other operator who causes your injury is either driving illegally without insurance or does not have sufficient insurance, I can make a claim on your behalf against your own insurance if you have purchased this additional coverage. Again, like PIP, this claim will not have any effect on your insurance coverage or your future rates. These claims are frequently litigated, due to the insurer's refusal to pay a fair settlement.