If you have been in a car accident, having a thorough understanding of the law as it pertains to car accidents and the claims process can help guide you as you pursue damages for your injuries and losses. While you should always work with an experienced Lynn car accident lawyer, refer to the following information for a general overview about the legal basics of car accidents in Lynn–
- The Basics of Massachusetts’ No-Fault Law for Car Accidents
One benefit of Massachusetts’ car accident laws is that if you have been in a crash, you can turn to your own insurance company for compensation regardless of whose fault caused the accident. This is called a “no-fault” car insurance system and it allows you to seek compensation for your injuries regardless of fault for your medical expenses and 75% of your average weekly wage for your lost wages.
Even with no-fault laws in the state, drivers can step outside of the no-fault system and bring forth a claim against the other driver when injuries result in more than $2,000 worth of medical expenses or/and injuries are “serious.” Massachusetts defines injuries of this type as those that cause loss of a body member, serious disfigurement, or loss of sight or hearing or a permanent injury. Damages for injuries that result in death can also be pursued outside of the no-fault system (Chapter 231 Section 6D of Massachusetts General Laws).
- Comparative Fault Laws
While minor claims will surely be settled within the confines of the no-fault system, more serious claims may involve an injured party filing a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance, or even filing a lawsuit for compensation. When this is the case, the state’s rules of comparative fault will apply. As found in Massachusetts code, this rule holds that if a plaintiff contributed to their own injuries in any way, he or she will not be barred from filing a suit against the at-fault driver, so long as the plaintiff’s degree of fault was not greater than the defendant’s. Further, the rule also reads that while there will be no bar to recovery, the claimant’s amount of recoverable damages will be reduced in proportion to their degree of fault. Therefore, if the Plaintiff was found to be 30% at fault (ie: was on the cell phone at the time of the accident or otherwise distracted), then the Plaintiff’s award of damages would be reduced by 30%. A $10,000.00 award would be reduced to the sum of $7,000.00 for instance.
- Statute of Limitations
Finally, it is important to note that there is a statute of limitations for filing a car accident suit after a crash, and that if you do not file your suit within this time frame, you will be permanently unable to recover damages. The statute of limitations in Massachusetts , or time limit, for bringing forth a personal injury claim after a car accident to recover compensation is generally three years from the date that the accident occurred.
Contact an Experienced Lynn Car Accident Lawyer Today
Knowing the law regarding car accident cases, and what your rights and options are for bringing forth a claim after an accident, is important. Because navigating the rules on your own can be complicated, and even the smallest of errors could result in a reduction in your total settlement amount, we urge you to contact the offices of Deborah Gold-Alexander, Attorney at Law, today for a free car accident case consultation. Deborah Gold-Alexander has over 30 years’ experience helping those who’ve been in car accidents recover financial compensation for their losses, and is prepared to advocate for you. Our talented Lynn car accident lawyer can be reached by phone or online today.