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Car Accidents Attorney in Essex County, Massachusetts

From minor fender-benders to being involved in a serious car crash, auto accidents are an all-too-common occurrence in our modern world. Hopefully, if you’re ever involved in a car accident, you’ll be able to walk away uninjured and with only minor property damage. However, if you’re in a bad crash you may not be so lucky.  

For those who have been seriously hurt in a car crash, you may need to pursue an insurance claim or a personal injury claim to be fully compensated for your expenses. If you’d like to learn more about your options for filing a claim, call us at the Law Offices of Stephen D. Walsh to sit down with a personal injury attorney. We’re proud to represent clients throughout Essex County, Massachusetts including the towns of Peabody, Danvers, Salem, and Beverly.  

Massachusetts Is a No-Fault Insurance State 

One of the first things you have to do after getting into an accident with another driver is exchange contact and insurance information. However, not all states handle your next steps in the same way. Massachusetts is known as a no-fault state when it comes to insurance claims. This means that no matter who caused the accident to happen, each driver must first file a claim on their own insurance policy.  

This is in contrast to an “at-fault” state where you can proceed directly to filing a claim with the at-fault driver for compensation, bypassing your own insurance policy.  

It may seem counterintuitive that your own plan should have to pay out for damages when you were the victim, but there are some advantages to this system. For example, oftentimes it allows accident victims to get compensation much faster for medical expenses than they would had they gone through the other driver’s policy.  

Have You Been in an Accident?

Don’t Face This Alone

Liability Insurance Coverage Requirements  

To make a no-fault system work, the state requires all drivers to carry something called personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. PIP can be used to cover yourself, anyone riding in your car, anyone you’ve given permission to drive your car, and any pedestrian who is hit by your car. However, it will only cover up to $8,000 in expenses including medical costs, 75% of lost wages, and “replacement services” (ie. everyday tasks you’re unable to take care of due to your injuries and must hire out to someone else). 

In addition to PIP, drivers also must carry the following insurance: 

  • $20,000 in liability coverage per person 

  • $40,000 in liability coverage per accident that’s caused by you 

  • $5,000 for property damage per accident that’s cause by you 

  • $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident in uninsured motorist protection 

Navigating the complex world of insurance claims and legal actions can be daunting, especially when you're recovering from injuries sustained in a car accident. It's essential to remember that you don't have to face this challenging process alone. Our team is dedicated to helping you understand your options and guiding you through the intricacies of filing insurance claims and personal injury lawsuits, ensuring that you receive the compensation you rightfully deserve. Your well-being and financial security are our top priorities. 

Filing Suit Against the At-Fault Driver 

Since your PIP insurance only covers up to $8,000, and many accidents will easily exceed this amount, you may then have to file a claim with the at-fault driver. You are legally allowed to do this if you can meet one of the following criteria: 

  • Your injuries have resulted in over $2,000 in costs; or, 

  • You sustained serious injuries that resulted in disfigurement, broken bones, or a loss of hearing or sight. 

When this happens, you should then seek damages. It’s at this stage that many individuals choose to start working with an experienced car accident attorney. During this process, you’ll have to prove car driver negligence which requires you to present sufficient evidence and documentation that clearly shows the other driver was responsible for causing the accident and should therefore also be the one responsible for paying any damages that came from it. It can be extremely difficult to prove who is liable in a car accident, but a skilled lawyer can help you gather and organize evidence, present a strong case, and negotiate on your behalf so that you get the compensation you deserve.   

You also now have the opportunity to file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver if an insurance settlement won’t adequately cover your expenses. The statute of limitations for bringing forward such a claim is three years from the date of the accident. Additionally, if you’re pursuing a wrongful death claim on behalf of a loved one who lost their life in a car accident, you also have three years to file.  

Car Accidents Attorney in Essex County, Massachusetts

If you or someone in your family was recently involved in a car accident and you’re unsure of how to pursue compensation, reach out to us at the Law Offices of Stephen D. Walsh in Essex County, Massachusetts. Here, we can help you understand your options, and guide you through the often complicated process of filing insurance claims and personal injury lawsuits.