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Answers to Frequently Asked Massachusetts Car Accident Questions

Answers to Frequently Asked Massachusetts Car Accident Questions
It is a fact of life that car accidents are a common occurrence. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, car accidents have seemingly not waned. Regardless of the circumstances of your particular case, many, many people seem to have questions about car accidents. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions pertaining to Massachusetts car accident law.
Q: Can I be sued if I cause a car accident?
A: Yes. You can potentially be sued if you cause a car accident. However, if the accident did not cause any personal injuries to anyone involved, then any type of personal injury loss against you would be unsuccessful. You can always be sued for any kind of property damage that was incurred and not paid for or straightened out by any car insurance company.
Even assuming the person claiming personal injuries was, in fact, injured, he or she needs to have at least $2,000 in documented medical bills in order to successfully bring a bodily injury claim against you. This bodily injury claim would be for pain and suffering, damages, as well as any and all other damages that were incurred as a result of the accident.
Q: If I am sued for a car accident, will it affect my insurance premium rates?
A: That is a question best suited for your car insurance company. Generally, if you are given a citation by the police for causing the accident, then you will have incurred a surcharge, which will, in all likelihood, result in a premium increase to you. However, I reiterate the need to contact your car insurance company with this particular question.
Q: If I was injured as a result of negligence, how much is my case worth?
A: That’s a loaded question. Each and every case has its own particular facts and circumstances attached to it. The value of a Massachusetts personal injury case depends on a wide and varied set of circumstances and considerations that are involved. Generally speaking, the value of the case is predicated on the amount of the medical bills, the types of injuries suffered, the length of treatment involved, the amount of any out-of-pocket expenses, etc.
Q: How much time do I have to sue following the accident?
A: Massachusetts has what is called a statute of limitations for all legal actions. Generally speaking, for car accident claims in Massachusetts, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of the accident. That means if a lawsuit is not filed within three years following the accident, and during that time, the case never settled, then the statute of limitations will forever bar you from successfully pursuing the case.
Q: How do I find a car accident attorney near me?
A: If you are unable to gain a positive recommendation from any friends or family for a car accident attorney, you can definitely check out the internet. The internet has many sites that review attorneys. Specifically, Avvo, as well as Google, have a rating system for attorneys, which should be checked out whenever you are considering hiring a particular attorney.
Q: How much do Massachusetts car accident attorneys charge?
A: All car accident attorneys in Massachusetts charge a contingency fee. This is a percentage of any recovery that is obtained for the case. For example, if the case settles for $30,000, and the attorney’s fee is 33.3%, the attorney’s fee, therefore, will be $3,333.33. If there’s no recovery in the case, the attorney will not take any fee. Additionally, the attorney will advance all case expenses associated with the case. At the time of settlement, the attorney will take his or her fee out of the settlement as well as any and all case expenses that were advanced during the case.
Q: Are personal injury case settlements taxable in Massachusetts?
A: No. They are not. Under both Massachusetts and Federal law, these settlements are not considered income by the Internal Revenue Service. Therefore, they are not considered taxable income.
Q: How long do these cases take to settle?
A: It really depends on the case. Some personal injury cases settle relatively quickly, while others do not.  For routine car accident cases involving soft tissue injuries such as strains and sprains and other minor injuries, these cases generally settle within one year following the accident. However, for more serious injury claims involving broken bones and the possible need for surgery, those cases can sometimes take more than a year or multiple years to successfully settle. Generally, the more significant the injuries, the longer the case will take to resolve.
Q: What should I do if the insurance company is contacting me?
A: Have no contact with the car insurance company. Whether they are calling you and/or sending you letters and forms, simply disregard those communications entirely, and be sure not to give any recorded statements or written statements to any car insurance company following an accident.
Q: Do I have a case to pursue?
A: Again, that’s really a fact-specific question. Whether or not you have a case that is valid to pursue depends on how the accident happened, as well as whether or not any injuries were sustained.

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