A serious car accident can change your life in a single instant. A violent collision may last only a split second but can leave you with severe, life-altering injuries. You may take months or even years to fully recover. The worst cases can cause permanent disabilities and take a significant financial toll on you and your family.
When the accident was caused by another motorist’s negligence, you should not have to bear the financial burdens of your injuries and damages. Talk to a Brockton car accident attorney from The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan. For the past 30 years, our auto collision lawyers have secured favorable results for our clients. We are ready to help you seek the compensation you need following an accident.
Call our office today for a free discussion of your case. Put an experienced auto accident lawyer on your side. A car accident lawyer in Brockton can make the difference in pursuing the financial recovery you deserve.
How Our Brockton Car Accident Lawyers Can Help You
The physical and emotional trauma that results from a car accident can devastate you and your family. The confusion and aggravation that comes when dealing with the insurance companies after the accident can exacerbate this stressful situation. You may begin to question whether you will ever receive compensation for your medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering.
You likely have many questions, such as:
- Can I get a rental car?
- Who will pay for the damage and repairs for my car?
- When am I entitled to be compensated for lost wages?
- PIP Auto Insurance Claims: Who will pay my medical bills?
- Can I get damages for pain and suffering in a car accident settlement?
- What should I do after I have been in a car accident?
These are all real questions and concerns. However, auto and medical insurance policies often complicate matters. That is why you need to contact our experienced Brockton car accident lawyers. We can fight all the insurance and medical providers. We will work to make sure all your medical bills get paid. We can also work to build a case against the responsible driver and the insurance company. We are ready to fight for the compensation that you deserve for your pain and suffering.
How can we help injured Brockton accident survivors? When possible or appropriate, our attorneys can:
- Obtain PIP benefits
- Help you collect compensation for lost wages
- Communicate with insurers
- Investigate your accident carefully
- Identify all liable parties
- File any personal injury lawsuits
- Help avoid missing critical deadlines
- Analyze long-term care needs
- Evaluate your injury claim
- Fight for a fair settlement
All car accidents are unique. That is why our lawyers tailor our legal advice and actions to your specific case.
If you’re in a Brockton car crash, the first thing the police and the insurance companies want to determine is who was at fault: you or the other driver. If no reliable eyewitnesses were present, authorities can examine forensic evidence to determine fault. Examples of forensic crash evidence include skid marks, damage to the cars, and injuries suffered by the drivers.
If liability for the car crash remains an issue, The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan can employ a team of accident-reconstruction experts. Those experts will look for convincing evidence in your favor. That evidence will be presented to a judge, jury or insurance company representative.
Unfortunately, multiple parties may bear responsibility after a Brockton car accident. Since many car accidents result in serious injuries, hire a lawyer who can aggressively pursue the most damages possible. This may mean recovering damages from the driver or the driver’s insurance company. Damages may also come from other people or institutions that may have contributed to the accident. For example, bars in Massachusetts can bear responsibility if they continue to serve intoxicated patrons who later drive drunk and cause a car accident. Injured accident survivors can also sue the state for hazardous road conditions. An employer could also bear responsibility for the actions of a negligent driver.
At The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan, we work tirelessly after a Brockton car accident to identify all negligent parties. Our goal is to collect maximum compensation for our clients. We can perform a thorough investigation of the accident to help determine who is to blame for the accident and your injuries.
What You Need to Know About Personal Injury Protection (PIP) in Massachusetts
Massachusetts is a no-fault state. That means that if you suffer an injury in a Brockton car accident, you must first seek compensation from your own auto insurance policy. This is the case even if you did not cause the accident. PIP policies help all injured accident victims collect money for their injuries, regardless of who is at fault.
Before seeking compensation from the at-fault driver, you must first obtain benefits from your no-fault, or personal injury protection (PIP), carrier.
PIP policies cover medical expenses and lost wages due to missed work. If you sustain an injury in a car accident, your PIP policy should cover the first $8,000 of your medical expenses, minus your deductible. Generally, you can collect money from the automobile insurance policy of the car you were in at the time of the accident. Even if you were merely a passenger, you can still collect PIP benefits from the driver of the car you were in.
If you do not have private health insurance, PIP benefits cover the first $8,000 of medical expenses for both you and your passengers. If you do have private health insurance, you may need to turn to your own health insurance company to pay some of the expenses.
Here are some additional details about PIP policies:
- Massachusetts PIP policies pay for funeral expenses.
- PIP policies cover everyone in a policyholder’s household, and each family member can receive up to $8,000 in medical expense payments.
- PIP policies cover up to 75 percent of an injured individual’s lost wages, based on his or her salary for the year before the date of the accident. This is up to the limit of the policy, minus the deductible.
- Injured individuals have up to two years after an accident to submit their PIP policy claim to their insurance provider. However, they should file a claim without delay.
- An injured individual’s insurance provider may require participation in an independent medical examination. We can help prepare you for that examination.
- PIP policies do not cover property damage. Policyholders are free to pursue third-party property damage claims through the other party’s property damage liability policy. They can also look to their own policy if they purchased additional collision insurance.
Unfortunately, collecting from your own PIP insurance policy is not always easy. Accident survivors often struggle to collect the benefits they paid for, even in no-fault states like Massachusetts. As such, many turn to us for help collecting benefits from their own no-fault policies. If your PIP insurance is delaying or denying the benefits you deserve, do not hesitate to call us.
In addition to PIP insurance, all drivers in Massachusetts must carry a minimum amount of liability coverage. This includes:
- Bodily injury to others: $20,000 per person, $40,000 per accident
- Bodily injury caused by an uninsured auto: $20,000 per person, $40,000 per accident
- Damage to someone else’s property: $5,000 per accident
What Types of Compensation Can I Collect?
Massachusetts allows car accident survivors to seek compensation for monetary losses, as well as pain and suffering.
When seeking compensation, an injured accident survivor can file an injury claim to recover:
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitation costs
- Long-term care
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental anguish
Recovering the money you need after a serious Brockton car accident is not easy. It is difficult to deal with insurance companies and medical providers while struggling to recover from your injuries. Our lawyers know that injured accident survivors need a helping hand during this difficult time. That is why we work tirelessly to negotiate a fair settlement that compensates accident survivors for all of the damages they have suffered — not just the physical ones.
How Long Do You Have to File a Car Accident Lawsuit?
Under Massachusetts law, you usually only have three years from the date of your car accident to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver or other liable party. In rare circumstances, a court may extend this time limitation. For example, the time limit might be extended if you were involved in a hit-and-run accident and did not initially know the identity of the fleeing driver.
If you fail to file your lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires, the court will almost certainly dismiss your lawsuit.
If you were involved in a car accident with a state or municipal vehicle, you must provide the government with notice of your claim before you can file a lawsuit. This notice must be submitted within two years of the date of your accident. The government then has up to six months to decide whether to accept or reject your claim. After the government rejects your claim or six months has passed since your notice, you can file a lawsuit against the state or the municipality.
Tips for Brockton Car Accident Victims
If you suffered an injury in a car accident in Brockton or anywhere in Massachusetts, these tips can help you maximize your compensation:
- Report your accident. Report your car accident immediately. State law requires that you report your accident to the police within five days if there was an injury, death or more than $1,000 worth of property damage.
- Do not accept an initial settlement offer. Avoid accepting the insurance company’s initial settlement offer or giving a statement to an insurance adjuster without first speaking to our experienced car accident attorneys.
- Do not admit fault. Avoid admitting fault to the other driver, the police or insurance adjusters. Those persons can twist a simple “I’m sorry” into an admission of fault. Insurers can — and will — use your statement as they try to reduce your claim.
- Document all relevant evidence. Take pictures of the crash scene and any damage to your vehicle and the other vehicle(s) involved. Get a copy of your accident’s police report, keep all copies of diagnostic reports, medical bills, car repair estimates and other items that may prove helpful to prove your damages. If you don’t know how to do this or lost any of the paperwork, your car accident lawyer can help you obtain copies.
- Do not post on social media. Social media posts can damage your claim and reduce your compensation. Insurers may look to your posts to prove that you are not as injured as you claim. For that reason, avoid social media.
- Contact our law firm. Speak to a car accident attorney at our law firm who can provide guidance and representation throughout the insurance claims process. We can also help you file a lawsuit, if necessary.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Brockton
There are many causes of car accidents in Brockton and throughout Massachusetts. However, some occur more frequently than others. At The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan, we understand how the cause of your accident affects your overall case and compensation. We use this knowledge to pursue maximum compensation for our injured clients, including those involved in accidents caused by the following:
- Speeding – Speeding increases the likelihood of an accident and sustaining an injury. It reduces the time that a driver has to react to roadway hazards. It also increases the severity of any impact and makes automobile protective features—such as seat belts and airbags—less effective in a crash.
- Distracted driving – Driving distractions include:
- Talking on the phone
- Talking to other passengers in the car
- Eating and drinking
- Putting in GPS coordinates
- Changing radio stations
- Paying attention to external distractions, such as a nearby accident
- Impaired driving – Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs impairs a driver’s reflexes, perception and judgment. Impaired driving makes it far more likely that a motorist will commit an error on the road, especially when faced with an emergency situation.
- Driver fatigue – Driving while fatigued or drowsy produces the same effects as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A driver’s reaction time, ability to sustain attention, and awareness of roadway hazards all worsen with drowsiness. This makes fatigued drivers three times more likely to cause a car crash than well-rested drivers.
- Tailgating – Tailgating is a term used to describe a driver who is following another vehicle too closely. If the lead vehicle suddenly stops or slows, the following car may cause a rear-end collision. Tailgating deprives motorists of the time they need to safely react to a sudden stop by another car.
Common Types of Car Accident Injuries
Immediately after a car accident, survivors may not realize they suffered an injury because the sudden collision caused a rush of adrenaline. This adrenaline can mask the severity of injuries after a crash. For this reason, seek medical attention even if you do not believe that you have suffered an injury. A medical professional can evaluate you and locate serious injuries before complications arise.
At The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan, we offer compassionate legal guidance for Brockton car accident survivors who suffer from:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Herniated disc injuries
Our lawyers can work with your medical team to help determine the full extent of your injuries and how these injuries could affect your future. Any compensation you recover should take into account your past, present, and future medical expenses, as well as future complications that may arise. We may also want to make sure you reach maximum medical improvement or recovery before reaching a final settlement.
Types of Car Accidents
At The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan, our Brockton car accident lawyers have helped car accident victims successfully recover compensation for these kinds of crashes: