Posted by Attorney Stephen Morte
The auto accidents insurance claim process in Massachusetts has some state laws that can add certain protections to accident claims with injuries. Nevertheless, standard procedures are still there in how an insurance company generally deals with your accident, including during the investigation phase.
Investigation After Filing
Once you’ve filed an injury claim (which can be done online), your insurance company will first look to see if your accident is coverable based on your policy. They’ll also ask you for a copy of the police report so an investigation can start on who was to blame and who wasn’t. That usually involves contacting the other driver and interviewing them. As well, if there were any witnesses to the accident, they’ll also be interviewed.
The investigation phase can take considerable time, because the insurance company needs to study the evidence to make a judgement. With injuries, you’ll also need to sign a medical release so they can determine whether the medical bills for your injuries will be covered. It helps if you contact your medical providers so they can provide more extensive details on your medical issues and expenses.
Dealing with the Settlement
Once an insurance company comes to a conclusion, it may not always be what you want based on the available evidence. For accidents involving injuries, you’ll likely get a settlement offer from the insurance company that can sometimes be negotiable. If that can’t be done, it might mean hiring a lawyer to help with the case in small claims court. Or, an appeal can be done with a supervisor through the insurance company.
What is the “No-Fault” Law in Massachusetts?
Keep in mind that in Massachusetts, you may have limitations if you’re filing a personal claim against another driver who might have given you injuries in a car accident. You can only file a lawsuit against that driver if your medical expenses are at least $2,000, or if you have considerable injuries that are permanent or serious. The latter scenario would be disfigurement or the loss of certain functions that enable you to live a normal life. This Massachusetts law helps many people deal with serious car accident injuries and who may not get complete coverage through their insurances.
Note the Massachusetts Statute of Limitations
All states have a statute of limitations when it comes to how much time you have to file a claim or lawsuit after a car accident. In Massachusetts, you have three years to file. That gives you plenty of time if you realize the injuries you incurred from a car accident are going to be affecting you for the rest of your life.
Contact us if you’re in need of an experienced Massachusetts personal injury attorney for help with a claim or filing a lawsuit against someone in a car accident.