FAQs: Motor Vehicle Accidents
What Steps Should I Take Following A Car Accident?
Motor vehicle accidents are often chaotic, and drivers involved in such accidents often have a number of concerns. Please make certain to call for emergency assistance to the accident scene if there are injuries.
It is important to write down the names of every individual involved in the accident as well as the names of witnesses. Make certain you obtain insurance information from each driver and from all owners of the vehicles. If possible, write down the driver’s license and the type of vehicles involved or use your cellphone to photograph the license and registration. Also take pictures of the damage to all the vehicles and the location of the accident.
Unfortunately, memories quickly fade, and therefore it is also important that you record your own recollections of what happened. Photos taken of the accident scene are often quite helpful. If another driver or witness expresses an opinion of how the accident occurred, make note of what this individual said as accurately as possible. Be certain to note if a driver exhibits erratic behavior or appears to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Should I Contact Law Enforcement Authorities?
Yes. It is always advisable to contact law enforcement authorities to have one investigate the accident — especially in an instance where injuries occur. You will wish to have the officer’s contact information and any police report the officer prepares. Also, please remain at the accident scene until the investigating officer says you are free to leave.
Do I Need To Contact My Insurance Company?
Report the accident to your insurer promptly. This is an important step even in the event vehicle damage was minor. Even seemingly minor damage can lead to expensive repairs. Also, promptly contacting your insurance company can speed up the policy reimbursement process.
Should I Speak To The Insurance Company For Other Drivers?
It is best not to speak to representatives for other insurance companies until you understand your legal rights. Politely advise them that you wish to speak to your attorney before giving any statement. Any information you provide to the other insurance company will likely be used when negotiating a settlement with you. The insurance company may also offer you a settlement offer. It is always good to speak to an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney before accepting any settlement of your claim. An acceptance of a settlement could possibly prevent you from pursuing additional compensation with regard to property damage and injuries.
What If I Cannot Pay My Medical Bills?
The laws in Massachusetts are set up so that you should receive reimbursement for a certain amount of your medical expenses related to the accident — regardless of who is at fault. However, it is important for you to understand your rights concerning collection of these benefits from your own insurance company, and what other steps you can take in making certain all of your medical expenses are covered. Please speak to a personal injury lawyer who understands laws pertaining to motor vehicle accidents and insurance coverage for your state.
How Long Will It Take Before My Claim Is Resolved?
The time it takes to resolve your claims depends on the circumstances of your accident. Some accidents can be resolved in just a matter of weeks. Cases that go to trial will likely take months before being resolved. There are instances in extremely complex injury matters where the case will take several months or even years to completely resolve.
How Much Can I Expect To Receive In My Car Accident Claim?
Every outcome is different, and the amount of compensation can vary greatly depending upon circumstances. How much compensation received will depend upon the amount of medical expense, wage loss, expenses for other services and the manner in which the accident occurred. It is important to have an advocate for you, who will make certain your side of the story is told and that all expenses are accounted for.
My name is Richard Connors, Attorney at Law, and I represent individuals in motor vehicle accident cases in Lynn and throughout Essex County. Contact my law office regarding any additional questions you may have by calling 781-593-4146.