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Boston Car Accidents
You can be the most careful driver on the road and still find yourself injured in an unexpected car wreck. Negligent drivers exist in any location, and if they make one wrong move, it can result in a pileup—one that leaves numerous drivers injured and causes exponential property damage. If you’re involved in a car accident, no matter how minor, it’s always a good idea to seek professional medical treatment to determine the extent of the damage, but this is often an expensive task that can damage your financial security. Unfortunately, many car accident victims rack up significant debt after their accident, but why should you be forced to endure the expense of an accident you didn’t cause?
Much like other businesses, insurance companies must protect their profits to survive, but that doesn’t mean they can do so by robbing their clients of the compensation that their contract outlines, especially when they’ve paid into it for so many years. In some cases, insurance companies have purposefully tried to diminish or deny the compensation of their clients to bolster their finances, which forces the victim to pay for their accident from their own pocket. To them, your situation is numbers in a file, but in reality, you’re someone who needs the benefits from their insurance policy to stay above water. However, all car accident victims have one key line of defense against this unethical business tactic: an experienced and compassionate car accident lawyer.
Car accident lawyers exist to help you mitigate the consequences of an unforeseen accident, and we at Morgan & Morgan have some of the best in the business. Our Boston office is backed by the resources of America’s largest personal injury firm, allowing us to litigate for as long as it takes to recover the compensation our clients deserve. We have what it takes to get the best results, and our numerous multi-million dollar settlements can speak for themselves. With over 700+ trial-ready attorneys, a network of team members across the country, and decades of experience behind us, Morgan & Morgan can help you recover the compensation you’re entitled to and get your life back on track.
Contact us today to get started.
How Does Auto Insurance Work in Boston?
Massachusetts is one of the twelve “no-fault” insurance states, meaning that car accident victims will file a claim with their insurance company rather than the provider of the at-fault party. Additionally, all motorists must hold a minimum of $8,000 worth of personal injury protection (PIP) coverage to serve as a buffer against all motor vehicle accidents as a whole. However, car accidents are expensive by nature, and you could sustain damage that’s greater than the $8,000 limit. Some individuals choose to opt into more comprehensive coverage plans to supplement their PIP insurance, but most basic policies won’t allow you to recover property damage you’ve sustained, such as vehicle repair expenses.
Massachusetts’ “no-fault” auto insurance provision makes it simple to file a claim with your insurance provider to collect benefits. However, there have been cases of negligent insurance companies diminishing their customers' claims for unethical reasons. Insurance companies make money by collecting the premiums of their clients, and they lose money by paying out more money in claims than they receive in premiums. Unethical insurance companies might not leave this up to chance, and they’ll actively try to diminish the claims they pay out to avoid the financial burden on their organization. Although they might believe their actions have no consequences, they’re forcing innocent claimants to go into debt when they’re trying to recover from a traumatic accident.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, our attorneys are a phone call away. You’ve paid into your contract and held up your end of the bargain; they need to honor their commitment or face us in the courtroom.
What Does PIP Cover?
PIP insurance serves as a buffer for all Massachusetts residents against the consequences of an unforeseen accident. If you’re involved in a car accident and sustained an injury, you should contact your insurance company about filing a PIP claim for benefits, such as:
- Medical expenses: PIP covers $8,000 worth of medical expenses minus your deductible, which is set when you first sign on for a contract. Treatment covered by PIP includes surgeries, x-rays, and dental services that are required due to the injuries you sustained in your car wreck.
- Lost wages: Your PIP coverage will cover up to 75% of your average weekly gross wages or the equivalent of the year before the accident. Once you receive the paperwork for filing your PIP claim, you’ll outline your finances to display how much you should receive from the insurance company. If they try to diminish or deny these benefits, it’s best to contact a car wreck attorney to recover the full value.
However, PIP insurance can only be paid out if you weren’t acting negligently before or at the time of the crash. Drivers who are speeding, under the influence, avoiding arrest, or deliberately trying to injure themselves or others will not be covered by PIP, as their actions played a significant role in their accident. Motorcyclists are also not covered by PIP insurance, so these motorists will have to find alternate insurance plans if they wish to stay protected.
Can You Sue for a Car Accident in Boston?
Massachusetts law allows you to file a lawsuit against the negligent party in a car accident if you suffer at least $2,000 of medical expenses, sustain permanent/serious disfigurement, and the accident wasn’t your fault. The lawsuit will allow you to recover all damages in excess of your PIP coverage, as well as other damages you wouldn’t necessarily receive through a claim with your insurance company, such as pain and suffering. If your injuries are covered by PIP, you might not need a lawyer for your situation, but anyone who is eligible to file a lawsuit should have a trusted attorney by their side to help them navigate through the process.
Car accident lawsuits are already complicated, but Massachusetts law makes it difficult for anyone without an attorney to be successful in their litigation. Between the many complicated laws and the mountains of paperwork you’ll have to file, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, but your attorney can help you understand every aspect of your case and set you on the right path. Not only that, but their involvement can allow you to take a backseat to the legal battle and give you a moment to relax after such a traumatic ordeal.
How Can a Car Accident Lawyer Help Me?
Morgan & Morgan’s Boston office is staffed with car accident attorneys who go the extra mile for the clients who depend on them. We’ve had years of experience advocating for the rights of clients just like yourself, and we’re prepared to offer you the same results that made us who we are today. Our attorneys will:
- Investigate your case and determine liability: First, our attorneys will review the situation surrounding your accident and determine who is at fault. If it’s determined that you’re not responsible and your injuries surpass the threshold for a lawsuit, we can start establishing a foundation to move forward.
- Gather evidence: We’ll begin to collect any and all applicable information surrounding your case, such as eyewitness testimony, photo/video of the accident, and your medical records to prepare ourselves to negotiate. We’ll also enlist the help of subject matter experts to back up your claims, allowing us to walk into the negotiation room as prepared as possible.
- Negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurance provider: The “no-fault” provision of Massachusetts’ auto insurance law requires you to communicate with the at-fault party’s insurance provider prior to filing a lawsuit. Your attorney will bring all the evidence they’ve collected to the negotiation table and attempt to settle the issue out of court. They’ll discuss the impact the accident had on you, how the negligent party was responsible, and formally request compensation for the damage you sustained.
- Prepare for Trial: If no agreement can be reached, our attorneys are always prepared to advocate for your rights in the courtroom. Other firms fear when negotiations fail in their cases, as they’ll have to supply additional effort and resources to continue fighting for their client. On the other hand, Morgan & Morgan’s attorneys relish the opportunity to litigate in the courtroom setting, making us an undeniable asset in your pursuit of rightful compensation.
What Can I Expect to Recover?
Each car accident case will differ depending on the circumstances surrounding the case. Some accidents are major and will result in significant bodily and property damage, whereas more minor accidents can be settled through your PIP insurance. If you’re filing a PIP claim, you could be eligible to recover up to $8,000 worth of medical expenses and lost wages, but the lost wage recovery will depend on your occupation. However, PIP coverage is losing its strength as medical costs rise throughout the nation, and you might find yourself with injuries that require you to pay more than your coverage provides. For example, healthcare.gov states that the treatment for a broken leg costs $7,500 and will require a three-day hospital stay, totaling $30,000. In the end, you’ll have a sizable bill for even minor injuries, which has more people filing car accident lawsuits than ever before.
Many people choose to elect additional coverage on top of their PIP policies to shield themselves from the expenses of an unforeseen car accident, but this is yet another expense that only some have the financial ability to pull off. If your accident left you with injuries that require treatment PIP won’t cover, you do have the option of filing a personal injury claim. However, you can only do so if:
- You sustain medical bills totaling over $8,000.
- You suffer permanent and serious disfigurement, such as a fractured bone, loss of a limb, or substantial hearing/sight loss.
- The other driver is more than 50% at fault for the accident.
If you meet the requirements to file a car accident lawsuit in Massachusetts, you can expect to recover the following:
- Medical expenses (present and future)
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Mental anguish
- Repair costs
- Funeral expenses (in the case of wrongful death)
Can I Afford a Lawyer?
Many other law firms will charge their client's inflated rates for their service when they haven’t seen the inside of the courtroom in years. These firms make their money from cases that they lose, as they’ve already taken their fee from your pocket and can walk away from your case with a profit. In the end, you’ve paid more for a lesser service, which isn’t fair when you’re trying to recover the compensation you need to get back on your feet.
At Morgan & Morgan, we operate on a contingency that allows anyone to afford our proficient representation, regardless of their financial status. When you team up with us, you pay nothing out-of-pocket, and we’re only paid when we win. Rather than burden you with fees, we take our fee from the favorable settlement or jury award. Not only does this contingency keep the costs low for you, but it also motivates everyone involved to reach one goal: getting you the best possible results for your case.
When Should I Contact a Car Accident Lawyer?
If your accident was minor and the treatment for your injuries is fully covered by your PIP insurance, you might not need a lawyer for your situation. However, if you run into an issue with your insurance company paying the correct benefits, it’s very beneficial to have an attorney by your side. Insurance companies make money by receiving more money in premiums than they send out for claims, so if they successfully manage to diminish your restitution, they’re walking away from the situation with a profit. This unethical business practice has forced thousands of innocent individuals into paying for an accident they didn’t cause from their own pocket, effectively robbing them of the compensation they paid into their contract to have.
Massachusetts auto law is one of the most complicated in the nation, so it’s recommended to team up with a trusted attorney if you plan on filing a personal injury claim against a negligent driver. They’ll be able to inform you of your eligibility, as it’s often difficult to determine whether you’ve surpassed the necessary threshold for a lawsuit, and help you navigate through the mountains of paperwork. Additionally, they’ll help ensure that your case is built on solid ground, allowing you to sit back and watch as your attorney works their magic in the negotiation room.
If you were involved in a car accident, it’s recommended to contact an attorney as soon as you know that you’ll have to file a personal injury claim or when you notice your insurance company diminishing your PIP payout. Although you might want to handle the legal process of your accident on your own, we can promise that the ordeal is much less stressful with the help of an attorney. It’s easy to get lost, confused and stressed when trying to handle it independently, but with the help of an attorney, you give yourself the best possible chance of success starting when you make the first call.
What Boston Neighborhoods Does Morgan & Morgan Serve?
For the last three decades, Morgan & Morgan has fought For the People nationwide and helped thousands of victims find the justice they needed in their time of need, often recovering multi-million dollar settlements on their behalf. Our success has earned us the title of America’s largest personal injury firm, but we’ve never sacrificed the aspects of our firm that made us who we are today. Our firm has offices nationwide, but our Boston location serves the following neighborhoods:
- Arlington (02476)
- Belmont (02478)
- Boston (02108)
- Braintree (02184)
- Brookline (02445)
- Cambridge (02139)
- Chelsea (02150)
- Dedham (02026)
- Everett (02149)
- Hingham (02043)
- Hull (02045)
- Jamaica Plain (02130)
- Lexington (02420)
- Lynn (01902)
- Malden (02148)
- Medford (02155)
- Melrose (02176)
- Milton (02186)
- Nahant (01908)
- Needham (02492)
- Newton (02459)
- Quincy (02169)
- Reading (01867)
- Revere (02151)
- Saugus (01906)
- Somerville (02143)
- South Boston (02127)
- South Peabody (01960)
- Stoneham (02180)
- Swampscott (01907)
- Wakefield (01880)
- Waltham (02452)
- Watertown (02472)
- Weymouth (02189)
- Winchester (01890)
- Winthrop (02152)
- Woburn (01801)
Why Choose Morgan & Morgan?
There is no shortage of car accident attorneys online, but how do you know that you’re making the right choice? It seems that many law firms claim to have the “best” attorneys, ones that will take your pre-trial offer and transform it into a million-dollar recovery. While those are great claims, not many firms can back them up except, of course, Morgan & Morgan. We say our settlements and verdicts speak for themselves because they truly do. Our clients come through our door with pre-trial offers that don’t begin to compensate them for the harm they’ve endured, so we get to work, do our research, and do whatever it takes to help that client find some solace at the end of their case. We understand that if you aren’t compensated, it can seriously change your way of life, potentially forcing you to go into serious debt just to pay off the consequences of an accident you didn’t cause.
That’s why we do what we do, and we have the resources to achieve any goal we set our minds to. Smaller firms can only litigate for so long before they’re jeopardizing their business and putting themselves in a financially unstable position. On the other hand, larger firms do have the resources to advocate for your rights, but these firms often treat your case as a number rather than a situation with real people and real consequences. At Morgan & Morgan, you get the best of both worlds: compassionate attorneys and extensive resources to use at your disposal.
Our firm was founded after John Morgan hired the wrong lawyer for his brother, causing them to get swept up in a whole ordeal of stress and frustration. Although that happened more than three decades ago, it’s still one of the most important aspects of our firm today. We don’t want to see someone go through what John Morgan had to do when trying to find help for his brother, so we work diligently every day to ensure that none of our clients regret the law firm they chose for their legal challenge, regardless of the size or severity of their case.
Contact Morgan & Morgan’s Car Accident Attorneys Today
In the most difficult moments of your life, Morgan & Morgan has your back. A car accident can bring your life to a screeching halt, and without compensation, you’ll be left to pick up the pieces on your own. That’s where we come in. Our car accident attorneys have years of experience and the resources of America’s largest personal injury firm behind them, meaning that they have the capability that other firms dream of having. While other firms will have to accept the first best offer of compensation, we’re uniquely equipped to hold out for as long as it takes until you receive what you’re entitled to.
Our Boston office stands as an ally to all car accident victims in Massachusetts. If you were involved in a car wreck, our proficient and compassionate attorneys are ready for your call. We can help you navigate through the PIP process, and if you’re thinking about filing a personal injury claim, we can help ensure that the lawsuit goes as smoothly as possible. Contact us today for more information on how to get started.
Morgan & Morgan FAQs
When should you get a lawyer for a car accident?
If you are injured in a Boston car accident and do not exceed the limits of your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, you will probably not need an attorney. In fact, the point of PIP, or no-fault insurance, is to reduce the number of car accident lawsuits. However, Massachusetts law does allow motorists to file personal injury claims under certain circumstances. When pursuing legal action outside the no-fault system, it is highly recommended that you hire an attorney. Attorney involvement is also essential when your own insurance company denies your PIP benefits. If you feel that your situation will require legal action, do not hesitate to contact us for free.
In Massachusetts, you cannot file a claim for bodily injury arising from a motor vehicle crash unless you meet the following criteria:
- Your medical bills are more than $2,000; OR
- You suffered permanent and serious disfigurement, a fractured bone, the loss of a body part, or substantial loss of hearing or sight; AND
- The other driver is more than 50% at fault for the accident.
Meeting the medical bill threshold is not very difficult, given the high costs of healthcare. Although medical costs vary, even a simple treatment can exceed $2,000. According to healthcare.gov, fixing a broken leg costs up to $7,500, and a three-day hospital stay runs around $30,000. Massachusetts PIP law stipulates that, for individuals with health insurance, PIP pays the first $2,000 of medical expenses and health insurance pays for the rest, up to the $8,000 PIP limit. For individuals without health insurance, PIP is required to pay for all of the injured person’s medical bills, up to $8,000.
The second lawsuit requirement—that the victim suffered a specific injury—requires medical verification. Any initial diagnosis provided by a doctor will need to be documented and proven using medical records and testimony from medical professionals. In the case of scarring and disfigurement, these are usually proven with photographs of the injury at different points in the healing process.
Third, Massachusetts follows comparative negligence laws. This means that, if you intend to sue for a motor vehicle accident, your negligence cannot be greater than the negligence of the party you’re suing. In other words, Boston car accident lawsuits are completely barred when the injury victim is 51% or more at fault for the accident. The other party may use comparative negligence simply to blame you and avoid liability. When that happens, a car accident lawyer is crucial for proving your side of the story.
Finally, it is possible to have a dispute with your own insurance company that results in your claim being denied. PIP insurers are within their rights to deny benefits if you were intoxicated while driving, you drove while committing a felony, or you specifically intended to harm yourself or others.
Massachusetts’s car insurance laws are among the most complicated in the country. Hiring a car accident lawyer simplifies the claims process for you and ensures that everything is handled professionally. You should consider hiring a lawyer if any of the situations described above apply to your case. Not sure whether you qualify for a lawsuit or have other questions? Get answers with a free case review.
Is it worth getting an attorney for a car accident?
Only you can decide if it is worth hiring a car accident attorney. But when it comes to your peace of mind, wellbeing, and financial security, do you really want to cut corners or take chances?
In Massachusetts, it is probably not worth having legal representation for claims that remain within the state’s PIP system, because there are very specific criteria for filing a car accident lawsuit. So-called “no-fault” claims are filed with your own insurance company and do not require that you prove another party’s negligence. Even if you were at fault for the accident, PIP benefits of up to $8,000 are available for every Boston motorist.
It doesn’t take very long, though, to exhaust PIP benefits, which cover medical costs and lost earnings. Injuries that require significant treatment and missed work time can quickly use up all available PIP benefits, permitting you to go outside of the PIP system and file a lawsuit.
Claims occurring outside of the PIP system involve fault, so nothing is guaranteed. Everything depends on your ability to prove somebody else’s negligence. And this requires building a strong, evidence-based case.
Massachusetts residents must carry several types of insurance that include not only PIP, but also coverages for bodily injury and property damage. When you file a car accident lawsuit, you’re taking on an insurance company—not another individual. While another individual might want to just settle the claim and move on as quickly as possible, insurance companies can be ruthless. They routinely delay, deny, and underpay claims. Indeed, lowball settlements are part of their business model. By paying you less, they make more money.
Your own insurance company is legally obligated to protect your interests. Somebody else’s insurance company owes you nothing. They might tell you that you don’t need a lawyer and that hiring one will only complicate the claims process. Of course, they know that without a lawyer, you have nobody protecting your interests. That would give the insurer a huge advantage. It’s you versus a giant corporation that wants nothing more than to pay a lowball settlement—or no settlement, period.
Can you afford to accept less than what you’re owed? Ultimately, this is the question that needs to be answered when deciding whether hiring an attorney is worth it. Not receiving maximum compensation for your injuries is a huge risk that can jeopardize your family’s future. Part of the risk, furthermore, is not knowing how much your claim is worth in the first place. Things like future costs, pain and suffering, and replacement services such as child care are difficult to calculate without expert help.
Morgan & Morgan advocates for everyday people against powerful insurance companies. We want to make sure you get everything you’re entitled to, so that you can move forward. If hiring a car accident attorney would help your case, we’ll let you know. If it’s not necessary, we’ll let you know that, too. Once you hire us, you pay no attorneys’ fees unless we recover money for you. Still have questions? Get a free case review now.
Is it worth getting a lawyer for a minor car accident?
The tricky thing about “minor” car accidents is that there’s no set definition of what “minor” means. Every accident is different and every injury is different. Major accidents sometimes result in minor injuries, and minor accidents sometimes result in major injuries. The car could be totaled but the passengers might emerge miraculously unharmed. Or, a fender bender could cause a concussion or soft tissue injury that lingers for months.
Most bodily injuries are classified as either “objective” or “subjective.” Objective injuries are injuries that can be perceived with the five senses and/or with diagnostic testing. A broken leg is an example of an objective injury. A doctor can take an x-ray and clearly see that the leg is fractured. Other objective injuries include scars, bulging discs in the back, and internal bleeding.
Subjective injuries, on the other hand, may not be apparent to anyone other than the injured person. Such injuries, which include muscle sprains and strains, can’t always be empirically measured. Concussions also do not show up on an MRI or CT scan. An accident victim could have whiplash or a concussion that causes long-lasting impairments. New research, for example, shows that even mild concussions are extremely dangerous and can go undetected or untreated.
Concussions and whiplash often occur in fender benders. Although fender benders are considered to be a type of “minor” car crash, post-concussion symptoms like headaches, dizziness, and problems with concentration and memory are certainly not “minor.” The same goes for whiplash, which can lead to chronic neck pain, blurred vision, ringing in the ears, and other long-lasting complications. So while the accident might be “minor,” the resulting injuries may be anything but.
Another issue is the mental anguish and physical suffering caused by bodily injuries. Similar to subjective injuries, a person’s pain and suffering cannot be objectively measured, no matter how real they are. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression following a car accident are well-documented. It doesn’t have to be a “major” accident to trigger PTSD symptoms. Chronic physical pain can accompany a minor crash as well.
Low-speed collisions can affect not only your mind and body but also your vehicle. And once again, it’s what you can’t see that matters. Damage to a vehicle’s electrical system, transmission, trunk, frame, and alignment could result from minor rear-end collisions. The cost to fix these problems could easily be several-thousand dollars or more. In Massachusetts, PIP insurance does not cover vehicle damage. You’ll have to pursue a claim against the other motorist’s auto insurance. This could lead to a dispute about the repair bill and your settlement offer.
Hopefully, these examples illustrate why it is difficult, if not impossible, to generalize about car accidents and their injuries. The facts unique to your case should be the deciding factor in determining what steps to take next. Our car accident lawyers are happy to discuss your accident during a free, no-obligation case review.
What is the average settlement for a minor car accident?
While it’s worth reiterating the difficulty of defining a “minor” car accident, a couple of figures help to put in perspective average settlement amounts.
The average PIP claim in Massachusetts, according to Forbes, is around $4,000. That’s half of the total $8,000 of PIP coverage that every driver is required to purchase. Massachusetts PIP insurance covers medical expenses, replacement services (like child care services), and 75% of lost wages if you’re unable to work due to a car accident. PIP excludes property damage. It also excludes pain and suffering.
Nationwide, the average auto liability claim for bodily injury is around $16,000 and the average claim for property damage is nearly $4,000. In addition to PIP, Massachusetts drivers are required to purchase bodily injury insurance of at least $20,000 per person/$40,000 per accident and property damage insurance of at least $5,000 per accident. A negligent driver’s bodily injury insurance may be tapped for additional compensation if certain requirements are met (see above - When should you get a lawyer for a car accident?).
For property damage caused by a negligent driver, the only option is to file a claim with their property damage insurance. If the property damage claim cannot be resolved, Massachusetts recommends resolving it in small claims court. Although small claims court is typically reserved for disputes of $7,000 or less, if your case is based upon property damage sustained in an automobile accident, the award may exceed $7,000. Don’t be surprised if a “minor” fender bender causes this much property damage; these accidents can easily cost $3,000 to $10,000 or more. A car accident lawyer is not required in small claims court, but you have the right to retain a lawyer if you wish. At the very least, you should consult with an attorney prior to your hearing, even if the attorney is not present at the hearing.
Don’t expect your $8,000 in PIP insurance to go far, either, if you suffer a head injury in a “minor” car accident. If you have a concussion and need to stay in the hospital overnight for observation, that alone could exceed your PIP limits. Add in an MRI and a CT scan to your hospitalization, and this could put you at $15,000 to $20,000. Then there are the lost wages that can continue to accrue from lingering post-concussion syndrome. This is just an example, but due to the high costs of medical treatment, it would not be surprising if a “minor” accident had a settlement upwards of $50,000 and even exceeding $100,000.
While it can be a useful exercise, thinking in terms of average settlements tells you very little about individuals and their actual injuries. If you were hurt in a crash, Morgan & Morgan’s car accident attorneys are ready to provide personal attention. To learn more, contact us.