Boston is one of the cities with the most numerous car accidents in the country. Statistics show that a Boston driver has a 167.6 percent higher chance of getting into an accident than the national average. In 2016, the city initiated the Vision Zero action plan to eliminate accident deaths by 2023. However, going by the frequency and severity of car accidents in the city, there’s still a lot more to do.
Getting involved in a car accident can be scary and confusing, with many questions arising. If you sustain injuries in the accident, it’s natural to ask yourself who’ll take care of the medical bills, especially if you’re partially at fault. Boston personal injury attorneys can answer all your questions, help you understand your case details, and fight for fair compensation.
Can I Still Receive Compensation if I Partially Contributed to the Accident?
If you’re partially at fault in an accident, you can still pursue compensation from the other driver. However, how much settlement you can claim depends on how much responsibility you share for the accident.
The state of Massachusetts is a modified comparative fault state. As such, you can only receive compensation if you were less than 50% at-fault. Your percentage of fault will be deducted from the total damages you receive.
For example, suppose you had 25% responsibility for the accident. In that case, you would receive 75% of the total damages. However, you can’t recover any damages if you’re found to have more than 50% responsibility for the accident.
Who Will Pay for My Medical Bills Following the Accident?
Generally, your auto insurance company should pay for your medical bills after an accident up to a certain amount. Your health insurance company will typically supplement the costs. The law in Massachusetts stipulates that the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) section of your auto insurance policy covers your medical bills. It should also take care of your lost wages and some expenses up to $8,000.
If You Have Private Health Insurance
Your private health insurance provider and the auto insurance company will cover your medical expenses. Nonetheless, your automobile insurance policy or the policy for the car you were in at the time of the accident will pay up to $2,000 in medical costs. The expenses must qualify as reasonable and necessary.
Your private health insurance plan will cater to the other medical treatment and care bills over $2,000. The amounts the health insurer pays may have to be repaid from the at-fault’s insurer if you’re successful in recovering compensation. A Boston car accident lawyer can aggressively fight to show cause why you deserve compensation from the other party.
Your health insurer has a right to subrogation, meaning they are entitled to repayment if you recover the medical expenses from someone else. However, this amount should have been summed up by your accident lawyers in Boston when valuing and negotiating your claim to account for your obligation for repayment.
If You DO NOT Have Private Health Insurance
Your automobile insurance company will pay up to an upper limit of $8,000 if you don’t have private health insurance or have an ERISA or MassHealth plan. If your medical expenses are over $8,000 and you don’t have private health insurance, you pay the outstanding balance to the medical providers for the excess amount above $8,000. Hopefully, there is an at fault party to pay for these additional bills.
Just like you had an obligation to repay your private health insurance company under the right of subrogation, you will be liable for payment to the healthcare provider for the unpaid amounts. The balances may come from your settlement amount if you successfully receive one. Experienced personal injury attorneys in Boston, MA, can negotiate the balances you owe to get more of the settlement proceeds.
Under What Circumstances Can I Seek Damages from a Negligent Driver After a Car Accident?
Since Massachusetts is a no-fault state, you can only seek additional financial compensation from the negligent driver under specific circumstances. The accident must have been the cause of:\
- Amputation of a limb
- A broken or fractured bone
- Pain and suffering
- Paralysis and nerve damage
- Medical expenses above $2,000
- Permanent eye damage or loss of vision
- Permanent hearing loss
- Severe and permanent disfigurement
If you lose a loved one in an accident because of another driver’s negligence, you can also seek damages from the at-fault driver.
How Can I Prove That the Other Driver Was At-Fault?
A car accident lawyer in Boston can help you gather evidence that the other driver was at fault in the accident. Photos taken at the accident scene and those of vehicle damage, witness statements, police report of the accident, and testimony from car mechanics are excellent sources of evidence. They can help prove the other driver’s negligence.
What Should I Say to the Other Drivers’ Insurance Company
Avoid saying anything to the other driver’s insurance company without the guidance of a car accident lawyer in Boston. Remember that insurance adjusters always look for reasons not to pay you the total compensation you deserve. Therefore, they can use your words against you to help them achieve this goal. To be safe, direct the insurance company to your attorney.
However, when dealing with your own insurance company, it’s crucial to cooperate with them if you’re pursuing benefits under your policy. Remember, the company has a legal right to ask you to provide an Examination Under Oath if they require one.
An Examination Under Oath is a formal in-person statement where a legal representative from your insurance examines you under the pains and penalties of perjury. It would help to hire an experienced car accident attorney in Boston before giving an Examination Under Oath to avoid saying something that will incriminate you.
An Experienced Car Accident Attorney Fighting for the Compensation You Deserve
Dealing with the injuries while trying to protect your legal rights can be frustrating. It can get overwhelming when the other driver’s insurance company contacts you with questions regarding your role in the accident. At that point, it would help to hire the services of an experienced car accident attorney in Boston to guide you on the best way forward.
Our firm has a team of skilled lawyers to defend your rights after a car accident. You may have questions beyond those covered here, and you want answers. Consult our team to answer all your questions as we work on building a solid case by investigating your accident case to demonstrate who was at fault. Contact us to schedule a FREE case assessment.