Attorneys Answer: When Do You Need to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer in Boston?
You always have the right to represent yourself in an insurance claim or lawsuit after a car accident. But in most cases, you risk missing out on essential compensation by representing yourself. Sometimes, your claim might get denied altogether.
A car accident lawyer has the knowledge to help victims navigate the accident claim process. They also have the experience and skills to make sure their clients get the best possible outcome in their cases, even without filing a lawsuit.
Curious about when you might need to hire a car accident lawyer in Boston? In this guide, we’ll discuss the things you need to know.
The Car Accident Claim Process
Massachusetts uses a no-fault auto insurance system. This means that your auto insurance policy includes coverage for your injuries after an accident.
After a car accident, you will file a claim with your insurer. The insurer will cover your medical expenses and 75% of your income losses up to $8,000.
Your insurer pays these benefits without regard to who caused the accident. This speeds up the claim process because the insurer does not need to investigate fault. But this complicated system limits when you can sue the at-fault driver for damages.
During this process, you should consider hiring a lawyer when:
You Suffer Serious Injuries
Under Massachusetts law, you can file a claim against the at-fault driver when you suffer:
- Loss of a body part
- Permanent and serious disfigurement
- Loss of sight or hearing
- A fractured bone
You can also file a claim on behalf of anyone in your family who died in the accident.
A lawyer can advise you on the best ways to document your injuries so you meet the requirements for filing a claim. The lawyer can also help you prove who caused the accident with police reports, physical evidence, and witness statements.
You Need Expensive Treatment
Massachusetts does not include many types of catastrophic injuries, like brain injuries and spinal cord injuries, on its list of injuries that release you from the no-fault system. But it does allow you to file a claim against the at-fault driver if your medical expenses exceed $2,000.
A car accident lawyer can help you prepare and file an insurance claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance and negotiate a fair settlement to cover these costs.
Your Claim Gets Denied
The at-fault driver’s insurer can deny your claim for many reasons, including:
- They blame you for the accident
- You did not prove your damages
- Your records do not prove the accident caused your injuries
When the insurer denies your claim, you must decide whether to fight the insurer or drop the claim. A car accident lawyer can help you weigh the factors going into this decision.
If you choose to fight the denial, your lawyer can assemble the evidence to support your case.
Your Claim Stalls Out
Insurers have an incentive to slow-walk your claim. Your frustration and desperation make it more likely that you will accept a low settlement offer.
A lawyer can help keep a claim moving forward. Insurers are less likely to play games with lawyers. And if the insurer acts in bad faith, your lawyer can remind them of their obligations under the law.
You Receive a Low Offer
Insurers work for their shareholders, not for their customers or the people they injure. The less they pay in claims, the more profit they make.
Insurers often start with a low offer. They assume you do not understand the value of your case. They also know that many accident victims take the first offer given.
A lawyer can assess your damages, which can help them to negotiate a fair settlement based on the true value of your case.
Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer
Car accident lawyers do more than battle insurers in court. Helping you before you file a lawsuit might end your claim quickly and fairly. But if you cannot resolve your claim, you will need an experienced car accident lawyer to file your lawsuit and present your case to a jury.