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New Bedford Car Accident Lawyer

Despite being among the most dangerous activities an individual can participate in, driving a car is a part of daily life. On average, 353 people lose their lives on Massachusetts highways every year. Many of these accidents are caused by distracted driving and other instances of driver negligence. Surviving accident victims are often forced to contend with steep financial costs in addition to their physical and emotional pain. Fortunately, car accident victims in New Bedford have the legal right to seek compensation for their losses. 

If you have suffered an injury in a car accident, do not hesitate to contact Sweeney Merrigan Personal Injury Lawyers. Our experienced team has a proven track record of successfully protecting our client’s rights and helping them achieve justice for their cases. We are committed to holding the negligent party accountable so that you can recover the damages you need to move your life forward. To discuss your case with a seasoned legal professional, call us today at 617-391-9001 or complete our contact form

Common Causes of Car Accidents in New Bedford

With millions of vehicles on the road every day, there are various causes and contributing factors of car accidents. Despite driving with the utmost care, suffering a car accident in New Bedford is not unlikely, as some drivers may engage in negligent driving behaviors. In 2020, 2,354 victims sustained serious injuries, with 343 suffering a fatality in a car accident in Massachusetts

The following are the three most common causes of car accidents in New Bedford: 

  1. Speeding 

Speeding commonly contributes to serious car collisions due to reduced time to assess and correct for changing traffic conditions or responding to emergency situations on the road. Generally, the faster the vehicle travels, the more serious the injuries may be at the point of impact. In 2020, speeding was a contributing factor to accidents resulting in 11,258 fatalities, about 29% of all car accident fatalities.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an accident involving speeding is one where the at-fault driver was charged with a speeding-related offense or if a police report indicated that racing, accelerating too fast for road conditions, or exceeding the posted speed limit contributed to the accident. 

  1. Distracted Driving 

Despite the ongoing efforts to reduce distracted driving, 3,142 victims suffered a distracted-driving-related fatality in 2020, and collisions have risen in Massachusetts by 170% from 2014-2016. Distracted driving behaviors include any activity that takes your hands, eyes, or mind away from operating your vehicle with your full attention. Examples may consist of eating, engaging with passengers, or grooming, which may inhibit your ability to recognize or react to road conditions. Massachusetts has banned certain distracted driving behaviors, such as using any electronic device, including cell phones, unless the device is in hands-free mode. 

  1. Driving Under the Influence 

Drivers who opt to drive under the influence are not only endangering themselves but are also endangering everyone else on the road. Over 1,200 people died in an accident involving an alcohol-impaired driver in Massachusetts between 2009 and 2018. The CDC estimates that 32 people in the US suffer a fatality every day due to a drunk driver. 

Alcohol consumption affects our ability to react appropriately while operating a vehicle. Due to this, drunk drivers may cause rear-end collisions if they fail to stop, T-bone accidents if they drive through a red light, head-on collisions if they swerve into the opposite side of the road or many other types of accidents due to their impairment. 

How to Protect Your Rights After a Car Accident

Following a car accident, it is essential to take steps to protect your rights and interests. A few ways you can defend yourself after a car accident include the following:

  • Never admit fault for the incident: Even something as simple as saying sorry can be used against you later. After many accidents, the liable party may not be immediately apparent.
  • Be careful when talking to the insurance company: It is often in an insurance company’s interest to pay accident victims as little as possible for their losses. Authorizing your attorney to speak on your behalf can protect the value of your claim.
  • Photograph your injuries and property damage: Photographs of your injuries, damage to your vehicle, and accident scene could serve as critical evidence for your car accident claim. 
  • Collect all medical bills and other accident-related expenses: Saving and organizing your receipts and other relevant documentation can help you and your lawyer build the strongest case possible.
  • Avoid posting on social media: It is in your best interest to assume the insurance company may watch your social media to collect evidence against you. If you avoid posting altogether, you can help protect the success of your claim.
  • Hire an experienced lawyer: A dependable attorney will know the ins and outs of Massachusetts law and can advocate on your behalf to defend your rights and interests. 

When you retain the services of one of our skilled attorneys, they will review every aspect of your case and advise you on your best path forward. 

Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Claims in New Bedford, Massachusetts

Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, a car accident claim can take anywhere from months to a year to resolve. Since claims take time, it is essential to file within Massachusetts’ legal time limit, known as the statute of limitations. For New Bedford personal injury claims, including car accidents, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of the accident. If you fail to file your claim within this legal time limit, you will be unable to obtain compensation from the negligent party. 

After hiring one of our highly-qualified New Bedford car accident lawyers, we will ensure your case is filed accurately and on time, as well as determine if any exceptions to the statute of limitations apply to your case. 

How Our Experienced Car Accident Attorneys in New Bedford Can Help You

At Sweeney Merrigan Personal Injury Lawyers, we are committed to helping our clients collect the maximum amount of compensation for their injuries and other losses. A few of the ways our skilled New Bedford lawyers can help you include the following:

  • Conducting an independent investigation into your case
  • Collecting essential evidence to support your claim
  • Interviewing eye-witnesses
  • Organizing your accident-related expenses
  • Filing all paperwork correctly and timely
  • Negotiating with all parties on your behalf
  • Advocating for your rights inside and outside of court
  • Advising you of your legal options
  • Answering any and all legal questions

Depending on the unique circumstances surrounding your case, your New Bedford car accident attorney may be able to help you recover damages for your medical expenses as well as your emotional pain and suffering. 

Speak to a Trusted Car Accident Lawyer at Sweeney Merrigan Personal Injury Lawyers

The qualified team at Sweeney Merrigan Personal Injury Lawyers has over 45 years of experience helping car accident victims like you recover the maximum amount of compensation available for their injuries. We are proud to serve the community of New Bedford and have a proven track record of successfully protecting our client’s rights. Our managing partners, J. Tucker Merrigan and Peter M. Merrigan devote their practices completely to litigation and have been continually recognized for their excellence. For several consecutive years, some of their accolades include being named Super Lawyers Rising Star and Top 40 under 40 Trial Attorneys. 

To discuss your case with a seasoned car accident lawyer in New Bedford, give us a call at 617-391-9001 or complete our contact form today. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accidents in New Bedford

What is the average settlement for a car accident in New Bedford, MA?

Determining the average settlement for a car accident in New Bedford, MA, is challenging as it depends on various factors, including the severity of injuries, property damage, medical expenses, and lost wages. Settlement amounts can range from a few thousand dollars to several hundred thousand dollars or more, depending on the specific circumstances of the case.

Who is responsible for my car accident?

Determining responsibility for a car accident in New Bedford, MA, depends on factors such as negligence, traffic laws, and the specifics of the accident. Liability could fall on one or more parties involved, including drivers, vehicle manufacturers, or even governmental entities responsible for road maintenance.

How long do I have to report a car accident to my insurance?

In New Bedford, MA, it’s generally recommended to report a car accident to your insurance company as soon as possible, ideally within 24 hours of the incident. While there may not be a strict legal deadline, prompt reporting allows your insurer to initiate the claims process efficiently and ensures compliance with any policy requirements. However, it’s crucial to review your insurance policy for specific reporting guidelines and consult with your insurance provider for guidance on the reporting process.

Award-Winning Legal Team

Attorneys at Sweeney Merrigan Law, LLP have been recognized and honored by several of the top legal associations, including SuperLawyers, National Trial Lawyers Association, and Best Lawyers.

Over $500 Million Recovered

Sweeney Merrigan Law, LLP is a highly successful personal injury law firm serving Massachusetts since 2011.

No Fee Until You Win

There are no fees or costs unless we win your case!

Meet the Personal Injury Attorneys at Sweeney Merrigan Law, LLP