The auto accidents insurance claim process in Massachusetts has some state laws that can add certain protections to accident claims with injuries. Nevertheless, standard procedures are still there in how an insurance company generally deals with your accident, including during the investigation phase.
Investigation After Filing
Once you’ve notified your insurance company of the accident (which can be done online), your insurance company will first look to see if your claim is covered based on your policy. They’ll also ask you for a copy of the police report so an investigation can start on who was to blame and who wasn’t. That usually involves contacting the other driver and interviewing them. The other driver may not speak to your company, just as you have no obligation to speak to the other driver’s insurance company about the details of the accident. Also, if there were any witnesses to the accident, both insurance companies will try to interview them.
The investigation phase can take some time, because each insurance company needs to study the evidence to make a judgment. With injuries, you’ll also need to sign a medical release for your Personal Injury Protection (no fault) insurance company so it can determine whether the medical bills for your injuries will be covered. You do not need to provide a medical release to the other driver’s insurance company. You will need to provide copies of the relevant medical records and bills to the other driver’s insurance company at some point, if you are making a claim for pain and suffering associated with your personal injuries. We recommend that you wait until you have completed your medical treatment with all of your providers.
Dealing with the Settlement
Once the liability insurance company comes to a conclusion, it may not always be what you want based on the available evidence. For accidents involving injuries, you may get a settlement offer from the insurance company that is usually negotiable. If that can’t be done, it might mean hiring a lawyer to help with the case in court. As an alternative, you could speak to the insurance adjuster’s supervisor at the insurance company.
What is the “No-Fault” Law in Massachusetts?
Keep in mind that in Massachusetts, you may have limitations, if you’re filing a personal injury claim against another driver in the car accident. You can only file a lawsuit for pain and suffering against that driver, if your medical expenses are at least $2,000, or if you have considerable injuries that are permanent or serious. The latter scenario would include death, disfigurement, fractures and the loss of certain functions that enable you to live a normal life. It does not affect your ability to recover for out-of-pocket damages that your insurance company does not cover under your policy.
Note the Massachusetts Statute of Limitations
All states have a statute of limitations when it comes to how much time you have to file a lawsuit after a car accident. In Massachusetts, you have three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit.
Contact us if you’re in need of an experienced Massachusetts personal injury attorney for help with a claim or filing a lawsuit against someone in a car accident.