If you’ve been involved in an automobile accident, you probably have many questions about what happens next. You may have injuries, property damage that need to be tended to. You may be worried about how to pay the bills you are incurring. If you were not at fault, you may be wondering how to get reimbursed for those expenses. Having these concerns weighing on your mind is another burden. Contant Law can help to ease your mind by guiding you through the personal injury process and helping you to get the compensation to which you are entitled.
What is my personal injury case worth?
We first meet with most clients shortly after the accident has occurred. At this point, it is usually impossible to know the value of your case. Every personal injury case is different. The value will depend on several factors. The most common are: (1) how badly were you injured? (2) how much are your medical bills? (3) how much time and money did you lose by not being able to work after the accident? and (4) how have the injuries affected your life? The trouble with placing a value on your case shortly after the accident is that we usually don’t have the full picture as to the seriousness of your injuries. How long will it take you to recover? Will you recover fully or is your injury permanent? We usually cannot know these things until you have been treated for some time with your doctors. Ultimately, they make the decisions concerning the need for continued medical treatment, the type of treatment and when it is appropriate to stop. Once you are done with your treatment, we will then obtain and review the medical records and bills and determine what is the appropriate value for your case.
How long do I need to be treated by my doctor?
The short answer is that you should receive treatment for as long as it takes for you to feel better and recover from your injuries. Unfortunately, as we are lawyers not doctors, we really cannot give you this answer. You really need to listen to your body and consult with your doctor about how long and what type of treatment you should get following a car accident.
When can I settle my personal injury case?
In most cases, you should not even consider trying to settle your case until you are done treating for your injuries and are either all better or medically as good as you are going to get. This is also known as a “medical end result”. The reason for this is that you can only settle your case once. When you settle the personal injury case you will be required to sign a document known as a release. The release states that this is the one and only time you can settle the case and cannot go back to the person who caused your injuries or their insurance company at any time in the future. Therefore, it is very important that we fully understand the nature and extent of your injuries from the accident. We can only know this when your doctors discharge you from treatment.
Do I have to pay my personal injury attorney?
The short answer is yes. However, you will not have to reach into your own pocket to pay your lawyer. At Contant Law we work on auto accident or motorcycle personal injury cases on what is called a “contingent fee” arrangement. We only get paid if we recover money for you in a settlement or in a judgment in court. We then take our fee out of that settlement or judgment. As personal injury attorneys, we typically are paid one-third (1/3) of the amount we get for you. We are also reimbursed for any expenses that we have incurred while your case is pending.
Do you work on property damage cases?
If you have been involved in an auto accident and you were not injured, we do not work on cases that just involve damage to your car. However, if we are working on a case for your injuries, we are happy to assist you in settling any property damage claims for your vehicle as part of our service.
Should I fill out these papers I received from the insurance company?
When you are injured in an auto accident, there are certain papers which will need to be filled out. However, it is important that they are filled out correctly. At Contant Law we ask our clients to send or bring any papers from the insurance company to us and we will help them fill them out.
Do I have to speak with my insurance company?
As part of your insurance policy, you have agreed to cooperate with your own insurance company when you are involved in an accident. However, it is important that you are prepared for any statement you give to them. At Contant Law, one of our lawyers will help you prepare your statement and be with you when you give it.
Do I have to speak with the insurance company for the other driver?
You are under no obligation to speak with the insurance company for the other driver who caused the accident. However, there are times when you may want to give your statement to make things very clear as to just how the accident occurred. As your lawyers, we will help you decide whether you should give such a statement. If we decide that you should give a statement to the other insurance company, we will help you prepare for the statement and be right there with you when you make the statement.
If I put in a claim for my injuries will my insurance rates go up?
The only time your auto insurance rates will go up is if you were more than 50% at fault for the auto accident. Putting in a claim for injuries when you are not at fault for the accident will have no effect on those insurance rates.
If I don't have health insurance, how can I treat with a doctor if I can't afford to pay for it?
If you are injured in an auto accident in Massachusetts, your medical bills will initially be paid for by the auto insurance policy of the vehicle you were riding in at the time of the accident. Every auto insurance policy in Massachusetts has this type of coverage which is known as Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) benefits. They will pay for things like medical bills, 75% of lost wages and replacement services. However, the maximum amount that PIP will pay for is $8,000.00. If your bills exceed this amount and you still require medical treatment, we can usually make some alternative arrangements with your doctors, such as making sure they will be paid when we settle the case.
I have to work to support my family, but my doctor has told me to stay out of work due to my injuries, how do I live?
If you are injured in an auto accident in Massachusetts, every insurance policy has coverage known as Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) benefits. This coverage will pay for things like medical bills, 75% of lost wages and replacement services. However, the maximum amount that PIP will pay for is $8,000.00. We can have your wages repaid through the PIP very quickly, without having to settle the auto accident case for your injuries.
The driver who hit me, left without identifying themselves (hit and run) how can I get compensated for my injuries?
In Massachusetts every auto insurance policy has coverage for what is known as bodily injuries caused by an uninsured automobile. If you are injured by a car which either leaves without identifying themselves or does not have insurance, you can access this portion of your own insurance to be compensated for your injuries. Don’t worry though, this will not increase your insurance rates. The only way your insurance rates would go up is if you were at fault for causing the accident.
The driver who hit me does not have much insurance coverage; how will I be compensated for my injuries which were severe?
Initially, we would try to obtain as much money as possible from the insurance company for the driver who caused your accident. However, in the event there is not much insurance coverage and the driver does not have any real assets for us to pursue, we look to see if your insurance includes coverage for “bodily injury caused by an underinsured automobile.” This type of insurance is meant to protect you in just this situation. However, this is an optional insurance coverage and not everyone has it.
We will review your insurance policy and determine whether you have it and what is the maximum amount we can recover under this portion of your insurance policy. We can then pursue your own insurance company for injuries not covered by the other driver’s insurance.
Will there be a trial in my case?
Most cases can be settled without having to go to court or having a trial. However, there are times whether the other side will not settle the case for a fair amount. When that happens, we are ready, willing and able to go to court to obtain the maximum amount you deserve for your injuries. However, before we make any major decisions in your case, we will consult with you and help you decide what to do.
I was in my friend’s car at the time of the accident and he doesn’t want me to pursue my injury claim because he is afraid his insurance will go up. What should I do?
It is up to you whether you want to pursue a claim for your injuries. However, understandably you may not want to upset your friend. If your friend was not at fault for causing the accident, you can tell them that their insurance will not go up if you pursue your claim for injuries. The only time your insurance rates go up after an accident is if you were more than 50% at fault for causing the accident.
We’re here to answer your questions and help you throughout the process
|10 Cedar Street, Suite 23|
Woburn, MA 01801
|Office: M-F 8am-5pm|