- A car accident causing personal injury is a serious and traumatic event. Each year in United States over 34,000 people are killed an automobile accidents and a far greater number are injured in the automobile collisions. These incidents for the individual and family involved are traumatic. The collision causes substantial pain and suffering and additional economic losses. It is possible to bring a claim for recovery of money damages for these losses in certain motor vehicle accidents.
- Attorney Erickson has specialized knowledge which he use to analyze your situation to determine if a claim exists and how to best handle it. Call him at (978) 793-9212 to discuss your motor vehicle accident.
When Can You Bring a Claim?
Massachusetts General Laws chapter 231, section 6D states that a person can bring a claim for personal injury “if the reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in treating such injury, sickness or disease for necessary medical, surgical, x-ray and dental services, including prosthetic devices, and necessary ambulance, hospital, professional nursing and funeral expenses are determined to be in excess of two thousand dollars unless such injury, sickness or disease (1) causes death, or (2) consists in whole or in part of loss of a body member, or (3) consists in whole or in part of permanent and serious disfigurement, or (4) results in such loss of sight or hearing as is described in paragraphs (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f) and (g) of section thirty-six of chapter one hundred and fifty-two or (5) consists of a fracture.”
It is important for you to contact an attorney to review your situation since some people cannot even accept that they are not at fault and that someone else is to blame. My experience is that often a victim blames themselves for a collision that someone else caused. There are a number of types of collisions. Each must be looked at separately to determine if there is liability and how to proceed. They include rear end collision, side impact collisions, multiple car collisions, pedestrian accidents, motor cycle accidents, truck accidents, and bicycle accidents.
The lawyer has to prepare every case like it was going to trial. He must look at the scene, gather police reports and other evidence, talk to witnesses, review state and local records, and gather medical evidence. Only once this is done can a settlement demand be made against the at fault party. The settlement is unsuccessful than the attorney must be prepared to bring suit to recover aid money judgment.
Call Attorney Erickson to discuss these issues.
Gather And Preserve Evidence
If you are having problems getting access to a car or location (or can’t do this yourself) call Attorney Erickson and tell him. An attorney can arrange for these thing to be done and can even bring a Bill of Discovery to get discovery immediately if parties protest to giving access. This includes access to areas to photograph or test. Most of the time this is not necessary, however, you should have an attorney who knows how to investigate your claim and is prepared to bring such an action if necessary.
After the accident keep a diary. It does not have to be detailed. You should keep as a diary are notes of what you’ve been through and what you experience. Also, keep copies of records. It is unlikely that your claim will resolve extremely quickly and, therefore, the diary will help you later on when you must recall the events in your lawsuit. You should understand that the other side may try to gain access to the diary so your entry should be designed more to jog your memory than to record each event in total. Make sure to discuss they use of a diary with Attorney Erickson when you consult with him about your auto collision.
Contact A Local Lawyer And Give Notice
The local attorney should also have special training in representing those injured in accidents. Attorney Erickson throughout his career has represented accident victims and the disabled in bringing claims to recover money damages to compensate them for lost wages, impaired earning capacity, scarring, loss of function, and pain and suffering. Attorney Erickson has attended classes and other trainings to provide him with special skill and knowledge to best represent you in investigating, preserving, and settling your claim.
Give notice. It’s important. It’s human nature to wait. It’s human nature to hope that things will get better and you will not have to sue. But, it is important --- critical in fact ---to contact Attorney Erickson so that he can give proper notice to the parties at fault and also to given notice to others potential defendants including insurance companies. Underinsurance and uninsurance companies require and will defend against any case you later bring any claim by stating that you failed to give proper notice and that they are prejudiced.
In other situations, the courts looks to the relative fault of the parties. This is commonly referred to as comparative negligence. The court, most often a jury, compares the negligence of the parties to come to a conclusion about how much the party will recover. The party only recovers the share of the occurrence for which another party is responsible. However, the party cannot be fifty percent or more at fault (50%) to recover for the occurrence. For example, if a party is thirty percent (30%) at fault and suffered $1000. in damages then the recovery would be .70 times 1000. or $700.
Although liability in a rear end collision is clear the scope or degree of the collision is still very important to consider. This is because in terms of personal injury the force of the impact is thought to relate to the severity of the injury and, therefore, claim.
For example, if a car is rear-ended when at a stop light or stop sign by an out of control dump truck which both totals the car and pushes the rear seat of the car into the driver's seat of the car one can expect serious injuries. Even if wearing a seat belt one might sustain a cervical or thoracic injury and associated nerve compression which could be permanent in nature. An insurance company would view injuries of this kind as reasonably caused by the accident.
Injuries from a low speed collision occur, but insurance claim adjusters look to the force of the collision and resulting physical damage to determine what personal injury is "reasonable" in the circumstances. A low speed accident causes less physical damage and any injury would be considered in that context. Although injury can occur in that context such a case is more difficult to prove. One needs to be aware of this and gather and offer medical and factual evidence to support this claim. Factual evidence would include gathering statements from family and friends who were witness to the suffering of the injured person. Additionally, evidence of the activities that the injured party had to stop or give up is important. Perhaps as a result of the collision an individual played a musical instrument such as a panino or engages in other activities which must be given up at least for a while while recovering.
It is therefore important to consult with an attorney experience with reviewing and settling rear end accidents. Call attorney David Erickson for a consultation today.