MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS
Massachusetts Car Accident Lawyers
Every year, hundreds of thousands of individuals and their families are impacted by motor vehicle accidents. Victims often experience severe life-changing injuries and significant monetary loss.
If you have been in an accident, it is extremely important that you hire a skilled personal injury lawyer to fight for your rights.
Get the Compensation You Deserve with Snook Law Office
Attorney Douglas Snook knows what it takes to recover the compensation you deserve. His successful practice as a motor vehicle accident lawyer has earned him a reputation for aggressive representation in and out of court. Having practiced in Massachusetts for 30 years, he understands the difficulties that victims experience dealing with unfair insurance companies and other parties.
Our office represents motor vehicle accident victims in the insurance claims process, third-party claims, and claims involving uninsured or underinsured parties.
Don't Let Insurance Companies Minimize Your Recovery
Attorney Douglas Snook protects his clients from unfair settlement offers.
In many cases, parties and insurance companies will fight over minor legal issues to delay the process. Even when the facts are clear, these fights open the door for unfair insurance companies to take advantage of accident victims. They will often offer settlements that don't even cover your medical expenses, let alone your full damages. And, their attorneys are hired to minimize your recovery.
Attorney Snook will fight back. Not only is he an expert in personal injury law, but he also knows the players. Having dealt with countless insurance companies and defense attorneys in the area, he won't let his clients recover anything less than maximum compensation.
You Don't Pay Unless We Win
Attorney Snook does not get paid unless you win. Here at Snook Law Office, our clients only pay a percentage of whatever Attorney Snook recovers on their behalf.
Learn More About Motor Vehicle Accidents
Motor vehicle accidents can involve passenger vehicles, motorcycles, trucks, boats, golf carts, bicycles, scooters, and pedestrians. The legal issues regarding liability and the exercise of ordinary or reasonable care often vary. The most common types of personal injury claims are motor vehicle accidents, which is not surprising since millions of cars are on our roadways each day and at all hours.
There were 4.5 million people injured in motor vehicle accidents in 2018 with 40,000 fatalities. Motor vehicle accident lawyers represent thousands of clients in various kinds of vehicular accidents every single year.
What Causes Motor Vehicle Accidents?
All drivers are expected to exercise ordinary care when driving, which means obeying all traffic laws and being cautious and prudent. Factors or causes of most traffic accidents include:
Following too closely in traffic
Unsafe lane changes
Driving the wrong way on a one-way street
Impaired driving—alcohol and/or drugs
Distracted driving (e.g., texting and driving or other use of a smartphone)
Defective road design (responsibility of municipality or state)
Poor road maintenance (responsibility of municipality)
Defective tire, steering, braking, or other mechanical failures (responsibility of car manufacturer, designer, or auto service mechanic)
Many of these factors may have an impact on your motor vehicle accident claim, and often, insurance companies will attempt to ask you to elaborate on any potential factors that may have caused your accident. Although this is a typical practice, it is important to seek counsel from a skilled motor vehicle accident lawyer before answering any of these questions.
Attorney Snook has extensive experience helping clients work through complicated accident fact patterns and negotiating with insurance companies.
The Massachusetts No-Fault Law and Third-Party Claims
Any discussion of compensation for injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident in Massachusetts starts with our no-fault law.
Under the no-fault law, every driver must purchase a liability auto policy that includes PIP, or personal injury protection benefits. In any motor vehicle accident, regardless of fault, anyone who is injured can collect funds for medical expenses and loss of income. If you have private insurance or through work, you can collect up to $2,000 in medical expenses before additional bills are submitted to your private health insurer. If you have Medicare, Medicaid, MassHealth, or ERISA, you can collect up to $8,000.
When Can I File a Pain and Suffering Claim?
PIP does not include payments for pain and suffering. If you wish to bring a third-party claim against the responsible motorist, you must meet at least one of the following criteria:
Your medical bills exceed $2,000 in “reasonable and necessary expenses” incurred in treating his injury, sickness, or disease;
You have suffered permanent and serious disfigurement;
The accident resulted in a fracture of one or more of your bones, loss “in whole or part of a body member,” or loss of sight or hearing; or
The accident resulted in death.
It is always advised to seek counsel from a motor vehicle accident lawyer before filing a third-party claim for pain and suffering.
Here at Snook Law, we have helped hundreds of clients obtain a fair recovery that reflects their pain and suffering, both short and long-term.
Compensation in Motor Vehicle Accidents
Once you have met the no-fault threshold, you can bring a third-party accident injury claim against the responsible motorist’s insurance for past and future medical expenses, lost income, emotional distress, and pain and suffering.
The minimal auto liability limits in Massachusetts are low: $20,000/$40,000. Accordingly, in an accident with a driver carrying these limits, you can obtain no more than $20,000. If there are multiple claimants, all must share the $40,000, although no claimant can receive more than $20,000.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage
If you purchased underinsured coverage (UIM), which is optional, you can collect additional compensation from your own insurer provided your UIM limits exceeds that of the defendant’s policy. If the defendant had $50,000 in coverage and your UIM is $100,000, you can seek up to $50,000 from your insurer once the defendant’s $50,000 limit is exhausted.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
If the defendant lacked liability insurance or the accident was a hit-and-run, you can proceed under the uninsured motorist provision (UM) of your own policy, which is the same amount as your liability limits.
A motor vehicle accident lawyer can help your claim will be against your own insurer, and your motor vehicle accident lawyer will still have to prove liability by the uninsured driver, that your injuries were the result of the accident, and that you have sufficient proof of your damages.
Regardless of how clear liability may be, you need a highly experienced motor vehicle accident lawyer to handle your claim from start to finish if you want the most compensation for your injury claim.