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Articles Posted in Car Accident

highway at sunsetSo how bad – or how good – are Massachusetts drivers, really? That all depends on whom you ask. Some sources claim that Massachusetts has some of the best drivers in the country, but other studies lead to a very different conclusion.

While we cannot say with 100% accuracy which side has the better argument, we can say one thing for sure:  there are a significant number of car accidents in and around the Cape Cod area. We know this because we have been representing the victims of crashes caused by negligent drivers for many years. Regardless of what the numbers say, we understand that a Cape Cod car accident can wreak great physical injuries and financial hardships on innocent parties, and we are here to help those who have been hurt seek fair compensation.

The Country’s Best Drivers? Seriously?

insurance

Those who have been involved in a Cape Cod auto accident may be surprised to learn that they may have to file multiple claims, including not only a negligence claim against the party whose actions led to the crash but also a claim against their own insurance company if the negligent party does not have adequate liability insurance to cover the claimant’s total damages (including pain and suffering, past and future medical costs, and lost earnings).

An experienced injury attorney can help the claimant explore the various causes of action, explain the likelihood of success of each claim, and prepare the appropriate paperwork to ensure that important deadlines like the statute of limitations are met.

While many cases are settled prior to trial, an injured party should be prepared to go to court if necessary. Despite a statutory obligation to exercise good faith in settling claims, there is never a guarantee that a reasonable settlement offer will be made.

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semi-truck

One of the most important facets of the American legal system is the right to a trial by jury. The idea is that a jury of one’s peers will be more likely to render a fair and impartial verdict than might a seasoned judge, who might be predispositioned to lean one way or another.

Unfortunately, jury verdicts are not always predicable, and litigants are often dissatisfied with the results of a jury trial. While there exists the possibility of an appeal in some cases, simple displeasure with the outcome is not, in and of itself, sufficient reason for a “do-over.”

Convincing an appellate court that a mistake was made during a jury trial is not an easy thing to do, as the disappointed plaintiffs in a Massachusetts truck accident case recently learned.

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UM/UIM Motorist

When an automobile accident results in injuries, the plaintiff’s medical expenses and lost wages can easily reach tens of thousands – or even hundreds of thousands – of dollars. Even if the at-fault party has liability insurance, there may not be enough coverage to fully compensate the injured party.

This is why uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance is so important. It can help fill the gap between the at-fault party’s liability insurance limits and the plaintiff’s actual damages. Of course, payment under such a policy is not automatic. Like other matters in which insurance companies are involved, the process can be difficult and contentious.

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clock

Should an insurance company be required to settle a lawsuit against its insured if liability is clear? If so, how long should the settlement process take? Which party should make the first move? What about situations in which the insurance company and the injured person have very different ideas about the value of the claim?

The Massachusetts Court of Appeals recently considered these and other issues in a lawsuit filed by a disgruntled liability insurance claimant.

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calculator

No one wants to be involved in an automobile accident in which the responsible party has no liability insurance. Well, no one wants to be in an automobile accident at all, right?

But, if an accident does happen, wouldn’t it be easier to secure a fair settlement if the responsible driver had multiple policies of liability coverage? The surprising answer is “not necessarily.”

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tax calculation

Many times, the plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit arising from a motor vehicle collision also has a claim for property damage to his or her automobile. In most cases, the property damage portion of the case is settled separately from the issues arising in the personal injury claim.

Depending upon the situation, the plaintiff’s property damage claim may include repair costs to his or her vehicle, fair market value of the car (if it is a total loss), towing, storage fees, and rental charges for a replacement vehicle (while the plaintiff’s car is being repaired). A recent case explored whether another element of damages – tax – may be included in appropriate cases.

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city bus

Most people are aware that there are deadlines for the filing of a lawsuit in a personal injury case. However, simply filing suit within the statute of limitations does not guarantee that a case will be considered in compliance with all rules pertaining to timeliness.

There may also be a statute of repose or – particularly in cases in which the defendant is a governmental entity – a notice requirement that is separate from the statute of limitations. A failure to give notice in a timely fashion can be just as detrimental to the plaintiff’s cause of action as missing the statute of limitations.

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headlights at nightDuring a jury trial, the judge is required to make a variety of rulings – beginning with the procedure for the selection of the jury and ending with a review of whether the jury’s verdict was supported by the evidence.

A party aggrieved by a decision of the trial court judge may file an appeal and ask a higher court to review the trial judge’s decisions.

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apartment complexWhen a driver fails to act in a reasonably prudent manner, and someone else is hurt, the negligent driver can be held liable for the injured person’s medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Unfortunately, not every at-fault driver has high enough limits on his or her automobile liability policy to pay fair compensation in serious accident cases.

Underinsured motorist coverage helps protect those who are injured as a result of the negligence of an underinsured driver. However, disputes can arise as to whether a particular person is considered to be an “insured” under a given policy.

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