We were just in a car accident; what should we do?
Remain calm and call 911. Take care of anyone who is injured, including yourself. Give accurate information to any police or emergency personnel. Accept their advice for medical attention.
If you are able, get photographs of the cars and the scene.
Get all of the information from the other driver.
If there are any witnesses, get their names, addresses and phone numbers, including people in the other vehicle.
What mistakes should we avoid?
Avoid panic. The biggest mistake is to try to resolve all the issues at once: don’t decide who was at fault and try to resolve how the results of the collision will pan out.
Should I contact my insurance company?
Yes. Your insurance contract obligates you to do so.
Should I respond to the other driver’s insurance company?
No. You are not obligated to discuss the case with the other driver’s insurance company; they have only one interest and that is defending their driver and avoiding paying claims that they don’t have to.
We recommend you contact an experienced personal injury attorney. Learn your legal rights. Learn what you can do to protect your rights. We give free initial consultations. We don’t charge any fee unless successful.
Will I need a lawyer?
If you are injured and not at fault, yes.
Otherwise, it depends. If no one was injured, you will not need a personal injury lawyer. If you were injured but at fault, you are still probably entitled to, $8,000 in Personal Injury Protection insurance, which is no fault insurance and you, will not need a lawyer.
Either way, we offer free consultations, so call.
What exactly is PIP?
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance comes with most Massachusetts policies. It covers up tot $8,000 in medical benefits, and or lost earnings. However, the way it works is complicated: the first $2,000 gets paid automatically; after that, medical bills go to your health insurance policy (a state or federal administered policy will not get billed until after the $8,000 is exhausted), however, that company will now have a lien on your personal injury case; lost wages are reimbursed at 75% if you can prove the same from documentation.
What monies can a personal injury attorney get for me?
In Massachusetts, you have a case for pain and suffering if: you have over $2,000 in medical bills; you lose a body part; you lose one of your senses, such as sight or hearing; you have a permanent scar; you have a broken bone; in the event of death.
An experienced personal injury attorney will work to get you the maximum monetary reward. There are no tricks, but there are practices that will work to get victims the maximum damages. They include the above. They also include persistence in representing a client before the insurance company and, if necessary, throughout a court case.
Can I collect damages for mental anguish as a result of a motor vehicle collision?
If you are physically injured and have posttraumatic stress, yes. If you witness the injuries of your children or spouse, yes. Damages for mental suffering can be more complicated to explain to an insurance company or jury; and experienced personal injury attorney can help.
Does Attorney Houten charge for a consultation?
No. All consultations are free. There is no fee unless and until we win.