If you live in Northampton, MA, you are familiar with the fact that motorists are mandated by state law to carry a minimum limit of automobile insurance when they own a vehicle registered in the state. While the state requires all drivers to carry both third-party liability insurance and personal injury protection and most people understand the basics of a motor vehicle accident claim, when you suffer an auto accident while working or if your injuries leave you disabled, you will face a number of additional issues when you file a claim for personal injuries.
For instance, if you have obtained a long-term disability plan through your employer, that policy may be subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act or ERISA. You’ll need to see what experienced lawyers have to say on the matter and how you can fight a denial of your benefits. You need to be aware that most ERISA governed long term disability policies provide that the ERISA insurer has a right to be reimbursed out of the personal injury settlement for the benefits it has paid to you.
Do not jump at the first settlement offer sent your way from the negligent person’s auto insurance carrier. Instead, equip yourself with knowledge on how to prepare for a claim so you can determine whether or not the offer is fair. Learn about what you must do to strengthen your chances of getting compensation.
Step 1: Gather all of the evidence you need to support your claim
When a personal injury claim cannot be settled and the victim files a civil action in court to recover damages, he or she must present evidence to show the extent and amount of medical bills, chiropractic treatment bills, lost wages and other costs resulting from the accident. If you try to deal with an auto insurer on your own, you will need to present this documentation in order to be reimbursed. Gather invoices for medical services, documents that show your lost wages, police reports, witness statements, pictures from the accident, estimates for repairs, and any other evidence that will support your claims for monetary compensation. Without this, the auto insurer will not pay those expenses, leaving you with a less than adequate settlement.
Step 2: Meet with lawyers you can trust to discuss strategy
Before you retain representation, you can consult with lawyers in Northampton for free to discuss your case and the difficulties you are having in collecting from an insurer. You should meet with reputable and experienced attorneys whose area of practice revolves around personal injury to find out if the insurer is justified in its actions and if you have a meritorious claim. Once you hire an attorney, the attorney should discuss the case strategy with you, including whether to settle out of court of file a law suit, and whether or not you can collect for pain and suffering.
Step 3: Keep the statute of limitations in mind
Postponing a personal injury claim for too long may put you at risk of letting the statute of limitations expire. In Massachusetts, the statute generally provides that after a personal injury accident the victim has 3 years from the date of the injury to file a civil action or the case becomes time barred, but there are many nuances in the statute and you must consult an attorney to understand how the statute of limitations applies to your case.
Take action when you are not getting the benefits that you deserve as the accident victim. Exercise your right and consult an experienced lawyer, such as someone from The Law Offices of Terrence A. Low and Anthony J. Canata, to discuss your options.
Understanding Auto Insurance, Massachussetts Attorney General’s Office
Massachusetts Statutes of Limitations, Lawyers.com