Auto accidents i.e., truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, and car accidents often leave victims with serious injuries and sometimes end in a fatality or a permanent disability. Simply put, auto accidents can be incredibly devastating to your life or that of your loved one.
If you were injured in an auto accident in Massachusetts, contact the Marshfield car accident lawyers at the Law Office of Robert Shea today for your free consultation by calling 508-506-5681, or by filling out the free consultation form provided. We look forward to talking to you about your auto accident claim.
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How Much Does A Car Accident Attorney Cost?
The costs associated with hiring and retaining the services of a competent auto accident attorney often dominate the victims of auto accidents. Fortunately, the personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Robert Shea understand that not everyone that comes to us for legal help is in a position to pay upfront.
That’s why we charge clients on a contingency fee basis. What that simply means is that you agree to have the attorney’s fees deducted from the damages or settlement awarded at trial by a jury. You don’t have to worry about any upfront costs or out-of-pocket legal fees.
What Should I Do After An Auto Accident?
Here are the most important steps to take following an auto accident:
It is very important to ensure that you contact the police after the accident since they will prepare a detailed report of the accident. The report will be very important in building your compensation claim since it will contain important facts regarding the accident.
Check On Other Involved Parties
If you are involved in an auto accident, you are legally required to remain at the accident scene until you exchange information with other involved parties. You should also check on them for injuries and administer first aid if possible or call an ambulance on their behalf.
Exchange information with other involved parties. Obtain the names, addresses, driver’s license number, and dates of birth of both the owner and operator of the vehicle, along with the registration number and name of the insurance company.
Never Admit Fault
You must never admit any liability before seeking legal advice from a competent auto accident attorney. When speaking with other involved parties, police, or paramedics, just provide a truthful account of the accident without accepting responsibility for it.
Seek Medical Attention
If you have been injured, seek appropriate medical treatment and follow the doctor’s orders regarding the treatment administered. You should also keep detailed notes and records of your treatment.
Call An Auto Accident Lawyer
It is also a good idea to speak to an experienced auto accident lawyer such as those at the Law Office of Robert Shea soon after the auto accident. Our lawyers will be instrumental in helping you obtain fair and just compensation for your injuries and damages.
What Is The Average Settlement For An Auto Accident?
Unlike the vast majority of states, Massachusetts is a no-fault state when it comes to auto accidents and insurance claims. In this system, you are required to file a claim with your own insurance company for personal injury protection compensation before you pursue further damages against the other driver or their insurance provider.
The no-fault doctrine, unfortunately, tends to complicate how settlements or damages are calculated in auto accidents. The best way to estimate the average settlement for auto accidents in Massachusetts is to look at the average settlements offered in other states which range anywhere from $3,000 to $75,000 with the exact average being in between.
If you are thinking that your case is definitely worth more than that, you would probably be right. It is impossible to value your claim on the basis of average settlements. Each auto accident case is an individual circumstance that deserves a review on its own merits. The best way to determine the most likely settlement in your auto accident claim would be to get in touch with a competent attorney.
Why Do I Need A Lawyer?
You might be wondering about whether or not it is actually worth it to hire a lawyer in your auto accident claim. Well, while you can always try to represent yourself, it is better to hire a lawyer to do the following on your behalf:
Preparing Your Case And Filing A Lawsuit
If you decide to work with a lawyer, they will start building your claim. The process starts with an independent investigation of the accident where they start collecting evidence to build the various elements of your claim including fault and damages. Once the lawyer has a good idea of what most likely transpired, they put everything together in an organized manner and present the claim to the insurance company.
Our auto accident lawyers in Marshfield, Massachusetts are skilled negotiators. If the insurance company offers a settlement that they believe is lower than what you deserve, we will advise you to decline it. We will then go back to the table to negotiate a higher offer since it is important to us that you receive full compensation for your injuries and damages.
Trial Preparation And Representation
If we are unable to reach a settlement with the insurance company, our lawyers aren’t afraid to take your case to trial. We handle all aspects of the trial from start to finish on your behalf, which include filing the lawsuit, talking to witnesses, collecting various pieces of evidence, filing all motions, and even litigating your case.
How is Fault Determined
To determine fault in a Marshfield, Massachusetts auto accident case, you will be required to prove that the party acted negligently, recklessly, or intentionally. To prove that another party’s negligence caused the accident, you will be required to prove the following 4 elements:
- Duty of Care: The duty of care in auto accident cases is usually rather straightforward since all motorists on the road owe a duty of care to other road users.
- Breach of Duty of Care: The responsible party breached their duty of care through their actions, inaction, or omissions.
- Causation: The breach of the duty of care by the at-fault party resulted in another party suffering injury.
- Damages: The injured party has incurred some financially compensable damages following the accident, such as lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, etc.
Comparative Negligence Doctrine in Massachusetts
Massachusetts has also adopted the doctrine of modified comparative negligence that can affect the value of your claim even after proving the 4 elements above.
Comparative negligence is a form of contributory negligence. It is a partial legal defense that asserts that the injured party bears some responsibility for the accident and the resulting injuries. A finding of comparative negligence can reduce the damages you can recover.
To collect any damages under the comparative negligence doctrine you must share less than 50 percent of the blame. Your auto accident lawyer will play a critical role in convincing insurance adjusters, juries, and judges that you bear the least percentage of fault possible.
How Long Do I Have To File A Car Accident Claim In Marshfield?
Massachusetts limits the amount of time that a party can bring forth a lawsuit following an auto accident to three years from the date of the accident. If you exceed the 3-year time limit, you might find yourself permanently barred from recovery. That’s why it is always advisable to talk with your lawyer as soon as you are able to follow the accident.
What Can I Do If Insurance Denied My Claim?
If your claim is denied by the insurance company, don’t lose hope. The best thing for you to do in such a situation is to hire a competent lawyer such as those at the Law Office of Robert Shea. Our lawyers can review your options, such as asking the insurance company to reconsider their decision based on new information or filing a complaint against the insurance company if it acts in bad faith.
Types Of Auto Accidents We Handle
Our attorneys handle all types of auto accidents, including:
Accidents that involve trucks usually tend to be particularly devastating to victims. We provide the competent and experienced representation you deserve from the initial investigation to working with your own insurance company and that of the involved truck so that you can get the compensation you deserve.
Motorcycle riders aren’t protected by a steel frame as passengers in vehicles are. While that sense of freedom might be attractive to some riders, it often leaves them vulnerable to serious injuries or even death. We understand how devastating motorcycle accidents can be to victims and their families and can help you secure the compensation you are rightfully entitled to.
The growth in popularity of rideshare platforms in Massachusetts has coincided with a spike in rideshare accidents. If you or a loved one was hurt or died in a rideshare accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Our experienced rideshare attorneys will aggressively represent you to secure the compensation you deserve.
File Your Claim With Our Marshfield Car Accident Lawyers
Auto accidents happen fairly often in Marshfield, Massachusetts and usually leave victims with devastating and sometimes event fatal injuries. If you are the victim of such an accident that was not your fault, you should know that you have rights.
The competent auto accident lawyers at the Law Office of Robert Shea will fight to ensure that your rights are protected under the law following your accident and will take the necessary steps to secure the compensation you deserve.