Car Accidents in Springfield, MA
Experienced Car Accident Lawyer in Springfield, Massachusetts
A car accident can change your life in a matter of seconds. One moment you’re on your way to pick up the kids from school or head into the office, the next you’re injured and potentially facing both physical and emotional pain. Now, your medical bills are growing, your car needs repair and you require some relief.
The Law Office of Robert H. Astor exists to help people recover much-needed compensation and a sense of justice after car crashes. Our founding attorney, Robert Astor, is a Springfield car accident lawyer who has successfully represented thousands of injured clients since 1979.
What Types of Injuries Did You Suffer in Your Car Crash?
Injuries sustained in car crashes can take years to recover from, and in some cases, they leave the victim permanently disabled. Our team at the Law Offices of Robert H. Astor has fought on behalf of clients throughout western Massachusetts who suffered serious trauma in car accidents, such as:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries, neck injuries and paralysis
- Burns and scarring
- Loss of limbs
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue damage, such as whiplash
- Emotional trauma and pain and suffering
No-Fault Insurance and What It Means for You
Massachusetts is a “no-fault” insurance state. This means your insurance company will pay for a portion of the damages you suffer in an auto accident, up to your policy limits, no matter who was at fault for the crash. Even if you were 100% responsible for the wreck, your insurance company will need to pay.
Through your insurance company, you possess Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage—your no-fault insurance. In Massachusetts, all drivers must carry at least $8,000 in PIP coverage.
PIP covers each person in your vehicle during the accident. For example, if you had two passengers in your car and all three of you were hurt, your PIP coverage will provide up to $8,000 (or more, if your policy provides for a higher amount) for each person, a total of up to $24,000.
It’s important to know that PIP coverage only covers certain specific damages, such as:
- Medical expenses: The amount of medical expenses paid by your auto insurance varies depending on what type of health insurance you have.
- Vehicle damage: PIP will cover the necessary cost to repair or replace your vehicle.
- Lost wages: You’ll receive compensation for the wages you can’t earn because you’re out of work due to your injuries.
- Loss of household services: There’s also compensation available for the expenses incurred for childcare or hiring someone to help with household chores during your recovery.
Getting your insurance company to pay on your claim may not be as straightforward as you would like, however. It is always advisable to speak with a knowledgeable car accident lawyer before negotiating any type of settlement with your insurer.
What Happens When My Damages Exceed PIP Coverage?
If you reach the limits of your car insurance coverage, it becomes necessary to establish the other driver’s liability for the accident. If established, you can file a claim with the other party’s insurer. You should expect a fight here, as insurance companies do everything they can to minimize how much they pay out. That’s why you need an experienced car accident lawyer on your side.
If both insurance companies pay their required amounts but your total damages amount to more, filing a personal injury claim against the other driver becomes a possibility.
Determining Your Eligibility to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit
To file a personal injury claim after a car accident, you’ll need to show that you qualify to do so. There are several ways to qualify; our Springfield car accident attorney will assess your situation and advise you accordingly. For example, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim if:
- Your medical expenses are more than $2,000
- The accident left you permanently disfigured
- You suffered permanent sight or hearing loss in the car crash
- You sustained one or more broken bones in the wreck
The potential for a personal injury lawsuit works greatly in your favor. When the insurance company realizes you have retained a car accident lawyer, they are more likely to settle the claim for an acceptable amount outside of court.
Comparative Negligence: What Role Did You Play in Your Car Accident?
In a personal injury lawsuit, you may find a percentage of fault assigned to you. In other words, how much responsibility do you, the injured person, bear for the accident?
Massachusetts follows a comparative negligence rule. This means, in a personal injury lawsuit, the court will attribute a certain percentage of fault to you for your accident. If you’re found 51% or more at fault, you cannot recover damages.
Comparative negligence also affects the amount you may recover. For example, let’s say we win your case and you’re awarded $100,000 in damages. But you’re also found to be 30 percent at fault. As a result, your damage award will be reduced by 30 percent to $70,000.
Handling All Types of Auto Accidents Since 1979
Our Springfield injury law firm has successfully handled insurance issues and personal injury claims on behalf of clients who were hurt in:
- Head-on collisions
- Rear-end collisions
- Accidents caused by defective auto parts and equipment
- Side-impact collisions (also known as T-bone collisions or broadsides)
- Crashes caused by drunk drivers
- Hit-and-run accidents
- Multi-vehicle pileups
No matter the type of accident you’ve been in, know there is help available to you.
Contact a Springfield Car Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation
At the Law Offices of Robert H. Astor, we offer a free initial consultation to anyone injured in motor vehicle wrecks in western Massachusetts. We also do not charge any attorney’s fees unless we successfully recover compensation for you.