If you have been involved in a Massachusetts car accident, you may be wondering how much compensation you can expect to receive from the insurance company. The truth of the matter is that it’s difficult to cite a fair settlement for any car accident. There are several variables that affect how much a person’s car accident claim is worth.
If you or a family member has been injured or killed in a car accident, the personal injury lawyers at Kiley Law Group can help you calculate the value of your claim. Based on your own individual situation, our attorneys can then help you determine what a fair settlement would be for your car accident.
Kiley Law Group has over 40 years of experience in handling car accident cases in Boston and throughout Massachusetts. Call our law office today at 888-435-1321 or fill out the online evaluation form to schedule your free consultation.
What is a Settlement?
A settlement is a legal term used to describe an agreement to pay someone a set amount of compensation for the injury and losses he or she has sustained in a car accident or another personal injury case. It is referred to as a settlement because it settles, or closes, the case.
When you settle, you resolve the dispute with the liable party or their insurance company without going to trial. The majority of car accident cases are resolved through such negotiations, not in court.
A settlement, rather than a trial, is usually preferred by all parties involved because juries can be unpredictable. Through settlement negotiations, all parties can usually come to a fair agreement.
Factors That Affect Car Settlement Amounts
Every year, car accidents in the US cause billions of dollars in damages. Massachusetts motor vehicle accidents range from minor property damage with no injuries to major collisions resulting in severe injuries or even death. The payouts can range from a few hundred dollars in property damage to millions of dollars for catastrophic injuries or wrongful death.
The following factors may affect the value of your car accident claim:
- The severity of your injuries: The more severe and life-altering your injuries are, the higher the amount of money you should be awarded. A person who got a few cuts and bruises in an accident will not normally receive near as much compensation as a victim with a spinal cord or traumatic brain injury.
- State laws: The regulations in your state regarding minimum insurance requirements, traffic violations, and other laws affect the amount of compensation you receive. Massachusetts is a no-fault state, and the insurance coverage a person has can affect the final settlement.
- Your financial losses: You should be compensated for any economic and non-economic losses you suffered in the accident. This may include compensation for medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
- Liability: How strong a car accident case is can make a difference in the amount of compensation a person receives. The more obvious that the other party was to blame for the crash, the higher your settlement will likely be.
- Auto insurance policy: Since Massachusetts is a fault state, after a car accident all involved will file a claim with their own insurance company. The amount a person recovers depends on policy limits.
- Whether you hire an attorney: Victims of car accidents who have sustained major injuries and losses typically recover a greater settlement when they have a personal injury attorney representing them. A lawyer will know how to analyze all losses and calculate a fair settlement amount.
What Types of Damages are included in a Fair Car Accident Settlement?
When a fair car accident settlement amount is being calculated, it should include compensation for all of a victim’s financial losses and emotional suffering.
The following damages are commonly included in car accident settlements.
Generally, medical expenses make up the largest portion of damages awarded in a car accident claim. A fair settlement will include both past and future medical costs for accident-related injuries.
The settlement you receive may depend on:
- Transportation to the hospital
- The type of medical care you received
- The length of time you were hospitalized
- The prescriptions and medical equipment you require
- Whether you will require long-term care
You want a lawyer who can hire medical experts to carefully add up the costs of your healthcare needs. If you accept too low of a settlement, you could end up paying out of pocket for at least some of your medical expenses in the short or long term.
Your vehicle may have been damaged or completely totaled in the accident. A settlement should include the costs to repair or replace your vehicle. It should also include rental car fees so that you have transportation while your vehicle is being repaired.
In addition, you should be able to recover compensation for a smartphone, laptop, tablet, glasses, or other valuable items that were damaged in the car accident.
Lost wages are compensation for the time and money you have missed out on because of the car accident and your injuries. You may need to provide pay stubs or bank records to prove what your income was before the accident.
If the injuries you sustained in the accident are so severe that you will be unable to return to your previous job, you may be eligible to recover damages for loss of earning capacity. If you qualify for this compensation, the wages you would have made in your lifetime may be estimated and awarded to you.
Pain and suffering
Some car accident victims recover compensation for the emotional stress they have suffered as a result of the crash. In order to recover pain and suffering damages, a person must have sustained an injury in the accident and his or her emotional distress had to have been a direct result of the car accident injury.
Pain and suffering damages are difficult to prove and complicated to calculate. You will need the help of a skilled car accident attorney.
Examples of pain and suffering damages can include:
- Anxiety or depression
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental anguish
- Reduced quality of life
- Loss of consortium
The Statute of Limitations on Massachusetts Car Accidents
Every state has its own statute of limitations for car accidents, which is the amount of time allowed for filing your claim to compensation. In Massachusetts, the statute of limitations on car accident claims is 3 years.
It is important to understand that if you do not file your claim within the three-year window, you will probably not be eligible for any settlement amount – let alone a fair one.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer to Help Maximize Your Car Accident Settlement
If you want to maximize your Massachusetts car accident settlement, contact Kiley Law Group today. Our skilled legal team has the knowledge, experience, and resources needed to build a strong case for our clients. We will help you file a claim, gather evidence, and negotiate a fair settlement after your motor vehicle accident.
Are you concerned about the cost of hiring a car accident lawyer? We believe that everyone deserves quality legal representation regardless of his or her current financial situation. Our law firm thus handles car accident cases on a contingency fee basis. This means you do not owe us anything unless your case is successful and you are awarded a settlement.
Schedule a free case consultation with one of our team members today. Call us or complete the online contact form.