I was injured in a motor vehicle accident in Massachusetts but live in New Hampshire. How do I pursue a claim?
Although Massachusetts and New Hampshire are close in proximity to each other, both states have very different laws pertaining to pursuing claims for personal injuries resulting from negligent car crashes. Under Massachusetts law, in order for an injured person to pursue a claim for money damages against the at fault party, the injured person must satisfy a statutory “tort threshold” which can be satisfied in one of five ways: by death, by suffering a broken bone, by suffering a fracture, by suffering a scar, or by incurring medical bills in excess of $2,000.00. Absent any of these circumstances, a claim cannot be pursued under Massachusetts law.
If the injured party involved in a Massachusetts accident resides in New Hampshire and is covered under a New Hampshire Auto Insurance Policy, a claim can be made for “uninsurance” benefits even if the injured party does not meet the statutory tort threshold criteria under Massachusetts law.
Because these cases can involve complex insurance coverage issues, it is in your best interest to contact an attorney to discuss your case. I have handled hundreds of motor vehicle accident claims in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire and will be happy to discuss your case. Please call me now.
I have Med Pay coverage under my automobile insurance policy but I was not found responsible for the accident. Shouldn’t the other driver’s insurance company pay for my reasonable and necessary medical bills? Should I make a claim for Med Pay benefits?
Med Pay coverage is available to you and your passengers for medical costs incurred as a result of injuries sustained in an accident and the amount of coverage is dependent upon your particular insurance coverage. It is advantageous to you to submit your medical bills to your Med Pay insurance because 1) you have paid a premium for this coverage, and 2) if you allow your health insurance to make payment on your bills you may be obligated under your health insurance contract to pay them back from any settlement monies you obtain from the at fault party. Under New Hampshire law, you do not have to pay Med Pay back from your settlement.
I live in Massachusetts and have a Massachusetts auto policy and I was injured in an accident. I was informed I have to submit my medical bills to my PIP insurance. What is PIP insurance?
PIP stands for Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) benefits. Every Massachusetts auto policy will have mandatory coverage for no-fault PIP benefits unless the insured specifically elects to waive this coverage. The amount available under PIP coverage is $8,000.00 which can cover for reasonable and related medical bills, 75% of lost wages if your injuries keep you from working, and replacement costs in the event you need to hire someone to “replace” yourself for certain activities. Under Massachusetts law, the first $2,000 of your medical bills must be paid by your PIP coverage and after the first $2,000 is paid your private health insurance will then begin to make payment.
What’s my case worth?
Clients often ask me “what is my case worth?” The answer to this question depends on a number of factors such as the nature and severity of your injuries, your medical expenses, future medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity, permanent impairment, if any, scarring, loss of enjoyment of life, among other elements. Under the law, an injured party is entitled to receive full, fair and adequate compensation for not only your out of pocket expenses but your “pain and suffering”. Each case is unique and each insurance company evaluates the value of a claim differently. If you have questions regarding the value of your case, please contact me to discuss your case in detail.
I just got into an accident and the insurance company has requested I give them a statement. Should I provide a statement to the insurance company without contacting a lawyer?
An injured party has an obligation to cooperate with his/her own insurance company following an accident which may include providing a statement; however, this obligation does not extend to “cooperating” with the adverse insurance carrier. Often times an injured party is not fully prepared to answer all the adjuster’s questions due to a number of reasons, for example, being incapacitated due to the severity of the injuries, being on pain medications for your injuries, not having all of the relevant details about the accident, etc. It is in an injured party’s best interest to consult with an attorney familiar with the insurance claim process before speaking to any insurance company. The more severe your injuries, the more important it is to speak with an attorney prior to speaking with any insurance company.
I was involved in an accident and the person who caused the accident was uninsured. Can I recover any monies for my injuries?
New Hampshire, unlike most states, does not make having automobile insurance coverage mandatory. If you were the victim of a car accident caused by an uninsured driver, you can recover for your harms and losses by making a claim for “uninsurance benefits” on your own automobile policy. New Hampshire law requires that all auto insurance policies issued or delivered in this state with respect to a vehicle registered in this state, must contain an uninsured motorist endorsement. Uninsurance motorist coverage is not no-fault coverage. Uninsured coverage obligates the insurance company to pay those who are covered only what the insured would be legally entitled to recover as damages from the owner or operator of the other vehicle who is either uninsured or underinsured. Therefore, the injured party has the burden to prove liability, causation and damages. As these claims often involve complex coverage questions and timely reporting mandates, it is in the injured party’s best interest to contact an attorney immediately.
I was injured while working at my job. What should I do?
If you suffered an injury while on the job, it is imperative that you report your accident to your employer immediately. You should fill out an accident report and should request your employer to fill out an accident report as well. If you need medical attention, you should immediately see your doctor or go to the nearest emergency room. Be sure to tell your doctors that you were injured in the course of your employment and tell your doctors exactly how you were injured. If your doctor orders you to stay out of work, you need to get a written disability note and you should give a copy of this note to your employer. Your employer should report the injury to the workers’ compensation insurance carrier and a claim should be set up for you.
I was hurt on the job and am now unable to work. What benefits can I expect in my workers’ compensation claim?
I often tell clients that the worst way to get injured is on the job. This is because an injured employee is “stuck” in the workers’ compensation system which offers limited benefits. Unlike being injured in an automobile accident or slip and fall accident which allows an injured person to recover for all his/her harms and losses, the workers’ compensation system only allows four (4) benefits: (1) indemnity (wage) benefits which are typically 60% of your average weekly wage while your are temporarily totally disabled; (2) medical expenses for your medical bills that are “reasonable and related” to your work injury; (3) permanent impairment award if your injuries leave you with a permanent and/or disfiguring injury; and (4) vocational retraining if you are unable to return to your usual job and you have no transferable skills. There are no benefits for “pain and suffering”.