After a car accident that results in serious injuries, you may be facing enormous and unexpected medical bills as well as a need to take time off from work. A car crash can wreak havoc on a family's financial situation. It is important not to talk to insurers for an at-fault driver before consulting an attorney of your own. Often, insurance adjusters will try to shift blame to reduce the amount that they need to pay. New Bedford car accident lawyer Gary Pacella can provide experienced and knowledgeable representation to victims in personal injury cases.Explore Your Options After a Car Accident
In Massachusetts, automobile owners are supposed to procure insurance with a minimum of $8,000 in personal injury protection, among other requirements. You can only sue for your injuries after a car accident if reasonable medical treatment for your injuries costs more than $2,000 per person or if your injuries are serious. Serious injuries include fractures, permanent and serious disfigurement, substantial hearing or sight loss, or wrongful death. After making a claim with the insurer for the car in which you were riding at the time of the accident, you may be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit against a driver who was at fault for the accident if you have serious injuries.
In most cases, you can recover damages after a car accident if you are able to establish another person's negligence. A car accident attorney in the New Bedford area would aim to show that the defendant owed you a duty of care, the defendant breached this duty, there was causation leading to the accident, and you suffered actual damages. All drivers owe a duty to operate their cars with reasonable care. There are many ways in which this duty may be breached, including by texting while driving, drunk driving, driving too fast for weather conditions, drugged driving, speeding, tailgating, rubbernecking, weaving, and racing.
Often, a defendant raises the defense that the plaintiff was comparatively negligent. In Massachusetts, you cannot recover damages if you were 51% or more at fault for a car accident. However, as long as your level of culpability was 50% or less, you can recover damages minus an amount equal to your degree of fault.
There are certain situations in which a driver is presumed to be more than 50% at fault. For example, a driver who rear-ends another vehicle is presumed to be at fault. A driver who drives partially out of a lane and is in a collision while passing or changing lanes is presumed to be at fault if the other car is in its correct lane. Drivers who fail to proceed with due caution from traffic signals are also presumed to be more than 50% at fault.
Damages that a New Bedford car accident attorney may be able to help you recover include both economic and noneconomic losses. Economic losses include any tangible economic harm, such as car repairs, property damage, out-of-pocket expenses, medical bills, physical therapy, lost wages, and rehabilitation. Noneconomic damages include pain and suffering and loss of companionship.
You only have three years from the date of your car accident to file a personal injury claim. However, you should not wait until close to the expiration of this statute of limitations to consult a personal injury attorney. Evidence can disappear or fade in a short window of time. Immediately after an accident, there may be important evidence involving skid marks, debris, property damage, and your own injuries that can tell the story of who was at fault for an accident. If you are seriously injured, you should consult an experienced attorney who is able to investigate what caused the accident as soon as possible after seeking medical care.Consult a Knowledgeable Car Accident Lawyer in the New Bedford Area
If you have been hurt in a crash, you may be concerned about how you will be able to afford to take time off just as your medical bills are mounting. Mr. Pacella is a knowledgeable attorney who believes in individualized attention. He personally meets with his clients and develops strategies to help them recover the greatest possible amount of damages in their situation. He uses experts such as private investigators, forensic/digital forensic experts, and economists to explain difficult or technical issues to a jury. He offers free initial consultations and handles car accident cases on a contingency fee basis so thsat clients do not pay him anything until and unless he recovers money for them. Call us at 508-525-4147 or use our contact form online. We also represent people who need a personal injury or criminal defense lawyer in Fall River and Wareham, as well as across the South Coast of Massachusetts. In these cases, we offer payment plans.