What you should know about filing a car accident claim

Imagine driving through Chelmsford on your way to work in the morning. The light at the next intersection changes to red so you slowly apply the brake and come to a stop. Unfortunately, the car behind you did not. Now, you have to miss work because of your injuries and still figure out how you are going to pay to fix your car and take care of your medical bills.

Massachusetts, like many other states, has laws on the books that address car accident compensation. While your attorney will be your best source of information when it comes to filing a claim for damages, read below for basic information on the state’s laws on damages and time limits for making your claim.

Overview of the law

After a car accident, you have up to three years to file a claim for your injuries and the damages to your vehicle and other property. Before you file a lawsuit, you will have to file a claim with the insurance company and attempt to collect the full amount of damages from it.

No fault

Since Massachusetts follows a “no fault” policy when it comes to insurance claims for car accidents, you must first file a claim with your own insurer. After you have filed a claim with your own insurance company, you can file claim against the other driver for any damages that your policy did not cover. According to state laws, the insurance company has to cover a certain amount of the damages no matter who caused the accident. However, there are some exceptions, such as your own intoxication, that can cause your insurance company to reject your claim.

Comparative negligence

In order for determine how much you receive for your damages, the state follows the principles of “modified comparative negligence.” This means that you can only recover damages equivalent to the level of the other person’s fault. For example, if you were sitting at a red light and another driver rear-ended you, you might be able to receive 100 percent of your claim. However, if the court decides that you were 20 percent at fault for the accident, then you might receive 80 percent of your claim. However, if you were more than 50 percent at fault for an accident, then you will not be able to recover anything.

If you have suffered injuries due to an accident with a negligent driver, you might be able to file a claim for damages. Your attorney can help you through the claims filing process so that you can get the compensation you deserve.