Every day, Boston drivers take a huge risk when they get behind the wheel. No matter how careful they are, they may be involved in a motor vehicle accident. According to data obtained by the Boston Herald, in 2020 there were more traffic accident fatalities than in all of the previous four years. When this happens to you, it changes your life in an instance. From an active person going about their daily business, you become bedridden in hospital, experiencing pain, worry and confusion. Also, there is a mounting number of bills, due to the fact that you can no longer work and earn your usual income. In such a situation, you need to know that you have someone to rely on: an experienced personal injury attorney at Kelly & Associates.
While it may be the last thing on your mind, you need to retain legal representation as soon as possible after your car crash. Investigating a traffic accident, collecting evidence and preparing your insurance claim takes time. And time is not something you have without limitations. As we will show you below, there are clear rules in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on the time frame and manner in which you can take legal action to recover economic damages and non-economic damages after a car accident.
What Are the Common Causes of Car Accidents?
Any experienced car accident lawyer knows that negligence is the primary cause of most motor vehicle crashes. And the latest report issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration confirms these empirical findings. In 94% of car crashes, an at-fault driver was the cause. Malfunctioning vehicles accounted for 2% of the crashes, and bad weather conditions for other 2% of the traffic accidents.
As for the actual reasons that caused crashes resulting in fatalities or catastrophic injuries for the accident victims, these are, in order:
Recognition errors refer mainly to distracted driving. A distracted driver may be:
- texting and driving
- talking with passengers in the car
- fumbling with the navigational or entertainment system.
A single second of inattention can cause a tragedy, because the driver will react too late to avoid collision with another vehicle or with an object.
Speeding is one of the most frequent decision errors that cause car accidents. In our experience as auto accident attorneys, we have seen too many instances when experienced drivers lost control of a speeding car, because they could not react fast enough to avoid hitting a pedestrian, bicyclist, motorcyclist or an oncoming vehicle.
In other situations, a decision error is misjudging the safe gap between one’s vehicle and the ones in front and behind them. This type of decision error is most dangerous when the other vehicle is a motorcycle.
Failure to change the lane or hit the break at the adequate moment can lead to crashes with one or several victims. Performance error may be explained by lack of driving experience, but is most commonly caused by driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Drunk drivers have reduced abilities to perceive dangerous situations on the road and act quickly to avoid them.
Non-performance errors refer to driver fatigue in most of the cases. An overly tired driver may sleep at the steering wheel. And it takes only one second of not being in full control of the vehicle to cause a tragedy. Drowsy driving is mostly attributable to truckers, who are usually given very tight deadlines and skip the compulsory rest periods in order to make their deliveries on time.
Common Types of Injuries Caused by Car Accidents in Boston
For the average injury victim, the initial shock may cover up the symptoms of serious injuries. As adrenaline kicks in, pain is not perceived immediately. However, our strong advice as car accident attorneys is to seek medical attention after a car crash. Your injuries may get worse without immediate treatment. Plus, it will be harder to prove in court, during your personal injury lawsuit, that the car crash caused you injuries. The lawyer representing the fault parties may argue that you got hurt in a separate incident, at a later date.
In general, car accident victims usually suffer the following types of injuries:
Whiplash is caused by the sudden jerking movement of the head and neck backward and forward. It is most common in case of a rear-end crash. Symptoms of whiplash include:
- blurred vision
- neck pain
- stiff neck.
Insurance adjusters will try to minimize your pain and suffering, calling whiplash a minor injury. However, it can be debilitating and reduce your quality of life. Thus, you should not be discouraged to file an accident claim in this situation.
Soft Tissues Injury
Muscles can get bruised or crushed in a car accident. These injuries can be quite painful and limit the normal range of movements or even the loss of function of the injured body part.
Internal Organ Damage
An internal injury is very dangerous because it is not visible and may not be perceived by the accident victim during the first hours after the accident. However, it can lead to serious complications if it is left untreated.
Fractures of the legs are quite common in serious car crashes, especially for the driver and the passenger in the front seat. Depending on various circumstances (age, other preexisting conditions), a fracture can take weeks or months to heal. Severe fractures of the pelvis may never fully heal.
From stained ligaments to slipped cervical discs, neck injuries are severe injuries. In the worst case scenario, an injury victim may be left paralyzed and require ongoing medical care.
Everyone knows how painful it is to hit your head against an object by accident. Imagine the damage caused by hitting your head against a part of the car at high speed. You need medical treatment to prevent blood clots and to make sure that you may not develop any other debilitating conditions.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries are caused by a foreign object hitting the head with sufficient force to crack it. In this case, bone fragments may enter the brain matter, causing catastrophic injuries. A traumatic brain injury takes a long time to heal, and the patient may not always make a full recovery.
Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal cord injuries may lead to paralysis or chronic back pain even after full recovery. The spine is a structure formed by vertebrae sitting one on top of the other with protective cushions (discs) between them. A sudden and powerful mechanical shock can cause the vertebrae or discs to move from their regular position, putting pressure or even damaging the spinal cord. This is a life-threatening injury that requires hospitalization and complex treatments.
In some cases, a car may catch fire after a collision. Severe burn injuries may cause extreme pain, disfigurement, loss of sight or loss of sight. Burn victims need intensive and complex treatments, including skin grafts in some cases.
Loss of Limb
A catastrophic car crash can leave an accident trapped inside a vehicle. As a result, their arms or legs may be crushed by the contorted metal and rescue teams may not be able to save them.
What You Need to Know about Personal Injury Law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
As an injured person, your first question is: “where do I get my compensation money from?” Since the Commonwealth of Massachusetts relies on a no-fault system, each accident victim will file an insurance claim with their own insurance company. Your initial hospital bills will be paid out of your own personal injury protection (PIP policy). However, these amounts will not cover all your financial losses and will not compensate you for pain and suffering.
According to the General Laws of the Commonwealth, if your accident was caused by another person’s negligence, you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against them, even if you have a degree of fault for the accident.
You have three (3) years available to take legal action (the statute of limitations). However, you most certainly have to notify your insurance company and file the initial insurance claim within a “reasonable” time – each company has its own understanding of this term.
Reasons to Hire an Experienced Accident Attorney to Win Your Compensation
When you are in severe pain, in hospital, you are in no position to initiate the legal proceedings required for your injury claim and to evaluate your losses accurately. The road to recovery may be long and during this time you will suffer loss of income, while accumulating hospital bills.
At the same time, you may be accumulating other out of pocket expenses that you are not aware of, but which add up to thousands of dollars. In some cases, you may require long term care, whose costs you cannot estimate correctly.
Moreover, you deserve compensation for the psychological trauma, mental anguish and emotional distress you suffered. An experienced attorney can help you:
- prepare and file a personal injury claim on time and without errors
- look over your medical records and determine the value of the economic compensation you deserve based on your recovery prognosis
- help you get paid in a timely manner from your underinsured motorist coverage or uninsured motorist coverage, as applicable
- obtain the maximum compensation for injuries and for non-economic damages: loss of enjoyment of life
- evaluate your future losses if you are unable to return to work.
At Kelly & Associates Law Firm you will find a team of experienced car crash lawyers, who will fight for your justice. For us, you are a real person, not a case number, and we will not stop until we win the maximum compensation you deserve. Call us now for a free case review with an experienced motor vehicle accident lawyer: 1-800-LAW-GUYS!