Car Accidents

While much of the world gets safer, car accidents are one of the few areas where people are actually becoming more likely to die. In 2015, there were 35,092 motor vehicle fatalities in the United States, a 7.2% jump from the prior year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Fatalities jumped across the board in terms of vehicle types, with a 10.1% increase in SUV fatalities, a 9.3% increase in van fatalities, a 5.7% increase in car fatalities, and a 4.7% increase in pickup truck fatalities. Surprisingly, pedestrian, cyclist, and alcohol-related fatalities also jumped in 2015. In the coming years, we will learn whether 2015 was a fluke, or the new normal, because in general, traffic related deaths have steadily fallen over the past 15 years.

If you or somebody you love is seriously injured in a car accident, it is important to call the experienced Worcester car accident attorneys at Mirick O’Connell right away. There are a number of things we may do to provide immediate help if you are in a car accident, including:

  • Send the necessary paperwork to insurance companies;

  • Ensure that medical bills are getting paid, and coordinate those bills between health insurance and car insurance;

  • Make sure that clients are not giving statements that they do not need to give. Insurance companies will always ask for statements, and we make sure that clients do not give statements unless they have to.

  • Take statements from witnesses that may help the case later on;

  • Investigate additional insurance policies that injured clients may be able to tap into.
    Car accidents happen a number of different ways, and can cause very different and serious injuries depending on the way that the accidents happen. The Massachusetts car accident lawyers at Mirick O’Connell will present a client’s case the best way possible, and include everything that a client may be entitled to under the law. These things may include:

    • Medical bills;

    • Lost wages;

    • Loss of earning capacity;

    • Pain and suffering

    • Mental anguish/pain and suffering;

    • Property damage;

    • Emotional distress.

Perhaps the most important function of a car accident attorney is making sure that the clients are treated fairly by insurance companies. At Mirick O’Connell, we do not care if the insurance companies like us- many of them do not. We only care if they respect us, and treat our clients fairly. If an insurance company does not treat our clients fairly, we have years of experience in bringing “bad faith” claims directly against insurance companies under the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act, or M.G.L. c 93A and M.G.L. c. 176D. These powerful laws provide that when an insurance company does not treat a person fairly, that company may need to pay money, including double or triple damages, attorney’s fees, and costs for acting in bad faith.

At Mirick O’Connell, we also counsel clients on making sure they are prepared in case of an injury in a car accident. While driving safely is always a good place to start, we cannot control the way others drive. Because of that, we recommend increasing your insurance limits from what the Commonwealth mandates. Specifically, we suggest that you pay attention to the following parts of your insurance policy:

  • Bodily Injury: The Commonwealth mandates that a person carry what is known as 20/40 coverage. That means that you will have $20,000 in coverage to any person you injure, and $40,000 to all people you injure in one accident. We recommend purchasing additional coverage- as much as you can afford.

  • Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist: The Commonwealth mandates the same coverage as Bodily injury, and we have the same recommendation: buy more. That way, if you are injured by a person with no insurance (it happens), or only minimal coverage, you can make a claim under your own insurance policy for additional money. This claim will not raise your rates if you are not at fault for an accident.

  • Personal Injury Protection: NEVER EVER purchase a “PIP Deductible.” If you purchase a PIP deductible, you may be responsible for thousands of dollars in unpaid medical bills after an accident, and your health insurer may not have to pay them. Purchasing a PIP deductible saves you a tiny amount of money, but could cost you thousands down the road.

While it may seem that car accidents are simple cases, there are countless things that a car accident attorney can do to ensure that the case runs smoothly and the recovery to an injured person is maximized. Because of that, if you or a person you love is injured in a car accident, call the attorneys at Mirick O’Connell today.

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