If you’re reading this, it’s likely because you or someone you love had been injured in a car accident. This is a stressful time when a lot of decisions have to be made. You know you need to talk with a personal injury lawyer, and like most people, you may have questions you’d like answers to before you move forward. We get that. You’re in the right place. We’ve provided some Frequently Asked Questions for you to look at. When you’re ready, contact us so we can discuss your case specifically, and how we can help you navigate this life-changing event.
I’ve been injured in a car accident. What are my rights?
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, especially one that was caused by another party, you have the right to be represented by an honest attorney who gets results. You may be entitled to compensation for damages including your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and property damage.
You may also be entitled to noneconomic damages for:
- physical pain and suffering,
- mental and emotional suffering,
- physical impairment,
- loss of enjoyment of life,
- loss of consortium (disruption of your personal relationship with your spouse).
Calculating damages in a car accident case can be complicated. The Bottaro Law Firm has the experience and resources necessary to ensure you receive the compensation you are entitled to.
What should I do to protect my rights?
First and foremost, after a car accident, it’s important to get the medical attention you need for your injuries. Once you’ve taken care of yourself and your loved ones, here’s a short list of critical things to do after a car accident:
- Obtain the police report
- Contact your car insurance company
- Get copies of your medical records
- Gather proof of income documents
- Obtain vehicle damage estimates and vehicle value
- Keep a car accident diary that includes all relevant information related to your accident and your injuries, with a detailed focus on ways in which the accident is impacting your day-to-day life.
The insurance company wants a statement about my car accident. Should I give one?
No. Despite what some people may tell you, you are not required to give insurance companies or the other party a statement about the accident. In fact, it’s generally a bad idea and could end up hurting your case. Before you talk to anyone else about the accident, talk to an experience car accident attorney.
The accident may have been partially my fault. Do I still have a case?
It depends. Rhode Island is a “pure comparative negligence” state, which means that, even though an accident may be partially your fault, you can still recover damages from another at-fault party. However, your damages will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
Massachusetts is a “modified” comparative fault state, which can have a significant effect on your compensable damages if you are found to be partially at fault for a car accident. Under “modified” comparative fault rules, you can only recover damages in a crash if you are found to be less than 50 percent at fault for the accident. Like Rhode Island, the amount of damages you receive will be reduced by an amount equal to the percentage of fault you share in causing the crash.
Before you dismiss the possibility of recovering damages for your injuries, contact The Bottaro Law Firm to discuss the specific facts of your case.
Why do people keep telling me that time is of the essence to talk to an attorney after a car accident?
Rhode Island and Massachusetts have placed time limits on how long you can wait to file a lawsuit after a car accident. In Rhode Island, those time limits are:
- three years after the accident for filing a personal injury lawsuit
- ten years after the accident for filing a lawsuit for property damage (i.e. damage to a vehicle)
If you’ve been in a car accident involving the government, you’ll need to file a claim with the right government agency in order to preserve your legal rights, and you’ll need to do it pretty quickly (as little as 60 days in some cases).
In contrast, Massachusetts car accident victims must bring a lawsuit for personal injury or property damage within three years from the date of the accident.
Keep in mind that these time limits only affect when you can file a car accident lawsuit in Rhode Island or Massachusetts. They have no bearing on when you can file an insurance claim.
I was just seriously injured in a car accident and I can’t work – how can I afford an attorney?
At the Bottaro Law Firm, we understand the stress and anxiety you may be going through after a car accident. You don’t need the added stress of worrying about how to pay an attorney. That’s why we offer an exclusive No Fee Guarantee: there is no charge to you until you win your case. Contact us today and we will guide you through the process.