Over the past hundred years, the automobile has become, without a doubt, the most crucial method of transportation in the United States. In 1960, roughly 72% of Americans used cars to get to work. Today, that percentage exceeds 90%.
Unfortunately, faster, better and more efficient transportation does not come without a price. Due to the high volume and the speeds which they are now designed to reach, cars pose a significant safety risk to the general public. Sadly, car accidents are extremely common. In 2009, 10.8 million car accidents were reported nationwide. In those accidents, more than 35,000 Americans were killed.
The major concern of safety on the road would not be as great, however, were it not for the imperfection of human behavior. Car accidents are nearly always the result of at least one driver’s negligence or recklessness behind the wheel. Because personal injuries sustained in car accidents can have potentially severe and long-lasting effects on the victims, it is critical to identify those who are responsible for causing motor vehicle accidents in the first place.
For those involved in serious car accidents, it may be difficult, or even impossible, to fully assess the legal ramifications, particularly with regard to the other driver’s potential liability. Nonetheless, in order to build the strongest case against those responsible, it is highly important to follow these steps in the aftermath of a Massachusetts car crash:
1) Obtain as much information as possible from the other driver(s), including, but not limited to, the driver’s name, address, insurance information, and license number. A license plate number and vehicle make and model may also prove to be useful when filing your car accident claim in a Massachusetts court.
2) Note your surroundings and the circumstances in which the accident occurred. Specific details about the area, such as street signs, traffic signals, and the severity of traffic at the time of the accident, will help to prove statutory violations and another driver’s negligence. Also, take care to observe the weather, time of day, and setting. All of these details are important, especially when speaking to the police after an accident.
3) Take pictures, if possible, of the vehicles involved, all injuries sustained, and the location in which the accident took place.
4) Most importantly, seek immediate medical attention for your injuries. Do not wait to be treated for your injuries, especially if you are in any pain. When receiving treatment, be sure to divulge, in detail, the circumstances of the accident. By doing so, this information will likely be memorialized in your medical records. In addition to the medical records kept by your medical staff, you should also keep records of all dates and appointments made as a result of your injuries.
5) Do not agree to settle a car accident claim with any insurance company without first speaking to a highly-qualified Massachusetts car accident attorney! In fact, do not talk with insurance companies at all without first speaking with an expert injury lawyer. In order to minimize payouts and avoid litigation, insurance companies will usually offer to pay only meager settlement amounts to car accident victims who do not have a lawyer. They are concerned solely about their own profits, and thus do not generally have your best interests at heart. In order to receive fair and sufficient compensation for your injuries, seek out an expert Boston accident lawyer.
6) Bring forward your car accident injury claim as soon as possible. Many states have statutes of limitation, which place time restrictions on certain personal injury claims. In Massachusetts, the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit or settling your car accident claim is usually three years after the date of the incident.
Automobiles will remain essential to the fabric of our society for the foreseeable future. Until then, car accidents will continue to wreak havoc in the lives of millions of people. As long as this threat remains, our Boston auto accident attorneys will be there to seek justice for the citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.