A. LAWYER ASSISTED CLAIMS: Bodily Injury
Our Law Office handles Bodily Injury Claims for
Personal Injury Claims on a contingency fee basis. Generally,
you will be eligible for a bodily injury claim when you have reached
Two Thousand Dollars ($2,000.00) in medical expenses or have suffered
a broken bone or permanent disfigurement from car accident related
injuries. This is money that will go to you rather than to doctors,
etc. This is an adversarial claim against the person who was at
fault and their insurance company. You will need legal representation
for this claim.
B. CLAIMS YOU CAN PROCESS DIRECTLY: No Fault
and property damage
The following are instructions to help you handle
these other claims.
1. NOTICE REQUIREMENTS:
Notify your insurance carrier immediately and request
a no-fault or Personal Injury Protection "PIP" Form
if you have been injured or have seen a doctor. HIT & RUN
accidents should be reported immediately. Cases involving a car
that hits you that does not carry enough insurance must be reported
promptly to your insurance company.
2. PIP BENEFITS OR NO-FAULT CLAIMS:
These claims are paid regardless of fault so these
are often claims you can process yourself. In fact, some companies
actually try to audit claim payments where legal representation
is involved. These are reimbursements for medical bills and wage
losses. These are paid by your insurance company (or the insurer
of the car you were driving in if you were a passenger.) These
a. Wages and Earnings Lost:
an accurate record of all days lost from work because of your
injuries. You have up to $8,000.00 in combined wage loss and medical
b. Medical Bills
: Obtain and keep duplicate copies of all
medical, hospital and prescription bills and records. Also keep
records of any other expenses you may have in connection with
your accident, such as the hiring of household help or transportation
to and from the doctor's office. Submit bills to your insurance
company promptly, along with the accompanying medical records
and doctor's notes
. Once you have done this, the insurance
company must pay within thirty (30) days by Massachusetts law!
Keep a diary of medical visits and costs. Send copies of all bills
to your insurance company and keep copies for yourself.
You have $2,000.00 in No-Fault medical benefits if you also
have health insurance. If you have a health insurance policy,
they must pay the bills after the first $2,000.00. Health carriers
usually require reimbursement to them when you settle your bodily
injury claim. If you do not have health insurance, the No-Fault
benefit for medical rises to $8,000.00.
In order to receive these benefits, you must complete a Personal
Injury Protection "PIP" Form which is usually a long
form on yellow paper sent to you by your insurance carrier.
Keep a record of all calls to the insurance company (note the
date and who you talked to.) Sometimes there are delays in processing
these claims. You should feel free to call the insurance company
directly to expedite payment of bills or wages you are concerned
about. Request to speak to a supervisor if bills aren't paid
promptly. Some insurance adjusters do not like talking to policyholders
so be persistent and take note of unreturned phone calls.
4. CAR RENTAL:
The law requires the person at fault to pay for your substitute
transportation. You, however may be required to pay the rental
bill when turning the rental in. Legally you will be entitled
to be reimbursed by the person who caused your accident but that
may take months. Cars may be rented for "reasonable"
amounts of time usually until a fair offer is made to you for
your property damage claim. Do not assume that because another
person caused the accident it will be automatic to obtain reimbursement
for the car rental charges. Even if you have collision coverage
with your own insurance company, you may have to get rental reimbursement
from the company of the person who hit you.
5. TOWING AND STORAGE: Unless the other person's insurance
company or yours agrees to pay, you are liable for these charges
so you should not allow these to accumulate. Be sure that you,
the insurance company and the garage are on the "same page"
regarding storage fees.
6. ACCIDENT REPORTS: Submit a copy of any and all accident
reports to the police after you have completed them. You ordinarily
should not fill out accident reports requested by the adverse
party's insurance company. Call our attorneys if you have questions
7. YOUR INSURANCE POLICY: Please immediately find your
policy (Coverage Selections Page) and deliver a copy to your attorney.
You may have important benefits waiting for you such as additional
medical payments and underinsurance coverage.
You should take pictures of damaged cars and of personal injuries.
This is important evidence.
9. YOUR DOCTOR: You should return to each of your doctors
as often as required and should always tell him about all of your
10. TALK TO NO ONE: Talk only to your own insurance company.
If they want a recorded statement, call an attorney.
11. CONSUMER RIGHTS: General Law's ch 93A and 176D Massachusetts
Laws specifically states (General Laws of Ch. 176D Sec. 9), "
an unfair claim insurance settlement practice shall consist of
any of the following acts or omissions":
(a) Misrepresenting pertinent facts or insurance
policy provisions relating to coverage's at issue;
(b) Failing to acknowledge and act reasonably promptly upon
communications with respect to claims arising under insurance
(c) Failing to adopt and implement reasonable standards for
the prompt investigation of claims arising under insurance policies;
(d) Refusing to pay claims without conducting a reasonable
investigation based upon all available information.
(e) Failing to effectuate prompt, fair and equitable settlements
of claims in which liability has become reasonably clear,
(f) Compelling insureds to institute litigation to recover
amounts due under an insurance policy by offering substantially
less than the amounts ultimately recovered in actions brought
by such insureds;
(g) Attempting to settle a claim for less than the amount to
which a reasonable man would have believed he was entitled by
reference to written or printed advertising material accompanying
or made part of an application. Chapter 176D has been incorporated
by Statute into M.G.L. ch 93A.