Articles Posted in Car Accidents

We have all become more and more dependent on our cell phones for not only communication or entertainment, but also as an important tool for making our lives easier. Trying to get to Fenway Park from Lowell? Our phones can give us step-by-step directions, giving us the fastest route, even with traffic. We can also use our phones to reserve a parking space for when we get there. Alternatively, we can buy a train ticket on our phone and take public transportation to get there.

For all the positive our phones provide, they can also distract us from what’s going on around us. When someone is looking at their phone at the dinner table, it can be very rude. But, its unlikely that someone can get hurt. Unfortunately, that’s not necessarily true if someone is distracted by their cell phones when they’re behind the wheel.

According to the National Safety Council, cell phone use by drivers causes more than 1.6 million car crashes across the country each year. While many people associate these injuries with texting, there are many ways that people can get distracted by a cell phone. This includes everything from browsing Instagram to trying to make a phone call. However someone is using their phone, when it takes their attention from the road, it makes it more dangerous for everyone else.

After enduring an injury in a car accident that was not your fault, you need compensation for your pain and suffering. An accident may have tragic results for your daily life and cause damages that require significant recovery time. 

Potential damages may include physical pain from injuries, scars, emotional distress, financial difficulties from medical expenses and loss of income due to the accident. Many of these issues may arise after an auto accident. It is crucial to understand how to move forward to receive the compensation owed to you. 

Gaining evidence for a claim 

Nobody ever wants to become the victim of a car accident, but it happens every day in Massachusetts. Often these accidents are 100% preventable. People do not pay attention when behind the wheel, or they break simple road laws, which leads to a crash. However, you do not have to sit around and wait to become the next accident statistic.

Consumer Reports explains there are things you can do to stay safe on the road and avoid accidents, even those caused by other drivers. Here are three tips you can implement to help you avoid a collision.

  1. Do not speed

When driving, everyone’s biggest fears is getting into an accident. But what if you see the person that hit you driving away?

First, don’t chase the other driver. That only puts you at risk for being in another accident.

Instead, take a picture of the car, including the license plate. If you don’t have a camera handy, you write down the car’s license plate number. Even if you only get part of the license plate, it’s better than nothing.

There are many different parts of a car insurance policy. One of the cheapest is underinsured motorist coverage. This covers you if you’re injured and the responsible person does not have enough insurance. A common example is when a college student causes a car crash, but only carries the minimum amount of insurance. Many times, it won’t be enough to cover medical bills and lost wages.

So, whenever you decide what coverage is right for you, always make sure you have as much underinsured coverage as you can get (known as Part 12 Coverage). It is relatively inexpensive and can pay big dividends should you need it.

When a car runs a stop sign and causes an accident, it usually means the driver is at fault. But, what if there’s no driver? This is a major question that needs to be answered as self-driving cars change from theory to reality.

For over 100 years, we have created a legal landscape that is able to compensate people for losses from unintended consequences from driving. From laws that deal with getting a license, registering a car, and insurance requirements, we have created rules to keep people on the roads safe. We’ve also created rules to compensate the victim if a driver damages a person or a person’s property.

But, when there’s no driver, it can be more difficult to find out who is responsible. Was the owner of the self driving car doing something wrong, or was there something wrong with the car itself? Just the possibility of that kind of finger pointing can mean that resolving claims will take longer and be more difficult.

With the holiday weekend coming up, all of us at Marcotte Law Firm would like to remind everyone to not drive if you’ve been drinking. In 2016, over 10,000 lives were taken because of car crashes involving a drunk driver. When it’s as easy as ever to get a cab or order a rideshare (or assign a designated driver) please think before you get behind the wheel.

Many believe that unless they’ve had a few drinks, it’s safe to drive. In reality, one drink can affect one’s ability to think and coordinate movement. When you’re driving a car, these two abilities are very important to ensure that you’re safe behind the wheel.

At the same time, if you’re having a party where people are drinking, keep an eye out to make sure no one else is over-indulging. If you think someone else has had too much, make sure he or she isn’t driving home. It may be an awkward situation, but it’s much better than finding out later that there was a car crash that could have been prevented.

When a vehicle is totaled, our clients are first worried whether everyone is okay. For some, it goes from bad to worse when they realize that they owe more on the car than it’s worth.

We often have to explain to our clients that insurance companies are only required to pay what the car is worth, which is called fair market value. If a loan is more than that, you’re going to owe the finance company the difference.

This is why the first question we ask our clients in this situation whether they have Gap Coverage. This is insurance that covers you if you owe more on your vehicle than its fair market value.  It could mean the difference between being able to get a new car and having to take the bus for a while.

One of the worst situations we deal with at Marcotte Law Firm is when someone is seriously injured in an accident, but there’s no insurance to compensate them for their losses. People who are in this situation are usually worried about who is going to pay for their medical bills and lost wages.

This is why it’s mandatory for Massachusetts car insurance policies to have coverage for this situation. It protects you if you’re injury in a car accident by someone who has no insurance. Your insurance company steps into the shoes of the person that hits you and is responsible for reimbursing you for your harms and losses, including medical bills and lost wages.

In some respects, pursuing a claim for uninsured motorist benefits is easier than a normal case. This is because insurance companies are required to agree to arbitration. A case can be decided by an arbitrator in the matter of months, instead of waiting many years to have a case decided by jury.

With nearly everyone having a smart phone, distracted driving has become an epidemic. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving claimed over 3,000 lives and injured almost 400,000 people in 2015. At Marcotte Law Firm, we see the effects of that firsthand. Many of our clients are injured due to the distracted driving of others. Looking down at a cell phone was more important than looking at the road.

What many do not realize is that distracted driving is more than just texting. Drivers can be distracted by a radio, food, or even by other passengers. These activities can be just as dangerous to yourself or others on the road.

This is why it’s important to be vigilant in keeping distractions to a minimum when you’re behind the wheel. Before you start the car, put your cell phone away, make sure you’ve already finished your lunch, and set up some pre-sets on your radio. While it might take a few extra seconds, it could end up saving you from being part of a statistic.

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