Worcester Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer
No accident is alike and no accident case should be treated alike. Learn more about the different kinds of motor vehicle accidents:
Peter Ventura successfully resolved a high speed car accident case for $3,000,000 in Worcester County, MA. Due to the severity of the crash, the client, who was a minor, suffered a traumatic death.
Common Accident Injuries
Vehicle accidents can result in many different injuries. Here are some of the most common injuries sustained in a vehicle accident:
- Brain & Neurological Injuries
- Bone Fractures
- Electrocution Injuries
- Nerve Damage
- Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI)
- Whiplash Injuries
- Wrongful Death
At the law office of Peter Ventura, we handle car accident cases of all kinds — the soft-tissue injuries that could keep you away from work for a few weeks, and the very serious and sometimes catastrophic injury cases which involve permanent injuries and lifelong problems and consequences. We routinely examine all sources of compensation for every claim including the other driver’s liability insurance, and even the client’s own underinsured motorist coverage and any other sources of compensation available to satisfy the client’s damages.
Worcester Crash Data: Dangerous Intersections and Road Conditions
In 2013, there were nearly 5,000 vehicle collisions in Worcester, Massachusetts. This amounts to more than 13 accidents per day, with many accidents resulting in serious or life-threatening injuries. A significant portion of these accidents occurred at intersections, and many of them involved wet, snowy, and icy conditions.
View our full Worcester Accident Map here.
Common Types of Accidents
According to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), there are more than 100 intersections in Worcester that saw at least seven accidents in 2013. Many of these intersections saw well over seven accidents, with several seeing 30 or more.
Along with highways, intersections are some of the most dangerous places when it comes to vehicle collisions. According to the Federal Highway Administration, about half of all accidents and half of all accidents resulting in injuries occur at intersections. Some of the most common types of intersection accidents include:
- Head-on collisions
- Rear-end collisions
- T-bone accidents
Many of these accidents result from distracted driving, illegal maneuvers (such as running red lights and stop signs), obstructed views, and drivers’ misjudgment of speed or distance. Nationally, approximately 33 percent of all fatal intersection accidents occur at intersections with stop lights. This is true even though these “signalized” intersections account for only 10 percent of the more than three million intersections nationwide.
Dangerous Road and Weather Conditions in Massachusetts
MassDOT’s data show that the majority of auto accidents in Worcester in 2013 occurred during daylight and on dry roads. However, a significant portion – more than a third – occurred from dusk to dawn. In addition, more than a quarter occurred under wet, snowy, or icy conditions. In fact, the Winter months actually see the highest number of accidents in Worcester, which correlates to an increased likelihood of dark and slippery roads. Of the 4,920 crashes in Worcester, MA in 2013:
- At least 518 occurred while it was raining
- At least 209 occurred in while it was snowing
- At least 1,246 occurred on roads that were wet, icy, or snow-covered
- At least 1,599 occurred between dusk and dawn
- At least 114 occurred on unlighted roadways
The fact that most collisions occur under favorable road conditions shows that drivers need to be vigilant about the risk of accidents at all times. It also shows that driver-related factors – such as texting, drinking, or falling asleep behind the wheel – are much more likely to lead to accidents than bad road conditions alone.
Contributory Negligence for Not Wearing a Seat Belt in Massachusetts
Wearing a seat belt is a crucial way to reduce injury in the case of a car accident, but what if you weren’t wearing a seatbelt and you are hurt by a negligent driver? At this time, you can’t be pulled over for not wearing a seat belt in Massachusetts. If you are pulled over for another reason, you can be fined if you or passengers aren’t buckled up. How negligence and compensation are determined in a personal injury lawsuit can be significantly affected if you were not wearing your seatbelt at the time of the accident.
If you were in a car accident and you were injured, your negligence could be considered a contributing factor to your injuries. Failure to wear a seatbelt does not automatically prevent you from filing a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver, but it can potentially reduce the amount of financial compensation you receive as a result of the accident.
Your compensation will be determined using a number of the following factors:
- The medical bills you have incurred,
- time lost from work,
- future wages you may no longer be able to earn, and
- the pain and suffering you have endured
These factors will all be considered when it comes time to decide what you will receive monetarily as a car accident victim.
Determining who is at fault in any car accident can get complicated. However, as long as the other party is deemed more negligent than you, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver for injuries you sustained in a car accident. When negligence is determined, each party is assigned a percentage of responsibility. As long as your percentage of responsibility is 50 percent or less, you have the right to sue the other party in a personal injury lawsuit.
A car accident attorney can discuss the specifics of the accident with you to see if you have a viable lawsuit.
A car accident occurred in Oxford, MA, when the defendant’s SUV crossed double yellow center lines of the road and struck the plaintiffs’ vehicle head on. A married couple, the husband, 61, suffered soft tissue injures and bruising, and a loss of consortium. The wife, 62, suffered multiple fractures of her right ankle with resulting skin and wound complications.
Massachusetts Car Accident FAQs:
1. What should I do immediately after a car accident?
Naturally, if someone has been injured in the accident, calling an ambulance should be the first priority. Beyond that, the most important steps to take after an accident is to obtain the name, telephone number and insurance information of the other driver, provide the other driver with your identifying information, take pictures of the accident scene and the respective vehicles, get the names/telephone numbers of any witnesses, and call the police. (For tips on what not to do after a car accident, read this.)
2. Who will pay for my medical bills following the accident?
Usually, it’s your own auto insurance company, oftentimes supplemented by your own health insurance company. Massachusetts is a “no-fault” car accident state, which means that each driver’s auto insurance company will pay for their respective drivers’ medical bills, regardless of who caused the accident.
Under Massachusetts law, your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) section of your auto insurance policy is responsible for covering your medical bills, lost wages and other related expenses up to $8,000. If you have private health insurance, and if your medical bills exceed $2,000, however, the excess should be submitted to your health insurance carrier. If your health insurance carrier denies coverage, then PIP will cover the remainder up to a total of $8,000. It’s normal to have lots of questions after an accident, which is why we wrote an auto insurance FAQ page.
3. Since Massachusetts is a no-fault state, under what circumstances can I seek damages from a negligent driver after a car accident?
In Massachusetts, you can only seek additional financial compensation, such as pain and suffering or unreimbursed expenses, from the negligent driver under specific circumstances. The accident must have caused you to suffer:
- a broken or fractured bone
- permanent and serious disfigurement
- permanent hearing loss
- permanent eye damage/loss of vision
- amputation of a limb
- medical expenses in excess of $2,000
- death –the surviving family members of wrongful death victims can also seek damages from an at-fault driver.
4. How can I prove that the other driver was at-fault?
You can prove fault by gathering evidence that the other driver was responsible for the accident. Photos shot at the accident scene, photos of vehicle damage, statements of witnesses, testimony from car mechanics, and the police report of the accident may be good sources for proof the other drivers’ negligence. A Massachusetts car accident attorney can help you collect evidence, including the testimony of an accident reconstruction expert, if necessary.
5. The other drivers’ insurance company keeps trying to contact me about the accident. What should I say to them?
You should say absolutely nothing to the other drivers’ insurance company. Their goal is to find a reason to pay you the least amount of money possible, and they’ll use whatever you say to that end. Instead, direct them to speak to your Massachusetts car accident lawyer. If you don’t yet have a lawyer, then inform them you won’t be speaking to them until you’ve sought legal advice.
6. Can I still receive compensation if I am partially at fault in the car accident?
It depends on how much responsibility you share for the accident. Massachusetts is a modified comparative fault state. This means that you can only recover damages if you are 50% or less at-fault. The total damages you receive will then be reduced by the percentage of fault you share in causing the crash. For example, if you were found 25 percent responsible for the accident, you would receive 75% of the total damages. Note, however, that if you are found to be responsible for more than 50% of the accident, then you cannot recover any damages at all.
7. My accident occurred ten months ago. Can I still file a personal injury lawsuit?
In Massachusetts, the statute of limitations for injuries or property damage arising from a car accident is 3 years, starting from the day of the accident. Nonetheless, to increase your chances of obtaining full and fair compensation, you should file your lawsuit as soon after the accident as is reasonably possible.
8. Why should I have a Massachusetts motor vehicle accident lawyer?
A knowledgeable Massachusetts motor vehicle lawyer can help you fight for the maximum amount of compensation to which you’re entitled. No matter whether you’re seeking to collect compensation from your own insurance company, or are involved in a dispute with the other driver’s insurance carrier, your lawyer will ensure that your claims are filed in a timely manner, collect all critical evidence, forcefully argue on your behalf, and negotiate a fair settlement.
9. How much does a Massachusetts personal injury lawyer cost?
Almost all personal injury lawyers, including Attorney Peter Ventura, accept cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that you only pay a fee if the lawyer wins your case. As payment, the lawyer will take a percentage, usually 33.3%, of what he or she has recovered for you through settlement or at trial.
10. How much is my case worth?
Without reviewing all the evidence and circumstances of your case, it’s difficult for an attorney to provide even a ballpark estimate of how much your case might be worth. This is especially true if your medical condition following the accident has not yet stabilized or if you’re seeking damages such as pain and suffering. That said, once all the evidence is assessed, a skilled car accident attorney should be able to use his or her best judgment and experience with previous cases to estimate the potential value of your claim.
11. How quickly will my case be resolved?
The answer to this question varies from case to case. It depends on the extent of your injuries, the complexity of the case, whether a settlement is an option, and whether liability is disputed. In a straightforward case, you may be able to reach a resolution in as little as six months. A more complex case may take two years or more to resolve. Your attorney will be able to give you a reasonable estimate of the case’s timeline once he or she has become familiar with the case details.
“Attorney Ventura was excellent. I was injured in a car accident and he really looked out for my best interests. He is thorough and professional as well as easy to reach and always there when I needed him. His support team was outstanding. They kept me well-informed throughout the process. I would highly recommend Attorney Ventura for any of your personal injury needs. He’s the best.”
Contact Us – Expert Legal Representation after Auto Accidents
Personal injury lawyer Peter Ventura investigates and presents claims on behalf of people injured in a wide variety of motor vehicle accident scenarios. Our law firm is known throughout the region for our attention to detail on insurance coverage issues and proof of damages on Massachusetts auto injury claims. In any case where the nature or extent of your injuries comes into dispute, we can assemble a team of experts tailored to the demands of your case.
Peter Ventura’s ability to work effectively with experts on complex damages claims can enhance your recovery of damages (and protect you from mistakes or defects in the presentation of evidence less experienced lawyers might make) on the different parts of your claim: bodily injury, property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, impaired earning capacity, pain and suffering, and future losses.
Our experience with hundreds of auto accident claims can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. To learn how you can benefit from the counsel of a seasoned Worcester car accident attorney, contact the law office of Peter Ventura, Attorney at Law, for a free consultation.