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Car accidents are always stressful, but Boston hit and run collisions are particularly problematic. At the Law Offices of Michael O. Smith, we have assisted numerous motorists throughout Boston with understanding their legal rights and navigating the insurance claims process following a crash. We are ready to put our extensive experience to use for you to ensure that you receive the just outcome that you deserve.

In a recent case (Christian Cardona v. Encompass Insurance Company, No. 17-P-358), the plaintiff was a passenger in a vehicle driven by his mother when the vehicle was struck from behind by another car, which then fled the scene. The mother followed the car as it fled the scene and the plaintiff was able to record the vehicle registration number. After reporting the accident, the plaintiff obtained the identity of the vehicle’s owner from the Registry of Motor Vehicles database. The plaintiff filed a claim for insurance benefits with the registered owner’s insurer. The insurance company denied the claim, indicating that its insured was not responsible for the crash and that the owner denied being involved in the accident.

The plaintiff then sought uninsured motorist benefits from the insurer that provided a policy for his mother’s vehicle, stating that because the other insurer denied the claim he was the victim of a hit and run accident. This insurer also denied the claim and the plaintiff filed an action compelling arbitration. The insurer filed a motion to dismiss and a motion for summary judgment and the plaintiff filed a cross-motion for summary judgment. The reviewing court granted the insurer’s motion to dismiss and the plaintiff appealed.

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Many individuals know that lawsuits can take a long time to resolve. There are many different phases of litigation and there are many opportunities to file an appeal. Understanding the procedural options available to you during your legal battle is incredibly important and could make a huge difference when it comes to receiving the maximum amount of compensation that you deserve. As dedicated Boston car accident lawyers, we have guided countless injured victims and their families through the court system and we are prepared to put our knowledge and experience to use for you.

In a recent appellate opinion, the court discussed two key concepts of procedural law. The plaintiff was injured in a car accident and brought a suit against the responsible driver seeking compensation for medical expenses as well as pain and suffering. The jury returned a verdict in the plaintiff’s favor, but the plaintiff felt that the award was greatly lower than the amount of medical expenses that she sustained as a result of the crash. Accordingly, the plaintiff moved for additur or a new trial on just the issue of damages.

An additur is a request by the plaintiff to the trial judge to increase the amount of damages that the jury awards to the plaintiff. If the judge agrees that the jury awarded an inadequate amount of damages, then the judge can increase the amount. The judge also has the option of holding a new trial on the issue of damages alone to determine the amount of damages that the plaintiff is entitled to receive based on the evidence presented at trial.

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There are several rules that apply to a personal injury trial, including rules about the evidence that a plaintiff must establish when seeking pain and suffering damages. As experienced Boston car accident lawyers, we are familiar with these rules and will ensure that they are applied appropriately and fairly in your claim every step of the way. This can help avoid unnecessary delays in your case as well as ensure that you do not waive any critical rights. Whether you were involved in a minor crash or a severe, life-altering collision, you deserve compassionate and dedicated legal counsel.

A recent Massachusetts appellate opinion discusses G.L. c 231, Section 6D, which governs when a victim of a motor vehicle accident can seek pain and suffering as an item of damages. According to this provision, the plaintiff must show that the reasonable and necessary expenses incurred from treating the injuries associated with the crash exceed $2,000, subject to some exceptions. These exceptions include instances where the crash results in death, results in the loss of a body part, results in disfigurement, or results in the loss of sight or hearing.

The plaintiff filed suit against a wheelchair and van transport company as well as its employee-driver for personal injuries that she suffered in an accident. She was traveling in the defendant’s handicap accessible van when it came to an abrupt stop causing her to fall out of her wheelchair. Her knees hit the floor and the wheelchair fell on top of her.

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When it comes to car accidents, any type of injury can be devastating and life-changing. In accidents where someone loses their life as the result of another person’s negligence, however, the surviving family members and loved ones face unimaginable pain and loss. Our dedicated team of Massachusetts wrongful death lawyers has assisted numerous families with seeking the compensation they deserve after losing a loved one in a car accident.

Recently, a Massachusetts appellate court upheld a multimillion-dollar verdict in favor of the estate of a woman who was killed in a car accident involving a convenience store. The plaintiff was walking into the store when she was struck by a speeding SUV. The medics that responded to the crash concluded that the woman died on impact. According to evidence presented at trial, the vehicle was traveling at a high speed across an intersection through the entrance into the convenience store’s parking lot before it crashed into the storefront.

The decedent’s husband was appointed the executor of her estate and brought a wrongful death claim against the convenience store. According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleged that the store had experienced hundreds of crashes at its convenience stores and that it was accordingly on notice that customers were at a risk of suffering injuries. The complaint also alleged that the store could have prevented the decedent’s death by constructing protective barriers or bollards along the walkway or closing off the entrance to the parking lot.

When it comes to car accidents, an injured party has many options regarding obtaining a settlement or a judgment. This is especially true where multiple insurance carriers or policies are involved that provide policy limits to cover the injured person’s expenses. If you are coping with painful injuries and this is your first experience navigating a personal injury claim, it can be extremely stressful. Knowing whether to accept a settlement or the right procedures to follow to protect your rights isn’t always straightforward. At the Law Offices of Michael O. Smith, we proudly provide legal counsel to Boston car accident victims.

In a recent appeal, a Massachusetts Court of Appeal considered whether a disputed settlement agreement arising out of a car accident was enforceable. The plaintiff appealed from an order from the lower court that allowed the defendant’s motion to enforce the settlement. The parties had stipulated to dismissing the action on September 8, 2016. On appeal, the plaintiff argued that the lower court erred by allowing the defendant’s motion to enforce the settlement because the parties had not entered into a valid agreement with the defendant’s insurance company.

According to the plaintiff, the insurance company’s release form, which it sent to the plaintiff in August 2015, that the company sent in response to the plaintiff’s demand for tender of the defendant’s policy limits, was a counteroffer. The demand letter sought the entire $100,000 policy, claiming that the damages exceeded the defendant’s limits. The plaintiff based this off of certain terms in the release that both the defendant and the insurance company would be released from all liability arising out of the accident. The defendant also responded by offering the plaintiff roughly $33,000 as settlement of the claim.

As seasoned Boston car accident lawyers, we often deal with insurance companies on behalf of our clients. As a result, we are familiar with the tactics that they use and the fact that they do not always have your best interests in mind. If you suffered injuries in a car accident and are dealing with an insurance company or multiple insurers, we are standing by and ready to assist you with seeking the compensation that you deserve.A Massachusetts appellate court recently issued a decision in a claim in which the insureds alleged that special circumstances existed that required an insurance company to recommend that the plaintiffs purchase underinsured motorist coverage. The plaintiffs had brought a lawsuit against the insurer, and the insurer filed a motion for summary judgment in the claim, which the lower court granted.

In general, Massachusetts law states that an insurer does not have a duty to make recommendations about insurance coverage or to provide guarantees that a policy is adequate for the insurer’s needs. An insured can overcome this standard by showing that a special circumstance existed that created a duty between the insurer and the insured. This involves presenting evidence of specific representations or assertions regarding the sufficiency of the coverage provided in addition to evidence showing that the insured relied on those representations or assertions.

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If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident in Massachusetts, you may be able to seek compensation through the at-fault driver’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) auto insurance policy. In order to receive benefits, there are several procedures and rules that you may be required to follow, including those surrounding medical examinations. As dedicated Boston car accident lawyers, we have guided numerous injured persons through the claims process while helping them protect their rights.Recently, a Massachusetts appellate court considered a case in which the plaintiff was injured in a car crash during 2009. The woman filed a claim with her auto insurer, pursuant to her PIP policy. Next, the insurer arranged for a medical examination of the plaintiff, pursuant to the PIP statute. The heart of the plaintiff’s lawsuit against the insurer was based on the notice that the insurer sent to the plaintiff regarding the examination. It stated that she would be examined by a physician of the insurer’s choosing. According to the record, however, the selected person was not a medical doctor but a doctor of physical therapy. The insurer sent the plaintiff a copy of his report regarding his examination, which identified him as a doctor of physical therapy and a licensed physical therapist.

The plaintiff’s lawsuit was dismissed on the basis that she did not file it within the appropriate statute of limitations. According to the judge, the plaintiff was on notice as of the date that the notice was sent listing the individual as a doctor of physical therapy. This gave the plaintiff sufficient awareness that the insurer had not complied with the statute’s requirement that a physician conduct the exam.

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Massachusetts has a dram shop liability statute which allows an individual harmed in an accident involving a drunk driver to seek damages from any establishment who over-served the patron. This statute raises many complex legal issues. As seasoned Boston car accident lawyers, our firm has addressed many legal claims involving drunk driving accidents.

In a recent case, a Massachusetts court considered whether an affidavit submitted pursuant to the dram shop statute needs to be a sworn statement that is based on personal knowledge. The case arose from an accident in which the decedent was killed in a one-vehicle accident. The decedent had been drinking at a bar owned by the defendants. The reports prepared following the accident indicated that the defendant was driving on a clear and straight road at roughly 9 pm and that he was driving approximately 79 miles-per-hour in a 30 mile-per-hour zone.

Witnesses interviewed regarding the crash stated that the decedent was at the restaurant from about 2 pm until 9 pm. Some of these witnesses indicated that the decedent consumed several alcoholic beverages and began acting loud and gregarious. Receipts at the restaurant showed that the decedent purchased 12 drinks. Other evidence suggested that the decedent was frequently served by an unnamed bartender who would engage in conversation with the decedent and who continued to serve him even when he was clearly intoxicated.

One of the most complex aspects of a car accident claim is working with insurance companies and ensuring that you are treated fairly. Having an experienced and tenacious Boston car accident lawyer on your side can help ensure that you receive the outcome that you deserve. In a recent appellate decision, the court considered the application of an exclusion in an insurance policy. In the case, the driver suffered serious injuries in a car accident that occurred in an intersection. She was taken to the hospital where she received treatment for her injuries. The records indicated that the driver’s breath had an odor of alcohol and that she was intoxicated at the hospital. The police report that was prepared for the accident did not state anything regarding intoxication, however. It also lacked an explanation of how the accident occurred or where the vehicles were traveling before colliding.

The medical provider who treated the driver sought reimbursement from the driver’s auto insurance company. The insurer paid the first claim for reimbursement, but refused to pay any remaining amounts on the basis that the insurance policy contained an alcohol exclusion. The medical provider filed a lawsuit and the insurer moved for summary judgment based on an affidavit from its employee and hospital records. The plaintiff opposed the motion on the basis that there was a genuine issue of fact in the case regarding whether the driver was driving under the influence at the time of the crash and whether this contributed to her injuries. The lower court granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment and an appellate division affirmed. The plaintiff appealed.

On review, the appellate court first noted that PIP benefits are required for all motor vehicle insurance policies in Massachusetts. These benefits are designed to cover all reasonable expenses that the insured incurs within two years from the date of the accident for any necessary medical services. The insurer must pay them regardless of fault. Statutes in the state also allow insurers to avoid paying PIP benefits if the insured contributed to his or her own injuries, including while under the influence of alcohol. Based on this, to prevail on summary judgment the insurer needed to show that the driver’s conduct contributed to her injuries.

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Dealing with insurance companies is one of the most difficult aspects of being involved in a motor vehicle accident. At the Law Office of Michael O. Smith, our seasoned team of Boston car accident lawyers has the experience and tenacity to stand up to big insurance companies that don’t always have your best interests in mind.

A recent appellate decision illustrates how important it is to assert your rights when dealing with an auto insurer. The plaintiff was involved in a car crash while riding in a taxi. The taxicab driver drove down a freeway ramp and through a yield sign into the rear end of a van that was waiting for traffic to pass on the road where the offramp merged. The drivers of each vehicle communicated briefly and then got back into their respective vehicles and drove away. The taxicab driver took the plaintiff to her home. She did not obtain his information. The plaintiff could not identify the driver of the taxi or the person driving the other vehicle involved in the accident.

The record at trial contained conflicting information regarding the exact date that the plaintiff became aware of her injuries. The physician’s report indicated, however, that she started experiencing pain immediately after the crash. The plaintiff consulted with an attorney, who sent a letter to the cab company providing notice of the plaintiff’s claim for personal injuries. The notice said that the plaintiff was injured on the date of the accident as a result of the driver’s negligence. The cab company responded, saying that it was only a dispatch service and that it did not have the identity of the cab driver without the driver’s name or the name of the owner of the vehicle. The plaintiff’s lawyer did not provide any additional information to the cab company. Over the next eight months, the plaintiff did not seek to identify the driver of the cab.

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