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Car Accident FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I Need an Injury Attorney for my Car Accident? Or can I just Handle this Myself?

When you are injured in a car accident in Rhode Island or Massachusetts, it is essential to obtain expert legal representation. The reason we strongly recommend professional legal advice is because the insurance companies view your accident claim differently when you have a personal injury attorney representing your interest. With an auto accident lawyer acting on your behalf, the insurance company knows they must place proper monetary value on your accident injury claim or they risk arbitration and/or litigation. In addition, each time you have a discussion with an insurance company on your own without expert legal representation, you risk devaluing your claim. With a personal injury lawyer like Tapalian Law on your side, the insurance companies know they need to treat your claim seriously.

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I was Just in a Car Accident. What Should I do First?

If you just got in a car accident, or after any type of accident, the most immediate issue is to seek medical treatment. Then contact a competent and well-respected personal injury attorney in RI or MA to work on your behalf. This isn’t a time to “wait and see” if your injuries will get better on their own. Seemingly minor aches and pains can manifest significant problems which can get worse if untreated. Time destroys personal injury cases, so even if you have slight pain, don’t wait to seek medical attention. Delaying treatment may significantly lessen the value of your case and you also risk bypassing the deadline for filing a personal injury claim, making your claim invalid. Get medical treatment right away and seek out an experienced personal injury attorney immediately following your Rhode Island or Massachusetts car accident.

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The Car Accident was Partially my Fault. Do I Still have a Claim?

When a car accident is partly your fault, you may still have a valid personal injury claim. The fault laws vary among Rhode Island and Massachusetts auto accidents. In Rhode Island, pure comparative negligence is the law. As long as you are not found to be 100% at fault for the crash, you can still submit a personal injury claim against the other driver’s insurance policy. In Massachusetts, the rule of law is comparative negligence. Generally speaking, this means in order to put forth a claim, you must be found to be no more than 50% at fault. Remember, you can’t analyze fault on your own and there are many contributing factors best left up to the experts to negotiate. Regardless of whether you think you may be partially at fault for the accident, contact a Rhode Island or Massachusetts car accident lawyer immediately to discuss your accident. An experienced personal injury attorney can begin negotiating on your behalf with the insurance company to accept fair fault for the accident caused by their insured.

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I have Medical Payments Coverage (Med Pay) on my Auto Insurance Policy. What Does that Mean?

Medical payments coverage, often referred to as Med Pay, is additional coverage you purchased on your automobile insurance policy. Med Pay covers medical expenses related to the accident for you and your passengers. Med Pay varies based on the amount of coverage purchased but typically, Med Pay coverage ranges from $2,500 up to $10,000 in Rhode Island. This is coverage that you can use to pay your, or your passengers, medical expenses. Med Pay does not provide coverage for pain and suffering, disability or any other type of compensatory damage relief to you.

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What is Personal Injury Protection (PIP) in Massachusetts?

Personal Injury Protection (PIP), is required by law to be on every personal auto insurance policy in Massachusetts. PIP coverage can be quite confusing. PIP coverage will pay for medical expenses, lost income and some other related expenses due to a car accident. The first $2,000 in PIP approved expenses or lost earnings will be charged to your auto insurance policy. After the first $2,000 in personal injury protection payments are made, your health insurance (should you have coverage) will kick in to pay the medical bills. Depending upon your health insurance coverage, your medical insurance will pay for those bills, or will refer them back to your PIP carrier. Your PIP carrier will then pay up to $8,000 in medical expenses and other related personal injury protection charges and expenses. It is essential to have a Massachusetts car accident attorney well-versed in personal injury law like David Tapalian representing your interest when navigating the complexities of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage.

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What is Mandatory Pre-Suit Arbitration in the State of Rhode Island?

Mandatory pre-suit arbitration in Rhode Island (Rhode Island General Law § 27-10.3-1 - Arbitration provision), provides that every auto insurance policy issued within the state of Rhode Island shall contain an arbitration provision. Any person suffering a loss resulting out of the use or ownership of a motor vehicle may at his or her election whenever the amount claimed is $50,000 or less submit the matter to arbitration. Arbitration is a useful tool that Rhode Island personal injury lawyers use often to educate a stubborn insurance company on the proper value of an injured client’s claim. This is often a very quick process and still allows you to stay out of court.

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The Other Driver’s Insurance Company Said the Accident is my Fault. Is this a Waste of Time?

If the other driver’s insurance company claims the accident is your fault, don’t fret. The insurance company’s liability determination is not the last word and frequently, we have been successful in changing the liability determination of an insurance company. Based upon accident reconstruction, witness testimony, and other tools available to us as auto accident lawyers, there may be circumstances where we can successfully change liability determinations made unfairly by the other insurance company.

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How Long Do I have to Contact an Injury Lawyer After a Rhode Island or Massachusetts Car Accident?

Contact a RI or MA personal injury attorney right after your car wreck. Statute of limitations and notice requirements can vary depending upon who the prospective defendant may be and where the accident occurred. However, the general rule of thumb is that you have three (3) years to file a claim for personal injury and auto accidents in Rhode Island or Massachusetts. That rule can vary should the prospective defendant that caused your injury be a municipality and/or a federal entity. Many times, municipalities and other entities require specific notices to occur much sooner. The best way to find out if you have a valid personal injury or auto accident claim is to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer immediately following your Rhode Island or Massachusetts accident.

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How do I Choose the Best Injury Lawyer for my Rhode Island Car Accident Case?

When looking to hire the best personal injury lawyer or auto accident lawyer in Rhode Island for your injury or accident case, consider many variables. Ensure that you meet in person with the lawyer who will be handling your Rhode Island personal injury claim or car accident claim. At Tapalian Law, you will meet face to face with Attorney David Tapalian during your free consultation to discuss your case, at no charge to you. When deciding on the best personal injury or auto accident lawyer for you, it’s essential to check online reviews on sites like Justia, Google, and Yelp, amongst others. Attorney David Tapalian, a top-rated Rhode Island personal injury lawyer, takes great pride in helping his clients and ensuring a positive experience, which shows in Tapalian Law’s reviews and ratings. A crucial quality to look for when searching for the best injury lawyer for your Rhode Island or Massachusetts claim, is a law firm that is responsive to your questions, responds to phone calls and emails in a timely manner, and speaks with you at your convenience. Attorney David Tapalian, an accident attorney and personal injury lawyer in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, has the experience and the reputation for filing civil actions and/or arbitrations and will aggressively fight for your legal rights.

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I don’t have any Health Insurance. Can I still Treat for my Car Accident Injury?

Even if you don’t have health insurance, you can still seek medical treatment for your injuries relating to your auto accident claim and/or personal injury claim. After a free evaluation of your case with Attorney David Tapalian, he may be able to suggest medical care providers based on Tapalian Law’s strong relationships and extended network of medical providers within the Rhode Island and Massachusetts communities. Some healthcare providers commonly work with uninsured people suffering from personal injury and are willing to provide medical attention regardless of health insurance.

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The Insurance Company wants a Statement from me. Should I Talk to the Insurance Company After an Accident?

After a car crash, do not give any statements to the insurance company without first speaking to an experienced personal injury attorney about your case. A skilled car accident lawyer will determine whether or not a statement is necessary or beneficial to your auto accident case. There are some situations where it is not beneficial to provide a statement to the insurance company and other situations where we must cooperate with our own insurance company and where a statement is necessary. Speak with an experienced car accident injury lawyer at Tapalian Law if you’re involved in an accident in Rhode Island or Massachusetts to determine appropriate actions.

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The Driver who Hit me has no Insurance. Can I still File a Claim?

If the driver who hit your car has no auto insurance, you can still file a claim. At Tapalian Law, our legal team is skilled in finding insurance to cover you for your personal injury claim. How can you be sure the other driver doesn’t have insurance? Never assume that because a police report states there’s no insurance, or because an insurance company states that there is no coverage for the other driver, that there isn’t. If in fact, the driver who hit you has no insurance, we will explore alternative options to cover your claim. There are other types of insurance coverage and you may have a type of coverage on your own auto insurance policy called Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UIM). UIM can compensate you for injuries caused through the negligence of another driver. Don’t give up if you are hit by an uninsured driver, allow our skilled car accident lawyers to make the final determination of insurance and find a way to help you.

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What is my Car Accident or Injury Claim Worth?

Compensation is different for every accident or injury claim and there are a number of factors that affect your case value. In order to properly evaluate your claim, it’s important that you follow the treatment protocol suggested by your medical providers. Some of the variables involved in determining the monetary value of your case are:

  • percentage of fault, if any
  • lost income or lost earning capacity
  • loss of future earnings due to some type of permanent impairment.
  • Reimbursement of medical expenses
  • pain and suffering due to your injuries
  • any type of permanent scarring
  • posttraumatic stress due to the accident

For the great majority of auto accident claims, we are only able to apprise you of monetary value once your treatment is concluded. Generally speaking, the more extensive your treatment, the greater the value of your claim. Typically, the greater your compensatory damages, the greater amount you will be entitled to recover for your personal injury claim. In other types of cases involving significantly severe injuries or death, we are able to give you a better estimation of compensation upfront. Contact us for a free case evaluation.

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I was Hurt in a Hit-and-Run Accident and the Driver Fled the Scene. Can I File a Personal Injury Claim?

If you are injured in a hit-and-run accident in Rhode Island or Massachusetts, you may still be able to file a successful personal injury claim for your automobile accident. Unfortunately, we see this type of crash very often and hit and-and-run vehicle accidents in Rhode Island often result in personal injuries. If you’re in a hit-and-run crash, it is essential that you contact the police right away. Many police departments have a hit-and-run division that will aggressively pursue the at fault driver. However, even if the driver cannot be located, depending upon your auto insurance policy you may still be able to file a personal injury claim for your hit-and-run auto accident in Rhode Island. As with all issues involving personal injury, time is the enemy so it’s imperative to seek medical attention and contact the car accident attorneys at Tapalian Law immediately to see if you have a case.

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Client Reviews
He took care of everything and kept me updated as well. It was such a smooth process and in the end I won my case. I would highly recommend David Tapalian! Patrice F.
When I contacted David Tapalian, Attorney & Counselor at Law, all my worries were immediately alleviated. He handled my case from beginning to end and kept me updated every step of the way. Susie M.
I visited David a couple of days after my accident and he gave me clear and concise details on what would happen throughout the process... David N.