When you are seriously injured in an auto accident, there may be many steps involved in getting the compensation you need. You may have legal rights against the other driver, the other driver’s insurance company, or your insurance company, depending on the facts of your case. To make sure that you are pursuing everything you should under the law, talk to an experienced Massachusetts car accident attorney promptly to learn about your rights and your legal options.
Heather was a driver who was seriously injured in a July 2007 auto accident in Bristol County. When you suffer substantial harm in an auto accident, as Heather did, you may very possibly have to litigate extensively to get the compensation you deserve. The other driver or his insurance company will likely contest your case vigorously, since it potentially involves a large sum of damages.
Heather’s case involved two trials and multiple appeals. Eventually, she and the other driver’s insurance company worked out a settlement. Deciding to settle a case, even one in which you have a strong factual and legal position, may make sense for you because it can allow you to achieve finality and compensation without additional delays from ongoing appeals or retrials. In this situation, Heather agreed to settle for $100,000, which was the policy limit on the other driver’s insurance policy, even though the damages award she received at the conclusion of her second trial was much greater.
When that type of circumstance happens to you, you may still have options for obtaining the remainder of the damages you suffered. You may have an option to seek payment from your auto insurance company under your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. If you decide to pursue such a claim, it is important to keep in mind that there may be certain hurdles. For example, if your insurer denies your claim, and you want to sue, your insurer may try to force the case into arbitration instead.
The insurer will be able to do that if your insurance policy contained a valid arbitration agreement within it that covers the claim you asserted. If you desire to pursue your insurer in court instead of in an arbitration hearing, there are options for making that happen. For example, you could attempt to prove that the arbitration agreement was invalid. You could also attempt to claim that the insurer waived its rights under the agreement.
Heather, in her case against her insurance company, chose the latter option. She was not able to defeat the insurer’s demand for arbitration, though, since her case did not have sufficient proof that the insurance company acted “inconsistently with its statutory and policy-based right to arbitrate.” If an insured had proof of conduct by an insurer that demonstrated an act inconsistent with the right to arbitrate, that insured might be able to defeat a motion by the insurer demanding arbitration.
For advice and representation upon which you can confidently rely, reach out to knowledgeable Plymouth County car accident lawyer Michael S. Mehrmann. Our team has spent many years helping people from across Plymouth County, including in Kingston, Plymouth, Marshfield, Hanson, Carver, Pembroke, and Duxbury. To find out more about how we can assist you, call (781) 585-3911 or contact us online.
More Blog Posts:
How All of the ‘Small Things’ Can Add Up in Pursuing an Auto Accident Case in Massachusetts, Plymouth County Injury Lawyer Blog, April 10, 2018
A Lack of a Valid Settlement and Release Meant that a Massachusetts Driver Was Entitled to the Damages a Jury Awarded Her, Plymouth County Injury Lawyer Blog, March 29, 2018