Articles Tagged with “auto insurance”

Boston personal injury lawyers Breakstone, White & Gluck

Attorneys Ronald E. Gluck, Marc L. Breakstone and David W. White, partners of the Boston law firm of Breakstone, White & Gluck. For more than 25 years, the firm has represented motorcyclists and others injured by reckless and negligent drivers.

Motorcyclists, before you start your engines, remember to check your Massachusetts auto insurance policy. Too many motorcyclists do not have enough coverage, which can be a costly and painful mistake if you are ever injured in a crash. For more than 25 years, Breakstone, White & Gluck has fought to obtain compensation for motorcyclists injured by negligent drivers. In recent years, our attorneys have vigorously pursued settlements of $3.75 million, $3.5 million and $1.25 million for three motorcyclists. We write about these Massachusetts motorcycle settlements on our website.

We work with auto insurance policies on a daily basis as we represent those injured on the road. We hope you are never injured, but it pays to plan and understand your auto insurance policy. After an accident, you may have to look to your own insurance policy, even if another driver caused the crash.

In Massachusetts, all drivers and motorcyclists must buy a minimum level of auto insurance. This is known as Compulsory Coverage. Motorcyclists need more and have a few special considerations. Your challenge is to identify what your potential needs would be following a crash. To start, you would need coverage for medical treatment and lost wages. Depending on the nature of your injury, you may be out of work for an extended period or worse, be left unable to return full-time. If you have a family and provide income for their support, you have more to consider.

The good news is you can plan and work with your insurance agent now to make sure your insurance coverage is adequate and that you have the right types. To help get you started, our attorneys have written these articles about Massachusetts auto insurance coverage. As a motorcyclist, make sure to read the section about Medical Payments coverage in our first article:

Insurance Articles for Massachusetts Motorcyclists
Massachusetts Motorcyclists: Buy the Right Types of Auto Insurance to Protect Yourself
Understanding and Buying Massachusetts Car Accident Insurance

About Breakstone, White & Gluck
The attorneys of Breakstone, White & Gluck have over 100 years combined experience representing motorcyclists in the Boston area and across Massachusetts, from Brockton and Plymouth to Cape Cod to Framingham and Worcester. If you have been injured, take the time to learn your rights from one of our Boston motorcycle accident lawyers. Our attorneys can help you answer the key questions you may have following a motorcycle accident, such as “How much is my motorcycle accident claim worth?” and “How long will it take to obtain compensation for my injury after a motorcycle accident?” For a free legal consultation, contact us at 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676 or use our contact form.

 

Motorcycle riding down open roadMotorcycle season is almost here. For riders, this means goodbye snow and cold; hello to the open road.

Good pre-season preparation is essential for motorcyclists. Take some time to inspect your motorcycle and helmet and review the Massachusetts driving manual. Review your auto insurance as well; most drivers and motorcyclists do not carry enough insurance.

Wear a Helmet. Under Massachusetts law, motorcyclists must wear helmets which have been approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Helmets save lives so make sure yours is in good condition. If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident or fall, replace your helmet.

Driving on U.S. roads became more dangerous in 2016. Preliminary data from the National Safety Council shows more than 40,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes last year, a 6 percent increase from 2015.

  • This was the first year more than 40,000 people have died in traffic accidents since 2007.
  • According to The New York Times, 2015 and 2016 saw a 14 percent increase in traffic deaths, the largest two-year increase in more than half a century.

Pothole and car

In Massachusetts, we are making the long-awaited transition from winter to spring.
For drivers, that means trading in the challenge of navigating snow-packed roads for dodging potholes.

While potholes often start as small pavement cracks, they can expand quickly if left unrepaired.  Hitting even a small pothole can cause hundreds or thousands of dollars in damage to your car as well as serious injury if the driver loses control of the vehicle. Accidents often happen when private property owners and government entities fail to quickly repair roads or set up signage alerting drivers to roadway defects.  The law requires all persons to maintain roadways, driveways and sidewalks in a reasonably safe manner. But it also allows a reasonable amount of time to discover and repair the defect.  

Around Boston, some communities report hundreds of pot hole car accidents and incidents each year. The city of Boston is trying a new approach to hasten repairs by developing a smart phone app called Street Bump which allows drivers to send the city alerts about defective roadways which need to be fixed.

If Your Car is Damaged by a Roadway Defect

If your car is damaged or you are injured because of a roadway defect,
you can expect your auto insurance collision coverage will cover the damage,
but you will be subject to your deductible, which is often $500 or more. You may also be entitled to other compensation depending on where your accident happened.

It is important to consult an attorney promptly if you are injured in order to protect all of your rights. Here are a few points to keep in mind:

Private Property.  Commercial property owners invite the public onto their property for business and have a responsibility to maintain their premises,
including parking lots and driveways, in a reasonably safe manner.  If the damage or injury is caused by the negligence of the property owner, then the owner’s liability insurance should cover the losses. The same rule applies to a private landowner; there is a duty to maintain driveways, parking areas, and walkways in a reasonably safe manner for all lawful visitors.

Roads and Highways. Under M.G.L. c. 84, Section 15, cities and towns must properly maintain their public ways. If a community fails to do so and had reasonable notice of the defect, a person injured in an accident on a local road may seek up to $5,000. The municipality must have known about the defect or should have learned of the defect in the exercise of due care and diligence. Gregorie v. Lowell, 253 Mass. 119 (1925). Perfection in road maintenance is not required. Zacherer v. Wakefield, 291 Mass. 90 (1935).

The city or town must receive written notice of the defect within 30 days. Proper written notice is an absolute requirement. In addition, there is an iron-clad $5,000 cap on damages. Unfortunately, any negligence on the part of the driver will be a complete bar to recovery; the rule of comparative negligence does not apply.

In Summary
In summary, potholes are a way of life in Massachusetts. If you have the misfortune of suffering a loss due to a pothole on a public way, there is little likelihood of obtaining relief from any public entity.

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