What Is Presumption of Fault in a Car Accident?
Despite a large number of people not truly understanding the scope of presumption of fault in a car accident, this term affects every resident throughout Fall River, New Bedford and beyond. According to Massachusetts code, the insurance industry uses certain presumption of fault to decide how to assign surcharges to parties involved in an accident.
These presumptions dictate whether you’re considered at fault, and it’s up to you to fight the findings (and decide whether this fight is worth your while). There is a filing fee, and you’ll have to attend a hearing; however, the process is fairly informal. In fact, you don’t necessarily need to have a lawyer with you at the hearing.
Don’t go into these hearings unprepared
Despite not needing an attorney for the hearing, you still need to know how to approach this day with a formula for success. An appeal is not based on your past driving record. If you want to avoid a surcharge, you need to have a valid argument proving that you’re not 50% or more at fault. This may require you to have witnesses, photos, or other evidence.
Top 6 Questions to ask if you are at-fault in a Car Accident in Fall River
1. When am I at fault?
You are considered at-fault in an accident in Massachusetts if your behavior is deemed more than 50% of the reason for an accident.
2. Why do we need a presumption of fault?
Insurance companies rely on these presumptions to know the amount of money an insurer is obligated to pay. Insurance companies assign a fixed number of points for each at-fault accident, and the total point value helps to determine the percentage of premium increases.
3. What happens if I’m considered at-fault?
If the insurance company considers you at fault, you’ll receive a notice stating that you’ve been presumed to be at-fault for the accident.
4. Will my premium still increase if I appeal the at-fault determination?
Yes, it’s possible that your insurance company will still increase your premium, even if you appeal the at-fault determination. However, if it’s determined that you are not at fault, then your insurance company must refund any premiums that were associated with the accident.
5. When will I learn the outcome of my appeal hearing?
The Hearing Officer will listen to your argument and review the facts and circumstances presented. The board’s decision will be mailed to you within 2-4 weeks.
6. What if I disagree with the Board’s decision?
You can appeal that decision to your county’s Superior Court. You must file this appeal within 30 days of your receipt of the decision.
If you have any additional legal questions regarding an auto accident you were involved in throughout the Greater Fall River area, call me at 508-674-0890, or email me directly at [email protected]. I’ll answer your questions and will provide a free case evaluation.
For over 35 years, the law office of Sabra and Aspden has won over $100 million in verdicts and settlements for personal injury and workers compensation cases in Southeastern Massachusetts. We work vigorously to achieve the maximum recovery for our clients.