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Frequently Asked Questions for Auto Accidents

Is My Settlement Taxable?

An award for pain and suffering is not taxable however if there is a recovery for lost wages, the lost wage portion is taxable.

Am I Entitled to Interest on the Amount of Damages I suffered From My Auto Accident?

If a lawsuit is filed as a result of an auto accident, interest at 12% per year will accrue from the date of the accident. Depending on how the case is ultimately resolved, interest may be awarded to the amount of damages. For example, if a jury on May 1, 2007 awards damages of $10,000.00 for an accident that occurred on January 1, 2005, the interest would be 16% and the total award would be $11,600.00.

What is My Case Worth?

The answer to this question depends on numerous factors and is impossible to determine at the initial meeting. Such factors include fault of the parties, nature and extent of the injury(s), length of medical treatment and lost wages to name a few. Only as the case progresses can an attorney begin to formulate a case's valuation.

What if My Damages Exceed the Insurance Coverage of the Driver That Hit Me?

Your UM coverage should also cover Under-insured motorists for motorists with small liability policies and the extent of your damages exceeds their policy. For example Rhode Island only requires that a driver maintain a liability policy with $25,000/$50,000 limits. It is important to contact an attorney before using UM coverage.

How Long Will it Take Before My Case is Settled?

As in valuing a case, this is also dependent on many factors such as the nature and extent of the injury(s), length of treatment and whether there are liability issues. Furthermore, if a lawsuit needs to be filed, this will certainly delay settlement.

Should I Give a Statement to the Other Driver's Insurance Carrier?

No. Any contact made by the other driver's insurance carrier should be referred to your attorney. However, if you are bringing a claim against your UM coverage, you do have an obligation to cooperate with your insurance carrier.

How Do I Recover Property Damage?

If you have collision coverage as a part of your insurance policy, you can recover your property damage through your own carrier. This will typically result in getting your car fixed faster than trying to put your claim through the other drivers insurance, especially if there is an issue of liability. If you are not at fault, your insurance carrier will recover what it paid for property damage from the other driver's carrier if they had insurance.

What is Mediation?

Mediation typically entails the use of an experienced attorney to assist the parties in settling a claim.

What is the Difference Between Court Annexed Arbitration and Binding Arbitration?

Court Annexed Arbitration occurs when the parties agree to submit the claim to a neutral third party arbitrator. The arbitrator will determine the value he or she believes the claim is worth. The decision of the arbitration, however, is not binding on either party although the parties may agree and accept the value. Binding arbitration is just that, binding. The arbitrator's decision is final and binding on both parties.

Will My Case Go To Trial?

Motor vehicle cases rarely go before a jury except in rare circumstances.

Should I Use My Health Insurance to Pay for My Medical Bills?

Yes. However, if you don't have health insurance, we will help you find physicians who will provide treatment and are willing to receive payment for their services out of any settlement or verdict.

What is Med Pay?

Most people who have auto insurance in Rhode Island have a Med Pay benefit through their automobile insurance. It is typically $2,500 or $5,000.00. Med pay benefits can be used to pay for your medical bills in the event that you don't have health insurance. While you are not obligated to use Med Pay, some health insurance companies have provisions in their policies that force you to exhaust your Med Pay coverage before the health insurance will begin paying. If you have any questions about Med Pay or how to pay your medical bills, please call for a free consultation.