Small Claims Car Accidents
Several years ago the Massachusetts Courts increased the Small Claims cap from $2,000 to $7000 dollars. An exception to the cap has always been made for property damage caused by a motor vehicle. But now with the increase in the Small Claims Cap, some people are now bringing suit for their car accident injury claims in small claims when the medical bills are minimal ($2000-$3000) The person bringing the suit has the option to file suit in the District court where either the Plaintiff or Defendant lives or has her/his place of business or employment. To file suit, all you need to do is obtain the appropriate form, called the Statement of Claim and Notice, from the Small Claims Clerk in your district.
One reason a car accident victim might choose to file in the small claims session is because of the quickness of resolution of the case for the plaintiff. If he were to file a car accident injury case in the normal civil docket, it could take years to get a trial date after months of paperwork and depositions, but by filing in the small claims session, a trial date can usually be given in months if not weeks and most of this discovery is waived. Many times the insurance company Defense attorneys will try to remove the car accident case from the small claims session to the regular civil docket, which is why you will need a lawyer to help argue for keeping the car accident case in the small claims session. The insurance companies know that they benefit most from having car accident cases dragged through the long process of a normal civil docket case. Of course, if you feel your car accident case may be worth more than $7000 dollars, then filing in the Small Claims Session would not be advisable or warranted. That is why it is best to review all of your medical records and bills with your lawyer to determine what is the best course of action to take for your car accident.
Also, many times, if an action is one for which double or treble (triple) damages are permitted by law, the limit may be increased to $14,000 for double damages and $21,000 for treble (triple) damages.
If you need help with a car accident or have a question about whether a claim should be brought in Small Claims Court, please call the car accident attorneys at Brabant & Huynh LLP at 617-934-0913. Our Car Accident Lawyers are located in Quincy and Dorchester and we will be glad to offer you a free evaluation and ease the burden of going through the process.