No-Fault Auto Insurance: What is it?
In 2012, the State of Massachusetts saw 108,379 auto crashes. Because of no-fault insurance, most Massachusetts residents receive compensation for accidents while paying relatively low premiums.
No-fault auto insurance is a program that allows those who have it to recover financial losses from insurance no matter the circumstances of an accident. It entered the scene in the 1970s with the goal to streamline the process of finding the responsible party in case of an accident. In the State of Massachusetts, no-fault car insurance is mandatory. No-fault insurance provides payment of benefits through personal injury protection (PIP) no matter which driver is at fault. Additionally, as state law it restricts policyholders’ rights to sue in case of an accident, a caveat called the “limited tort” option.
A motorist may sue for injuries and suffering if the case meets certain conditions, known as a threshold. The must be able to define serious injuries in explicit verbal form or concrete dollar amounts. Placing restrictions on compensation lawsuits keeps costs down. Furthermore, companies are able to pay claims faster. The one drawback to PIP coverage is abuse by dishonest clinics and doctors who conjure up unnecessary tests and procedures to cheat the state, which pushes up costs.
In Massachusetts, No-Fault Auto Insurance Protects Drivers By:
- Reimbursing medical payments, up to the policy limits, if you are injured in an accident caused by another driver.
- Covering medical payments if you’re injured in an accident for which you are responsible. However, this coverage only exists if you opt for it when you buy.
What Does No-Fault Insurance Cover?
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) May Help Cover:
- Your medical bills related to the car accident,
- Any passengers’ medical bills related to a car accident,
- Lost income due to time missed from work,
- Additional childcare costs accrued during recovery from car accident, and
- Household services if injuries prevent you from being able to do necessary tasks for a period of time.
No-Fault Insurance Does Not Cover
- Medical bills that exceed limits provided by PIP,
- Lost wages that exceed limits of PIP,
- Damage to other people’s property, or
- Damage to your vehicle.
Minimum Requirements in Massachusetts
The State of Massachusetts requires drivers to carry a minimum amount of insurance coverage. These minimums include:
- $20k per person involved in an accident.
- $40k per accident that results in bodily injury to other people.
- $8k per person and accident for personal injury protection (PIP).
- $20k per person if injured by an uninsured driver.
- $40k per accident with an uninsured driver.
- $5k per accidents that include damages to another person’s property.
So Does Fault Not Matter in Massachusetts?
In Massachusetts, fault still matters regarding auto accidents. Even with no-fault insurance, a negligent driver may be responsible for additional compensation if the other party proves the policyholder was largely responsible for the accident. A victim might bring up fault if their injuries are permanent and serious. Accordingly, the accident victim files a personal injury claim to win compensation.
Comparative Fault in Legal Claims
In the State of Massachusetts, a victim of a motor vehicle accident has up to 3 years to file a comparative fault claim. Accordingly, a judge determines the amount of an award by determining the amount of fault of the guilty party. Presumably, anyone who is more than 50% at fault for an accident cannot claim additional compensation beyond what is provided by their insurance policy.
After an Accident in Massachusetts
If you are involved in a car accident in the State of Massachusetts, stay at the scene until law enforcement arrives. Document as much as you can regarding the accident and be meticulously detailed when reporting information to an officer. Then, your insurance company looks at all records of an accident to determine if legal action against the negligent party is prudent.
If your insurance company agrees you deserve additional compensation beyond what no-fault auto insurance in the State of Massachusetts provides, contact Rory Munns Attorney at Law. Munns’s experienced legal representation wins clients the compensation they need to continue with their lives after a car accident.