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Case Considerations: Auto Accident Claims

Basic Massachusetts Auto Accident Case Processing Considerations

  1. No Fault Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance Coverage
    1. every Massachusetts auto insurance policy has it
      1. what does it cover?
        1. at least the first $ 2000 in medical bills if you have private health insurance up to$ 8000 in medical bill coverage if you do not have private health insurance coverage
        2. lost wages causally connected to a disability arising from the accident- up to $ 6000 in lost wage coverage if you are limited to$ 2000 in medical bill payments due to having private health insurance
        3. overall combined/aggregate cap of$ 8000 between medical bill payments and lost wages if you do not have private health insurance
      2. Timing Concerns- statute says PIP claim must be submitted as soon as practicable
  2. Threshold Statutory Requirement before eligible for compensation for pain and suffering
    1. either at least $ 2000 in related medical bills or ,a fracture or permanent disfigurement (e.g., scarring, etc.)
  3. Adequacy of insurance coverage to compensate you for your damages
    1. mandatory,minimum auto liability insurance coverage required- $ 20,000 if there is only one injured claimant and$ 40,000 overall no matter how many injured claimants there are
    2. application of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage- a.k.a. "Coverage U"
      1. threshold consideration- if the at fault party has the minimum 20/40K coverage the coverage U on your policy must exceed 20/40K before you effectively have any coverage U to apply to your damages
        1. where at fault party was driving an uninsured vehicle- your policy will always provide at least $ 20,000 in uninsured motorist coverage
          1. if your coverage U has a higher limit you will have more to apply to your damages
            1. hypo-example- You have lOOK in damages the at-fault vehicle that hits you has$ 20,000 in coverage and you have lOOK in coverage you; you will effectively have 80k in coverage U to apply to your damages
  4. Damage elements
    1. pain and suffering
    2. lost earnings or loss of earning capacity
    3. medical bills in excess of any PIP coverage
  5. Statute of Limitations -Generally three years from date of accident
    1. exception injuries to minors

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