Can I Sue an Uninsured Driver After a Car Accident in Massachusetts?
Massachusetts is a no-fault car insurance state. Accordingly, claims for damages must typically be made with victim’s own insurance company after a car accident with an uninsured motorist. However, there are certain situations where you may step outside of no-fault rules to sue uninsured motorists.
Even if the driver who hit you was uninsured, you may file a lawsuit if you suffered at least $2,000 in medical expenses or suffered a serious injury. To get compensation, you will have to prove to a court that the other driver was responsible. The assistance of a car accident lawyer can be valuable when building your case.
If you suffered a car accident because of an uninsured motorist in Massachusetts, get help recovering the compensation you deserve. Contact our experienced Somerville car accident lawyers by calling The Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 925-6407 for a free case review.
Suing Uninsured Drivers After Car Accidents in Massachusetts
In most cases, you will have to file a claim for damages under your own uninsured motorist coverage after a car accident caused by an uninsured driver. If your claim was improperly denied, you may contact our Massachusetts car accident lawyers for help suing your own insurer. In some cases, if certain conditions are met, victims may file lawsuits against an uninsured driver who caused their injuries.
You may sue an uninsured driver after a car accident if either of the following conditions are met:
- The victim incurred at least $2,000 in reasonable medical expenses, or
- The victim sustained an amputation/loss of organ, disfiguring injuries, reduction in visual or hearing acuity, or death
If your injuries satisfy either of the aforementioned conditions, you may bring a claim for both economic and non-economic damages against the uninsured driver who caused them. However, uninsured motorists may lack the resources to pay for your injuries. Our experienced Cambridge car accident lawyers can help determine if you should file suit against an uninsured motorist.
Lastly, property damages are not governed by Massachusetts’ no-fault laws. Accordingly, in any case, you may sue an uninsured motorist for property damage they caused in a car accident. Property damages are calculated using the cost of repair or replacement for your vehicle.
Massachusetts Auto Insurance Requirements
Massachusetts is a no-fault car insurance state, which means your own insurance will cover your medical bills and other certain losses related to a car accident. The following are minimum insurance coverage requirements car owners must carry in Massachusetts:
- $20,000 per person coverage for bodily injury to others
- $40,000 per accident coverage for bodily injury to others
- $8,000 per person, per accident for personal injury protection
- Uninsured motorist coverage
Uninsured motorist coverage compensates victims for bodily injuries sustained because of an uninsured or hit-and-run driver. Our Wakefield car accident lawyers can help accident victims further understand the minimum insurance requirements in Massachusetts.
Furthermore, our Massachusetts car accident lawyers can help file a lawsuit against your own insurance company for uninsured motorist claims that have been improperly denied. A victim can hold their insurer accountable for an unreasonable claim denial through a bad faith insurance lawsuit.
Proving Fault in a Car Accident Case Involving an Uninsured Motorist
If you may pursue a claim against an uninsured motorist, you must show that they caused or contributed to your injuries for your claim to succeed. The following types of evidence can be used to prove an uninsured motorist was at fault for an accident:
- Eyewitness testimony
- Expert witness testimony
- Accident reports
- Photos from the scene of the accident
- Physical evidence from the scene of the accident
- Crash diagrams
- Surveillance footage
- Your personal recollection of a crash
Collecting the evidence relevant to your claim can be a difficult process. Furthermore, important evidence can become lost over time. You should contact our Massachusetts car accident lawyers as soon as possible after a crash for help building your case against an uninsured driver.
Time Limits to Sue an Uninsured Motorist After a Car Accident in Massachusetts
In most cases, you will have three years from the date of an accident to pursue claims against an uninsured motorist. Filing a claim is a complicated process. Failing to comply with the numerous requirements for filing a claim could force you to re-file your lawsuit. Car accident victims should file their cases as soon as possible to afford themselves time to re-file if necessary. Our Malden car accident lawyers can offer assistance when filing a lawsuit against an uninsured motorist.
Penalties for Uninsured Drivers in Massachusetts
Car insurance can be expensive. However, the cost of driving without insurance can be more severe. First, uninsured drivers will be unable to recover compensation for the damage to their vehicle or their own medical treatment after an accident. Furthermore, uninsured drivers involved in accidents may face more penalties and fees.
Penalties for First Offense
For a first offense of driving without the required insurance coverage, a driver will face a $500 fine and could face up to 12 months of jail time. Furthermore, their license will be suspended for 60 days and a $500 reinstatement fee will be required to get it back. They will also be asked to pay an additional fee after being assigned an insurance policy under the Massachusetts Automobile Insurance Plan.
Penalties for Second Offense
If a driver is involved in another accident without insurance within six years of a first offense, they will be fined $5,000. Furthermore, their license will be suspended for one year and will require a $500 reinstatement fee to get it back. Again, the driver will have to pay a fee for a new policy under the Massachusetts Auto Insurance Plan.
If You Suffered a Car Accident Because of an Uninsured Motorist in Massachusetts, Our Lawyers Can Help
If you suffered a car accident because of an uninsured motorist, seek assistance from experienced Boston car accident lawyers by calling The Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 925-6407 for a free case review.