Understanding Personal Injury Protection Coverage in Massachusetts
Being the victim of an auto accident could prove to be a very stressful time in your life. Not only do you have to deal with undergoing medical treatment, but you would also have to familiarize yourself with related legal concepts such as personal injury protection coverage. However, an experienced Boston personal injury attorney could help you with understanding personal injury protection coverage in Boston, as well as assist you with the filing of a civil claim.
What is Personal Injury Protection Coverage?
Personal injury protection coverage, otherwise known as PIP coverage, is a required compulsory coverage that must be contained in all automobile insurance policies that are sold and issued in Boston and throughout Massachusetts.
The usual amount of PIP coverage is $8,000. This amount is to be used to pay for automobile accident-related medical treatment and a portion of a person’s lost wages provided they have medical documentation to show that they lost wages from injuries sustained in a car accident.
In regard to medical coverage under PIP, PIP pays for the first $2,000 in medical expenses. After that, PIP would pay for any out-of-pocket medical expenses that a person might incur as a result of copays or deductibles in their health insurance provided that the person obtains any necessary referrals under their health insurance medical plan. PIP could also pay for 75% of a person’s lost wages.
PIP Coverage Impacting an Auto Accident Case
Under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 § 34M, PIP benefits are paid in lieu of damages. That part of the PIP statute gives the insurance company for the at-fault negligent driver a PIP offset when they are evaluating a case for settlement. As part of that evaluation, they deduct whatever was paid by PIP.
Likewise, if a case goes to trial and a judgment is issued for a car accident personal injury claim, once they get the dollar amount of the judgment, the defendant would file a motion to deduct what was paid by PIP.
Failing to Have PIP Coverage
If someone does not have PIP coverage, that becomes a problem, but if someone does not have PIP coverage, there are different reasons why that could be. Then, the insurance company will still likely take the PIP offset when they are calculating the settlement value of the case.
There are several reasons why a person may not have PIP coverage. Many people opt not to have car insurance since they already have health insurance. This becomes an issue when an uninsured person gets into a car accident caused by a negligent driver since it would be difficult to obtain compensation for medical bills.
Reach Out to an Attorney Today
A Boston car accident attorney could help victims with understanding personal injury protection coverage in Boston and its role in recovery after a car accident when meeting with them for the first time. A lawyer could also explain what the legal process is in an automobile car accident, which would include the PIP portion of the case and the calculation of damages. Schedule a consultation today to find out more.