Automobile Insurance Issues You Should Know in Massachusetts

With regard to automobile liability insurance, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is what is considered a "No-Fault" jurisdiction. In other words, in Massachusetts, you will be covered by your insurance company, subject to limitations, regardless of whom may be at fault in the accident.

While you are entitled to 75% of your lost wages and 100% of your medical bills, the most you can possibly collect in one accident for both lost wages and medical bills combined is a total of $8,000 in what is referred to as Personal Injury Protection or "PIP". There is also additional optional coverage available in Massachusetts called "Medical Payments" that can prove to be quite beneficial in situations where you have exhausted your policy limits. Commonly referred to as "Med Pay", it entitles you to payment of medical bills when the No-Fault limit of $8,000 is exhausted. Election of "Med Pay" provides an extra $10,000 of coverage and may prove to be a wise purchase where you have medical bills and lost wages in excess of $8,000.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage is also available in Massachusetts. This will provide coverage in instances in which you may find yourself in an accident with an uninsured motorist. It will also provide coverage if you are a pedestrian victim of a "hit and run" accident. Many are often surprised at the amount of uninsured motorists on the road. This type of coverage provides a safety net for victims of drivers who fail to procure automobile liability insurance.

One should be aware that many different issues may arise in different types of accidents which may preclude you from insurance coverage. For instance, depending on the facts of the case, you may be precluded from recovery when using an automobile "without the consent" of the owner, where you have failed to prove that you were "using" or "occupying" the automobile at the time of the accident or where you simply failed to report the accident in a timely fashion.

Insurance policy elections can be very complicated and difficult to fully understand. In addition, a policy of insurance may be subject to different interpretations when an "accident" or "injury" has occurred. Often times, following an accident, your insurance company may dispute your interpretation of the terms of the coverage provided under the insurance policy. At this juncture, you should refer to an attorney in order to fully protect your rights in receiving what is justly yours pursuant to your policy of insurance. In these particular circumstances, your attorney may recommend that you file an action seeking what is called a "declaratory judgment". This is one way to have a court determine what you may be entitled to in insurance coverage should a dispute arise between you and your insurer. Otherwise, you may not receive what you were entitled to under the law.

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