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
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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