Drivers in Massachusetts must have numerous types of insurance coverage, including liability coverage, uninsured motorist coverage, and underinsured motorist coverage. Most car owners in Massachusetts have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, but it is a benefit that can waived by the owner in order to get a lower insurance rate.
PIP protection means your own insurer pays bills for medical expenditures and provides lost wages if accident injuries prevent you from working. Liability coverage pays bills if you cause a crash and injure someone else. Underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage pay for losses if you are involved in a crash caused by another driver who should pay but cannot because he has insufficient insurance or no insurance at all.
Understanding the different types of insurance coverage can help you determine what your rights are after a car crash. You also need to know how to go through the process of reporting a car accident in Boston so you do not do anything to jeopardize your right to full and fair compensation.
About Massachusetts PIP claims
Massachusetts General Laws Section 34M address personal injury protection (PIP) requirements. The law stipulates that: "Claims for benefits due under the provisions of personal injury protection or from the insurer assigned shall be presented to the company providing such benefits as soon as practicable after the accident occurs from which such claim arises." In every case, claims must be made within two years from the time of the accident.
When a PIP claim for benefits is made, a written description of injuries must be provided. The description should include details on the nature of the injuries, the extent of damage, any treatment received, and any other information necessary to assist the insurer in determining the amount that is due.
If a claim is made for lost wages, the policyholder must authorize the insurer to obtain details of wages and salaries paid by an employer in the year preceding the collision. An injured individual seeking PIP coverage must also agree to submit to a physical exam by a licensed medical professional if requested.
While PIP makes sure your basic medical expenses are covered and your income is paid in case you cannot work for a brief period, PIP is not going to provide full compensation for serious injuries. If another driver was at fault for causing the auto accident, it is important to ensure you can make a claim against that driver for economic and non-financial loss resulting from serious and/or permanent injuries or the wrongful death of a loved one. Be sure to exchange contact information and insurance details with a driver who hurt you and be sure the other driver who caused the accident has reported the incident to his insurer.
You may need to speak with the insurer to provide information. However, consulting an experienced personal injury law firm can protect your rights. If no settlement is reached, your case may progress to court. You should be cautious about what you say in all contacts with insurance companies so you do not jeopardize your damage claim.