When it comes to car accidents, Massachusetts is a “no-fault state.” You’ve heard the phrase before, but exactly what does it mean? It means your insurance company pays up to $8,000 of your medical expenses and lost wages, no matter who was to blame for the crash. These are known as first-party benefits, defined as “payable to anyone who suffers an injury arising out of the ownership, operation, maintenance or use of a motor vehicle as a motor vehicle.”
But what happens when an innocent passenger without insurance is injured? That’s when First-Party Order of Priority takes over:
- The insurance company of a resident relative (spouse, parent or sibling).
- If not applicable, the insurer of the owner of the vehicle.
- In the case that the owner lacks insurance, the insurer of the driver of the vehicle.
- If the driver lacks insurance, the State of Massachusetts Assigned Claims Plan.
What you need to know about third-party benefits
Third-party benefits involve the following losses:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Future medical and lost wages
- Scarring, disfigurement or long term impairment
- Death benefits for the loss of a loved one
To receive third-party benefits, you file a claim against the insurer of the vehicle that was involved in the accident. You must prove you suffered a “threshold injury,” which is defined as having $2,000.00 in medical bills, serious impairment of an important bodily function, serious disfigurement, scarring, or death. It’s likely that an insurance company will challenge your claim. That's why it's important to consult with an attorney.
Contact an experienced attorney to pursue your claim and get maximum compensation
If you or a loved one is filing a claim as the result of a car accident, the legal road ahead of you is filled with hazards. You may be out of work and unable to support your family while you deal with your injuries. The driver who injured you is unlikely to accept any responsibility. They are more likely to blame you. An insurance company, aware you are desperate for money, may tempt you with a lowball settlement offer that falls far short of your needs. As you try to navigate the state’s complex “no-fault” system, you will learn that even an innocent mistake on your part can undermine your entire case.
The Massachusetts car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone have handled thousands of cases just like yours. We have the resources and the clout to challenge the court system and insurance companies. With ten offices statewide, we will aggressively pursue justice and a fair financial settlement for you and your family while you focus on healing from your injuries. We work on a contingency fee basis, so you pay nothing unless we win your case. Contact us today for a free consultation.