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Boston Personal Injury Attorney > Blog > Personal Injury > Understanding No Fault and PIP Insurance in Massachusetts

Understanding No Fault and PIP Insurance in Massachusetts


You may have heard that Massachusetts is a no fault accident or liability state. But what does that mean, exactly? Surely, in an accident, somebody is at fault.

It’s About Insurance

No fault doesn’t mean nobody is at fault; rather, it refers to who has liability for immediate medical bills after an accident, and the requirement for drivers to carry no fault (or personal injury protection) insurance after an accident.

Like many states, Massachusetts requires drivers to carry personal injury protection, or PIP. This is often called no fault insurance, because you get access to these insurance proceeds, regardless of who is at fault for the accident, and regardless of how the accident happened. Even if the accident is your fault.

How Much Insurance?

You are required to carry at least $8,000 in PIP coverage. Because there is no arguing over liability or fault, the funds are available to you right after the accident, and usually without much fight or pushback from the insurance company. This gives you an immediate pot (albeit a small one) to at least get your initial medical treatment after an accident.

Note that if you have private health insurance, PIP will only cover $2,000 in medical expenses.

You can also apply PIP to your lost wages, but PIP will only cover 75% of your lost wages, so it’s often best, if possible, to apply PIP to your medical bills and expenses.

You also can apply PIP to household aid, for example, if you need help cleaning or showering because of your injuries, PIP can be applied to that as well.

PIP only covers those things—it doesn’t compensate or cover you for things like pain and suffering.

Getting Additional Compensation

In a trade-off, because of the ease of getting no fault insurance coverage and proceeds after an accident, the law makes it harder for you to recover additional damages from an at fault driver.

You must have one of a specific number of injuries, in order to sue another driver for damages, above and beyond your own no fault insurance. Generally, these include things like broken bones or disfigurement or any other type of more serious injury or in Massachusetts, medical bills over $2,000.00.

In many car accident cases, the Defendant doesn’t argue that they were liable for the accident or for your injuries. Rather, they will argue that you have not sustained an injury that meets the minimum severity threshold in the no fault insurance law. Your case then becomes more about showing that you were very seriously injured, more so than proving liability.

If you do not meet the required threshold, you still can recover for medical expenses and lost wages, both present and future. You just will not be able to recover things like pain and suffering or loss of the quality or enjoyment of life.

Let us help you figure out the ins and outs of insurance after your car accident. Call the Boston personal injury lawyers at The Law Office of Joseph Linnehan, Jr. today at 617-275-4200 for help.



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