Massachusetts PIP Law 2020
PIP, or personal injury protection, is a type of automobile insurance coverage. It works for first-party claims, in which the policyholder files for coverage for damages through his or her own insurance company. In no-fault states such as Massachusetts, PIP insurance is mandatory. In a PIP state, you must carry this type of coverage to avoid penalties and fines. PIP coverage will help you pay for you and your passengers’ medical bills and property damage repairs after a car accident.
Is MA a PIP State?
A PIP state is generally synonymous with a no-fault state, although some fault states require their drivers to carry PIP insurance as well. A no-fault state is one in which crash victims do not need to identify the parties at fault for causing their collisions. Instead of bringing third-party insurance claims against at-fault parties, crash survivors in a no-fault state will file first-party insurance claims to recover damages. They will not need to identify the at-fault party or prove negligence to receive compensation.
In a no-fault state, the trade-off for receiving benefits without having to prove fault is giving up the right to bring a negligence claim against an at-fault party. In Massachusetts, you cannot bring a tort action against a driver or another party for causing your auto accident unless your injuries are serious enough to meet the state’s threshold. Under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 231, Section 6D, you cannot recover damages from a defendant through a civil lawsuit unless the car accident causes the death of a loved one, the total or partial loss of a body member, permanent and serious disfigurement, the loss of sight or hearing, or a broken bone.
Is PIP Insurance Mandatory in MA?
Every driver must carry the required amounts of car insurance in Massachusetts, or else face potential fines of $500 to $5,000 and/or jail time. Personal injury protection is a mandatory type of insurance in Massachusetts under Chapter 90, Section 34M of the law. It states that every motor vehicle liability policy and bond in the state must provide personal injury protection benefits. The law also states that PIP insurance will protect from liability all motor vehicle owners and occupants eligible for these benefits who would otherwise be civilly liable for a tort.
It is mandatory for every driver in Massachusetts to purchase and maintain at least $8,000 in personal injury protection insurance. Drivers must also carry at least $5,000 in property damage liability and $20,000 per person/$40,000 per accident in bodily injury liability insurance. Two different types of PIP insurance are available in Massachusetts. The first, policyholder-only, covers people named as policyholders only. Household PIP insurance covers the policyholder as well as all people in his or her household. The right PIP policy for you will depend on how much coverage you desire.
How Does PIP Coverage Work?
With PIP coverage on your auto insurance policy, you can get into a crash and receive benefits up to your policy’s maximum to cover your damages – regardless of whether or not you caused the car accident. You can call your own insurance provider to report the crash and file a claim without needing evidence of someone else’s fault. Call the number on your insurance card or the company’s customer service line as soon as possible after an auto accident. Follow the agent’s instructions for filing a claim.
Before you discuss matters with a claims adjuster or accept an insurance settlement, consult an attorney to find out if you have grounds to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party instead. A lawsuit could yield greater compensation than a first-party insurance claim if you are eligible to file. A Boston personal injury attorney can help you weigh your options and choose the right one for your specific car accident case.