No-Fault Car Insurance in Massachusetts

Massachusetts is a No-Fault State

Some states, like Massachusetts, use a no-fault car insurance system. Under this system, anyone who gets into a car accident must file a claim with his or her own insurance provider to pay for medical expenses, property damage, and other fees. In many cases, this also prevents drivers from taking other involved parties to court after an accident unless the circumstances are very particular.

What Happens After an Accident With Serious Injuries?

There are certain circumstances under which an accident victim can step outside the no-fault system and bring a personal injury claim against another driver. This can happen if:

  • The injuries have caused at least $2,000 in reasonable medical expenses and/or
  • The injuries are permanent and serious, like disfigurement, and will affect a victim’s quality of life.

A car accident victim has 3 years to file a claim against the negligent party in Massachusetts. The date for the time limit usually begins the day of the accident. In some cases, where injury is not quickly apparent, a “date of discovery” may delay the start of the statute of limitations.

Minimum Insurance Requirements

Every person who drives in the state of Massachusetts is required to carry a minimum amount of insurance coverage. Drivers are responsible for carrying at least:

  • $20,000 for each person and $40,000 for each accident including bodily injury to others.
  • $8,000 for each person and each accident, for personal injury protection (PIP).
  • $20,000 for each person and $40,000 for each accident with bodily injury caused by an uninsured driver.
  • $5,000 for each accident including damages to another person’s property.

Uninsured Drivers

According to recent statistics, Massachusetts has one of the lowest uninsured driver percentages in the country and Massachusetts law does not require drivers to purchase underinsured driver coverage. Depending on your policy, you may be able to collect from your own insurance company if you are hit by a driver without insurance. However, if your insurance company has denied your claim or you feel that they have treated you unfairly, you can file a complaint with the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs & Business Regulations or seek help from a local attorney.

Comparative Fault in Legal Claims

Massachusetts is a comparative fault state, meaning that an award is reduced by a driver’s percentage of fault, or responsibility, for the accident. If the court finds that an injured person shares less than 50% of the fault, he or she may have his or her compensation reduced by the degree of fault. However, anyone who shares more than 50% of the fault may not be able to claim compensation at all, since they are a majority responsible for causing the accident. Car accidents that meet the requirements mentioned above proceed similarly to other types of personal injury cases.

Why Fault Still Matters in a No-Fault State

Even though the state adheres to a no-fault doctrine, fault still makes a difference in accidents. For instance, if a party is more than 50% responsible for the accident, his or her insurance company may be legally responsible for paying more compensation to cover other costs associated with the accident. Property damage is still determined by a comparative fault rule. It is also likely that an at-fault driver will notice an increase in premium payments after an accident.

After the Accident

Do not ever leave the scene of an accident until law enforcement has arrived and all the necessary information has been collected. Always document as much about the accident and your injuries as possible. Good records may be imperative for both your claim with your insurance provider as well as pursuing legal action against any negligent party involved. In some cases, you may need to fill out a Motor Vehicle Crash Operator Report within 5 days of the accident if:

  • Someone was killed or injured
  • There was more than $1,000 worth of damage to any vehicle or property

After an accident in any state, drivers should contact their insurance companies to notify them of the accident, regardless of the fault rules. In no-fault states, the insurance company is responsible for covering medical expenses, lost income, and other types of compensation. Although no-fault rules are in place to reduce auto accident lawsuits, a driver may still need to consult an attorney after an accident.

If a driver meets the threshold for filing a claim against the negligent driver or has trouble getting fair compensation from an insurance provider, a personal injury attorney can help. Car accident attorneys can negotiate with insurance claims adjusters and complete independent investigations into the circumstances surrounding an accident. If a driver is covered for a certain amount, but cannot access it, an attorney can also help bring a bad faith claim against the insurance provider if necessary.

6 responses to “No-Fault Car Insurance in Massachusetts”

  1. Lynne Cusack says:

    My Mom and Dad were hit head on in their RV and the person who hit them died! I was folowing behind helplessly and witnessed the whole thing along with My niece and two young children. If It werent for My nieces excellent driving skills the car would have hit and killed the driver and her the passenger behind her. The driver crossed the yellow line on a busy street in carver Mass, his head went down then came up then down again and he floored it and hit my dad head on on the drivers side of his rv, He took the front tire of rv off the drivers door and his car rode under the rv and took all the storage bins out from underneath and debris was flying everywhere!he came out before taking the last tire off which would have caused the rv to tip and would most definitely have killed My dad, He proceeded to go at least another 50-60 yards down the road and hit a guard rail. The car did not belong to him we have not got toxicology back. My dad ins co is only willing to give them 12 grand for rv.. I would like to know how i can get more money through the other persons insurance co plus ours to replace rv for them because the can not afford a new one and they are up teir in age and this was their only enjoyment left in life.. any help would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Dave Hackett says:

    I had two accidents a few years ago, and although I wan not at fault, my insurance premiums sky-rocketed. Is there anything I can do to get my premiums back down to earth?

  3. Thomas Ward says:

    I was hit last year on taking left,2 lanes ,N,S,E,W,and I waited in front of first lane of traffic because light was green and no one was in right lane then as I very slowly and cautiously moved forward, I was struck by oncoming vehicle,causing 10,000 dollars damage that to my car and This vehicle said on paper he was at light .There were no cameras at this time anywhere..But if he was at light how did I end up with 10,000 dollars damage and if he only had tiny scratch on GOV truck and at light that is like admitting intent to hurt me.

  4. Fridrik V Fridriksson says:

    I was traveling alone on i290E in my 2012 Mazda cx9, on 1/19/18. At around 12:10am, while traveling in the left lane, with no other vehicles ahead of me, no street lights, no exit signs or any light pollution visible, a gray 2005 chevy Malibu appeared blocking the left lane facing the wrong way at an angle (front facing 4 o’clock, rear facing 10 oclock) with no hazard lights, no head lights, tail lights or dome light on. I tried my best to slow down and swerve, but it was impossible since the car was practically invisible without any lights on. It resulted in a (assumed) total loss for myself, sprained neck, wrist, knees, ankle and my back is sore (went to ER on 1/20/18) was wearing seat belt, side windows busted open and I got glass stuck in my hands and wrists and airbags deployed. Geico claims I was at fault since the other vehicle was parked. Illegally. At night. With no lights on.. Also, the “driver” of the other vehicle left in a police cruiser while I left in the tow truck. Please help.

  5. Jeffrey Saff says:

    Please call me about a possible referral. I am an attorney in Maryland.
    Office 410-539-4446
    Cell 443-915-7519

  6. Freddy Laracuentes says:

    Hi i have a question can massachuset still raise your car insurance if not found fault for a incident

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