Massachusetts Car Accident Laws FAQ Accordion
According to M.G.L. Chapter 90, Section 26, a driver involved in a Massachusetts car accident involving death or with property damage exceeding $1000 must complete and file a Crash Operator Report within five days. When you call us for help, our injury lawyers are ready to help you complete this required Massachusetts paperwork to help ensure your rights to compensation are protected.
Your rights to compensation in Massachusetts depend on a variety of factors—such as who was at fault for the crash, and the types of damages incurred as a result. Before you let an insurance company decide the value of your case, contact Bottaro Law for a free case review. Our lawyers are here to help you get the maximum amount of compensation for your case so you can focus on getting better.
If you were injured in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, the at-fault party is liable for your medical treatment for injuries caused by the accident as well as any necessary future medical expenses. You may also be eligible for compensation for lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and pain and suffering.
Massachusetts is a “no-fault state,” meaning that there is a legal framework in place for the recovery of certain damages—regardless of who causes an auto accident. The insurance company for the vehicle in which you were riding is responsible for benefits known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP) to help compensate you for your own injuries.
You may be entitled to pain and suffering damages if you incur reasonable and necessary medical expenses that exceed $2,000. Exceptions apply if the accident results in the injury results in:
- Bone fracture
- Loss of a bodily member
- Serious disfigurement
- Loss of sight or hearing
Our team will investigate fault to help determine your rights to compensation. Massachusetts is a modified comparative fault state, meaning that even if you are partially at fault for causing the car accident, you may still recover some damages. A plaintiff whose fault is greater than 50% is barred from recovery (M.G.L.A. 231 § 85). If it’s determined that you’re partially at fault for the accident, the total amount of damages you receive will be reduced by the percentage that you are found at fault.
At the conclusion of an injury claim, the insurance company for the party determined to be at fault is responsible for your gross medical expenses.
While your claim is pending, Massachusetts no-fault law requires your car insurance company to pay any of your medical bills resulting from an auto accident totaling under $2,000. Bills that exceed the $2,000 threshold must be submitted to the insured’s medical insurance provider, and if rejected (or if not applicable), PIP benefits are extended to cover up to $8,000 (M.G.L.A. 90 §34M).
Ultimately, the insurer for the party to be found at fault will be responsible for your gross lost wages.
Prior to that point, every Massachusetts auto insurance policy includes PIP benefits that can help recover 75% of lost wages if injuries resulting from an auto accident prevent you from working (M.G.L.A. 90 § 34M). We can help ensure that you receive PIP lost wage benefits and also fight for maximum compensation for your remaining lost wages.
To stay legal on the road, Massachusetts drivers must carry auto insurance policies that cover a total of $20,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person, and $40,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per accident for injuries caused by the insured party’s vehicle. Every policy must also cover—at minimum—$5,000 in property damage liability coverage for damage caused by the insured party’s vehicle per accident (M.G.L.A. § 34A).
Of course, you (and other drivers) can elect to increase coverage limits for added protection in the event of an accident. At Bottaro Law, our Massachusetts injury lawyers will review your insurance policy, as well as the policies of other drivers involved, to help determine the maximum compensation available for your car accident damages.
The insurance policy for the party found to be at fault for the accident will be responsible for paying for your vehicle repairs. If you have not purchased collision coverage, then we will can help ensure that the at-fault party’s insurance company is held responsible. Without a personal injury lawyer, at-fault insurers are notorious for delaying payment. At Bottaro Law, our Massachusetts car accident lawyers are here to help ensure this process moves as fast as possible.
If you have purchased “rental insurance” on your own auto policy, then your insurance company must set up a rental car for you immediately. If you lack this coverage, you may need to pay the cost until the at-fault party’s insurer accepts responsibility for the car accident.
Massachusetts law mandates that your own automobile liability insurer shall offer you uninsured motorist (UM) / underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) in an amount equal to your bodily injury liability limits at least in the amount of $20,000 per person or $40,000 per accident (M.G.L.A. 175 §113L).
UM/UIM coverage protects you and your occupants in situations where the at-fault driver lacks bodily injury insurance, or where your damages exceeds the other party’s limits. If this situation may apply to you, contact us right away to discuss this potentially complex situation in greater detail.
“Stacking” refers to the situation where an injury victim combines UM/UIM coverage limits across auto insurance policies covering individual vehicles or within an insurance policy covering multiple vehicles. Massachusetts does not allow stacking of UM/UIM coverage (M.G.L.A. 175 §113L). If this situation may apply to you, contact us right away to discuss this potentially complex situation in greater detail.
Every Massachusetts liability auto insurance policy is required to cover property damage that the policyholder may become liable to pay. No-fault coverage does not apply to property damage (M.G.L.A. 90 §34O).
A claim under PIP must be made “as soon as practical,” not to exceed two years after the accident (M.G.L.A. 90 §34M).
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