Have you recently been hurt in a car accident in Massachusetts or Rhode Island? If so, you may be eligible for financial compensation. You could file an insurance claim with the insurer of the driver who caused your accident to seek compensation for losses ranging from medical bills to pain and suffering.

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However, various factors can complicate the process. For example, you may find the motorist who caused the crash is uninsured or underinsured.

What does it mean when a motorist is uninsured or underinsured in Massachusetts or Rhode Island? How will this potentially affect your case? The following guide will answer your questions on the topic.

First, a Note on the No-Fault System in Massachusetts

How you seek compensation after a motor vehicle accident can depend on where the accident occurred. For example, perhaps your crash occurred in a no-fault state like Massachusetts.

In Massachusetts, drivers must carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. In no-fault states like Massachusetts, you would seek compensation after a crash by filing a claim with your PIP insurance, even if someone else caused the wreck.

That said, your own insurance may not offer sufficient coverage to fully compensate you for your losses. If your losses and injuries are severe enough, you may be able to file a separate claim or lawsuit with the insurer of the liable party responsible for your injuries. It’s helpful to understand your legal options if you discover that said motorist is uninsured or underinsured.

What Does it Mean When a Motorist is Uninsured or Underinsured in MA or RI?

A motorist is uninsured when they don’t have any liability coverage to compensate you in the event of a crash. A motorist is underinsured when they have liability coverage, but the policy limits aren’t sufficient to compensate you for your losses.

A motorist is underinsured when they have liability coverage, but the policy limits aren’t sufficient to compensate you for your losses.

What Are My Options After a Car Accident Involving an Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist in MA or RI?

Your options for pursuing compensation when the motorist who caused your accident is uninsured or underinsured can vary depending on several factors. If you live and drive in Massachusetts, just as you’re required to purchase PIP insurance, you’re also required to purchase uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI) coverage. This form of coverage kicks in when you can’t seek compensation from a negligent motorist because they lack sufficient insurance.

The situation may be tricker in Rhode Island. In Rhode Island, drivers have the option to purchase uninsured motorist coverage when buying insurance policies. However, there is no requirement that they do so. If you didn’t purchase such coverage, seeking compensation through your own policy likely won’t be an option.

That doesn’t mean you have no other legal recourse. You may be able to file a lawsuit to pursue damages in court. You might consider this option if you have reason to believe the liable party has sufficient financial means or assets to compensate you themselves.

Consider reviewing your case with a legal professional after an MA or RI car accident involving an uninsured or underinsured motorist. An attorney familiar with the applicable laws can go over the details of your case and explain your legal options.

The Importance of Legal Representation in Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Cases

Even if you have the option of filing a claim with your own insurance, enlisting a lawyer’s help may still be a wise idea. First, insurance adjusters often attempt to settle claims for as little money as possible. A lawyer can help you negotiate for a fair settlement.

The claims process may also involve various tasks. Examples include coordinating with doctors to gather copies of your medical records, adding up your compensable losses to determine how much compensation you may be eligible to receive, completing and submitting claim paperwork, and more.

Tending to such tasks yourself isn’t necessary. Right now, your focus needs to be on getting proper rest. Adding to your burdens by attempting to pursue compensation on your own could prevent you from making as speedy a recovery as possible.

That doesn’t need to happen. At Swartz & Swartz, P.C., a Boston car accident lawyer is on hand to offer the representation you need. If you’ve been hurt in a car accident in MA or RI, and you’ve discovered the negligent driver who injured you lacks insurance, meet with one of our lawyers to find out how you should proceed. Get started today by contacting us online or calling us at (617) 742-1900 for a free case review.

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If you or someone you know, needs help from a lawyer, contact the law offices of Swartz & Swartz, use our live chat, or send us a message using the form below and we’ll get in touch to assess your case and how we can help.

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About the Author: James Swartz
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Mr. Swartz, our Managing and Principal Attorney at Swartz & Swartz P.C., is a nationally recognized and respected trial attorney as well as consumer advocate. His practice focuses on cases involving negligence, torts, products liability, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and other claims involving catastrophic injuries.

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