Car and auto accidents are among the leading causes of death and injuries in the United States. Other than seatbelts, the most important thing you have to protect yourself as a driver in Massachusetts is car insurance.
Generally speaking, insurance policies are made up of different types of insurance coverages. In Massachusetts the law says that as a driver, you are required to have four different types of insurance, Bodily Injury to Others; Personal Injury Protection (PIP); Bodily Injury Caused by an Uninsured Auto; and Damage to Someone Else’s Property.
The focus of today’s blog post is on Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. We’ll take a close look at what it covers and what it means for you as the driver. In Massachusetts, PIP is meant to pay for any medical costs and lost earnings in the event of an accident, no matter who caused the accident. PIP also applies in instances when you’re a passenger in someone else’s car that has an accident, or if you’re hit by a car while walking or biking. It’s important to understand that PIP coverage is specifically written for car accident-related injuries, which are sometimes excluded from health insurance policies that you also might have.
In Massachusetts, the minimum amount of PIP that drivers can buy is $8,000 – one of the lowest limits of required PIP in the United States. So, what exactly does that $8,000 cover? As previously mentioned, the $8,000 from PIP will cover medical costs, and lost earnings you endured by virtue of getting hurt in an accident, and not being able to go into work for a month, for example. It’s worth noting that unlike most other types of PIP, Massachusetts PIP cannot be used to help with funeral costs. Let’s take a closer look at how medical costs and lost earnings are paid out through PIP.
If you are hurt in a car accident, PIP will pay up to $8,000 worth of medical costs minus the amount of your deductible. For example, if you chose a $1,000 deductible, you would have to pay the first $1,000 in medical costs and then you would receive $7,000 of PIP payments to cover the rest of your medical expenses.
Sometimes even well qualified medical professionals make careless errors that have a significant impact on their patient’s lives.
If you’ve had a particularly bad car accident and you are unable to work because of your injuries or because you are recovering from your injuries, PIP will cover 75% of your lost wages based on the salary you had in the year previous to the day of the accident. It’s important to note that they total amount you can receive is still limited to $8,000. Let’s do some quick math to see how this works in real life. If you had $2,000 worth of injuries and a $500 deductible, you would be entitled to $5,500 worth of lost earnings remaining in the original $8,000. If you were making $700 a week, PIP would pay you $525 per week, which would last you about 10 weeks.
At Swartz & Swartz, P.C., our Boston car accident attorneys have represented victims of car accidents for more than three decades. Our personal injury law firm has proven experience and expertise, as well as a background of success in cases involving car accidents and making sure you get the PIP payments you deserve.
Our lawyers are here to help you answer questions about filing PIP claims with your insurance company and enforce your legal rights. If you or a family member has been in a car accident, please contact us. You can call us at (617) 742-1900 or, if you are outside the Boston area, call toll-free at 1-800-545-3732.
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.
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.