Motor Vehicle Accidents FAQ's
HOW WILL MY MEDICAL BILLS BE PAID?
We are a no-fault insurance state. This means that your medical bills are paid by the insurance company for the car that you are in, no matter who is at fault.
If you have health insurance, then no-fault insurance will pay the first $2,000.00 of your bills. After that, your health insurance begins paying. No-fault will then pay any co-pay or deductible that your health insurance will not.
Please note that if you have a government health insurance plan (such as Mass Health or Medicare), the no-fault insurance will have to pay the first $8,000.00 of your bills. After that, your government plan will take over.
WHAT IF I LOSE WAGES?
The no-fault car insurance company for the car you are in must pay up to 75% of your actual wage loss. Payment is based on your average income before the accident. However, you must use up your sick pay before the benefit becomes available.
WHO IS AT FAULT?
Sometimes, fault is obvious based on the facts of the case. If the other driver runs a red light, ignores a stop sign, or drives the wrong way, it is clear who is at fault. Sometimes, the situation is more complicated. Your attorney may need to do some investigation, including obtaining any reports or photographs, contacting witnesses, etc.
CAN I MAKE A CLAIM AGAINST THE OTHER DRIVER?
If the other driver causes the accident, you can make a claim. However, Massachusetts Law only allows claims if the accident results in one of the following: a fracture (including a broken tooth), permanent scarring, amputation, death, some permanent loss of sight or hearing, or if your bills exceed $2,000.00 (no matter what type of injury you have).
WHAT IF THE OTHER DRIVER HAS NO INSURANCE? DON'T WORRY.
All of us have uninsurance coverage. This protects us in the event that the driver who causes the accident has no insurance. You can make the same claim against the uninsurance coverage on your own vehicle that you could have made against the at-fault driver. Your company cannot penalize you for making this claim.
WHAT IF THE OTHER DRIVER HAS SOME, BUT NOT ENOUGH, INSURANCE?
If your auto insurance has underinsurance coverage, you can make a claim against both the at-fault driver and your own company. Your company will pay the difference between the value of your case and the amount of coverage the other driver has. Please note that underinsurance is not mandatory. You must specifically request that your agent sell you this very inexpensive, but very helpful, insurance.
WILL MY PREMIUMS GO UP IF I MAKE CLAIMS?
No. Only people who cause accidents receive a premium increase or surcharge. The company cannot penalize you for claiming benefits under your own policy. Remember, you have been paying for these coverages for years.
WHO PAYS FOR THE REPAIR OF MY CAR?
If you have collision or limited collision coverage, your own insurance will pay for the damage to your car. If you do not, than the insurance company for the at-fault driver will pay the claim.
It is important that you report your accident immediately to your agent. An appraisal must be set up before the car can be repaired or considered totaled.
MY CAR HAS BEEN TOTALED! NOW WHAT?
You will receive "the fair market value" of your car, along with Massachusetts Sales Tax. Unfortunately, Massachusetts Law does not pay "replacement cost". Many people suffer a financial loss if their car is totaled.
CAN I GET A RENTAL CAR?
Your company will pay for a rental car if you have the coverage called "Substitute Transportation". If not, the insurance company for the at-fault driver will pay a reasonable amount for a rental car. Generally, your rental will be paid until the time your car is repaired, or until the time it is paid off (if it has been totaled).
WHAT IF I AM INJURED AS A PEDESTRIAN?
In most cases, the pedestrian is not considered to be at-fault (even if you are not in a crosswalk at the time you are struck). As a pedestrian, you can make a claim for no-fault benefits against the car that struck you, as well as a claim for your injuries.