In insurance terms, PIP stands for personal injury protection. It means that your own insurance policy covers your medical bills up to a certain dollar value regardless of whether you’re the victim of a car accident or the one responsible. It can even reach into family members’ policies if you do not have PIP but they do.
Massachusetts is a “no-fault” state. This was implemented to cut down on the number of expensive lawsuits based on trying to prove which driver was at fault. Being a no-fault state with required PIP helps to expedite injured parties getting their medical bills paid with insurance money. (In “partial-fault” states, the percentage of blame for the involved drivers must be determined, and compensation is then based upon that percentage. Having more than 50 percent blame means that driver gets no insurance reimbursement.)
Knowing that your own insurance will cover you up to the state limit can be comforting to accident victims, who otherwise might worry that someone else’s insurance will be harder to acquire compensation from when proving fault is the primary requirement for getting compensated.
Medical expenses, past and future lost wages, and even funeral costs are examples of items eligible for personal injury protection coverage.
In Massachusetts, car drivers are required to have PIP and other insurance that covers all of the following:
Bodily injury to others
Bodily injury caused by an uninsured auto
Damage to someone else's property
Collision and comprehensive insurance aren’t legally mandated in Massachusetts, but since most providers have caps on the amount they’ll pay out for the insurance types above, people often add these to their policy as well.
Although PIP was supposed to improve care for the victim—and in many cases does—there have been some complaints about its generous payouts raising insurance costs. Fraud is rife, and many honest claims are sadly viewed with suspicion as a result.
Fundamentally, however, PIP is a benevolent system, and reforms are underway in many states. Anti-fraud reform has already brought rates down in Massachusetts.
The required minimum limit for PIP in Massachusetts is $8,000 per person per accident. However, if personal insurance is involved, then PIP pays $2,000. If you were the victim of an accident in Massachusetts and your PIP doesn’t cover all of your medical expenses and damages, the other driver’s liability insurance should pay! In these cases, it is especially important that you enlist the help of a Massachusetts car accident lawyer with experience fighting insurance companies for the full compensation you deserve. These companies want to pay out the least amount possible to keep their bottom line as large as possible.
The Law Offices of Joel H. Schwartz have extensive experience in auto accidents and personal injury cases. We know the best ways get the most compensation from the insurance companies. Whether we negotiate a financial settlement out of court or take your case to trial, we fight hard to get you what you deserve. Call today at 1-800-660-2270 and schedule your free consultation. Alternatively, you can also reach us online.