Whenever there is a car crash in Boston, the drivers and occupants should call the police and exchange insurance information. There are various components of a car insurance policy including liability to others for personal property damage (car), liability to others for personal injury, comprehensive coverage, and personal injury protection (PIP) for injury to one’s self.
Liability for injury to others including personal injury and property damage is the most important competent of defendant’s insurance binder when dealing with a Boston car accident lawsuit. When a car insurance policy is sold in the Commonwealth, there is a base amount of liability coverage that must be purchased by the policy holder who is called the insured driver.
Liability Insurance Limits
The limits vary from state to state, but in Massachusetts, as our Boston car accident lawyers can explain, the required minimum limits are $20,000 per person, $40,000 for all personal injuries per accident, and $5,000 for personal property damage to others, and this includes plaintiff’s car. Massachusetts is a no fault state with the PIP requirement so there is $8,000 in personal injury protection (PIP), as well as $20,000 and $40,000 in uninsured motorists (UM) coverage. These limits are set by the Commonwealth and released by the Attorney General.
Car accident attorneys typically write these numbers 20/40/5 as that is the common shorthand f0rm. In a car accident with multiple injured victims, the more important number is the middle number as that is the maximum the policy will cover for all injuries to all persons in the accident. This means that if five people were injured, the maximum amount the policy will pay out is $40,000. This is allotted to all victims, but is not necessarily allotted equally. One of the most important things a Boston car accident victim can do to make sure they have a better chance of obtaining a full and appropriate financial recovery is to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible to make sure that a claim is filed in a timely manner. This is not about the statute of limitations, it is about making a claim so that the insurance company has all claims submitted when making a decision as to what claims to pay.
Many drivers will purchase far more than the state minimum requirement. This a good idea for anyone who owns a home and has interest in other assets such as stocks, bonds, or perhaps a business. If the car accident does more damage than the insurance policy will cover, than plaintiff can seek recovery from those other sources. People who purchase the minimum required coverage generally are looking to spend as little money as possible and do not have many assets. There is however, what is known as underinsured motorist coverage which is also called uninsured motorists coverage. This is coverage plaintiff has on his or her own car that will cover personal injury damages when defendant’s policy has already been exhausted.
For example, if defendant hits plaintiff and plaintiff suffers a serious personal injury, there could be $70,000 in medical bills. If defendant has a policy with the Massachusetts state minimum limits of $20,000 per personal injury, and $40,000 total, the most he could get is $20,000 for a single injury, however, your attorney could possibly negotiate that up to the total accident limit depending on the circumstances. This means that at the very least, plaintiff would need to find another source of recovery for the remaining $30,000 in medical bills not to mention any pain and suffering. Plaintiff’s experienced car accident lawyer could negotiate with plaintiff’s own car insurance policy. This recovery would come from the underinsured motorists policy that under Massachusetts law, must be sold up to the policy limits of plaintiff’s liability policy. If plaintiff had higher than the minimum limits, then this could aid in recovery. Insurance companies are required to offer UM coverage, however, they will not treat their customer as a valued customer when dealing with a UM claim. They will treat the customer like any other claimant and actually refer the case to the standard adjusters who deal with opposing parties. For this reason, plaintiff should have an experienced Boston car accident lawyer handle all negotiations even for a UM claim.
According to a recent news article from the Boston Globe, four people were injured in a multi-vehicle accident that occurred in the Greater Boston area near Lawrence. One injured occupant was taken via Medevac helicopter to Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in downtown Boston. His injuries were considered life-threatening, and the other three injured were rushed to local hospitals via ambulances.
Authorities have said the man most seriously injured in the crash was driving his 2008 Mitsubishi Eclipse when he allegedly lost control of the vehicle and swerved from the far right lane of the highway to the far left lane without any warning. One woman, driving a Chevrolet Equinox slowed down to avoid the collision and swerved causing her to drive into the median and hit a Ford van traveling in the opposite direction. This was a head-on collision according to witnesses. In total, four people were seriously injured in the Boston area car crash.
If you are injured in an accident in Massachusetts, call Jeffrey Glassman Injury Lawyers for a free and confidential appointment — (617) 777-7777.
Five communities targeted for ‘Slow Streets’ program, July 20, 2017, Milton J. Valencia, Boston Globe
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School in Falmouth Holds Memorial for Student Athletes Killed in Crash, Feb. 12, 2017, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog