I was injured in an auto accident. My car was parked in a Westwood shopping plaza and I was pulling something out of the trunk of my car and was hit from behind by another vehicle. I think my personal injury protection coverage will cover my medical expenses and days out of work, but I was wondering if I had a personal injury case against the driver of the other car?
Under Massachusetts law, the auto insurance company that issued the PIP (personal injury protection) insurance on the car you were in at the time of the accident will pay the first $2000.00 of your “reasonable and necessary medical bills”, regardless of who was at fault. In other situations where the injured party was not in a car, like when a pedestrian or a cyclist is hit and injured, the insurance company that insures the vehicle that struck the pedestrian or cyclist will pay $2000.00 of the reasonable and necessary medical bills incurred by the injured party. From that point, any medical bills beyond $2000.00 must be submitted to your private health insurance company for payment. When the health insurance coverage is drained, or if the injured party does not have health insurance coverage, then the PIP insurer remains on the hook for up $8000.00 per individual claimant. Under Massachusetts’ scheme of automobile tort liability, plaintiff may not recover for pain and suffering arising out of defendant’s operation of motor vehicle unless reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in treating plaintiff’s injury exceed $2,000 or you have suffered a broken bone; however, a plaintiff who fails to meet the $2,000 threshold may still sue for damages which are not related to pain and suffering, such as lost wages, to the extent that those damages exceed coverage under the state’s personal injury protection program.
So, yes, you may file suit against the driver of the other car in a personal injury case as long as your pain and suffering exceeds $2,000.
Westwood Personal Injury Attorney, Alan Segal serves the Greater Boston region and all of Massachusetts in all personal injury accident claims and cases, including the cities and towns of Westood, Needham, Dedham, Canton, Norwood, Walpole, Medfield, and Dover.