Massachusetts Hit and Run Insurance Claims
Posted on behalf of Janet, Jenner & Suggs on June 2, 2017 in Car Accident
Filing an insurance claim might be the only way to recover compensation for damages suffered in a Massachusetts hit and run car accident.
Even if you find the driver who fled the scene, state law prohibits you from filing a personal injury lawsuit unless you have more than $2,000 in medical expenses or you suffered a permanent or severe injury.
That is why you need to know how hit and run insurance claims work in Massachusetts. Our Boston car accident attorneys explain what you need to know about these claims.
Insurance Coverage for Hit and Run Accidents
Since Massachusetts is a no-fault state, you must seek compensation from your own car insurance, no matter who was at fault for the accident.
There are a few different coverages you may be able to draw compensation from, including:
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
If you are unable to find the driver who caused the accident, or you find the driver and he or she does not have insurance, you should be able to obtain compensation from your uninsured motorist coverage.
This coverage provides compensation for medical expenses, lost income and property damage from accidents caused by drivers with no insurance or drivers who do not have enough insurance to cover your expenses.
State law requires all car insurance policies to include uninsured motorist coverage at a minimum of $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident.
This means that each person injured in the accident can receive a maximum of $20,000 in compensation. However, the total amount of compensation that can be paid out for each accident is $40,000, regardless of the number of people injured or the cost of their medical bills.
Personal Injury Protection
If you find the driver and he or she has insurance coverage, your insurance claim will be similar to a claim for a non-hit-and-run car accident.
You can obtain compensation from your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Massachusetts requires all drivers to purchase PIP policies to cover $8,000 in damages per person (Massachusetts General Laws Part I Title XIV Chapter 90 Section 34M).
These policies cover the following damages from hit and run accidents:
- Reasonable medical expenses – This refers to all medical expenses caused by the injuries you suffered in the accident. This could include surgery, medical testing, transportation in an ambulance and hospital stays.
- Lost wages – This refers to the money you lost or were unable to earn because the injuries from the accident prevented you from working. For instance, you may have missed work because you were receiving medical treatment or you were physically unable to do your job. PIP covers lost wages at a rate of 75 percent of your average weekly gross wages.
- Replacement services – Sometimes the injuries from a car accident are so bad that victims are unable to perform household chores or other daily activities, such as transporting their children to school, cleaning the house or going to the grocery store. PIP provides compensation for these types of expenses, provided you have documentation of them.
This provides compensation for damage to your vehicle in a car accident. While this coverage is not required, many drivers have it as a condition of the financing or leasing of their vehicle.
How to Improve Your Chances of Obtaining Fair Compensation
There are a few things you should do after your accident to improve your chances of obtaining all of the compensation you deserve for your hit and run claim.
Go to the Hospital Right Away
You should always seek medical treatment as soon as possible after a car accident, whether it is a hit and run accident or any other type of crash.
Not only will this help improve your chances of making a full recovery, but it will also help to demonstrate the seriousness of your claim.
Waiting to seek treatment could arouse suspicion with your insurance company that you are filing a frivolous claim or you are just trying to get money. Your insurer may also question whether your injuries were caused by the accident. They may wonder if something else caused your injuries in the days or weeks before you filed your claim.
Obtain Medical Records
Contact the hospital to ask them how to obtain copies of your medical records. These will show the injuries you suffered and the treatments you received.
You will not be able to prove to your insurer that you actually suffered an injury in the accident without your medical records.
File a Police Report
This serves as official proof of the accident, and that the other driver fled the scene. Police reports may also include the officer’s opinions on the crash, which can help demonstrate the seriousness of your claim.
File an Insurance Claim Right Away
The faster you file an insurance claim, the faster you can recover compensation. Waiting to file could make the process much more contentious, as the insurance company will wonder why you did not file sooner.
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney
An attorney can manage every aspect of your insurance claim while you focus on your injury. This is advantageous because it is difficult to deal with your insurance company while managing a severe injury.
An experienced attorney understands the claims process and what it takes to recover the fair compensation you deserve. Your attorney can conduct a thorough investigation to determine the amount of compensation you deserve and aggressively negotiate to recover it.
Another advantage to hiring an attorney is that he or she can determine if you have the option of filing a lawsuit to recover other forms of compensation that are unavailable in an insurance claim.
Schedule a Free Consultation Today
The Boston car accident attorneys at Janet, Jenner & Suggs have decades of experience taking on car insurance companies for victims of car accidents.
We have a long track record of recovering fair compensation for victims of many different types of car accidents.
Your initial consultation with our attorneys is free and you will not be charged legal fees unless we recover fair compensation.