Pursuant to M.G.L. c. 175 s. 117L, under insured/uninsured motor vehicle coverage is mandatory as part of Massachusetts’s compulsory insurance. This acts to protect you in two very distinct situations. First, uninsured coverage applies when you are the victim of a hit & run or involved in an accident with a motorist who is not carrying an active insurance policy. Second, under insured coverage applies when the at-fault policy is insufficient to pay your accident related damages. Compulsory under insured/uninsured coverage generally will cover $20,000 per person / $40,000 per accident, however, extra coverage is available through most insurers at some additional cost.
Uninsured coverage benefits those injured by the fault of another who do not have any available automobile coverage to pay for accident related damages. Whenever an at-fault party does not have insurance to cover your damages (i.e., the at-fault vehicle leaves the scene without exchanging information, or sometimes, you may mistakenly have taken down the wrong information for the at-fault party, or the at-fault party’s insurance coverage lapsed or was denied), you may be entitled to access uninsured coverage to compensate you for your damages. An experienced attorney knows how to handle these situations and knows where to locate uninsured coverage.
Under insured coverage benefits those injured by the fault of another who does not have enough available coverage to pay for accident related damages. Whenever your accident related damages (i.e., medical bills, out of pocket costs, lost income, pain and suffering) exceeds the at-fault party’s available coverage you may be entitled to access your own under insured coverage to the extent that it exceeds that of the at-fault policy. For example, if your accident related damages equal $50,000 and the at-fault party has $20,000 in available coverage, you may be entitled to $30,000 in under insured motorist coverage to the extent that you have purchased additional coverage of at least $50,000.
Even when the at fault driver does not have adequate insurance to cover your injuries, an experienced personal injury attorney will know where to look for additional coverage and/or compensation for your serious injuries. In addition to helping to access these benefits, a good personal injury lawyer will know where to look for payment of related medical expenses, reimbursement for lost wages or patient co-payments resulting from the accident.
If you have been the victim of an automobile accident involving an under insured or uninsured vehicle, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as practicable. The attorneys at Diller Law, LLP have experience in handling accidents involving uninsured and under insured drivers. Our attorneys will provide a free consultation regarding your accident, and, if you are seriously injured or otherwise unable to travel, our attorneys may travel to you.