Search Site
Menu

Understanding Massachusetts’ Serious Injury Threshold for Lawsuits

Massachusetts is unlike most other states when it comes to the right of auto accident victims to sue for personal injuries. We are one of only 12 no-fault states that require your medical costs to be above a certain amount before you can bring an action against the other driver or vehicle owner. This amount is known as the injury threshold. Understanding how this threshold applies can help you take the correct steps to recover fair and adequate compensation after an accident.

The state insurance law provides that an accident victim may not seek damages for pain and suffering unless their medical expenses stemming from the accident are in excess of $2,000. If the expenses are below that amount, then the victim must submit a claim to their own insurance company. These smaller claims will fall under Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance, which is included in every Massachusetts driver’s mandatory automobile coverage. PIP will provide a victim with up to $8,000 for medical expenses, lost wages and/or property damage. PIP coverage is subject to the deductible that the driver chose when he/she applied for his/her auto policy. So, for example, if a car accident victim chose a $500 deductible, then there would be a limitation of l $7,500 in coverage.

In addition to PIP coverage, if an accident victim’s reasonable medical expenses exceed $2,000, then they will be able to bring a claim against the other driver and their insurer. They also will be able to seek compensation for pain and suffering, mental anguish and reduced enjoyment of life that resulted from the accident. It is important to understand that only reasonable and necessary expenses will be included in the determination of whether the victim has incurred $2,000 worth of medical care. This means, for example, that if a victim chooses medications that their doctor considered optional, the costs of such medications might not be applied to the $2,000 threshold.

Whether or not a victim meets the injury threshold is typically a straightforward determination, since medical bills, property damage and lost wages are objectively measurable. This is not true of placing a value on pain and suffering and other noneconomic losses. The determination of those losses is far more subjective and may require expert medical testimony. To achieve the maximum recovery available, a victim should retain a skilled and experienced car accident attorney.

At Feinberg & Alban in Boston, we represent people throughout Massachusetts who have been injured in automobile accidents. We always strive to provide the highest level of professional service. Contact us online or at 617-232-5950 to schedule a free initial consultation.

Feinberg & Alban, P.C. fervently protects your rights
  • The Boston firm of Feinberg & Alban, P.C. specializes its practice in the area of personal injury.

    The attorneys serve the entire state of Massachusetts in addition to affiliating with lawyers in other states to handle cases outside of Massachusetts.

  • $7.7 Million Award for Feinberg & Alban Client in Personal Injury Trial

    Boston Attorneys Win Highest Injury Verdict in Massachusetts in 2011 & 2012.

Client Reviews
  • google
    5.0/5.0

    Attorney Colleen Santora was amazing! I was hit by a car, completely overwhelmed and really just needed to focus on getting better. Retaining her, truly gave me peace of mind that all of the upcoming medical bills would be taken care of. I healed ...

    Read more

    Hillary Nelson

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    While visiting boston, my husband was injured and required surgery, and the tribulations that followed. Living out of state, we had NO idea what to do, and we needed guidance. Collen and her team were and ARE a God sent. Colleen answered all of ...

    Read more

    Catherine Connor

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    I worked with Colleen Santora and had a great experience! I was very overwhelmed after my injury (MBTA at fault) and she made the process clear and easy. She always answered any questions I had and answered my emails within minutes every time. She al...

    Read more

    Farwa Faheem

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    On vacation my mother had an accident in the Boston Airport that required surgery and prolonged physical therapy. It was a long, painful and extremely stressful process. My mother felt hopeless and her chronic pain was debilitating. My mother finally...

    Read more

    Jackie Salyers

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    Robert Feinberg was an absolute delight to work with. My car accident was a horrific experience. Robert and his team secured the top dollar settlement possible for my case. It was a great decision to work with his team, from the very first com...

    Read more

    David Flood

See all reviews
Awards & Affiliations
Contact us

Quick Contact Form

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.