Search Site
Menu
Common Situation 7 – Child Injured with Mother as Named Insured

Common Insurance Situations in Mass Auto Accidents

Common Situation 7
Mother is the named insured. She and her child are injured by another driver who is wholly at fault. What coverages are available to mother and child? Assume mother is the named insured on a second vehicle with much higher underinsurance limits than the occupied vehicle.

Answer to Common Situation 7
Both mother and child will obtain the bodily injury coverage under Part 5 of the offending vehicle or, if no Part 5 coverage, then from Part 1 of that vehicle.

As for underinsurance benefits, both mother and child are bound by the coverage limits of the vehicle they were occupying. This is no surprise for Mother. However, the situation has been clarifiedunhappilyin the case of the child. The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts has decreed that the coverage on the occupied vehicle controls even if that occupant is not a named insured. Chenard v. Commerce Insurance Company, 440 Mass. 444 (2003). This seemingly flies in the face of the statute that permits someone who is not a named insured on any policysuch as a childto recover from the highest policy of a resident relative. M.G.L. c. 113L(5).

If you had any doubt as to how complicated Massachusetts Auto Insurance law is consider that the trial court judge (the Superior Court judge) decided one way as to how a non-named insured can recover, the Massachusetts Appeals Court decided the opposite way only to have the Supreme Judicial Court decide as did the Superior Court judge.

A further complication is that if the child were a pedestrian, he/she could indeed recover from the larger of the two policies. Similarly, if the father had owned either of the two vehicles instead of the mother owning both, the child could recover from the larger of the two policies.

It is no wonder that Massachusetts Auto Insurance law has been compared to the uninitiated driver’s first foray into the streets of Boston. Cardin v. Royal Insurance Company of America, 394 Mass. 450. (1985).

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

    Robert Feinberg did a fantastic job handling our case. He is a thoughtful, caring man, cordial and a complete professional. The settlement we received was more than we had ever anticipated, his legal work is beyond reproach. Thank you Robert!!

    Read more

    Robert Bard

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    After my motorcycle accident I contacted Feinberg & Alban. I met with Marsha for a consultation and she was great. Their entire team kept me in the loop for the entire process. Colleen was also a part of my case, she help me with understanding a lot ...

    Read more

    Beantownie 617

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    I will be forever grateful to Robert and his team at Feinberg & Alban, P.C. He is the best of the best and I truly cannot recommend his expertise enough. Having Robert represent me brought me great comfort. I never once doubted that he would not be s...

    Read more

    Mitchell Petitti

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    I will be forever grateful to Robert and his team at Feinberg & Alban, P.C. He is the best of the best and I truly cannot recommend his expertise enough. Having Robert represent me brought me great comfort. I never once doubted that he would not be s...

    Read more

    Client

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    Robert and his team were unbelievably caring and thorough in working on my interests. It was a very serious case. It needed much attention and skill. Robert and his team were always there for me from the time I was in the hospital. They got me an ama...

    Read more

    Jason Lebovitz

See all reviews
Awards & Affiliations
Contact us

Quick Contact Form