There are two legal options to recover costs if you were hurt by a drunk driver: insurance or a lawsuit.
Each driver first looks to their own insurance to recover damages in a no-fault state.
Your insurance claim would be for healthcare bills, property damage, and other costs.
There are a few situations, known as the “tort threshold,” when you might be eligible to bring a lawsuit for a Massachusetts car crash. This statute is meant to keep car crash cases out of the courts and avoid personal injury claims.
If your reasonable medical expenses for the injuries totaled more than $2,000, or
if the injuries are severe enough to impair your quality of life and are both permanent. Broken bones, deformity, loss of hearing or eyesight, loss of all or a portion of a body part, or even death could fall under this category.
Insurance will only cover certain economic damages, which are specific costs associated with the accident.
These costs can include:
- Medical treatment, including doctor or hospital visits, prescription medications, diagnostics like X-rays or MRI, surgeries, and other care
- Assistive devices and ongoing therapies related to the injury
- Property loss, such as replacing a totaled vehicle
If your expenses include other things, you can file a lawsuit to recover these costs:
- Present or future lost wages or reduced earning capacity
- Funeral expenses, if you’ve lost a family member in the accident
Finally, non-economic losses like pain and suffering or other forms of emotional distress will not be covered by an insurance settlement. In order to recover compensation for those injuries, you need to file a personal injury lawsuit.
If you or someone you know was injured in a drunk driving accident in Massachusetts, please do not hesitate to contact us at 617-338-7400 for access to our free guides that can help you make the best decision for your case.