By Michael R. Mancinelli, Associate Attorney
Massachusetts drivers involved in automobile accidents often hesitate to seek immediate medical attention due to the potential costs involved. This is a mistake.
After an auto accident, an ambulance transport to the nearest hospital can cost several thousand dollars. Add on emergency room and radiology charges, and it is enough to make anyone balk. This is especially true for those concerned about a wrecked vehicle, those with a high health insurance deductible, those without health insurance at all, or for those with no sudden onset of pain. But cost should never dissuade Massachusetts drivers from seeking medical attention immediately after an auto accident. This is because Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) benefits will cover most medical costs.
WHAT IS PIP?
PIP is an auto insurance benefit available to all insured Massachusetts drivers. All policies include PIP coverage—it is compulsory. PIP is also considered no-fault, meaning that regardless of who actually caused a particular auto accident, your own insurance will pay the first $2,000.00 of any medical bills that you incur for treatment related to the accident. Up to $8,000.00 is available for Medicare and MassHealth beneficiaries, those without health insurance, or for those with ERISA health insurance plans. PIP can also cover co-pays, deductibles, and a percentage of any lost wages. So most, if not all, medical bills for an initial ER visit immediately after an auto accident will be covered under PIP.
WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT TO BE EVALUATED AT A HOSPITAL IMMEDIATELY AFTER AN ACCIDENT?
The effects of an auto accident are not always immediately apparent. Even minor accidents can result in soft tissues injuries that can take hours, days, or even weeks to manifest. For those with a history of concussions, from contact sports or otherwise, a quick evaluation is critically important for brain health. Therefore, the best thing to do immediately after an accident is to see an ER doctor at the nearest hospital. These physicians can order x-rays. They can quickly spot any serious injuries, document symptoms, and prescribe medications. With PIP paying for most, if not all of this evaluation, there is no downside to going straight to the hospital after an accident.
BENEFIT FROM WYNN & WYNN’S LOCAL EXPERIENCE IN SOUTHEASTERN MASSACHUSETTS, CAPE COD, AND THE ISLANDS
Applying for PIP benefits can be a complicated process. There are specific provisions that can be difficult for a layperson to navigate. Additionally, insurance companies often request that PIP applicants give a recorded statement. With this in mind, it is important to consult with an experienced Massachusetts personal injury attorney immediately after an auto accident for advice concerning your options available under PIP and for pursuing a bodily injury claim against another driver who is responsible for your injuries.
If you or a family member was injured in a Massachusetts auto accident, contact Wynn & Wynn Attorneys today and benefit from our decades of experience with insurance companies and the Massachusetts court system. We can be reached at 1-800-852-5211 (Toll-Free); 1-508-823-4567 (Raynham); and 1-508-775-3665 (Hyannis).
We have successfully represented auto accident victims from all over Southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod, and the Islands, including communities in Bristol County, Plymouth County, Norfolk County, and Barnstable County like Raynham, Taunton, Bridgewater, East Bridgewater, West Bridgewater, Brockton, Easton, Stoughton, Norton, Mansfield, Berkley, Dighton, Rehoboth, Seekonk, Fall River, Westport, Swansea, Lakeville, Middleborough, Carver, Plymouth, Whitman, Hanson, Halifax, Plympton Rochester, New Bedford, Wareham, Marion, Mattapoisset, Fairhaven, Dartmouth, Bourne, Falmouth, Sandwich, Mashpee, Barnstable, Dennis, Yarmouth, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.