In Massachusetts, a person that has been injured in a motor vehicle accident as a driver or passenger must incur a minimum of $2,000.00 in medical expenses as a prerequisite to recover damages for pain and suffering. Under Massachusetts General Laws c. 231, §6D, a Plaintiff may recover for pain and suffering (including, in some cases, mental suffering) for injuries related to a motor vehicle accident only if the reasonable and necessary expenses in treating such injuries exceed $2,000.00. There are several exceptions to the $2,000.00 threshold under the statute. Pain and suffering damages are recoverable regardless of the amount of medical expenses in cases involving death, loss of a body member, disfigurement, loss of sight or hearing, or a fractured bone.
This does not mean that you must have paid that amount yourself, only that the cost of such treatment reached that amount. In fact, in most cases the personal injury protection (“PIP”) coverage of your auto insurance policy covers the first $2,000.00 of medical bills, including chiropractic care. After that your health insurance policy would apply, but you would be subject to any deductibles your policy may require. Therefore, you may have exceeded the $2,000.00 threshold without even realizing it.
Due to high costs of medical care, you can quickly incur over $2,000.00 in medical care even for minor accidents. A trip to the emergency room for examination, an MRI, and follow-up visit with your primary care physician will usually cost in excess of $2,000.00. If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident in Massachusetts and are contemplating whether to pursue a personal injury claim against the other driver, please call us for a free consultation. We can help you determine whether to pursue a claim and guide you every step of the way.