When you have a no fault car insurance policy, you cannot get more money than your personal injury protection (PIP) benefits. This means that if you were injured in a car accident, your insurance company would not pay for any medical bills over your policy limit. You would have to pay for the medical expenses yourself. Fortunately, each no fault state allows you to recover more money by starting an auto accident settlement under certain conditions.
When Can I Get More Money in a No Fault State?
Each no fault state has a slightly different requirement for starting auto accident settlements. Some no fault states let you file a car accident claim, if your medical bills are more than a specific cash threshold. Other no fault states allow you to file an auto accident claim, only if your injuries are considered “serious”.
A few states have both a cash and injury threshold. A no fault state with a cash and injury threshold allows you to file an accident claim if you meet either threshold.
Massachusetts has both an injury threshold and cash threshold of $500. If you were in a car accident in Massachusetts, you could file a car accident claim against another driver’s insurance company, if your medical expenses were more than $500 OR if you were severely injured.
Which No Fault States Have a Cash Thresholds?
The following no fault states require your medical bills to be over a cash threshold, before filing for a car accident claim:
(These no fault states also allow you start an auto accident claim if you meet an “injury threshold” which is discussed in No Fault States with Injury Thresholds. ).
To see if you have reached your no fault state’s cash threshold, add up all your medical expenses after the car accident. This includes:
- Cost of ambulance
- Doctor’s Visit
- Lab fees
- Dental work
- Physical therapy
To make sure you get reimbursed for all your medical costs, check your no fault car insurance policy to see which medical expenses are allowed under your policy.
Watch Out for Improper Auto Insurance Adjuster Tactics
A lot of insurance companies may try to stop you from filing a car accident claim against them. One of the ways they prevent you from filing an accident claim is by saying that some of your medical bills were unnecessary and should not be included in your final amount. Why do they do this?
The reason they try to remove some of your medical expenses, is that it may bring the total amount of your medical bills below your no fault states cash threshold. This would mean that you are legally unable to file a car accident claim in that no fault state.
You live in Minnesota and your medical expense threshold is $4,000. You added up your medical bills to be $4,800, which included $2,000 for 15 days of physical therapy. Since you are above your no fault state’s cash threshold, you decide to start a car accident claim against the other driver.
To prevent you from filing an auto accident claim, the auto insurance adjuster may try to argue that your physical therapy was unnecessarily too long. The car insurance adjuster tries to negotiate with you and agrees to include only half the cost of your physical therapy.
However, now your total medical expenses are $3,800, which is lower than your no fault car insurance cash threshold. As a result, you cannot start a car accident claim to recover money for your treatments.
Negotiating with auto insurance adjusters is tough. You should be fully prepared to handle all the ways they can try to reduce your accident claim. To be better prepared for getting more money than your no fault car insurance read How to Negotiate Auto Accident Settlements
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