After being injured in a car accident in Massachusetts that was caused by someone else, determining the other driver’s auto insurance policy limits is important. Most people understand why the amount of insurance coverage is vital to a personal injury claim. However, how to obtain that information may not be as well known.
If you were hurt in a car crash and don’t know how to find out the other driver’s insurance policy limits or are having trouble determining it, you should consult with a Massachusetts personal injury attorney.
The injury lawyers at Mahaney & Pappas, LLP specialize in helping people injured in car accidents recover the financial compensation they deserve for injuries and losses suffered in a crash that was caused by another driver. You can call us at (508) 879-3500 and we will help you find out how much insurance coverage the other driver has and educate you on your legal rights and options to recover the money you deserve.
How Much Insurance Coverage Does the Other Driver Have?
In Massachusetts, vehicles are required by law to be insured in order to be registered and driven on public ways. Auto insurance policies include certain mandatory coverages and optional coverages. While there are drivers out there that either do not have insurance or they have allowed their auto insurance to lapse, the vast majority of drivers have car insurance. So, if you are injured in a car accident that was caused by a negligent driver, you would want to determine if the other driver has insurance and how much coverage they have.
How do you do this? Well, in Massachusetts there is a specific statute that addresses this issue. It can be found under Section 112C of Chapter 175 of the Massachusetts General Laws (M.G.L. c. 175, § 112C). Section 112C states: “Any insurer doing business in the commonwealth shall reveal to an injured party making claim against an insured, the amount of the limits of said insured’s liability coverage, upon receiving a request in writing for such information from the injured party or his attorney.” That’s it. All you or your personal injury attorney needs to do is write a letter to the auto insurance company demanding the limits. Here is a sample sentence for the written request:
“Demand is hereby made pursuant to M.G.L. c. 175, § 112C for written disclosure of the limits of your insured's automobile policy.”
In almost all situations, the other driver’s insurance company will send a written response to you or your car accident attorney disclosing the bodily injury liability limits.
What if the Other Driver’s Insurance Company Doesn’t Respond?
You may be thinking, what if they don’t respond to my request for the policy limits? Sometimes, the other driver’s auto insurance company fails to respond with the insurance policy limits even after the written request is made. We have seen this in claims where an accident victim represents themselves. Many times, it may just be an oversight by the insurance adjuster. Other times, however, it may be an insurance company’s effort to be difficult and wear down an accident victim.
When this happens, it is recommended that you send them another written request documenting the fact that a previous request was made in writing and demanding the limits again. Sending them another written request is always the preferred method as opposed to calling the adjuster. If you call, the insurance adjuster will most certainly ask you questions about how the accident happened and about your injuries. It is always recommended that you do not speak with the other driver’s insurance company after an accident. They will try to illicit statements from you that they may try to use against you later to limit any amount of compensation they may have to pay.
If you are still having trouble obtaining the policy limits, you should speak with an experienced Massachusetts car accident attorney. An experienced lawyer will take further action to force them to disclose the policy limits.
The statute stated above (M.G.L. c. 175, § 112C) goes on to state: “A reply shall be made within thirty days of receiving such request. Any insurer who fails to comply with the provisions of this section shall be liable to pay to the claimant the sum of five hundred dollars plus reasonable attorneys’ fees and expenses incurred in obtaining the coverage information provided for herein.” This language of the statute creates a time limit for the insurance company to respond and a potential penalty if they fail to respond.