A new Appellate Court decision came down regarding the offset of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits. In DiStefano v. Jovet, the issue of whether a motorist whose negligence caused injury to another driver was entitled to have the injury victim's damages offset by the amount of PIP benefits they received from their own insurer. The Court decided no, if the negligent motorist's own policy did not include PIP benefits, they could not offset the victim's insurance benefits.
A current Massachusetts law does allow for the offset of PIP benefits, but only where the defendant's insured offers them. Otherwise, the Appellate Court decided, the collateral source rule bars the negligent party from enjoying the benefits of the victim's insurance policy. The collateral source rule is a common law evidence rule that does not allow for evidence to be presented that a plaintiff will be compensated by anyone other than the defendant. It's purpose is to prevent someone from profitting off of the plaintiff's insurance.
PIP benefits can be helpful to anyone involved in a motor vehicle accident, and it's important to know whether you're entitled to more than just the benefits under your own policy. If you've been in a motor vehicle accident, call our firm to schedule your free consultation today.