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  • PART I ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • TITLE XIV PUBLIC WAYS AND WORKS
  • CHAPTER 90 MOTOR VEHICLES AND AIRCRAFT
  • Section 34A Definitions applicable to Secs. 34A to 34N

Section 34A. The following words, as used in sections thirty-four A to thirty-four N, inclusive, shall have the following meanings:—

“Certificate”, the certificate of an insurance company authorized to issue in the commonwealth a motor vehicle liability policy, stating that it has or will insure the applicant for registration of a motor vehicle with respect to such motor vehicle for a period at least coterminous with that of such registration under such a motor vehicle liability policy or a renewal or extension of such a policy, which conforms to the provisions of section one hundred and thirteen A of chapter one hundred and seventy-five or that it has executed a binder, as defined in said section one hundred and thirteen A, under and in conformity with said section covering such motor vehicle pending the issue of a motor vehicle liability policy; or the certificate of a surety company authorized to transact business in the commonwealth under section one hundred and five of said chapter one hundred and seventy-five as surety, stating that it has or will guarantee performance by the applicant for registration of a motor vehicle with respect to such motor vehicle for a period at least coterminous with that of such registration under a motor vehicle liability bond or renewal or extension thereof, payable to the commonwealth, which conforms to the provisions of said section one hundred and thirteen A and has been executed by such applicant as principal and by such surety company as surety; or the certificate of the state treasurer stating that cash or securities have been deposited with said treasurer as provided in section thirty-four D.

“Guest occupant” or “guest occupant of such motor vehicle”, any person, other than an employee of the owner or registrant of a motor vehicle or of a person responsible for its operation with the owner’s or registrant’s express or implied consent, being in or upon, entering or leaving the same, except a passenger for hire in the case of a motor vehicle registered as a taxicab or otherwise for carrying passengers for hire.

“Motor vehicle”, shall, in addition to the meaning prescribed by section one, include a trailer, as defined by said section one.

“Motor vehicle liability bond”, a bond conditioned that the obligor shall within thirty days after the rendition thereof satisfy all judgments rendered against him or against any person responsible for the operation of the obligor’s motor vehicle with his express or implied consent in actions to recover damages for bodily injuries, including death at any time resulting therefrom, and judgments rendered as aforesaid for consequential damages consisting of expenses incurred by a husband, wife, parent or guardian for medical, nursing, hospital or surgical services, or for indemnity, in connection with or on account of such bodily injuries or death, and judgments rendered as aforesaid for contribution as a joint tortfeasor in connection with or on account of such bodily injuries, sustained during the term of said bond by any person, other than a guest occupant of such motor vehicle or any employee of the owner or registrant of such vehicle or of such other person responsible as aforesaid who is entitled to payments or benefits under the provisions of chapter one hundred and fifty-two, and arising out of the ownership, operation, maintenance, control or use of such motor vehicle upon the ways of the commonwealth or in any place therein to which the public has a right of access, other than by an employee of the federal government while acting within the scope of his office or employment and covered by the provisions of section 2679 of Title 28, United States Code, to the amount or limit of at least twenty thousand dollars on account of injury to or death of any one person, and, subject to such limits as respects injury to or death of one person, of at least forty thousand dollars on account of any one accident resulting in injury to or death of more than one person; provided, however, that in the case of a person who is engaged in the business of leasing motor vehicles under any system referred to in section thirty-two C, the words “motor vehicle liability bond” shall mean a bond as described herein but conditioned further, except in the case of vehicles leased for a term of more than thirty days, that the obligor shall within thirty days after the rendition thereof satisfy all judgments rendered against him or against any person responsible for the operation of the obligor’s motor vehicle with his express or implied consent, including such consent imputed under section thirty-two E, in actions to recover damages for injury to property, and judgments rendered as aforesaid for indemnity, or for contribution as a joint tortfeasor, in connection with or on account of such injury to property, sustained during the term of said bond by any person, and arising out of the ownership, operation, maintenance, control or use upon the ways of the commonwealth of such motor vehicle, other than by an employee of the federal government while acting within the scope of his office or employment and covered by the provisions of section 2679 of Title 28, United States Code, to the amount or limit of at least one thousand dollars on account of any such injury to property.

“Motor vehicle liability policy”, a policy of liability insurance which provides indemnity for or protection to the insured and any person responsible for the operation of the insured’s motor vehicle with his express or implied consent against loss by reason of the liability to pay damages to others for bodily injuries, including death at any time resulting therefrom, or consequential damages consisting of expenses incurred by a husband, wife, parent or guardian for medical, nursing, hospital or surgical services, or for indemnity, in connection with or on account of such bodily injuries or death, or by reason of the liability for contribution as a joint tortfeasor, in connection with or on account of such bodily injuries, sustained during the term of said policy by any person, other than a guest occupant of such motor vehicle or of any employee of the owner or registrant of such vehicle or of such other person responsible as aforesaid who is entitled to payments or benefits under the provisions of chapter one hundred and fifty-two, and arising out of the ownership, operation, maintenance, control or use of such motor vehicle upon the ways of the commonwealth or in any place therein to which the public has a right of access, other than by an employee of the federal government while acting within the scope of his office or employment and covered by the provisions of section 2679 of Title 28, United States Code, to the amount or limit of at least twenty thousand dollars on account of injury to or death of any one person, and, subject to such limits as respects injury to or death of one person, of at least forty thousand dollars on account of any one accident resulting in injury to or death of more than one person, or a binder as defined in section one hundred and thirteen A of said chapter one hundred and seventy-five providing indemnity or protection as aforesaid pending the issue of such a policy; provided, however, that in the case of a person who is engaged in the business of leasing motor vehicles under any system referred to in section thirty-two C, the words “motor vehicle liability policy” shall mean a policy of liability insurance as described herein and providing, in addition, except in the case of vehicles leased for a term of more than thirty days, indemnity for or protection to the insured and any person responsible for the operation of the insured’s motor vehicle with his express or implied consent, including such consent imputed under section thirty-two E, against loss by reason of the liability to pay damages to others for injury to property or by reason of the liability for indemnity, or for contribution as a joint tortfeasor, in connection with or on account of such injury to property, other than by an employee of the federal government while acting within the scope of his office or employment and covered by the provisions of section 2679 of Title 28, United States Code, sustained during the term of the policy by any person, and arising out of the ownership, operation, maintenance, control or use upon the ways of the commonwealth of such motor vehicle, to the amount or limit of at least one thousand dollars on account of any such injury to property.

“Personal injury protection,” provisions of a motor vehicle liability policy or motor vehicle liability bond which provide for payment to the named insured in any such motor vehicle liability policy, the obligor of any motor vehicle liability bond, members of the insured’s or obligor’s household, any authorized operator or passenger of the insured’s or obligor’s motor vehicle including a guest occupant, and any pedestrian struck by the insured’s or obligor’s motor vehicle, unless any of the aforesaid is a person entitled to payments or benefits under the provisions of chapter one hundred and fifty-two, of all reasonable expenses incurred within two years from the date of accident for necessary medical, surgical, x-ray, and dental services, including prosthetic devices and necessary ambulance, hospital, professional nursing and funeral services, and in the case of persons employed or self-employed at the time of an accident of any amounts actually lost by reason of inability to work and earn wages or salary or their equivalent, but not other income, that would otherwise have been earned in the normal course of an injured person’s employment, and for payments in fact made to others, not members of the injured person’s household and reasonably incurred in obtaining from those others ordinary and necessary services in lieu of those that, had he not been injured, the injured person would have performed not for income but for the benefit of himself and/or members of his household, and in the case of persons not employed or self-employed at the time of an accident of any loss by reason of diminution of earning power and for payments in fact made to others, not members of the injured person’s household and reasonably incurred in obtaining from those others ordinary and necessary services in lieu of those that, had he not been injured, the injured person would have performed not for income but for the benefit of himself and/or members of his household, as a result of bodily injury, sickness or disease, including death at any time resulting therefrom, caused by accident and not suffered intentionally while in or upon, or while entering into or alighting from, or being struck as a pedestrian by, the insured’s or obligor’s motor vehicle, without regard to negligence or gross negligence or fault of any kind, to the amount or limit of at least eight thousand dollars on account of injury to or death of any one person, except that payments for loss of wages or salary or their equivalent or, in the case of persons not employed, loss by reason of diminution of earning power, shall be limited to amounts actually lost by reason of the accident and further limited (1) in the case of persons entitled to wages or salary of their equivalent under any program for continuation of said wages or salary or their equivalent to an amount that, together with any payments due under such a program, will provide seventy-five per cent of any such person’s average weekly wage or salary or its equivalent for the year immediately preceding the accident, provided that the insurer shall reimburse those wage continuation programs or their equivalent which provide for accumulated benefits which can be converted into either cash or additional retirement credit for the amount said program or its equivalent actually pays to the insured, not to exceed seventy-five per cent of the insured’s average weekly wages or salary or its equivalent for the year immediately preceding the accident, or (2) in the case of persons not entitled to wages or salary or their equivalent under any program for continuation of said wages or salary or their equivalent to an amount that will provide seventy-five per cent of any such person’s average weekly wage or salary or its equivalent for the year immediately preceding the accident. In any case where amounts paid for loss of wage, salary or their equivalent are reduced as a result of any program for continuation of the same and such reduction produces a subsequent loss, as when the limit of any such program for continuation of wage or salary or their equivalent is exhausted with the result that an injured person cannot recover for a later injury or illness as he would have been entitled to but for such a reduction, such subsequent loss to an amount equalling the reduction in personal injury protection made in accordance with this section shall, if incurred within one year after the receipt of the last benefit provided under this section, be treated as a loss of wages, salary or their equivalent incurred as a result of the injury to which personal injury protection applied. In all cases where an insured is compensated under such a wage continuation program and also recovers these benefits from another source, he shall be entitled to reimburse the wage continuation program with no loss in standing under such a program.

Personal injury protection shall also provide for payment, to the named insured or obligor and members of their households, all amounts defined in this section in any case where such persons incur such expense or loss as a result of such injury while in, upon, entering into or alighting from, or by being struck as a pedestrian by, a motor vehicle not insured by a policy or bond providing personal injury protection unless such person recovers such expenses or loss in an action of tort. Insurers may exclude a person from personal injury protection benefits if such person’s conduct contributed to his injury in any of the following ways while operating a motor vehicle in the commonwealth:

(1) while under the influence of alcohol or a narcotic drug as defined in section one hundred and ninety-seven of chapter ninety-four;

(2) while committing a felony or seeking to avoid lawful apprehension or arrest by a police officer; or

(3) with the specific intent of causing injury or damage to himself or others.

The term “pedestrian” shall include persons operating bicycles, tricycles and similar vehicles and persons upon horseback or in vehicles drawn by horses or other draft animals.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, personal injury protection provisions shall not provide for payment of more than two thousand dollars of expenses incurred within two years from the date of accident for medical, surgical, X-ray and dental services, including prosthetic devices and necessary ambulance, hospital, professional nursing and funeral services if, and to the extent that, such expenses have been or will be compensated, paid or indemnified pursuant to any policy of health, sickness or disability insurance or any contract or agreement of any group, organization, partnership or corporation to provide, pay for or reimburse the cost of medical, hospital, dental or other health care services. No policy of health, sickness or disability insurance and no contract or agreement of any group, organization, partnership or corporation to provide, pay for or reimburse the cost of medical, hospital, dental or other health care services, shall deny coverage for said expenses because of the existence of personal injury protection benefits. Notwithstanding the provisions of section seventy A of chapter one hundred and eleven of the General Laws, no entity which is the source of the provision, payment or reimbursement of said expenses shall recover any amount against the claimant nor shall it be subrogated to the rights of the claimant for more than two thousand dollars of personal injury protection benefits, nor shall it have a lien against the claimant’s personal injury protection benefits on account of its provision payment of reimbursement of said expenses. Within two years from the date of the accident, if the claimant has a policy of insurance which provides health benefits or income disability coverage, and the claimant is unwilling or unable to pay the costs of renewing or continuing that policy of insurance in force, the insurer providing personal injury protection coverage to the claimant may tender to the claimant the cost of maintaining the said policy in force for the two year period. Upon receipt of such tender, the claimant shall continue such policy of insurance; or an equivalent policy in force for the two year period. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to compel a claimant to renew or maintain any policy of insurance in force prior to receipt of the said tender, or to interfere in any way with the claimant’s choice of physician or course of medical treatment.