Traffic violations are common. From running a red light to accidentally speeding in a school zone, it can be difficult to avoid being ticketed for a traffic offense. However, some traffic offenses are more serious than others, and some offenses are serious enough to result in an increase in your insurance premiums. If you are involved in an accident and are found to be at fault for the crash or if you are involved in a traffic incident that results in an increase in your insurance premium, this is known as a surchargeable incident. Here’s what you should know about surchargeable infractions and how a traffic defense attorney can help—
What Is a Surchargeable Infraction?
As explained above, a surchargeable infraction is an incident in which either a) a person is involved in a traffic accident and is found to be at fault, or b) they are involved in a traffic incident and the accident/incident results in an increase in their insurance premium. According to Massachusetts law, an accident is defined as a surchargeable accident if:
- The operator is found to be more than 50 percent at fault for the accident;
- The accident involves a claim payment of more than $1,000; and
- The claim payment is for damage to the property of another, such as a property damage.
What Are the Standards of Fault in a Surchargeable Incident?
In order to find you at fault for an accident, Massachusetts standards of fault must be followed by Massachusetts insurance companies. These standards are found in Massachusetts 211 CMR 74:00. Some of the circumstances in which an operator will be found to be more than 50 percent at fault include rear-end collisions, collisions with a person or a parked vehicle, failure to signal collisions, collisions caused by operating a vehicle in the wrong direction of traffic, backing up accidents, and more.
Note that the fault determination will be made by the insurance company that is responsible for making the claim payment.
What Happens if I Have Multiple Surchargeable Infections?
Being found to be at fault in an accident can be upsetting but, in most cases, the consequences aren’t severe. However, if you have multiple surchargeable infractions on your record, there could be bigger consequences. In fact, your learner’s permit or driver’s license may be suspended by the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles if you have committed a series of offenses, including minor traffic offenses.
If you accumulate three surchargeable offenses within a two-year period, you will be required to take a safety course.
How a Massachusetts Traffic Defense Attorney Can Help
Getting a traffic ticket that impacts your insurance happens. However, if you want to avoid an increase in your premiums and the potential revocation of your license if you are facing multiple surchargeable offenses, working with a Massachusetts traffic defense attorney can help. At The Law Offices of Paul R. Moraski, our Massachusetts traffic defense attorney has experience representing clients facing surchargeable infractions. Call us today at (978) 397-0011 or send us a message to request a consultation.