Determining Fault and Apportioning Liability in Massachusetts Car Accidents

When a motorist, passenger, or bystander suffers injuries in a Massachusetts car accident, determining fault and apportioning liability is a crucial part of the recovery process. Massachusetts is a no-fault state, which means that an accident victim’s insurance company will cover a portion of their medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses, regardless of who is at fault. However, these benefits do not cover expenses related to pain and suffering, loss of consortium and companionship, or loss of earning capacity damages.

Although a Massachusetts injury victim’s insurance company is generally supposed to pay or reimburse victims for their accident-related medical expenses, victims often suffer substantial damages that insurance will not cover. Under certain circumstances, a motorist may file a personal injury lawsuit against another driver when they meet the statutory threshold. Under Massachusetts law, motorists who wish to sue another driver for their injuries must establish that either their “reasonable and necessary” medical expenses are over $2,000, they suffered broken bones or a loss of hearing or vision, they suffered a partial or complete loss of a body part, or serious disfigurement, or death.

If a Massachusetts car accident victim meets the tort threshold, they must then establish fault before they can recover. The state follows a “modified comparative negligence” system to determine and allocate damages. Car accident victims can recover for their injuries if they are less than 51% at-fault for the accident. If a judge or jury determines that the victim was more than 51% at fault, they will be barred from recovery.

The state’s modified comparative negligence system highlights how important it is for car accident victims to prove fault. An attorney is an invaluable tool in gathering, evaluating, and presenting relevant evidentiary findings. For example, an attorney can assist in gathering police reports, eyewitness accounts, photographs, and forensic evidence. Without a dedicated attorney, it is often difficult for a victim to gather the critical evidence that a successful personal injury claim requires.

For example, recently, a Massachusetts’ news report described a harrowing accident that involved a tire crashing through a windshield, killing a 42-year-old woman, and injuring a 40-year-old man. The State Police are asking the public for help identifying where the tire or axel came from. Some reports indicate that a truck pulling a trailer had a tire fly off it; however, it is unclear whether it was the vehicle’s tire or the trailer.

Have You Suffered Injuries in a Massachusetts Car Accident?

If you or someone you loved suffered serious injuries or died in a Massachusetts car accident, contact the Law Offices of Barry Feinstein and Affiliates, PC. The attorneys at our law firm have over 25 years of experience handling and successfully resolving claims against negligent companies and insurance companies. We possess the skills, resources, and tools to successfully represent victims in their claims for damages against insurance companies and at-fault motorists. We understand that every car accident lawsuit has its own unique set of challenges, but our experience provides us with the ability to overcome these hurdles. Contact our office at 800-262-9200 to schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney at our law firm.

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