Car Accident Laws in Massachusetts

Car Accident Laws in Massachusetts

Understanding local car accident laws is crucial before embarking on any long trip. Today, we would like to shed some light on auto accident laws in the state of Massachusetts. Make sure you read the important info below before hitting the road, as it can prove helpful in challenging situations.


Massachusetts Statute of Limitations

For those who do not know, the statute of limitation basically states how much time you have to file a lawsuit against an individual who has wronged you. When it comes to the state of Massachusetts, that time is fixed at three years, meaning that you can not file a lawsuit after that time has passed.


So, you have up to three years from the date of the injury to file injury lawsuits against either private individuals or entities.


Understanding Comparative Negligence Laws

According to Massachusetts laws, the comparative negligence rule is applied to all types of personal injury lawsuits. Simply put, the degree of fault for all parties involved in a personal injury claim is determined under this law.


So, under the Massachusetts doctrine, the higher the degree of a fault the plaintiff has, the less amount of damages compensation they will receive. If the plaintiff holds less than 51% fault in the car accident, they can receive compensation for their injuries. On the other hand, if the plaintiff has 50% or more of the responsibility for the accident, they will be barred from recovery.


What Does No-Fault Insurance Mean?

According to Massachusetts laws, individuals can file a personal injury lawsuit in the following cases exclusively:

⦿ Your overall medical costs exceed $2,000.

⦿ The injuries you have sustained during the accident are severe and will affect your quality of life. For example, you can file a personal injury lawsuit when you have broken bones, lost vision or hearing, etc.


If you need help deciphering other Massachusetts car accident laws, Legal Chiefs are here to help. We can connect you with knowledgeable attorneys ready to give you all the information you need simply visit below.


Find an Auto Accident Injury Attorney Today



Auto Accident FAQ

Your first and foremost action following an accident is to stay calm, check if you or anyone else involved has been injured, and call the police. Get the name and contact information of all parties involved in the accident as well as any witnesses of the event. To document the damage, take pictures of the accident scene, the vehicles, and your injuries. It’s important not to admit liability until you hire an attorney because they will conduct a thorough investigation to establish the driver at fault.
Right after a car accident, you may feel fine, but injuries can surface days, weeks, and even months later. That’s why it’s good to see a doctor even if you don’t believe you were injured in the accident. Your doctor can recognize issues or injuries that won’t immediately become apparent to you and alert you to warning signs of injuries that may arise due to the accident. If you fail to treat your injuries within a certain period of time, you may forfeit your right to get reimbursement for future medical costs. The general rule is not to settle auto accident claims without having been examined by a medical professional.
In most cases, you won’t have to go to court. The majority of auto accident claims are resolved outside of court after negotiating the terms with the insurer. Most insurance companies generally try to settle claims as quickly as possible and for as little money as possible, so it’s wise to have an attorney negotiate on your behalf.
In addition to taking pictures of the accident scene and taking the contact information of the involved parties and witnesses, your detailed explanation of how the accident happened is also necessary to file a claim. Law enforcement reports of the accident will also serve as crucial evidence in your claim.
Many factors determine the driver at fault in an auto accident case. Do not accept any part of the blame until the investigation has concluded. Even if the investigation finds that you are partially at fault, you may still be entitled to receive compensation. There are cases when the victim also shares part of the blame for an accident. If, for example, you were driving five to ten mph over the speed limit when the accident happened, this would have limited your reaction time, and you could likely be considered a negligent driver even if you weren’t the one to cause the crash. Different states have different ways of settling auto accident claims where more than one driver is at fault. So it’s best to check the specific laws in your state (or the state where the accident took place) or discuss the matter with your auto accident injury lawyer.
It happens surprisingly often that people get into an auto accident where the driver at fault doesn’t have insurance. In these situations, it’s wise to have an auto insurance policy that comes with Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage. That way, if you get into an accident and the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance, you will still be able to file your claim under the UM coverage you have with your own insurance company. Your insurer will then process the claim following the same process as it would for an opposing insurer. The only difference is that the claim will be against your UM coverage and not against another driver. Likewise, if you were involved in a hit-and-run accident where the responsible driver fled the scene before you could take their information, you can again seek compensation from your UM coverage.
Suppose you suffered injuries after an auto accident that was caused by another driver’s negligence. In that case, there are two main types of damages that you may seek compensation for: compensatory (a.k.a. monetary) and punitive damages. Compensatory damages are the most common type of damages in a personal injury claim, and they often include: ● Current and future medical bills ● Property damage ● Emotional duress ● Lost wages ● Loss of enjoyment of life ● Loss of future earnings potential On the other hand, punitive damages are much rarer, but they can occur in situations where the vehicle manufacturer is to blame.