How does Massachusetts decide fault in a car accident?

On Behalf of | Apr 10, 2020 | Car Accidents

Every state has different laws that help decide fault in a car accident and how each party will receive compensation for damages and injuries. There are two main categories that a state’s laws can fall into: no-fault and at-fault. An at fault state requires the party who causes the accident to pay for the damages and injuries through their insurance.

Massachusetts, however, is a no-fault state, which means that in most accidents, each individual’s insurance covers their damages and minor injuries. You will have to file your claim first with your personal insurance company. You will need to file a report of the accident with the state if there was injury, death or significant property damage (over $1,00).

Though we live in a no-fault state, there is a threshold at which the at-fault party may be held responsible. Here are the requirements for you to file a lawsuit and get compensation from the at-fault party in your car accident:

  • More than $2,000 in medical expenses
  • Serious injuries, including fractures, loss of hearing or sight, or disfigurement

When an accident meets these requirements, the Standards of Fault is used by insurers and the Board of Appeal to determine who is at fault and can be held responsible. That standard is 50% fault. Here are some examples of accidents that may have 50% fault:

  • Collisions with a parked vehicle (rear ends)
  • Failure to signal or obey a traffic sign
  • Crashes out of the proper lane or on the wrong side of the road
  • Collisions while backing up
  • Failure to obey driving rules
  • Opening vehicle doors
  • Merging collisions
  • Failure to yield

If you are in a car accident that resulted in significant damages or injuries, you may be able to sue the at-fault driver and get the compensation you need.