The Law Offices of Bailey & Burke

A Proven Full Service Law Firm Since 1971

The Law Offices of Bailey & Burke

A Proven Full Service Law Firm Since 1971

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How is fault determined in a motor vehicle accident?

On Behalf of | Aug 22, 2023 | Car Accidents

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 4,624 deaths from accidents in 2021 in Massachusetts. Whether or not someone dies in a crash, navigating its aftermath can be daunting, especially when trying to determine who was at fault.

Massachusetts uses a system known as “no-fault,” which can impact how you file claims and receive compensation. But what does this mean for you, and how does it work?

What is the “no-fault” system?

In Massachusetts, the “no-fault” system means that after a motor vehicle accident, you turn to your own car insurance provider for compensation, regardless of who caused the crash. This covers medical expenses, property damage and other related costs. For significant injuries or damages, you may seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance but must meet certain thresholds.

Which factors determine fault?

Several key factors help determine who was at fault in a motor vehicle accident:

  • Police reports. Law enforcement officers who respond to the scene will create a report detailing the incident. This document often becomes a primary source of information about what happened and may provide insights into who bears responsibility for the collision.
  • Witness statements. Individuals who witnessed the accident can give accounts that help piece together the events leading up to the crash. Their statements can offer perspectives on who might have violated traffic rules or been inattentive.
  • Evidence from the scene. Things like skid marks, vehicle damage and even traffic camera footage can play a role in painting a picture of the events that transpired.

It is also important to understand Massachusetts’ specific traffic laws. Violations of these laws, like running a red light or speeding, can influence the determination of fault.

If you are in a motor vehicle accident in Massachusetts, report the incident and gather as much evidence as possible. This ensures that the determination of fault is accurate and fair. Remember that while the “no-fault” system simplifies some aspects of the process, determining fault can still influence the outcome of any claims.


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