Massachusetts Car Accident Laws

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Whether you are a visitor or a resident driver in Massachusetts, you’ll agree that it’s tempting to flout the traffic rules. You may take the wrong turn when you are not familiar with the rules. At times, the fault may not be yours. You may be driving in accordance with the traffic regulations and then someone from out of nowhere puts you into trouble by hitting your car, either accidentally or through pure recklessness.

In such a situation, it’s important to understand the Massachusetts car accident laws so that you know what steps to take after a collision. The following basics are important to understanding the car accident laws:

Auto Insurance

Every car in Massachusetts that is registered usually has an auto insurance policy. The insurance covers bodily injuries and damages to property. If it happens that you don’t have auto insurance and neither does the other party, you can still be compensated for the losses suffered. You’ll first have to negotiate with the other party, and if they don’t agree, you can go ahead and file a personal injury lawsuit in Boston or elsewhere in Massachusetts.

Statutes of Limitations

As soon as you are hit, either as a driver, a passenger, a pedestrian, or property owner, it’s important to file a complaint with an authority. In case you suffer injuries, there is a time window for reporting the accident. This is what is called the statute of limitations. Most personal injuries are filed within three years.

No-Fault Rule

The state of Massachusetts employs a “no fault” statute in handling car accidents. The rule dictates that the plaintiff file the claim first with his or her insurance company before claiming benefits from the offender. The Massachusetts car accident laws are very clear, so regardless of who is at fault, with the exception of self-intoxication, the insurance covers a certain percentage of the losses.

Comparative Negligence Law

This rule indicates that you can only be compensated if your negligence percentage is smaller than that of the other party. In simple terms, your percentage of fault should be less than 50% to be compensated. The rule is important in determining who is compensated and how much money is awarded. If you are found partly liable for the car accident, you should expect the compensation to be reduced.

Damage Rule

In Massachusetts, there are two classes of damages that you are allowed to recover from: economic and noneconomic. The economic damage rule covers direct losses, such as lost wages and damage to properties, while the non-economic damage rule covers detailed costs, such as mental anguish, physical pain, and loss of companionship.

In some situations, you may be paid up to $50,000 for a successful lawsuit as non-economic damage benefits. The claims for damages are usually time-sensitive, and you have to comply with the dictates of the statute of limitations.

Bottom Line

It’s true that the car accident regulations are detailed and may be confusing. Thanks to the discussed rules, it’s easy to determine your level of offense in a car accident. This will help you claim benefits from the insurance company and the other offender. With a good lawyer, fair compensation is possible after the lawsuit.