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"If you are injured in a car accident in Massachusetts, it is important to understand how fault is determined. It is not always clear at the time of the accident."
SPRINGFIELD, MA, December 29, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Car accidents are occurring at an alarming rate. There were 2,354 accidents in Massachusetts in 2020 that resulted in serious injuries. In 2021 alone, 390 people were killed in car accidents in Massachusetts, more than in any year since 2009.
Attorney Christopher F. Cava, lead attorney at Cava Law Firm, cautions, "If you are injured in a car accident in Massachusetts, it is important to understand how fault is determined. It is not always clear at the time of the accident. That is why it is important to seek good advice after you are injured in an accident."
The First Steps
The first steps are important. In the event of an automobile accident, start by calling the police. Remain at the scene until police arrive unless you need emergency medical attention. Try to take pictures of the scene, including property damage and injuries. Exchange contact information with the other party, if possible. Try not to comment or make statements about the accident with the other party.
Massachusetts Is a Modified No-Fault Insurance State
Massachusetts is what is called a modified no-fault insurance state. This means that participants in a car accident can be held responsible if they are determined to be over 50% at fault for the accident.
No matter who is at fault, your insurance company will pay for medical treatment of your injuries — up to your policy limits. However, you can only sue the party at fault for non-monetary damages if your medical bills exceed $2,000 or you have a fracture or permanent injury including scaring.
How to Determine Fault
In Massachusetts, you are at fault in an accident if the following requirements are met:
• The driver is more than 50% at fault, as determined by the Standard of Fault located at
711 CMR 74 and the sections that follow. These include 31 different scenarios, from failure
to yield the right of way to an emergency vehicle to a single-vehicle collision.
• The vehicle is a private vehicle.
• The accident involves a claim of more than $500 in excess of any deductible.
• The claim is for payment for a vehicle subject to the safe driver insurance plan.
Fault is initially determined by the insurance company. They will issue notice to the at-fault party. If you receive this notice and do not feel you are at-fault, you only have 30 days to appeal this decision.
Even if you are deemed at-fault by the insurance company, final fault determination is in the hands of the judge or jury in-court.
Call the attorneys at Cava Law Firm for any questions regarding fault determination when you or a loved one are involved in a motor vehicle accident.
About Cava Law Firm Where Winning Is No Accident
The personal injury lawyers at Cava Law Firm are passionate about their clients. With over $1 million in car accident recoveries, Cava Law Firm offers smart advice (and free consultations) to individuals throughout the state about automobile accidents and more.
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