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Massachusetts Car Accident Standards of Fault Part 1

By DiBella Law Offices on June 25, 2019

When it comes to determining who is at fault for a traffic accident in the state of Massachusetts, there are set standards in place to help identify the negligent party. The Massachusetts Drivers Manual provides the complete list of 19 traffic infractions that point to the at-fault driver.

We here at DiBella Law Offices, P.C., know how difficult it is to get your life back to normal after a car accident. We feel it is our duty to protect law-abiding drivers from being stuck with bills caused by people who are negligent when they get behind the wheel of a car.

Today, we are highlighting the first ten of nineteen Standards of Fault under Massachusetts law that determine fault in car accident cases. If you or a loved one has been in a crash in Boston, and the other driver did any of the following, then you could pursue legal action to receive compensation.

Massachusetts’ Standards of Fault 1-10

  1. Collision with a lawfully or an unlawfully parked vehicle- If a driver strikes a vehicle that is parked (lawfully or unlawfully), it is the driver who hit the stationary vehicle who will be held to blame. A moving vehicle can maneuver to avoid a collision; a stationary vehicle cannot.
  2. Rear-end collision- These crashes are exceedingly common. If a vehicle strikes another in the rear, responsibility for the accident is usually placed on rear driver. Drivers should always give themselves enough room to stop in a safe manner and not hit the car in front of them.
  3. Out-of-lane collision- If a vehicle is partially or completely outside of the appropriate lane of traffic, then that driver will be held liable for the collision. Disregard for the proper flow of traffic and lane limitations is inherently dangerous.
  4. Failure to signal- Signaling before turning or changing lanes is an important part of driving in a safe manner, and those who fail to do so can be considered negligent if they cause a crash.
  5. Failure to proceed with due caution from a traffic control signal or sign- The driver of a motor vehicle who fails to obey a traffic light or sign, or fails to proceed with due caution in the presence of traffic control signs, will be held more than 50% responsible for any accident that occurs.
  6. Collision on the wrong side of the road- Wrong-way drivers are obviously to blame for these crashes, however they got into the opposite flow of traffic.
  7. Operating in the wrong direction- Similar to wrong-way crashes, this occurs when someone is operating a vehicle in the wrong direction on a travel lane, one-way street, or highway, and collides with another vehicle driving in the correct direction. Accidents such as these typically result in head-on collisions, which can result in serious injuries or fatalities.
  8. Collision at an uncontrolled intersection- The operator of a motor vehicle shall be held responsible for an accident taking place if he:
  • enters a main road from a secondary road when the accident occurs.
  • both vehicles enter the intersection at the same time, and the at-fault driver’s vehicle entered the intersection from the left of the other vehicle, failing to allow the vehicle the legal right-of-way.
  • enters the intersection at a point in time later than the other vehicle.
  1. Collision while in the process of backing up- The driver of a motor vehicle that collides with another vehicle while backing up will be held responsible for the accident.
  2. Collision while making a left turn or U-turn across the travel path of a vehicle traveling in the same or opposite direction- Enough said.

We’ll be covering the final nine Standards of Fault in our next blog, so stay tuned!

Contact Boston Car Accident Attorneys at DiBella Law Offices, P.C.

Since Massachusetts follows the concept of modified comparative negligence when determining legal fault, you may only seek compensation from the other party if you are less than 51% at fault for the accident. The Standards of Fault provide a guideline for determining fault, but real life isn’t always cut and dry. Having a skilled Boston personal injury lawyer at your side can make all the difference in being able to prove the other driver’s negligence.

Contact DiBella Law Offices, P.C., today at (617) 870-0907 to schedule a free consultation to learn about how we can protect your rights.

Posted in: Car Accidents