Massachusetts Car Accident Standards of Fault Part 2
When it comes to determining fault for car accident in Massachusetts, the concept of modified comparative negligence is what dictates liability. This means you may only seek compensation from the other party if you are deemed less than 51% at fault for the accident. Because of this, determining who is responsible for the crash is crucial for any insurance claim and personal injury lawsuit!
In order to determine fault for car accidents, the Massachusetts Drivers Manual lists nineteen standards of fault that work as guidelines in determining who is responsible in the event of a car accident. We here at DiBella Law Offices, P.C., have already published a blog highlighting the first ten standards, and today, we would like to highlight the final nine.
Massachusetts’ Standards of Fault 11-19
- Leaving or exiting from a parked position, parking lot, alley or driveway– The driver of a motor vehicle shall be presumed to be at fault when he’s leaving or exiting from a parked position, parking lot, alley or driveway, and his vehicle collides with another vehicle.
- 12. Opened or opening vehicle door(s)- The operator of a vehicle shall be presumed to be at fault for an accident that occurs when his vehicle’s door or doors are opened or opening and hit another vehicle.
- Single-vehicle collision- If there’s only one vehicle involved in a crash (off road, or with a stationary object), that driver will be presumed to be at fault for the accident.
- Failure to obey the rules and regulations for driving- When a vehicle operator violates any provision of Massachusetts General Laws Chapters 85, 89 or 90; or fails to obey the following rules and regulations: The Metropolitan District Commission (350 CMR), Registry of Motor Vehicles (540 CMR), MA Department of Highways (720 CMR), MA Turnpike Authority (730 CMR), or MA Port Authority (740 CMR), causing a collision with another vehicle.
- Unattended vehicle collision– A driver who leaves his vehicle unattended and it rolls, resulting in a collision, will be considered at fault for the accident.
- 16. Collision while merging onto a highway, or into a rotary- The driver of a vehicle merging onto a highway or into a rotary, when the other vehicle is already on the roadway, will hold liability for any accident and injuries that take place.
- 17. Non-contact operator causing collision– The operator of a vehicle shall be presumed to be at fault when his vehicle is not in a collision, but his actions cause the collision of one or more other vehicles.
- 18. Failure to yield the right-of-way to emergency vehicles when required by law– The driver of a motor vehicle shall be considered at fault when he fails to yield the right-of-way to emergency vehicles (mandated by G.L. c. 89, s. 7), resulting in a collision.
- 19. Collision at a “T” intersection– The driver coming from a roadway that turns onto a throughway, and whose car is in a collision with another vehicle traveling on that intersecting throughway, is to blame.
Now you know the basics of how to determine fault for a car accident, but applying these principles to real life can be tricky, and few at-fault drivers are truthful after the fact. It’s your word against his or hers, and you may have difficulty proving your case without professional help.
DiBella Law Offices, P.C., Can Help If You’ve Been in a Car Accident in Boston
Being involved in a car accident is never an easy situation to handle, especially if it was the result of the negligence of another. We here at DiBella Law Offices, P.C., in Boston know that dealing with insurance companies and proving fault can be a complicated and arduous task. If you or a loved one has been in a wreck and need compensation to help you get back on your feet, our legal team is here to help.
Call our Boston office at (617) 870-0907 for a free consultation. Let DiBella Law Offices, P.C., handle your case while you focus on getting your life back to normal.