After a car accident, drivers may suffer extensive injuries, property damage and emotional turmoil. Massachusetts is a no-fault state. No-fault insurance structures are systems where a driver’s car insurance pays for his or her damages. This includes out-of-pocket costs, medical treatment and damages up to the policy’s limit. With no-fault, it does not matter who caused the accident.
According to Massachusetts law, however, there are ways that a person can bring a civil action against the other driver.
The no-fault exceptions
Drivers who seek compensation through a lawsuit can sue for economic and non-economic damages. Plaintiffs may seek:
- Pain and suffering damages
- Medical expenses
- Dental expenses
- Funeral expenses
For expenses to qualify for a civil action, they must add up to at least $2,000 or consist of a death, permanent disfigurement or loss of sight or hearing.
The standards of fault
According to the Massachusetts driver’s manual, there is a standard by which to determine fault. There are 19 standards of fault in total. Rear-end collisions are almost always the fault of the driver who hit the other, same with collisions with parked vehicles. Any time that a driver fails to signal, obey road signs or practice caution at an intersection, he or she is most likely at-fault for any consequential accidents.
Drivers must yield the right-of-way to emergency vehicles, follow all traffic signs and regulations and practice caution when opening doors. When a driver commits one of the standards of fault, not only could he or she face a lawsuit, but it can also affect the person’s driving record.