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Getting past the no-fault laws in Massachusetts

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. 

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