Understanding Massachusetts’ comparative negligence policy

On Behalf of | Aug 3, 2022 | Personal Injury

Vehicular accidents may result in fatalities. Even in cases where there is no death, those involved may sustain serious injuries to the mind and body.

Potential ones include traumatic brain injury, spine damage, contusions and concussions. Individuals involved in a wreck may qualify to receive compensation, depending on how much responsibility they bear for the incident.

Plaintiffs may only recover if they are not equally or more at fault than the other party

Massachusetts adheres to a comparative negligence policy which assigns blame on a percentage basis. According to this, plaintiffs may only obtain compensation if the other party was at least 51% at fault. This is in contrast with the past policy of contributory negligence, where a plaintiff who shared any blame at all in an accident was unable to recover any damages at all.

The amount of recovery possible depends on the percentage of fault

Even if a claimant qualifies to receive damages, the amount he or she may receive decreases with an increasing degree of blame. A judge may award the plaintiff a certain amount. That amount then undergoes reduction by the percentage he or she is liable for. As an example, if a judge awards an individual $20,000 and the person bore 40% of the blame for the accident, he or she would only receive $12,000, not including any other fees that must come out of it.

In a personal injury case involving serious injuries, people have the chance to obtain compensation for their suffering and losses as long as they are not equally or mostly to blame for the accident. However, the more to blame they are, the less they may receive.


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