If you’ve suffered an injury in Massachusetts due to the negligence of another party, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. However, things can get complicated if you are also partially at fault for the accident. The idea of comparative negligence becomes relevant at this point.

Understanding how comparative negligence works is crucial in determining the amount of compensation you may receive. Massachusetts follows a comparative negligence rule, which means that if you bear partial responsibility for the accident, it could result in a reduction of your compensation.

In this article, we will delve into what comparative negligence means, how it works in Massachusetts, and its potential impact on your personal injury case. Whether you’re involved in a car accident, a slip and fall, or any other type of personal injury case, keep reading to learn how comparative negligence can affect your case and your potential compensation.

What is Comparative Negligence?

The legal concept of comparative negligence involves apportioning a degree of responsibility to each  party implicated in an incident. In Massachusetts, the comparative negligence rule is known as “modified comparative negligence.” Even if you were partially responsible for the accident, you can still seek compensation for damages. However, the amount of compensation you receive will be decreased by the percentage of fault that is assigned to you. 

How is Fault Determined in Massachusetts?

In Massachusetts, the fault is determined by a jury or judge based on the evidence presented in your case. This evidence may include witness testimony, accident reports, and expert opinions. The jury or judge will consider the actions of all parties involved in the accident and assign a percentage of fault to each party.

It’s important to note that Massachusetts follows a modified comparative negligence rule with a 50% bar. If it’s determined that you bear 50% or less of the responsibility for the incident, you’re eligible to receive compensation for the damages incurred. However, the amount of damages you can receive will be reduced based on the percentage of fault attributed to you.

How Does Comparative Negligence Affect My Compensation?

If you are found to be partially at fault for the accident, your total compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you. For example, if you would otherwise be  awarded $100,000 in damages but were found to be 20% at fault for the accident, your compensation would be reduced by $20,000, leaving you with $80,000 in damages.

How Can I Minimize My Percentage of Fault?

There are a few things you can do to minimize your percentage of fault:

Seek medical attention as soon as possible: By seeking medical attention immediately after the accident, you can establish a link between your injuries and the accident. This can help to minimize any argument that your injuries were caused by something other than the accident.

Gather evidence: Collect as much evidence as possible from the scene of the accident, including witness statements, photos, and video footage. This can help to establish what happened and who was at fault.

Hire an experienced personal injury attorney: An experienced attorney can help to build a strong case on your behalf and minimize your percentage of fault.

Be honest: It’s important to be honest about your role in the accident. Trying to hide or downplay your actions can backfire and make you look more at fault than you actually are.

Get the Compensation You Deserve: Partner with Swartz & Swartz, P.C. for Your Personal Injury Case in Massachusetts

Understanding comparative negligence is crucial in a personal injury case in Massachusetts. It can greatly impact the compensation you may receive and how the court will view your case. By partnering with an experienced Massachusetts personal injury attorney like Swartz & Swartz, P.C., you can obtain the guidance and support needed to navigate these challenges with greater ease and confidence. With a team dedicated to protecting your rights and advocating for your family’s well being, you can trust that you are in good hands. If you are facing a personal injury situation, don’t hesitate to reach out and learn more about how Swartz & Swartz, P.C. can help you obtain the favorable outcome you deserve.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Can I still recover damages if I am partially at fault for my injury in Massachusetts?

Answer: Yes, you can still recover damages, but your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to you.

Question: What types of damages can I recover in a Massachusetts personal injury case?

Answer: You may be able to recover damages for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses resulting from your injury.

Question: Will my compensation be reduced if the other party is also partially at fault for my injury?

Answer: Yes, your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to you and will be limited to the percentage of fault attributed to the other party.

Question: If I wasn’t wearing a seatbelt during the accident, is it still possible for me to receive compensation for the damages incurred?

Answer: Yes, you can still recover damages, but your recovery may be reduced if the failure to wear a seatbelt was a contributing factor to your injuries.

Question: How long do I have to file a personal injury lawsuit in Massachusetts?

Answer: In most cases, you have three years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit in Massachusetts.

Question: Do I need an attorney to pursue a personal injury case in Massachusetts?

Answer: It is highly recommended that you consult with an experienced personal injury attorney in Massachusetts to assist you with your case.

Question: What should I do if I am involved in a personal injury accident in Massachusetts?

Answer: Seek medical attention for your injuries, gather information from witnesses and the other party, and consult with an attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights and interests. 

Question: Can comparative negligence apply to cases involving product liability in Massachusetts?

Answer: Yes, comparative negligence can apply to cases involving product liability, but the defendant must prove that the plaintiff’s negligence contributed to the injury.

Question: Can comparative negligence be used in cases other than personal injury cases in Massachusetts?

Answer: Yes, comparative negligence can be used in other types of cases, such as contract disputes or property damage claims.

Need Help?

If you or someone you know, needs help from a lawyer, contact the law offices of Swartz & Swartz, use our live chat, or send us a message using the form below and we’ll get in touch to assess your case and how we can help.

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About the Author: James Swartz
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Mr. Swartz, our Managing and Principal Attorney at Swartz & Swartz P.C., is a nationally recognized and respected trial attorney as well as consumer advocate. His practice focuses on cases involving negligence, torts, products liability, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and other claims involving catastrophic injuries.

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