Navigating Massachusetts Auto Accident Laws: Insights for Boston Residents

January 17, 2024

Getting around the bustling streets of Boston can be an adventure, but what happens when that adventure takes an unexpected turn? Unfortunately, auto accidents are a reality for many Boston residents. If you find yourself amid a fender bender, navigating the legalities of a Massachusetts auto accident can feel as confusing as deciphering the city’s one-way streets.

Our Boston auto accident laws offers a roadmap to understanding your rights and responsibilities after a collision in this comprehensive guide.

Understanding the Function of a Boston Auto Accident Laws

Massachusetts auto accident laws encompass several essential aspects that Boston residents should be aware of:

No-Fault Insurance

The “no-fault” insurance system is a cornerstone of auto accident laws in Massachusetts. Under this system, individuals involved in auto accidents seek compensation from their insurance companies, irrespective of fault. This setup aims to streamline the claims process, ensuring quicker access to immediate medical treatment and coverage for economic losses like medical expenses, lost wages, and rehabilitation costs.

However, there’s a catch. Under this system, you generally can’t sue the at-fault driver for damages unless your injuries are considered severe enough. You have to meet a certain threshold of seriousness for your injuries, like substantial disfigurement, major bone fractures, permanent disability, or significant loss of hearing or sight.

This system aims to handle smaller claims quickly and keep minor cases out of the courts. But if your injuries meet the serious injury threshold, you can take legal action against the at-fault driver for more compensation beyond what your insurance covers.

Understanding how the no-fault system in Massachusetts affects your rights after a car accident can be complex. Getting advice from a Boston auto accident laws, like Michael Kelly Injury Lawyers, can help you navigate this system and determine the best steps to take after a car accident.


Comparative Negligence

In Massachusetts, the legal principle of comparative negligence comes into play when there’s shared fault in an accident. This system allows for assigning a degree of responsibility to each party involved based on their contribution to the accident.

Under the modified comparative negligence rule, if you’re found partially responsible for the auto accident, it can impact the compensation you receive. Specifically, your compensation might be reduced proportionately to the percentage of fault assigned to you. For instance, if it’s determined that you were 20% responsible for the accident, your compensation could be decreased by that same percentage.

However, it’s essential to note a critical threshold within this system: Massachusetts operates under a modified comparative negligence rule with a 51% bar. This means that if you contributed 51% or more toward the accident, you may be barred from seeking any compensation for your damages.

Statute of Limitations

In Massachusetts, individuals usually have a three-year window from the accident date to sue for their injuries in personal injury claims resulting from auto accidents. This period applies to injuries sustained in the accident, their medical expenses, and other related damages.

Similarly, individuals have a three-year timeframe to file property damage claims resulting from the accident. This period encompasses claims seeking compensation for vehicle repairs or replacement and damage to personal property caused by the accident.

Understanding and adhering to these statutory time limits are critical. If you fail to file a Boston auto accident lawyer within the specified timeframe, it could lead to losing the opportunity to seek compensation for injuries or property damage sustained in the auto accident. Courts typically dismiss cases filed after the expiration of the statute of limitations.

Minimum Insurance Requirement

In Massachusetts, drivers must adhere to specific minimum insurance coverage requirements set by the state. These mandated minimums are intended to ensure that individuals have basic protection in the event of an auto accident.

The minimum insurance requirement for bodily injury liability coverage is $20,000 per individual and $40,000 per accident. If you’re responsible for causing an accident where someone else is injured, your insurance must cover up to $20,000 for each injured person, with a maximum limit of $40,000 for all injured parties in a single accident.

Regarding property damage liability coverage, Massachusetts mandates a minimum of $5,000. This coverage applies to damages caused to the other party’s vehicle or property due to your fault in an accident.

While the state mandates these minimum coverage requirements, they might not always be sufficient to fully cover the damages and losses in a severe accident. Costs for medical expenses, vehicle repairs, and other damages can quickly surpass these minimum limits, potentially leaving individuals financially vulnerable if found liable for an accident that exceeds their insurance coverage.

Given the limitations of minimum insurance coverage, considering higher coverage limits or additional insurance options beyond the state-mandated minimums is advisable.

Seek Legal Counsel for Better Outcomes in Boston, MA

Seeking legal guidance from an experienced Boston auto accident laws, such as Michael Kelly Injury Lawyers, can be invaluable. A proficient attorney can navigate the complexities of Massachusetts auto accident laws, ensuring rights are protected and advocating for fair compensation.

Navigating with a Boston auto accident laws demands a comprehensive understanding of the state’s unique legal framework. For Boston residents involved in auto accidents, seeking advice and representation from a knowledgeable and reputable attorney can make a substantial difference in achieving a favorable outcome.

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Michael D. Kelly has a diverse background that provides a breadth of legal knowledge that he draws upon in serving his clients. Kelly compiled an excellent academic record during his three years at New England Law in Boston.