When a car crash occurs, especially a serious one, on top of dealing with injuries and issues of insurance, it can be difficult to understand or interpret state laws when it comes to civil lawsuits to recover damages for injuries you sustained. Prudent steps in the aftermath of a serious crash include filing an insurance claim. When filing a successful claim, one should consider when and how to file, how to prove the defendant was at fault and or negligent, and how to navigate potential defenses raised by the defendant.
A recent news report provided details about a serious and fatal Massachusetts crash that occurred in Brockton. The crash happened shortly before 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at the corner of Pleasant Street and Nye Avenue, according to the Brockton police. The collision involved pedestrians, vehicles, and motorcycles. One man died and four others were hurt following a series of collisions, first between a car and pedestrians, then between two motorcycles, and finally between a motorcycle and another car. Authorities believe that the initial collision triggered the second crash, which then caused the third accident to occur. The full cause of the accident is still under investigation by the police.
Following a car accident, in order to hold the other party liable for injuries and damage suffered as a result of the crash, it is the plaintiff’s burden to prove that the accident was caused through negligence by the defendant. In the state of Massachusetts, there is a no-fault system that requires filing insurance claims before pursuing legal damages against another party, so beginning that process is essential prior to the filing of any legal suits. Finally, it is important to bear in mind that the state of Massachusetts operates under the rule of modified comparative fault, which means that a plaintiff can only recover damages if the plaintiff is not more than 50 percent at fault for the accident. Further, the amount a plaintiff can be awarded can be reduced based on the degree of their fault. That is to say, if you are partially to blame for the accident, damages you won will be reduced in proportion to the percentage of your own negligence. That being said, if the jury determines that the plaintiff is above 50 percent at fault for the accident, the plaintiff will be barred from recovering damages.