After suffering injuries in a car accident in Boston or the surrounding areas, individuals have three years to file a case in court, according to Massachusetts law. This important law, called the “statute of limitations,” is strictly interpreted by courts, and if a case is not filed within this period of time, the plaintiff may be prevented from bringing it to court. However, it is important to note that this statute of limitations does not affect when an individual may file their insurance claim.
Statutes of limitations are determined by the “window” during which the cause of action accrues. Car accident injuries are held to have accrued as of the date of the injury or the date of the collision. Even victims with strong claims for compensation will be prevented from bringing a case after these three years have passed. For victims pursuing a claim against a government entity, claims must be filed within 30 days of an accident.
Another important legal rule that may affect an individual’s ability to recover damages following a car accident is the doctrine of comparative fault. In terms of liability, the comparative negligence law makes it important for victims not to admit fault when providing the police with statements. This is because comparative negligence can potentially affect the ability of an injured car accident victim to recover damages in a legal claim against another involved party.
As a “modified” comparative fault state, Massachusetts law holds that accident victims may recover damages if they are less than 50 percent at fault for an accident. According to Massachusetts law, if a victim is found to be 50 percent or more at fault for the accident, they will not recover damages. The amount of damages that may be recovered will be reduced by the amount of fault the victim shared in the crash.
An example of modified comparative fault is as follows. If a jury finds that a victim is 15 percent at fault for causing an accident, and the other driver (the defendant in the legal claim) is 85 percent at fault, the victim plaintiff would still recover damages. According to the modified comparative fault rule, the victim would recover 85 percent of the total damages award.
After handling medical issues and dealing with police at the scene of an accident, a qualified Boston car accident attorney can help you with your car accident claim. If you have suffered injuries or property damage due to the carelessness of another driver in the Boston area, our office can help. At the Law Office of Michael O. Smith, we help clients pursue the benefits to which they are entitled by law. If you or someone close to you has been in a serious car accident and is in need of compensation, contact us for a free consultation with a skilled lawyer. Telephone our office at (617) 263-0060 or reach us online.
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Massachusetts Appeal Court Affirms Verdict Awarding Pedestrian Damages in Lawsuit Against Driver Who Struck and Injured Her in Cambridge Crosswalk, Boston Car Accident Attorney News, February 3, 2017
Massachusetts Court Upholds Motion for New Trial Based on Excessive Damages Awarded to Victim of Car Accident When Judge Found Medical Evidence Failed to Support Alleged Harm, Boston Car Accident Attorney News, March 8, 2017