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Can I recover compensation if I am partly at fault for a crash?

On Behalf of | Mar 15, 2024 | Personal Injury |

If you have been involved in a car crash, knowing the laws is the first step toward protecting yourself and your right to seek compensation. Massachusetts follows a modified comparative negligence system for all personal injury cases, including car accidents. Therefore, if your share of the blame in the accident is under 51%, you remain eligible to claim compensation, with the amount adjusted to reflect your level of fault. For example, if you are found to be 30% at fault and the total damages amount to $10,000, you can only receive 70% of the total damages or $7,000.

Unfortunately, because of the same rules, you cannot recover any compensation if the other party can prove that you are more responsible for the accident. What you do and say immediately after the car crash can affect your ability to recover compensation for your injuries.

Why what you do after the car crash matters

Your actions after the crash can directly influence the outcome of your claim. The most important thing you should do is to check whether you or anyone else sustained any injuries and call 911 if necessary. If you are safe and not visibly hurt, you should do the following:

  • Document the crash scene: Take photos of the scene, your injuries and any property damage. Collect names and contact information of witnesses. Keep a diary of your symptoms and how they affect your daily life.
  • Report the accident: Contact the police and notify your insurance company about the crash. Only talk about the observable facts. Avoid admitting fault, apologizing or making any statements they can use against you later.
  • Seek medical attention: Your health is paramount. Even if you think you are okay, some injuries take time to manifest. Medical records will also be vital evidence for your claim.

When seeking compensation from the at-fault party, it is important to clearly demonstrate the full extent of your losses and the legal basis for your claim. The goal is to ensure you receive the maximum amount of compensation you rightfully and lawfully deserve.