What Is Modified Comparative Negligence in Massachusetts?

In some states, personal injury victims who are as little as 1% responsible for injuries they suffer are barred from seeking compensation from someone else. However, in Massachusetts, a different system — known as modified comparative negligence — is in place. What is modified comparative negligence in Massachusetts? It is a way of factoring in the fault of an injury victim without prohibiting them from pursuing damages up to a certain percentage of their own fault.

Has someone injured you or someone you love? Contact Cava Law Firm to learn how we can potentially help. Call (413) 737-3430 or (413) 781-CAVA (2282) for a free consultation today.

Understanding Negligence in Massachusetts

Negligence refers to a failure of some sort that violates a duty owed. This failure must result in compensable damages. When it does, the victim of the failure can pursue compensation in the form of economic and non-economic damages.

In life, negligence comes into play in all manner of contexts, including:

  • Traffic accidents;
  • Slip and fall accidents;
  • Work injuries caused by third parties;
  • Medical malpractice; and
  • Wrongful death cases.

However, in many of these contexts, fault does not always rest squarely on one party’s shoulders. In many cases, the injured person plays some role in their own accident. When they do, the law must take the injured person’s actions into account for the issue of damages. In this case, the system of comparative negligence is used to determine compensation.

At Cava Law, we believe that winning is NO accident! Our skill, preparation, and experience allow us to win.

What Is Modified Comparative Negligence in Massachusetts?

In Massachusetts, comparative negligence rules require each party’s percentage of negligence to be calculated. Sometimes, only one party is negligent. In other situations, the injured party shares in the blame. If their percentage of negligence exceeds 50%, they are barred from seeking damages for their losses.

For example, if you are deemed to be 50% responsible for a car accident, you can still seek damages for your losses. However, you will not receive full compensation. Instead, your compensation payout will be reduced by the percentage of your liability, which is 50% in this case. Therefore, if your damages from the car accident total $100,000, your compensation award will be reduced by 50%, leaving you with $50,000 before attorney’s fees.

What Damages Are Available in Personal Injury Cases?

People injuredin personal injuries are permitted to seek compensation for monetary and non-monetary consequences of their injuries, including medical and hospital bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and other non-pecuniary losses.

Strict Liability and Modified Comparative Negligence

In some personal injury cases, negligence does not factor into liability, nor does modified comparative negligence. These strict liability cases include product liability and dog bite cases.

Other Forms of Comparative Negligence

Other states have different systems of comparative negligence. For example, in some jurisdictions, injured parties who are 50% or more negligent are barred from seeking damages. This works out to a 1% difference between these jurisdictions and Massachusetts, which draws the line at 51% at fault.

In states that have pure comparative negligence rules, injury victims can seek compensation even if they are 99% at fault. However, their compensation would be reduced by the percentage of their fault.

Protect Your Right to Compensation

Your right to compensation is based on your degree of fault in Massachusetts. An experienced personal injury law firm will fight against unreasonable attempts to assign you blame and seek to preserve the damages you are owed.

If you have been injured by another, call (413) 737-3430 or (413) 781-CAVA (2282) to reach Cava Law Firm. We are here to fight for you.

Attorney Jennifer L. Cava-Foreman

Attorney Jennifer L. Cava-Foreman would like to take the guesswork out of choosing a lawyer by letting the facts and her winning verdicts speak for themselves. Attorney Cava-Foreman is known in the local courts and has firsthand experience with many types of cases ranging from personal injury to criminal defense. Attorney Cava-Foreman understands that every case and every client is different. Whether a client is injured or mixed up in a criminal matter, she will provide the legal advice needed and stand up for her client in court. [ Attorney Bio ]

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