When You Are Partly At Fault for An Accident
In Massachusetts, if you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall, or any other accident, and you are partly at fault for causing the accident, you may still recover compensation for your injuries. Massachusetts law states that in the event you have contributed to your own injuries (if you were somehow negligent), you may still recover compensation, but your recovery will be reduced by the percentage of your own negligence. This is called comparative negligence.
Let us look at an example. If you were in an automobile accident and it is found that you were 10% at fault and the other driver was 90% at fault, your ultimate recovery will be reduced by 10%. This system is fair because instead of barring a recovery, it allows you to still bring claims against the negligent party, even if the accident was partly your fault.
Comparative negligence is almost always raised by insurance companies with slip and fall cases. The argument is typically that the person who slipped and fell was not walking carefully enough, and should have avoided the accident.
This defense is also raised a great deal with pedestrian accident cases. The insurance companies typically argue the victim darted out into traffic, or was not in the crosswalk at the point of impact, and thus is comparatively negligent.