Who Can Be Sued For a Motor Vehicle Accident?

Who can be sued for a motor vehicle accident?

Auto accidents happen each and every minute in the United States.  Many of these accidents are caused by negligence.  When negligence causes personal injuries, oftentimes a claim, and sometimes a lawsuit, is filed.  There are many different types of motor vehicle accidents, and understanding who can and cannot be sued is important if you are considering taking legal action.

Please note if you are more than 50% at fault for causing the accident, your claim and lawsuit will not be successful.  In that situation filing a lawsuit would not be productive, and a car accident lawyer would not be able to do much of anything to help you.  The reason for this is that Massachusetts has

Car Accidents

These are the most common types of motor vehicle accident.  The driver of the car can be sued, even if he was not driving, or even in the car at the time of the car accident.  As well, the operator of the car that caused the automobile crash can also be sued.  Generally, both the operator and owner can be sued.  The operator and owner can be both be sued for negligence, and the owner can also be sued for negligent entrustment, if applicable.

Please note your medical bills must be at least $ 2000 before you can sue for pain and suffering for a car accident claim in Massachusetts.  You can however get your medical bills paid through the Massachusetts no-fault system, assuming they are necessary, reasonable and related to the crash.

If the responsible party does not have car insurance, then you look to your own auto insurance policy for coverage.  In that situation you would file a claim for uninsured motorist benefits.  You cannot sue for these benefits but you can go to arbitration if a settlement cannot be reached.

Truck Accidents

With these cases if the truck driver was negligent then he can be sued.  Also, the truck driver’s insurance company can also be sued under a legal doctrine called respondeat superior, or, vicarious liability.  This means that the truck driver’s employer can be sued, just like the driver can be sued, if the truck driver was acting in the course and scope of his employment for the employer at the time of the trucking crash.

These cases can be very complicated as opposed to a routine fender bender between two cars. That is because these cases often involve many potential defendants that may have been involved in bringing about the accident.  Sometimes the accident may be the result of driver error, and sometimes it can be attributed to a failure to maintain the vehicle, or it could be the fault of the company that manufactured the truck and its parts.  These crashes often require experts such as engineers and accident reconstructionists to opine as to the precise cause of the crash.

MBTA Accidents

As is the case with truck accidents, multiple parties can be sued for negligently causing an accident.  That means not only the MBTA train operator, but also the MBTA itself can be sued for negligence.  These accidents can result from bus accidents, train or trolley accidents, and other types of motor vehicle accidents involving MBTA vehicles.  Please note these cases have strict notice requirements which means the MBTA must receive written notice, via certified mail, of the accident no later than two years after the accident.  The presentment letter must contain certain elements of information, and must be sent to the appropriate party at the MBTA.

Workers Compensation Available To Injured Workers

Keep in mind for all motor vehicle accidents, if the responsible driver was acting in the course and scope for his employer, then workers compensation can be pursued.  These benefits pay for any lost wages, medical treatment, scarring, and loss of function suffered from the accident.  These benefits are available even if the accident was solely the fault of the employee, who can still file a claim for workers compensation benefits.

With these benefits, the injured worker is barred from suing his employer for a work accident.  However, if a third-party was responsible for causing the accident, then a claim and/or lawsuit can be filed against that party.

Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer

The Law Office of Christopher Earley has since 2005 been helping innocent people that have been negligently injured in motor vehicle accidents.  Call today for help and answers to your questions today free of charge.  We look forward to helping you with your case.