What happens in MA if victim was partially at fault for Fatal Car Accident?

Massachusetts Fatal Car AccidentWhat happens in Massachusetts if the deceased victim was partially at fault for the Accident?

In Massachusetts, the victim’s executor can recover on behalf of the beneficiaries as a result of a Fatal Car Accident, Premises Liability, Motor Vehicle Accident or Motorcycle Crash.  However, the recovery can be diminished if the deceased person was partially at fault for his own death. This is what we call comparative negligence+ in MA.   MA  Wrongful Death Statute. G.L. c 231 Section 85 +++

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Modified Comparative Negligence in MA.

Massachusetts utilizes a “modified Comparative negligence” rule++ If a deceased person is more than 50 percent at fault, the beneficiaries get no recovery in Massachusetts. Pursuant to Mass. Law, if an injured person is more than 50 percent at fault for the accident then the injured party is not entitled to any recovery. This also applies to the decedent’s estate in fatal wrongful death accidents such as Bike / Bicycle Accidents, Premises liability, Truck Accidents and Motorcycle accidents.

MA is not a Pure Comparative fault State!

Massachusetts is not a pure comparative negligence State. In a pure comparative negligence state, like Rhode Island , an injured person can recover even if they are more than 50 percent at fault for the Car Crash. In RI, even if a motorist is 99 percent at fault for a motorcycle accident resulting in serious injury he can recover 1 percent of his damages against the other motorist involved in the mishap. http://nationalparalegal.edu/public_documents/courseware_asp_files/torts/defNegSpecDut/ComparativeNegligence.asp

Pursuant to Mass. Law, if an injured person is more than 50 percent at fault for the accident then the injured party is not entitled to any recovery. This also applies to fatal wrongful death accidents such as bike accidents, Truck accidents and Motorcycle accidents.

In COOK vs. THE HANOVER INSURANCE COMPANY the surviving spouse received no damages for her husband untimely death because her spouse was found to be solely negligent for the accident http://law.justia.com/cases/massachusetts/court-of-appeals/volumes/32/32massappct555.html

The COOK Court set forth the pertinent facts: “Antonio Magazzu died on January 19, 1987, eight days after he lost control of the automobile he was driving on Soldiers Field Road in the Allston section of Boston and it plunged into the Charles River. It is uncontroverted that Antonio’s negligent operation of the vehicle was entirely responsible for the fatal accident.” Id.

+“Comparative negligence, or non-absolute contributory negligence outside of the United States, is a partial legal defense that reduces the amount of damages that a plaintiff can recover in a negligence-based claim based upon the degree to which the plaintiff’s own negligence contributed to cause the injury.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparative_negligence

+++Pursuant to the MA  Wrongful Death Statute. G.L. c 231 Section 85 :

“Contributory negligence shall not bar recovery in any action by any person or legal representative to recover damages for negligence resulting in death or in injury to person or property, if such negligence was not greater than the total amount of negligence attributable to the person or persons against whom recovery is sought, but any damages allowed shall be diminished in proportion to the amount of negligence attributable to the person for whose injury, damage or death recovery is made. In determining by what amount the plaintiff’s damages shall be diminished in such a case, the negligence of each plaintiff shall be compared to the total negligence of all persons against whom recovery is sought. The combined total of the plaintiff’s negligence taken together with all of the negligence of all defendants shall equal one hundred per cent.”

+“Comparative negligence, or non-absolute contributory negligence outside of the United States, is a partial legal defense that reduces the amount of damages that a plaintiff can recover in a negligence-based claim based upon the degree to which the plaintiff’s own negligence contributed to cause the injury.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparative_negligence

“…modified” comparative negligence. One variant allows plaintiffs to recover only if the plaintiff’s negligence is “not greater than” the defendant’s (viz., the plaintiff’s negligence must not be more than 50% of the combined negligence of both parties).”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparative_negligence

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