Our Burlington area readers know that, unfortunately, car crashes can occur any day of the year, even on Christmas. Recently, two brothers were involved in a car accident with another vehicle at Barre Road and Old Boston Turnpike. According to reports, the two brothers, ages 23 and 17, were traveling in a pickup truck when they collided at the intersection with a Lincoln Town Car. The 84-year-old driver of the Lincoln Town Car was issued a citation for failing to stop at a stop sign, and the driver and an 84-year-old passenger in his vehicle were taken to the hospital following the crash. Their condition is not immediately known.
The two brothers were apparently treated for facial and head injuries at UMass Memorial Hospital and then released. It is reported that the brothers were also issued a citation for failing to wear a seatbelt at the time of the car crash.
This accident demonstrates how the concept of negligence is crucial to determining whether or not a person may have a right to pursue a claim for compensation for the injuries incurred in such an accident. Massachusetts follows the doctrine of modified negligence in personal injury cases. This means that if the court decides that one party is 51 percent or more at fault for the accident, they cannot recover any damages. But, if a party is found to be 50 percent or less at fault, the recovery that party can receive will be reduced by the percentage of their fault. This means that even though the two brothers apparently were not wearing their seatbelts, if the driver of the other vehicle failed to make a proper stop at a stop sign they may still pursue a claim for damages. They may be entitled to reimbursement for medical expenses incurred as a result of the accident, as well as future medical expenses, loss of wages and pain and suffering.
Personal injury claims that arise from accident such as this one can be quite complex. It is always advisable to get the right information after an accident like this in order to maximize the amount of compensation that can be obtained.
Source: telegram.com, "Barre brothers released from hospital after crash," Dec. 27, 2012