Massachusetts is a comparative fault state when it comes to law suits to recover damages for a personal injury. Whether negotiating a claim with an insurance company or pursuing a lawsuit in court, your settlement award or damage award may be reduced if you were also partly at fault for the accident that caused your injury.
The law of comparative negligence varies from state to state. The law has long recognized as a defense to a personal injury lawsuit the argument that the person who was injured was also negligent in a way that contributed to the resulting injury. The doctrine is generally called contributory negligence. Originally contributory negligence was a complete defense: a plaintiff who was found to be even 1% at fault was barred from recovering any damages from the defendant even if the defend was 99% at fault.