What is the Massachusetts Negligence Law?
You are in a shopping mall buying Christmas gifts for your family. Unfortunately for you, all items placed on a rack fall on you as you try to pick a gift. You are severely hurt as some items fall on your head and your shoulders. Are you partly at fault? Is there a chance that there was a warning sign on the rack and you have missed reading that? Can you claim compensation for negligence from the store?
What is the Negligence Law Definition?
In simple, as per negligence laws, negligence is the breach of duty to take care. The negligence law definition defines negligence as a failure to exercise appropriate care expected to be exercised in certain circumstances. Failing to act is considered as a form of carelessness that comes with mitigating circumstance. As per the negligence law definition, the core concept of negligence is that people must account for the potential harm that they might unknowingly and unintentionally cause to other people or property if they fail to exercise reasonable care in their actions. An injured party, also known as the victim or the plaintiff is eligible for compensation on proving all four elements of a negligence claim.
As per the negligence law definition, the four elements are:
- The defendant has a duty towards others to exercise reasonable care
- Failure on the defendant’s part to fulfill his or her duty to exercise reasonable care called the breach of duty
- The defendant’s act or failure to act that causes damage or injury to the plaintiff
- The damage or injury to the plaintiff is a foreseeable consequence of the defendant's act or omission to act.
The negligence laws by state accept the negligence law definition and the elements of negligence laws mentioned above. But the negligence laws by state differ from one state to another.
Negligence Law Massachusetts
The Massachusetts negligence law is as stringent as the negligence laws by state of other states in the U.S. The District of Columbia and all fifty states of the U.S. exercise some form of negligence laws and comparative negligence is common law. According to Negligence Law Massachusetts, a judge or the jury consider all the evidence presented in the case and assign blame to one or both parties.
As per Negligence Law Massachusetts, the comparative negligence laws apply when
- The defendant raises the issue of the plaintiff’s negligence
- The defendant proves with evidence that the plaintiff was negligent and his or her negligence contributed to the cause of the injuries
The state of Massachusetts has adopted the modified comparative negligence laws. Under Massachusetts negligence law, the plaintiff cannot claim compensation for damage if his or her percentage of negligence exceeds the percentage of negligence of the defendant or combined negligence of all defendants.
The negligence laws by state follow different negligence laws, but the punishment for all states is severe, as the punishment for negligence in Massachusetts.
Punishment for Negligence in Massachusetts
As per the Massachusetts negligence law, the punishment for negligence in Massachusetts is as per the severity of the offense. In the state of Massachusetts, you may face all or any of the punishment for negligence.
- Fine and court cost
- Community service, suspended sentence, probation, restitution to the victim among other
- An active sentence for a specific period
- Suspension of driving license, deportation for non-citizens, among others.
As per the negligence law, Massachusetts, negligent operation of a motor vehicle is a criminal offense and the punishment for negligence in Massachusetts is up to two and a half years in state jail and large fines. Your license is either revoked or suspended for reckless driving. The Massachusetts negligence law puts you at risk of a criminal record.