Auto Accidents - Black, White and Grey

Let’s face it, auto accidents “stink”…even when coverage is not in question, they are still an inconvenience.

But the worst situation is when an accident occurs and you have been deemed at fault – and charged with “points” on your driving record when you KNOW the other driver is not telling the truth, or is taking advantage of the situation. It leaves you feeling frustrated, helpless, and in the extreme, maybe even betrayed by your agent and/or insurance company.

At fault accidents when you know the other driver is not telling the truth.  Car accidents in Massachusetts and the law

From Elliot Whittier’s perspective, accidents give us an opportunity to shine. This is the reason people buy insurance, and our performance is what differentiates us from the competition. Helping our clients through the claim process is important work. The strong relationships we’ve developed with our companies can make a significant difference in the level of satisfaction of our clients. But there are some things that are beyond our control – and beyond the company’s control.

The Registry of Motor Vehicles’ website lists 19 Standards of Fault. Massachusetts auto insurers and the Division of Insurance Board of Appeals use these Standards of Fault to determine if a driver is at fault in an accident. This is really important because we live in a strict liability state, and you are either 100% at fault, or 0% at fault. That means if you’re more than 50% at fault in an accident, you own it, and you will be charged 3 points for a minor accident ($1000 - $4999), and 4 points for a major accident ($5,000+). Here is the link for the complete list:

Most of us know when one rear-ends someone, the one doing the hitting is always at fault. Here are some other instances where liability is clear cut:

  • Collision with a Lawfully or Unlawfully Parked Vehicle
  • Opened or Opening Vehicle Doors
  • Out of Lane Collision
  • Collision While Making a Left Turn or U-Turn Across the Travel Path of a Vehicle Traveling in the Same or Opposite Direction
  • Non-Contact Operator Causing Collision

“You mean to tell me I’m at fault – that car was parked illegally!”

“I had the green arrow to turn left, and he hit me!”

Sorry - as they say in New York, “don’t matter.” Companies have no wiggle room. The bottom line is there are situations that are black (where we can’t help your cause), white (where you don’t need our help), and grey (where we can attempt to reason with the parties involved.)

Drive carefully……


Looking to compare Massachusetts Auto insurance rates?  We have a fantastic array of carriers that we can look at for you.  Call today!  617-846-5000 or click the link below 24/7 and we will get back to you. 

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With offices in Danvers & Winthrop Massachusetts, Elliot Whittier Insurance has been awarded The Five Star Award of Distinction from the Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents.  Elliot Whittier Insurance is also a Trusted Choice® agency and represents multiple insurance companies, so it offers you a variety of personal and business coverage choices and can customize an insurance plan to meet your specialized needs.  You can visit Elliot Whittier online at, email, or call 800-696-3947


What to do Next?

Have us review your insurance policies and check that your limits are sufficient. Ask what the cost is to bump it up under higher limit scenarios.

Call today 617-846-5000 or click here 24/7/365 and we will get back to you same day or the next business day