Hit-and-run accidents present unique challenges for victims and their families. Massachusetts accidents involving a fleeing driver tend to result in serious injuries and, in turn, significant legal consequences. Victims and their families often face visceral anger towards the fleeing driver and the aftermath their reckless negligence caused. The feelings are understandable, as these accidents can leave victims in a precarious financial and medical situation. Those who have suffered injuries in a hit-and-run accident should contact a Massachusetts personal injury attorney to discuss their rights and remedies.
Under Massachusetts’ hit-and-run statute, drivers who knowingly get into an accident that results in injuries or property damage must provide the other driver with their relevant identifying information. Pertinent information includes the driver’s name, address, and vehicle registration number. The failure to do so may result in significant civil and legal penalties. There are many reasons individuals leave the scene of an accident. In some rare cases, a driver may not realize they were involved in an accident, or they might be frightened of the consequences. However, in the overwhelming majority of instances, the driver leaves because they are engaged in illegal activity, do not have insurance, are under the influence, or have a warrant out for their arrest.
If a driver is identified, their defense attorney will likely purport various defenses to avoid liability. In some cases, a defendant may argue that they were unaware they caused an accident. Further, they may claim it is a case of mistaken identity. These cases are complicated and require plaintiffs to prepare a compelling and legally sound case, especially when the facts and circumstances are unclear. For example, police are investigating a recent New Bedford crash involving a 19-year-old. Officials received a call around 2:30 a.m. reporting a car in the woods near an off-ramp. Emergency responders discovered that the car had struck a metal pole and hit a tree in the woods. Tragically, the driver was ejected from the vehicle and succumbed to his injuries later in the day. Officials are investigating whether another vehicle was involved in the accident.