Articles Posted in Car Accident

Boston, MA – March 1st may be just days away, but there are little signs of spring in Massachusetts. On the contrary, weather forecasts indicate potential winter storms throughout the week. This means dangerous road conditions in the Boston area, similar to those last week when 15 trucks and cars were involved in a chain accident on the Massachusetts Turnpike. Several people were taken to the hospital, some of them in serious condition. According to Massachusetts State Police, the crash was most likely caused by the freezing rain that made for very treacherous driving conditions. Speed restrictions were implemented from the New York border all the way to Boston during the storm.

Although it’s been almost one week since the accident, the investigation continues. If you’re ever involved in a multiple-vehicle accident you need to wait for the police report and then contact seasoned Boston accident lawyers. Recovering damages for this type of crash is extremely tricky as more than one party may be liable for damages. 

What is Massachusetts’ basic speed law?

Boston, MA – Boston police announced they have identified the driver who killed a homeless person in a hit-and-run accident last month. Abner Jean-Baptiste, a 36-year-old from Roxbury, was charged with motor vehicle homicide by negligence and leaving the scene of a crash. The accident happened late at night on Jan.20, near Mass. Ave. and Melnea Cass Boulevard. The victim was a 73-year-old man pushing a wheelchair carrying his meager personal possessions. The man was well-known to the people in the area. A few hours before the crash, a security guard at a nearby hotel had offered the man some money to get a warm meal and hot coffee at a nearby fast-food restaurant as it was a very cold night. 

The security guard was still at work when the accident happened. He tried to run after the SUV, but to no avail. 

The police identified the driver after locating an SUV with a damaged hood. 

Three people were killed in car accidents in the Boston area over the weekend. Although the whole area was affected by a snowstorm, there are no indications weather played a role in the crashes. Two of the accidents involved cars going into the opposite lane. In Acton, a pedestrian was killed after being hit by a van on Concord Road. The driver initially fled the scene but contacted the police later in the day.

Most motorists are aware of their rights after a car crash, but what about pedestrians? Many would say that a pedestrian injured or killed in a crash automatically qualifies for damages, but that is not so. Such claims follow the same rules as those stemming from a crash between two cars. The victim or their family must prove that the driver was negligent if they want to get damages.

How do you prove negligence in a car accident case?

Massachusetts police sent out a flurry of messages reminding motorists to drive cautiously and reduce speed on snowy roads. Several accidents have been reported over the past few days in the Canton area all the way to Boston. One trucker lost control of the vehicle and went off the road, while another tractor-trailer lost most of its cargo bringing traffic on Interstate 495 to a standstill.

If you were recently involved in an accident on icy roads, you should contact a seasoned Canton car accident lawyer. You may be able to file a claim for reckless driving even if the other driver was not above the speed limit.

Is there a different speed limit in winter?

Massachusetts – January 23, 2023

Drivers who are determined to show that another person was at fault for a motor vehicle accident in which they suffered harmful losses may benefit from effective Massachusetts car accident legal representation. Massachusetts is a “no fault” state regarding car accidents, allowing individuals to seek compensation for medical costs and related damages with their own insurance company.  As a modified no fault insurance state, accident victims can sue for damages if an injured person shares less than 50 percent of the fault, but a victim’s insurance must pay up to the policy limit before other means are addressed.

Common driver fault.

shutterstock_1769535560-300x200Driving under the influence (DUI) is one of the most serious offenses a driver can commit on the road. Unfortunately, DUI accidents can often result in severe injury or death. These accidents are especially tragic because they are preventable by simply avoiding drugs or alcohol before driving. When a victim dies in a DUI accident, the deceased’s family is left to pick up the pieces.

A recent news article reported that a man died and 20 people were injured after a driver under the influence crashed into an Apple store. The accident occurred in Hingham, Massachusetts, when the driver pressed down on the accelerator and was unable to brake. His SUV then crashed through the front of the store, striking a construction worker who was moving a barrier. The worker sadly died from his injuries. Twenty people were also hospitalized, some with life-threatening injuries. Police arrested the driver hours after the crash.

What Are the Civil and Criminal Penalties for a DUI in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts law refers to DUI crimes as “Operating Under the Influence” (OUI). Under OUI laws, drivers who operate their vehicles under the influence with a blood alcohol level (BAC) of 0.08 and cause serious bodily injury faces either 2 ½ to 10 years in state prison and a maximum fine of $5,000, or 6 months to 2 ½ years in a county prison and a maximum fine of $5,000. These penalties apply regardless of whether the accident occurs on a roadway or in any other place available to the public. An example of the latter scenario is an intoxicated driver who crashes into a building, as opposed to another vehicle on the road. If a person dies as a result of a driver operating a vehicle under the influence with a BAC of 0.08 or higher, the driver is guilty of homicide by motor vehicle. As punishment for this crime, Massachusetts law imposes between 2 ½ to 15 years in state prison and a maximum fine of $5,000, or 1-2 ½ years in a county prison and a maximum fine of $5,000.

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shutterstock_1595586631-_1_-300x154When someone suffers injuries in a Massachusetts pedestrian accident, the person responsible can face both civil and criminal penalties. Massachusetts imposes criminal charges for certain forms of negligence, which are similar but not identical to a negligence claim in a civil damages case. However, both Massachusetts civil and criminal law work to hold parties responsible for their negligent actions.

Recently, a serious accident occurred at a car wash in Peabody, Massachusetts. A pickup truck was waiting in line to enter one of the car wash’s self-service lines when it slammed into the back of the car parked in front of it. Sadly, when the pickup truck struck the car, it also hit a pedestrian standing in between the two vehicles. The pedestrian suffered severe lower body injuries and was flown to the hospital for treatment. Police issued the driver a criminal summons for negligent operation of a motor vehicle.

What is the Difference Between Criminal vs. Civil Negligence in Massachusetts Car Accidents?

Massachusetts law makes it a crime to negligently operate a motor vehicle. To convict someone on a negligent operation of a motor vehicle charge, the prosecution must prove the person operated a motor vehicle on a public way in a manner that could endanger the public. Notably, the law does not require someone to actually endanger the safety of the public. Instead, prosecutors only need to show that a person’s conduct when operating a motor vehicle, when taken as a whole, might have endangered the lives or safety of others.

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shutterstock_302738369-300x200Too often, tragic accidents occur on the road without any warning. These freak accidents can happen at random and in the absence of any intent to cause harm. When a victim loses his or her life in an accident, the responsible party may face criminal and/or civil penalties. On many occasions, a responsible party may not face criminal charges, but the injured victim’s family may pursue monetary damages in a civil suit.

For example, a driver was killed on I-95 in Massachusetts last fall when a construction worker’s tool pierced the driver’s windshield. The worker was operating a ramp truck for his construction company when a steel tool on the bed of the truck cut through the windshield of the driver’s car, killing him almost instantly. His wife, a passenger in the car, was not injured. Right before he died, the driver pulled over to prevent his wife from being harmed in an accident.

Recently, a news article reported that the construction worker would not face criminal charges. Following an investigation into the accident, the District Attorney’s Office in Essex found insufficient evidence to support criminal charges.

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shutterstock_466224800-300x200Over the past five years, approximately 70 people died annually in Massachusetts pedestrian accidents, according to the state’s Executive Office of Public Safety and Security. On average, more pedestrian accidents occur during evening hours and rush hours when drivers are in a hurry. Sadly, driving in a hurry without paying attention to pedestrians carries potentially fatal consequences. By failing to notice pedestrians or stop at a crosswalk, drivers may place pedestrians at risk of severe injury or death.

Recently, as a local news article reported, a mother and her two young daughters suffered injuries after a pedestrian accident in Peabody, Massachusetts. According to a witness, the driver of an SUV attempted to pass a bus on the righthand side. As the SUV approached a busy intersection, it struck the family as they were crossing the street. The SUV also knocked down a street sign near the sidewalk. After the children suffered serious injuries, the family was taken to the hospital. Police held the SUV driver in custody for operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license.

Who Has the Right of Way at Massachusetts Pedestrian Crosswalks?

In Massachusetts, drivers must yield the right of way to pedestrians in the absence of traffic control signs. The state prohibits drivers from passing another vehicle that has stopped at a marked crosswalk to allow a pedestrian to cross. When approaching a crosswalk, drivers must leave enough distance from the crosswalk to fit their entire vehicle, as opposed to blocking any part of the crosswalk. When a driver does not follow these steps and injures a pedestrian, Massachusetts law mandates that state or local police investigate the cause of the injury and any violations of Massachusetts traffic laws. If violating the law results in harm to a pedestrian, a driver may face criminal charges.

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shutterstock_459837451-300x200Between 2019 and 2021, the state of Massachusetts saw a 24% increase in traffic fatalities, according to a national transportation research nonprofit. This was faster than the growth of 19% seen nationally over the same time period. 413 people died on Massachusetts roads in 2021, including motor vehicle operators, passengers, motorcycle drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. In the United States as a whole, 42,915 people died in traffic accidents in 2021.

According to a recent article, one woman died and six other people were injured in a multi-vehicle crash in Massachusetts. A Toyota Corolla sedan and Toyota Tundra pickup truck collided head-on. Of the three women in the Corolla, two were transported by helicopter to a hospital with severe injuries, and the third died. All four people, including two children, inside the Tundra were taken to the hospital via ambulance with non-life-threatening injuries. An investigation is ongoing into the cause of the crash.

Wrongful Death in Massachusetts

Many people injured in car accidents know that if the other driver was careless, they can bring a lawsuit for damages to cover expenses associated with their injuries. The families of people who die in lawsuits, however, know that no amount of money can bring back their loved ones. But in many cases, suits can be filed to make the associated costs less taxing on grieving families. Wrongful death claims can generally be brought in any case where the victim could have filed suit for damages for injuries.

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