Articles Tagged with car accident

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcycles make up only 3 percent of all registered vehicles in the United States.  Despite those low numbers, the NHTSA reports there is an increase in motorcyclists killed each year in Massachusetts.  Motorcycle fatalities occurred 28 more times frequently that automobile fatalities.   Some of the common characteristics that contribute to motorcycle injuries and fatalities are other vehicles, speed, alcohol impairment, weather, lighting, and roadway conditions.

According to the Massachusetts State Police, a motorcyclist traveling on an uneven roadway in Kingston, Massachusetts crashed and died after losing control on the uneven pavement and was struck by another vehicle.

Pot holes, uneven pavement, construction or other roadway inconsistencies are flaws more dangerous to the operator of a motorcycle than a car.  If roads are not properly maintained, motorcyclists can crash.  If it was the negligence of the city or town to keep roadways safe, or whether it was the negligence of another driver, we can help.

vehicle keysIf you’ve been injured in a vehicle accident, you probably understand that the operator of the vehicle is someone who potentially is liable for your injuries. However, there may be others, even if they were not involved firsthand in the accident itself, who may owe you compensation. In order to pursue these others successfully, you have to be able to show that the ultimate incident that injured you was the foreseeable result of that party’s action or inaction. To be sure your case includes all of the individuals and entities who potentially may be liable to you, be sure you’ve retained an experienced Massachusetts injury attorney.

A recent ruling from the Appellate Court is a reminder that, even if someone took a vehicle without the owner’s authorization, there may be facts that allow you to pursue the vehicle’s owner. That recent case was actually a property damage case, not an injury action. A sand and gravel company’s employee left a front-end loader unattended during a snowstorm, with the keys in the ignition, idling. The employee left the vehicle at 10 P.M. and at 2 A.M., he returned to the lot. Sometime during the intervening four hours, an “unknown and unauthorized” person had taken the vehicle and smashed into two trucks belonging to another company, substantially damaging them.

The owner of the damaged trucks sued. The trial judge threw out his case, deciding that the damage was not a “foreseeable consequence” of leaving the keys in the front-end loader. The appeals court reversed that decision and revived the damaged trucks’ owner’s case.

Having insurance in Massachusetts is a legal requirement in order for an individual to legally operate a vehicle within the state. While the extent of one’s coverage may vary, in Massachusetts individuals are required to carry four types of compulsory auto insurance with their own minimum requirements. The types of auto insurance are Bodily Injury to Others, Personal Injury Protection, Bodily Injury Caused by an Uninsured Auto, and Damage to Someone Else’s Property.

  • Bodily Injury to Others: The minimum requirement in Massachusetts for Bodily Injury to Others is $20,000 per person/ $40,000 per accident. This type of insurance gives an individual protection against legal liability for the accidental injury or death of others caused by the operation of your car. This is only applicable to accidents that occur in Massachusetts. While this protects an individual from legal liability to individuals involved in an accident, the protections do not extend to your passengers.
Mass Insurance coverage

You must meet minimum Insurance requirements to be eligible to drive in Mass

Legal News GavelThere are many different types of wrinkles one may encounter in an effort to obtain compensation for the harm you suffered in an auto accident. On the surface, your case might seem straightforward: prove that the person you sued was, in fact, at fault, prove that the accident injured you, and prove that those injuries caused you to suffer damages. Seems simple, right? But what happens when the person who hit you has all his assets held by an irrevocable trust? Questions like these are a reminder of the importance of retaining experienced Massachusetts injury counsel, so that you are prepared for whatever twists, turns and surprises your case may throw at you.

Recently, such a “twists and turns” case was the Massachusetts lawsuit brought by S.C. The backstory underlying S.C.’s injury accident dated back several years. In 2001, B.M. was injured in an auto accident. He suffered a severe traumatic brain injury. In 2007, an irrevocable “spendthrift” trust was established for the benefit of B.M. The trust held more than $4.1 million in assets, including $3.5 million in stocks and bonds, a house in Plymouth worth $538,000 and $120,000 of other assets.

Fast forward to 2014, and B.M. and S.C. were involved in a head-on collision. Allegedly, B.M. was traveling 76 mph in a 35 zone, crossed the center line to pass and slammed head-on into S.C.

Delayed injuries are a reality that happens for a variety of reasons. After an accident your body releases endorphins. According to howstuffworks.com  “Endorphins are neurotransmitters whose functions range from blocking pain, to generating feelings of pleasure.” In the time following in accident it’s hard to gauge levels of pain or trauma as a result of the endorphins released in your body. This effect can last for days or even weeks, leading some injuries to go unnoticed in the immediate aftermath following an automobile accident.

whiplash, delayed injury

Simulated whiplash

In the coming weeks following an accident, it’s not uncommon for one to feel abdominal pain, headaches, pain in the neck and shoulders, back pain, or a sense of numbness or tingling as a result from the impact of a car accident. Conditions of this type occurring after an accident are likely the result of said accident. It is important to see a doctor to get a proper valuation following these symptoms to determine your condition.

It’s five o’ clock on a Friday and you’re heading home after an exhausting week of work. You’re practically on auto-pilot with the thought of the impending weekend being the only fuel guiding you home, and then BAM-it happens. You find yourself in a car accident. Everyone understands when you get behind the wheel you run the risk of finding yourself in a surprise collision, yet we never think about the odds of it actually happening to us, and even worse we don’t know the steps to take to protect ourselves in the event of an automobile accident adapted from the Massachusetts DMV site.

Car Accidet

EMS Clearing A Car Accident

  1. First and foremost, you must never leave the scene of an accident. It seems obvious and trite, but flight is a guttural reaction to stimuli. You must remain as calm and reposed as you can, given the circumstance. Find a safe place to pull over your car, staying as reasonably close to the vehicle, or property you collided with without obstructing traffic. Be aware of your surroundings and any other potential dangers, such as fire, or a downed electrical wire.

Legal News GavelLosing a loved one to a fatal hit-and-run accident can be especially traumatic. The disregard for the well-being of the person you loved (and whom the at-fault driver struck) can be very challenging to process. It can also create problems when it comes to recovering the compensation to which your family is entitled. Knowing what to do and taking prompt action are key. One of your first steps should be to retain an experienced Massachusetts car accident attorney to help you in your pursuit of the identification of the at-fault driver and the compensation your family deserves.

Back in April, AAA reported that fatal hit-and-run crashes were at a record high. AAA’s statistics from 2016 showed that more than one hit-and-run accident per minute took place on U.S. roads. The 2,049 hit-and-run deaths logged in 2016 was up 60% from 2009 and was the highest number since AAA began recording this statistic. Maine and New Hampshire were among the states with the lowest per-capita incidences of fatal hit-and-run accidents.

The AAA statistics also broke down the type of victim most frequently killed in hit-and-run accidents. Almost two-thirds of the 2,049 people killed by these drivers were either pedestrians or bicyclists. Many times, the reason why a driver may cause a hit-and-run accident is connected to either distracted driving or drunk driving.

Legal News GavelWhen you are seriously injured in an auto accident, there may be many steps involved in getting the compensation you need. You may have legal rights against the other driver, the other driver’s insurance company, or your insurance company, depending on the facts of your case. To make sure that you are pursuing everything you should under the law, talk to an experienced Massachusetts car accident attorney promptly to learn about your rights and your legal options.

Heather was a driver who was seriously injured in a July 2007 auto accident in Bristol County. When you suffer substantial harm in an auto accident, as Heather did, you may very possibly have to litigate extensively to get the compensation you deserve. The other driver or his insurance company will likely contest your case vigorously, since it potentially involves a large sum of damages.

Heather’s case involved two trials and multiple appeals. Eventually, she and the other driver’s insurance company worked out a settlement. Deciding to settle a case, even one in which you have a strong factual and legal position, may make sense for you because it can allow you to achieve finality and compensation without additional delays from ongoing appeals or retrials. In this situation, Heather agreed to settle for $100,000, which was the policy limit on the other driver’s insurance policy, even though the damages award she received at the conclusion of her second trial was much greater.

front of SUVWhen you pursue an injury case, there are several hurdles to clear. There’s filing the lawsuit, collecting and organizing all of the evidence, preparing for trial, and obtaining a judgment or settlement. However, there are many more tasks beyond just these that go into a successful result in an injury case. A knowledgeable Massachusetts car accident attorney can help you make sure that “all of your bases are covered” when it comes to your case.

Sometimes, your injury case may be affected by a person or entity that wasn’t even involved in the accident. A recent example involved a case from Bristol County. Evelyn was an 85-year-old woman who was crossing a street when a vehicle driven by Annmarie crashed into her. Evelyn had dementia before the accident, but the crash made it worse. Eighteen months after the accident, Evelyn died. Her children sued Annmarie, and the two sides settled for $250,000. Annmarie’s auto insurance company paid the judgment, and the family dismissed the lawsuit in January 2014.

This might sound like the end to a successful outcome, and, in some situations, it might have been. For this family, however, there were additional complications. During her final years, Evelyn had received some $18,000 worth of care that was paid for by MassHealth. Massachusetts gives MassHealth the right to pursue repayment of these expenses from the estate of a deceased person in certain circumstances, while others may possibly be exempt from this estate recovery.

Legal News GavelWhen you file a lawsuit as a result of your auto accident injuries, there are several steps in the process. One of these may be exploring the possibility of a mutually acceptable settlement. An important thing to note about settlement negotiations and settlement agreements is that they are much like any other form of contract negotiations and contractual agreements. They require one side to make an offer, and the other side must accept that offer. There must be a “meeting of the minds” about the terms of the agreement. Without those things, a settlement agreement isn’t valid. When it comes to deciding whether to settle or litigate your injury case, it pays to have the advice and representation of a knowledgeable Plymouth County car accident attorney.

The existence (or lack thereof) of a valid settlement was a central dispute in one recent auto accident case. Frances was the driver of a vehicle that was rear-ended by a vehicle driven by Edy. As is common in many civil cases, the opposing sides both worked toward trial and discussed the possibility of settling the case out of court. Eventually, Frances’ case went to trial, and the jury found in her favor, awarding her $52,000 in damages.

Edy appealed that judgment. The centerpiece of his appeal was that Frances was not entitled to the damages award handed down by the jury because the two sides had already settled the case, and Edy had been released from liability in exchange for agreeing to the settlement. Edy also argued that, if the court did not throw out the jury’s damages award, it should at least reduce it by the amount that Frances’ auto insurer had already paid out.