Articles Posted in Car Accidents

When someone is injured in a Massachusetts car accident, they can pursue a personal injury claim against any party they believe to be at fault for their injuries. Most car accident cases are brought under the theory of negligence, and as a result, many car accident claims raise similar issues. Of course, there are many different types of accidents, and claims based on the same kind of accident frequently raise related issues.

Take, for example, Massachusetts pedestrian accidents. These accidents typically involve severe injuries because, in many cases, motorists hit a pedestrian while traveling at a high rate of speed. However, even a low-speed collision can cause significant injuries, especially if the pedestrian strikes their head against the ground or a part of the car. Being able to substantiate the extent of a pedestrian’s injuries is a critical component of a pedestrian accident lawsuit.

Another issue that frequently comes up in Massachusetts pedestrian accident cases is the comparative fault of the pedestrian. Generally, motorists must yield to pedestrians. Thus, when a motorist strikes a pedestrian, the motorist will likely be primarily at fault. However, under Massachusetts law, a defendant can argue that the accident victim’s comparative negligence should reduce the victim’s total recovery amount. In some cases where an accident victim is found to be at least 51 percent at fault, they will be prevented from recovering anything for their injuries. Thus, it is also crucial for pedestrian accident victims to minimize their responsibility to preserve the ability to recover.

Recently, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts issued an opinion in an appeal originating from a Massachusetts wrongful death lawsuit. The case arose after a man struck and killed another person in a parking lot. The victim’s estate brought a wrongful death lawsuit against the culpable party. The family alleged that the man’s gross negligence caused their loved one’s death.

The defendant was convicted of voluntary manslaughter and settled a wrongful death lawsuit with the victim’s estate. The settlement provided that the plaintiffs would only seek recourse from the defendant’s insurance company and release him as long as he admitted to negligence.

The defendant’s insurance company provided coverage for bodily injury to others up to $20,000 and additional coverage up to $480,000 per person. However, the company reserved the right to refuse to pay the additional coverage if the insured’s intentional act caused the accident. As such, the man’s insurance company sought to intervene in the parties’ lawsuit and settlement in an attempt to provide evidence that the crash was intentional. The insurance company claimed that they should be allowed to intervene because neither the victim’s family or the insured driver had any incentive to offer evidence that the accident was intentional. They argued that the parties would much rather agree to settle based on negligence to easily collect a large portion of the damages from the insurance company. The trial court denied the insurance company’s request resulting in their appeal to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

After a Massachusetts car accident, those injured in the collision are entitled to bring a claim against the at-fault driver. Typically, a claim will accrue when the accident victim suffers injuries as a result of another’s negligence, regardless if the at-fault party is alive by the time the case goes to trial. Importantly, in situations where the at-fault party dies in the accident or before trial, accident victims are permitted to file Massachusetts car accident lawsuits against deceased defendants. However, in these situations, an injury victim may face challenges in establishing liability and collecting damages. Injury victims should have a Massachusetts injury attorney to assist them through these complicated lawsuits.

Typically, after a person dies, their assets and debts go through probate. Probate is a legal process designed to distribute assets and pay off debts to creditors before the decedents’ heirs and beneficiaries receive their intended gifts. When a decedent owes damages to an injury victim, the decedent’s estate is vulnerable to a personal injury lawsuit. In these cases, personal injury victims are possible creditors, and their damages are debts against the estate.

Generally, the burden of proof in negligence and wrongful death lawsuits is the same, regardless of whether the defendant is alive or has passed away. However, there are specific procedural requirements that plaintiffs must follow to preserve their right to recover against an estate. First, the statute of limitations in personal injury lawsuits against an estate is significantly less than when the defendant is alive. Massachusetts General Laws ch. 190, § 3-803(a) requires plaintiffs file their claims against an estate within one year of the incident giving rise to the complaint.

Most drivers obey traffic laws but when they do not, the consequences can be devastating for everyone involved. Anytime a driver runs a red light, innocent motorists and pedestrians moving through the intersection can suffer serious, even deadly injuries. If you’ve been hurt in an accident involving someone disregarding a red light, our Massachusetts auto accident attorneys can help you sue the at-fault party and help you recover the compensation you need to move on with your life. We are committed to holding negligent drivers responsible for the harm that they cause.

The American Automobile Association (AAA) reports that the number traffic deaths related to people running red lights are the highest they have been in 10 years. AAA finds that more than two individuals die each day in red light running accidents, including drivers (35 percent), passengers (46 percent), pedestrians and cyclists (5 percent). Accidents caused by drivers blowing through red lights killed 939 people in 2017, indicating a peak and a nearly 30 percent increase since 2012. The reasons for running red lights range from drivers being distracted and not paying attention to the road, to speeding and deliberately breaking the law. The study also found that while 85 percent of drivers acknowledge that running a red light is dangerous, about one-third of drivers say they flew through a red light within the preceding 30 days when they could have stopped in a safe manner.

Red lights are designed to safely control the flow of traffic and keep drivers safe. All motorists have a legal obligation to obey traffic laws, including following traffic signals so as not to endanger other motorists and pedestrians crossing the street. Sadly, those who run red lights cause and contribute to many intersection and T-bone accidents.

No matter how careful a driver is behind the wheel, the reality is that anyone can get into a car accident at any time. In the unfortunate event that you get into a wreck, you need to reach out to one of our Massachusetts car accident lawyers. We will evaluate the specifics of your case and help you learn more about your options. We fully understand the physical, emotional and financial toll that a car crash can have on a victim and his or her family, which is why we will handle your case with the utmost zealousness and compassion.

Allstate Insurance recently released America’s Safe Drivers Report for 2019 which ranks the country’s 200 metropolitan areas according to how often their residents get into car accidents. Unfortunately, three cities in Massachusetts ranked among the top 15 areas where you will find the worst drivers in the country, along with “risky roads” where the highest number of collisions tend to take place. Route 93 in Boston ranked is third place, Main street in Worcester comes in at fourth place and Interstate 91 in Springfield is ranked in seventh place. Not a single city in Massachusetts made the list which ranked the 15 cities where the roads are populated with the safest motorists in the country. As you may expect, researchers found that areas where drivers get into accidents least frequently happen to be less densely populated.

Just like in every other state, drivers in Massachusetts have a responsibility to drive safely and obey traffic laws. Negligence takes place when a person fails to use reasonable care behind the wheel and, thus, causes an accident and resulting injury. Reasonable care is defined as acting with the degree of caution that a rational person would exercise under the same or similar circumstances. For example, if a person caused an accident because he or she was excessively speeding, that person will likely be deemed negligent and on the hook for the resulting harm.

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Were you injured in an accident caused by a motorist who was using his or her phone behind the wheel? If so, you deserve compensation for your injuries. Our Massachusetts car accident attorneys are well versed in the specifics of personal injury law and can apply our knowledge to your claim. We strongly believe that you should not have to suffer just because another motorist acted with disregard for your safety by using his or her cell phone while driving.

In 2010, Massachusetts banned texting and emailing behind the wheel but did not implement a full ban on hand-held devices used to make phone calls. Since then, lawmakers have tried to pass several laws in an effort to ban drivers from using hand-held devices while driving, with the goal of reducing distracted driving accidents in the state. Last month, the Massachusetts House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted 155-2 to pass Bill H.3793, which bans drivers from using hand-held cellphone and electronic devices while driving. In other words, the bill would prohibit drivers from using any mobile electronic device while driving, unless it was being used in hands-free mode. This means they would be barred from reading texts, viewing images, or watching videos as well.

If you have been injured in a crash caused by a distracted driver, you may be able to recover compensation through a negligence claim. Negligence occurs when a person breaches the standard of care owed to another person, directly causing an accident or some type of harm. The standard of care refers to the level of care and caution that a reasonably prudent driver would have used in the same situation. Since being on one’s phone and driving at the same time is a behavior that is known to be dangerous, it would clearly be considered ‘unreasonable’ to a prudent person. As a result, if a driver caused a crash in this manner, he or she would likely be on the hook for any resulting damages.

Hit and run accident cases can be extremely daunting for the victims of the crash. Massachusetts’ law requires that a driver stay at the scene and provide the other party certain information if a driver is involved in an accident which causes injury to another vehicle, property or person. If you were injured in a hit and run accident, we can help. At The Law Offices of Barry Feinstein & Affiliates, P.C., our seasoned Massachusetts hit and run accident attorneys will work diligently to help you obtain the compensation you are rightfully owed. We understand the serious emotional, physical and financial toll an auto accident can have on a family, which is why we will aggressively advocate for you each step of the way.

Earlier this month, a 20-year-old La Salle Academy female graduate was killed in a tragic rollover accident in Boston. Sadly, the woman was pronounced dead at the scene. One other female passenger was also injured in the crash but is expected to survive. According to law enforcement, a 22-year-old man caused the wreck when he was speeding in his Mazda, hit a curb, rolled over and crashed onto the street hitting several-parked cars and a cement planter before flipping over. Both passengers had their seat belt on and were hanging upside down in the car when emergency workers reached them. The driver had bolted from the scene before police got there but was found approximately 8 hours later and placed under arrest. He was charged with, among other things, leaving the scene of an accident after causing personal injury and leaving the scene of an accident after causing property damage.

Drivers may be tempted to flee the scene of an accident for a number of reasons ranging from panic, to outstanding warrants, to not having insurance. Under MGL c. 90 s. 24 (2), a Massachusetts driver who knowingly collides with or causes injury to another vehicle, property or person, must provide the following information to the injured party before leaving the scene of the accident: name, residence and registration number of their motor vehicle. In fact, it is against the law to leave the scene of a crash without providing this information or calling 911 if someone has been injured.
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Drunk drivers are a risk to everyone on the road and can cause serious, even deadly accidents. If you have been injured or someone close you has died in an accident caused by a drunk driver, you need to reach out to a reputable Massachusetts drunk driving attorney immediately. At The Law Offices of Barry Feinstein & Affiliates, P.C., we are dedicated to helping our clients obtain the damages they deserve.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 30 people die every day in the US due to drunk driving. It is not a list anyone wants to top, but Boston ranks second place in a newly released list of the top 25 cities with the highest rate of drivers with a DUI. Insurance company Quote Wizard did the study using self-reported data from its users on driving violations as well as other data points to compile the report. The study also found that if insurers don’t drop clients who have a DUI, they would significantly raise insurance premiums. On average, a driver would see an $830 increase per year in car insurance rates. These rates typically increase for three years amounting to an overall increase of $2500 more on car insurance.

While a drunk driver may face criminal penalties, he or she may also be subject to a civil lawsuit. When you have suffered an injury due to the actions of someone driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may pursue compensation through a civil claim. This claim is typically rooted in the legal theory of negligence. In order to establish negligence, you must establish that the defendant owed you a duty of care behind the wheel and failed to adhere to that duty of care by driving under the influence. All drivers must use the level of care and caution that a reasonably prudent person would use in the same or similar situation. It is not enough to show that the driver’s conduct violated the duty of care, it must also be established that the driver’s conduct was a direct and proximate cause of accident and resulting harm.
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Car accidents can lead to serious, even life-altering injuries, which is why it is imperative for drivers to follow the rules of the road. If you or someone you love has been injured in a car crash, you need to contact a seasoned Massachusetts car accident attorney immediately. When someone causes an accident, they can be held accountable for their actions. At The Law Offices of Barry Feinstein & Affiliates, P.C., we have been helping car crash victims obtain the compensation they rightfully deserve for over 25 years and understand what it takes to advocate for your rights.

Two drivers were seriously injured in a collision that took place in Dudley earlier this week. The accident occurred on the bridge spanning the Quinebaug River. One vehicle was driven by a 22-year-old man from Southridge and the other was driven by a 68-year-old man from Woodstock, Connecticut. Both men were the only ones in their vehicles at the time of the wreck, and both were taken to nearby hospitals for treatment. Police have not yet released the names of the two men involved in the accident and the crash is still under investigation.

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Unfortunately, car accidents are a dime a dozen in Massachusetts. If you have sustained injuries in a car accident, we can help you figure out your next steps. At The Law Offices of Barry Feinstein & Affiliates, P.C., our reputable Massachusetts car accident attorneys know how to handle even the most complex personal injury claims, including issues pertaining to insurance coverage. For over 25 years, we have vigorously fought for the rights of our clients and you can rest assured that we will do the same for you.

The Case

Victims of auto accidents often rely on insurance companies to compensate them for their losses. In Oliveira v. Commerce Insurance Company, the Appeals Court of Massachusetts recently had to figure out whether the plaintiff was a “household member” under the insurance policy. The plaintiff, a passenger in the vehicle, sustained serious injuries after being involved in a car accident. He was in the hospital for several days and acquired hefty medical bills amounting to $40,000. He also suffered long-term disability. The plaintiff agreed to settle with the person driving the vehicle for the maximum amount of the driver’s insurance policy, which was $100,000.

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