Every fatal Massachusetts motorcycle accident is tragic. However, the New Hampshire motorcycle accident that occurred this year was among the worst in history. Earlier this year, a 23-year-old man was driving a pickup truck westbound when he inexplicably crossed over the center median, crashing into a group of motorcyclists. The tragic accident claimed the lives of seven of those motorcyclists, many of which were former Marines. Additionally, several others were seriously injured.
After the accident, detail after detail came to light, showing just how preventable the accident was. For example, shortly after the crash, authorities determined that the driver was under the influence of an unspecified substance that may have contributed to the accident. The driver later admitted to reaching for a drink in the moments immediately before the crash.
Then, a subsequent investigation revealed that the driver had been convicted of several offenses that should have raised questions about whether he should have been able to keep a driver’s license. Finally, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MDOT) revealed that the man’s license should have been suspended based on an out-of-state DUI conviction, but, due to an oversight, it had not been. In fact, MDOT explained that there were likely hundreds of drivers with out-of-state convictions that went under the radar and were able to keep their licenses. It seems that the accident was the tragic culmination of systemwide failures. According to a news report from earlier this month, the driver was indicted on 23 counts, including reckless manslaughter, negligent homicide, and driving under the influence. Each of the manslaughter counts carries a potential sentence of 30 years.
Criminal Convictions in Massachusetts Accident Cases
After a fatal Massachusetts accident, the at-fault party may be arrested and charged with one or more criminal offenses, as was the case described above. However, is it essential for accident victims to realize that a successful criminal case against the at-fault party is not necessary to pursue a personal injury claim against that party. Criminal cases are brought by the local prosecuting authority and are based on the defendant’s violation of the law. Thus, the focus of these cases is to punish the defendant, not necessarily to help the victims of the defendant’s actions.
Personal injury cases, on the other hand, are filed by the accident victims (or their family members) and are brought in civil court. If successful, a personal injury plaintiff may recover compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, as well as for any pain and suffering they endured as a result of the accident.
Have You Been Injured in a Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Accident?
If you or someone you love has recently been injured in any type of Massachusetts motor vehicle accident, contact the Law Offices of Barry Feinstein and Affiliates, P.C. Attorney Barry Feinstein is a veteran Massachusetts personal injury lawyer with extensive experience handling motorcycle accident cases. To learn more about how Attorney Feinstein can help you obtain the compensation you deserve for the injuries you have sustained, call 800-262-9200 to schedule a free consultation today.