25 Nov

Automobile Accidents and Personal Injury Claims in Massachusetts

by in Accidents
Boston car accidents

There are many causes of auto accidents, but the term “accident” is often a bit of a misnomer, because there is almost always someone who was responsible for the accident. If you are seriously injured, or a family member is killed in an automobile accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to file a car accident claim for compensation against the person who caused your accident.

Under Massachusetts law, an accident victim who is so seriously injured that medical treatment is required may be entitled to compensation to cover the costs of the financial hardships that are typically the outcome of automobile accidents. These could include the cost of medical treatment, loss of earnings while recovering, an amount for pain and suffering and sometimes punitive damages if it can be proven that the driver’s reckless behavior caused the accident.

Common causes of automobile accidents

Some of the most common causes of an auto accident are speeding, distractive driving, driver fatigue, running a red light or a stop sign, deliberately driving in a reckless manner, faulty traffic lights, driving down the wrong side of the road, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, poorly maintained highways, auto and spare parts defects, and non-functioning traffic lights.

Speeding

There are speed restrictions throughout the state of Massachusetts that enforce a safe speed limit for the road conditions. If drivers exceed this safe limit, accidents are likely to take place. These can be very serious, particularly when a vehicle at high speed hits either another vehicle or an obstruction such as a tree or a wall.

Speeding accident injuries could include broken bones, damaged internal organs, spinal injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and even limb loss. Most of these injuries are life changing, whether the driver is affected, a passenger, or even pedestrians on a sidewalk or crosswalk.

Distractive driving

Typically, distractive driving in Boston can have a similar effect to speeding. It takes only a few seconds to open a can of soda, text a simple message on a cell phone, or change a CD in a player. This short time is enough for the driver to lose control of his or her vehicle when traffic conditions change.

Driver fatigue

Driver fatigue is common on Massachusetts highways, particularly amongst some truck drivers, who drive long hours. Accidents involving a car and a truck can be devastating. Often, a death takes place when a truck rear-ends, side swipes or crashes head on into an auto. A large, heavy 18 wheeler can completely dismember an auto and its occupants. Injuries can be serious and life altering with constant care required for the rest of the victim’s life. This is when it is particularly important for the victim and his or her family to come forward and claim personal injury compensation for what is rightfully theirs if the accident was not their fault.

Reckless diving autombile accidents: failing to yield and DUI

Pedestrians lose their lives in Massachusetts every day because of drivers failing to stop when they should because of careless driving. Citations don’t seem to be much of a deterrent for running a red light or a stop sign, but the driver could face a hike in insurance premiums if someone is injured and a personal injury compensation claim is filed.

Red lights and stop signs are put in place to protect drivers at intersections and pedestrians in cross walks. If a driver ignores the law, not only will he or she receive a citation, they could cause a serious accident too.

Deliberately driving in a reckless manner like driving down the wrong side of a highway and injuring someone is an easy accident to justify for a personal injury claim from anyone who is injured by this reckless behavior. A driver who has killed or injured another while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is an example of a reckless driver. Not only will the driver get a conviction, but his insurer could be held responsible for a large personal injury claim as well.

Poor highway maintenance: potholes and traffic lights

There are other reasons for auto accidents which may be difficult to prove. These include factors like poorly maintained highways, unmarked potholes, and faulty traffic lights. It will take an experienced personal injury attorney to fight on behalf of injured victims to win a satisfactory personal injury judgment.

Auto and spare parts defects

Defects are notoriously difficult to prove. When a serious accident takes place, the injured are taken to hospital and few believe that the car itself could have been the cause of the accident. These cases require the skills of a dedicated team of experienced investigators to identify the cause. There have been several cases in the last 12 months where auto manufacturers have been blamed for accidents when faulty and dangerous parts have been installed in their vehicles. Many accident victims go unnoticed until the final cause of their injuries is established.  By this time the final date for filing a claim, called the statute of limitations, may have passed causing other issues.

How can a personal injury attorney help with a personal injury claim?

Filing a personal injury claim, sometimes called a lawsuit, is never simple. Very often no one wants to admit liability for an accident so establishing fault is very important. Auto insurers are notoriously cheap with paying claims. These cases require an experienced Massachusetts personal injury attorney to win. Fortunately for automobile accident victims, personal injury attorneys normally offer a free consultation and if they are satisfied that the case can be won, offer their services on a contingency fee basis. This means the victim only has to pay the legal fees once the claim or lawsuit has been secured.  If the attorney fails to reach a settlement or secure a judgment, he or she covers the cost of the legal fees.