Massachusetts Car Accident Lawyers
Automobiles are the most common form of transportation in the United States, with millions of Americans relying on cars, trucks, and motorcycles to get them where they need to go on a daily basis. Unfortunately, vehicular accidents pose substantial risks to the health and safety of all those who may be involved. In fact, even a relatively minor accident can have consequences that accident victims may not be able to afford on their own.
Car accidents can result in anything from minor injury to, in the worst of cases, death. However, in all circumstances in which someone else was at fault, it may be possible for car accident victims to get compensation for their damages. As our team at Crowe & Mulvey, LLP knows how devastating car accidents in Massachusetts can be, we understand just how critical getting this compensation can be, not to mention the sense of justice that many victims obtain by holding the party responsible for the accident liable.
Common Types and Causes of Auto Accidents
Unfortunately, vehicular accidents can be caused by a wide variety of factors and can involve many different types of vehicles. Some of the most common automobile accidents, their causes, and the consequences of them include:
- Drunk Driving Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Auto Defects
- Road Defects
In all of these situations, victims of the accident may be able to fight for the compensation they deserve, giving them the resources they need to recover and continue on with their life.
Speeding, Reckless Driving, and Rollover Accidents
Reckless driving is a broad category of driving and it encompasses dozens of different possible behaviors that could lead to an accident. However, some of these behaviors occur more often than others. Some of the dangers speeding causes include:
- Inability to stop suddenly: Increased speed increases the time that it takes to come to a stop. In case there is a lot of traffic and cars need to stop, it is much more difficult to do so if drivers are exceeding the speed limit.
- Inability to react to sudden changes in road conditions: If road conditions worsen, like in the case of a sudden storm or rain, if a driver is speeding, they likely will not be able to react appropriately to sudden changes. In the rain, there is less traction on the tires if there is water on the road. Bad road condition plus exceeding speed limit may result in a car accident.
- Erratic overcorrection: If someone knows they are speeding and then is required to stop, they might brake very suddenly and very hard to compensate for their speed. This could prevent the vehicle behind them from reacting to the overcorrection in time. This is also the case if there is a police officer. If the speeding driver sees police, they might try to brake very fast in order to avoid getting a ticket. This can cause the person behind them to crash into them, causing devastating injuries.
- Decreased visibility: If a vehicle is speeding, this means that the road and other small vehicles like motorcycles are going to be less visible. Similarly, other vehicles may not realize a speeding vehicle is approaching when they check their mirrors. These issues could lead to a deadly lane shift that could be disastrous.
- Inability to make sharp turns: Sometimes, there is a sudden obstruction that requires drivers to turn their car to avoid. This might be nearly impossible to accomplish safely if they are exceeding the speed limit. It could also cause their vehicle to roll over.
- Increased nervousness of other drivers: Driving requires drivers to remain calm and focused. If drivers are nervous about other speeding drivers, their anxiety can lead to nervous driving and cause an accident.
Any of these conditions could easily make driving more dangerous.
Frequently Asked Questions
The time following an accident is difficult, hectic, and stressful. When you have urgent questions, even seconds of not having an answer can be incredibly frustrating and frightening. It’s for this reason that we’ve taken our most frequently received questions and compiled them with answers to help you move along the process. Unfortunately, due to the unique nature of many car accidents, it’s nearly impossible to answer these questions in anything but a very general way. If you don’t find the exact answer you’re looking for, or have further questions, get into contact with one of our attorneys immediately.
How much can I receive in compensation if my accident was caused by someone else?
There are many aspects of an accident that are taken into consideration when you’re looking to find compensation for property damage or hospital bills. This includes damage to your car or valuables inside your vehicle, immediate hospital bills from your injuries, future hospital bills if you have to follow-up on your injuries, future physical therapy sessions if applicable, a replacement for wages you lost while you were injured, and a sum for both your pain and trauma. Not all of these will apply to all cases, but it’s a good basis for understanding how much you’ll be asking for with the help of an attorney with Crowe & Mulvey, LLP. For a more accurate picture of how much you’ll be working to receive, contact us at (617) 404-3417 to set up a consultation.
How do you determine who is at fault for an accident?
Determining fault is one of the most difficult aspects of seeking compensation after an accident. In the event you’ve been wrongfully injured, you deserve help in getting back on your feet, but there’s no reason to be forcing responsibility upon a potentially equally wronged or injured party. In many cases, it’s more likely than not that several factors played into your injuries. For example, if another driver hit you, but you would not have sustained injuries had your airbags not been faulty, then you could point to the other driver or the manufacturer of your airbags to place fault. Furthermore, if you concede that you were partly responsible for the accident, your chances of recovering compensation rest in how much at fault each party was. If you claim 60% of the fault, then you cannot seek help. If you claim 40% of the fault, then you can only seek up to 60% of all determined damages. Due to the complicated nature of determining fault, it is best to contact one of our attorneys to begin to get the answers to this question.
Someone ran a red light. Do they owe me money?
If another driver ran a red light and caused you to be involved in a car accident, then that person may be held responsible for any expenses that you have incurred as a result of the accident. Though personal injury law has some exceptions, in general, if another person endangers your safety, or causes you undue injury, then you may have a case. Of course, the best way to know the status of your claim is to talk with an attorney.
Should I try to settle with the other person outside of court?
It’s generally not a good idea to attempt to handle your legal business without the help of an attorney. Even if your claim is not hostile, or does not involve injury, you are still likely to gain the most favorable outcome with the guidance of an attorney and the protection of the judicial system.
Who is responsible for fixing roadways?
It varies from state to state, but local municipalities (city agencies) are most often the entities that are responsible for noticing and repairing roadway defects. When defects go unrepaired, innocent drivers like you could be involved in dangerous car accidents, resulting in both physical injuries and financial difficulties.
What are the three categories of distracted driving?
There are three primary categories for distracted driving, each of which is unsafe. The three categories are:
- Manual – hands removed from the wheel
- Visual – eyes removed from the roadway
- Cognitive – thoughts removed from the present situation
Each of these types of distractions can cause a driver to take part in dangerous behavior on the road, as he or she is somehow not focusing on the task at hand – driving a vehicle.
Why is a car accident lawyer be beneficial for insurance claims?
Occasionally, insurance companies will attempt to undercut an insurance claim or deny it altogether. If your insurance company is engaging in any of the following behavior, it may be necessary to retain the services of an insurance claims lawyer:
- If a claims adjuster pressures you to accept a quick settlement that is unfair
- If compensation for your accident-related medical costs do not fully cover expenses
- If Massachusetts’s statutes of limitations may prevent you from challenging the settlement claim
Our Massachusetts insurance claims attorneys can help individuals understand their legal options when their insurance claims are not properly addressed and fulfilled.
U.S. and Massachusetts Crash Statistics
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, motor vehicle crashes took 37,461 lives in the U.S. in 2016. In 2015, there were 32,166 fatal motor vehicle crashes in the U.S., in which 35,092 fatalities occurred. In Massachusetts, 291 fatal auto crashes resulted in 306 fatalities in 2015.
Auto crashes remain the highest type of injury crash in Massachusetts. In 2015, Massachusetts led most other states in percentage of deaths per car accident, at 41 percent. The state has a bit more of an average number of pedestrian deaths at 24 percent and a low percentage of deaths in accidents that involve SUVs or pickups at 13 percent. In addition, the percentage of deaths in Massachusetts involving motorcycles was at 14%, while bicyclist deaths were at 3%, and large truck occupant deaths were at 1%.
Also in 2015, Massachusetts had 42 drivers that were killed with a blood alcohol content (BAC) greater than .08. IN 2015, Massachusetts had 173 fatally injured passenger vehicle occupants. Of those, 83 of them were unrestrained and not using a front seat safety belt, 46 were using seat belts, and 44 were unknown (regarding the use of seat belt restraints).
Massachusetts – Young Driver Statistics
- In 2015, young drivers (age 20 or younger) in Massachusetts accounted for 8% of all drivers involved in fatal crashes. This is an increase from the 6% reported in 2014. Young driver involvement in fatal crashes has dropped 36% from 2011. Young driver fatalities have also dropped from 24 to 15 since 2011.
- In addition, unrestrained young drivers, as a percentage of all young driver fatalities, declined from 38% in 2011 to 27% in 2015.
Yet, across the U.S., there has been a 53% decline in deaths among drivers ages 15-19 between 2005 and 2014. The decrease is attributed to strong graduated drivers licensing laws in Massachusetts and the U.S. that limit teen driving to avoid risky driving situations. Although the United States has made progress, much information needs to get in the hands of the teen driver and their parents.
For more information, see: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/teen-drivers
U.S. – Young Driver Statistics
However, the teen driving accident problem is widespread in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- In the year 2015, there were 2,333 teens in the United States (ages 16–19) that died, and 221,313 teens were treated in ER departments for injuries sustained in motor vehicle collisions in 2014. That is equivalent to six teens, ages 16–19, that died every day from motor vehicle injuries.
- In the year 2013, young people, ages 15-19, represented only 7% of the population in the U.S. However, they accounted for 11% ($10 billion) of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries.
You can find more information to keep the kids in your life safe by visiting www.cdc.gov/ParentsAreTheKey.
Speak With a Car Accident Lawyer in Massachusetts
If you have been injured in a car accident caused by someone else, our legal team at Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, believes that you shouldn’t have to face the consequences alone. With our help, you may be able to hold the party who was responsible for causing the accident accountable, which may, in turn, provide you with much-needed financial compensation and justice.
Call us at (617) 404-3417 to learn more about your legal rights and options in this situation.