Massachusetts Accident And Lawsuit Attorney Legal Overview
Massachusetts Accident Lawyer And Lawsuit Attorney Legal Overview
Traffic accidents cost Massachusetts $394 million a year in medical expenditure and loss of work hours, while on an average, at least one person dies and 10 receive injuries on the state roads every day. On June 15, 2012, a woman was killed in a three-car crash in North Royalton. An alcohol-related car crash in Salem a day later resulted in the death of a 19-year-old man. A 62-year-old man died and his 61-year-old wife went into coma after a van bumped into the motorcycle they were riding on 24 June 2012. Next day, a 51-year-old man from East Boston lost his life after the car he was driving swerved off the road in Woburn. Two days later, a middle-aged man died of injuries in South Hadley after his car rammed into a tree and crashed into a nearby home. A Bridgeport court awarded a pastor $2.5 million last month for injuries she received in a collision between her car and a tractor-trailer in 2008.
Massachusetts Auto Accident Statistics
- The state mileage death rate at 0.61 continued to drop for the fourth consecutive year.
- In 2009, Massachusetts traffic accidents resulted in 340 deaths.
- Almost one in every 50 persons is at a risk of traffic crashes in Massachusetts.
- Traffic accidents and fatalities are more common in rural areas than cities.
- Alcohol consumption was held responsible for 27 percent of total Massachusetts auto accidents, while more than half of alcohol-related car crashes led to fatalities.
- Passenger cars were found to be involved in 45 percent of all reported crashes followed by utility vehicles and pick-up trucks.
- Close to 65 percent of fatalities were caused by single car accidents.
- Almost one in every three fatalities was caused by roadway departures.
- One in five crashes occurred at intersections.
Massachusetts Auto Accident: County and Causes
A high number of car accidents in Massachusetts involving single cars underline driver error as the foremost reason of crashes. This includes speed of the vehicle, driver distraction, drunk driving, talking on cell phone while driving, and loss of control over vehicles. Alcohol is a factor in every four out of 10 Massachusetts auto accident deaths. Almost 30 percent of all car crashes in the state are blamed on the speed of the vehicle. In 2009, roadway departures led to 168 deaths while 72 people died in rollovers. Vehicle failure, red light jumping, improper lane change, and collision with stationary roadside objects are other important causes of traffic accidents in Massachusetts.
Middlesex County accounts for one-fifth of all Massachusetts auto accidents. Worcester County is considered one of the most unsafe places for drivers and passengers due to growing number of traffic fatalities reported in the past five years. Bristol, Essex, and Norfolk are other counties with a high number of reported car crashes in Massachusetts. Among cities, the maximum number of accidents has been reported in the Greater Boston area. Springfield, Worcester, and Cambridge are other cities with a high number of traffic crashes occurring every year.
Common Massachusetts Accident Injuries
- Death due to accident
- Permanent disability due to loss of limb
- Medical conditions requiring prolonged treatment
- Injury to brain and spinal cord leading to restricted ability
- Back, neck, and other serious injuries preventing one from work
- Disfigurement, burns, fractures, scars
- Emotional distress, depression, and other psychological problems
Massachusetts Accident Claim for Damages, Compensation
Massachusetts auto accident victims have the right to seek damages from the at-fault driver. The following are the most common grounds for compensation:
- Punitive damages
- Physical and financial loss during and after an accident
- Cost incurred on the past, present, and future medical treatment required for injuries received in the accident
- Loss of job, employment, consortium, and property
- Psychological distress following an accident
- Damage to the vehicle
Massachusetts Auto Accident Lawyer: Claiming Damage
An accident victim can claim injury compensation in Massachusetts only when the accident-related medical expenses exceed $2,000 or there is ample proof of serious injuries to brain, neck, and other vital organs, or fractures, or hearing or sight impairment. However, the victim needs to establish the fault of the other party and damages. A claim can be made in the following three ways:
- You may directly file a claim with the insurance provider of the driver responsible for the accident
- Your may ask your own insurance provider to secure damages from the insurer of the responsible driver
- You may file a personal injury lawsuit seeking damages under the guidance of a Massachusetts accident lawyer
Massachusetts Personal Injury Lawsuits: The Process
Notify Your Claim: Hire an experienced Massachusetts accident lawyer. Your attorney does all the ground work, including collection of police and medical reports and estimation of damages. He notifies the other party seeking compensation.
- Mediation and Arbitration: Both parties are free to negotiate on the amount of compensation. They can even seek mutually agreed third-party mediation and arbitration on the claims.
- Litigation: Your Massachusetts accident lawyer files a civil lawsuit seeking compensation on the event of rejection of your claims by the other party. The litigation process involves a number of stages.
- Filing of claims in the court and notice to the other party
- Discovery or investigation by Massachusetts accident lawyers representing the plaintiff and the defendant
- Request to the judge for a summary decision or for fixing the trial date
- Trial and examination of witnesses and presentation of facts
- Decision by the jury based on the law and evidence
- Settlement: A majority of Massachusetts personal injury cases are settled through negotiated settlement or mutual agreement on the amount of compensation. An experienced Massachusetts accident lawyers on your side can help you bargain for a more favorable settlement.
Massachusetts Accident Lawsuit: Statutory Regulations
- Massachusetts personal injury lawsuits seeking compensation of less than $7,000 must be filed in small claims courts. However, there is no such limit in case of compensation for property damaged in an auto accident. A claim for property damaged by motor vehicles can be filed in any court irrespective of the amount involved.
- The statute of limitation for filing civil lawsuits seeking auto accident compensation in Massachusetts is three years.
- The time limit for filing uninsured or underinsured claims is six years.
- The statute of limitation for filing civil lawsuits is generally 30 to 60 days.
Massachusetts Comparative Fault Law
Massachusetts comparative fault law allows you to claim and receive damages for an auto accident only if you are less than 50 percent responsible for the accident. The amount of compensation is awarded on the basis of proportionate fault and those with more than 50 percent responsibility are denied any claim.
Massachusetts Accident Insurance
- Massachusetts is a “no-fault” insurance claim state.
- It is mandatory for all licensed Massachusetts drivers to have four types of insurance coverage.
- Bodily injury insurance with minimum coverage of $40,000 per accident and $20,000 per person
- Personal injury protection of $8,000 per person sitting in the vehicle or injury to the pedestrian
- Uninsured motor vehicle with minimum coverage of $40,000 per accident and $20,000 per person
- Property damage insurance with minimum coverage of $5,000 per incident
- Drivers without insurance must furnish a financial bond guaranteed by two property holders in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts Seat Belt Law
- Seat belt is mandatory for drivers and all passengers above 12 years of age.
- Passengers on both front and rear seats are required to use seat belts.
- Children of 12 years and less are required to use appropriate child restraint seats.
- Children of up to five years should use booster seats
- Violation of seat belt is categorized as a secondary offense
- Seatbelt exemption is granted to drivers of police, postal, and fire vehicles, taxis, tractor, buses, and trucks weighing more than 18,000 pounds
Massachusetts Auto Accident Lawsuit
On June 21, 2012, a federal court in Bridgeport awarded $2.5 million to a former pastor, who had filed a personal injury lawsuit following an auto accident in 2008. The 59-year-old plaintiff received traumatic brain injury after a tractor-trailer stuck the car she was driving. The jury awarded her $1,273,500 in economic damages and another $1,250,000 to compensate for non-economic losses. Four days later, a Boston court ordered the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority to pay $1.2 million in compensation to a passenger injured in a subway train crash. The plaintiff received neck injury following the accident caused because of driver distraction. In February 2012, the Massachusetts Supreme Court upheld a lower court verdict granting $11.3 million to a family of three injured in an auto accident 10 years ago.