Motor vehicle accidents cause the loss of time, property, health and even life. Such accidents occur because of elements including driver error, negligence, manufacturing defects and dangerous weather. No matter what the specific cause or result, a crash can turn a normal day into a prolonged struggle. Speaking with a lawyer can help you sort out your rights, your options and your future.
Contact an attorney from Reardon, Joyce & Akerson in Worcester County, Massachusetts, to find out more.
At-Fault, Negligent and Aggressive Drivers
When you have been in an auto accident, you may have a sense of who caused it. Issues of fault, however, can be complicated by who acted when and which laws governed the situation. If the other driver was negligent, you may have to prove that the driver breached a duty of care to you and that the breach caused your damages. The assistance of an attorney can be immensely valuable at this time, whether you are battling an insurance company, seeking compensation for your injuries or defending yourself in court.
Sources of information on the accident include police reports, witnesses and the condition of the vehicles involved in the accident. They could reveal what happened and why.
Actions, on the part of either driver, that may have contributed to the accident include:
- Failure to stop at a red light or stop sign
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Failure to compensate for dangerous weather conditions
- Driving above or below the posted speed limits
- Driver distraction caused by a cell phone, passenger, radio or another source
- Failure to obey traffic laws regarding turn signals, right-of-way and other rules
Sometimes the at-fault driver is more than merely negligent; he or she may have acted recklessly or even intentionally. A reckless driver acts with conscious disregard for the probable consequences of the driver’s actions. Road rage incidents often involve reckless behavior, and they can escalate into intentional behavior. Road rage in particular can be extremely dangerous, leading to injuries and criminal charges. Generally, aggressive drivers are a serious threat to safety. Speeding and taking other risks contributes significantly to highway and other fatalities.
It is important to avoid confrontation with road-rage drivers and aggressive drivers. You have a better chance of staying safe if you:
- Get out of the way
- Avoid eye contact
- Refuse to make or return obscene gestures
- Let go of your pride for a while; don’t challenge the other driver
- Report the aggressive driving to the authorities, stopping in a safe spot to use your cell phone if necessary
In the US, someone dies every 30 minutes in an alcohol-related crash; someone is non-fatally injured every two minutes. Additionally, the business that sold alcohol to the drunk driver may be held liable if it served the driver when he or she was visibly intoxicated. This, however, does not take any responsibility from the driver who drove while intoxicated. If you have been in an accident involving alcohol or drugs, seek the help of an attorney who will explain your legal options.
The Daily Hampshire Gazette recently published a story concerning “[a] $5.7 million lawsuit filed in federal court in Springfield [that] sheds new light on the inner workings of the now-defunct Amherst Drug Lab and alleges failings of numerous state offices, a local police department and an entire municipality, and how people consume drugs, which could cause accidents.
‘This is a case about government corruption,’ begins the 57-page lawsuit filed by Northampton attorney Luke Ryan on behalf of plaintiff Rolando Penate, of Springfield, in U.S. District Court.
Here аrе a fеw vеrу аlаrmіng facts about drunk drіvіng1. Lеt’ѕ kеер these іn mіnd durіng Hаllоwееn, whісh according tо the BACtrасk Cоnѕumрtіоn Rероrt, соntіnuеѕ to bе a dеаdlу time оf уеаr.
Car crashes аrе the numbеr one kіllеr оf реорlе іn thеіr tееnѕ. Tо рut thаt іn a more ѕtаrk lіght, one thіrd of all auto fatalities іnvоlvіng tееnѕ are alcohol-related.
Tееn fatalities mаkе up оnе-fіfth of all аlсоhоl-rеlаtеd сrаѕhеѕ, thоugh licensed teens make up only about 6% оf the оvеrаll licensed рорulаtіоn.
-Alсоhоl іѕ іnvоlvеd іn аbоut 40% оf аll fаtаl саr сrаѕhеѕ.
-Alсоhоl is thе number one сhоісе оf drug over all оthеr drugѕ.
-Mаlеѕ аrе аlmоѕt twісе аѕ likely as fеmаlеѕ tо drive under the іnfluеnсе of аlсоhоl.
-Thе hіghеѕt average BAC іn a ѕресіfіс hоur window іѕ 4 а.m. – 5 а.m. on Saturdays, whеrе BACtrасk Smаrtрhоnе Brеаthаlуzеr users аvеrаgе 0.113%. Thе lоwеѕt іѕ Tuеѕdау 9 аm – 10 аm at 0.018%.
-Amоng аutо сrаѕhеѕ оссurrіng аt night, 50% оf drivers kіllеd hаd blood alcohol content (BAC) levels оvеr the legal lіmіt (0.08%) соmраrеd wіth 15% оf drivers kіllеd during other hоurѕ.
-Amіdѕt the gloom, a ѕіlvеr lіnіng: drunk drіvіng іѕ 100% preventable. As a rеѕult of coordinated efforts bу anti-drunk drіvіng organizations, buѕіnеѕѕеѕ, аnd government аgеnсіеѕ, public аwаrеnеѕѕ оf the dire соnѕеԛuеnсеѕ оf drunk drіvіng has іnсrеаѕеd while аlсоhоl-rеlаtеd crashes have ѕtеаdіlу dесrеаѕеd. Teen drіnkіng and drіvіng is аlѕо оn the dесlіnе.
Auto Accidents Not Caused by the Drivers
Sometimes, no matter how carefully you drive, you cannot avoid an accident. In certain cases, a vehicle’s manufacturing or design defect causes the accident or makes it worse. This might happen if, for instance, the brakes on your car fail or the airbag does not deploy when it should. The law of products liability applies in this situation, protecting consumers when products create an unreasonable risk of harm. If a product defect caused your injuries, you may have a case against the designer, manufacturer or distributor of the product.
Another responsible party could be a mechanic who improperly repaired the car that caused the accident. Both the mechanic and the mechanic’s employer could be liable in such a case.
Finally, poorly maintained roads, messy and confusing construction, unclear signage, improperly designed roads and similar problems can contribute to an accident. Government entities are typically responsible for the roads and highways; they may, therefore, be liable for accidents caused by the above factors. Special rules, however, apply to lawsuits against government entities; a lawyer will be able to explain them in detail.
Schedule a free personal injury case evaluation
It is important to take prompt action when you have been in a motor vehicle accident. This will help you preserve your rights and seek proper compensation.
Contact an attorney from Reardon, Joyce & Akerson in Worcester County, Massachusetts, for help.
DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.