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Car accidents can be incredibly complicated and involve numerous claims against the person who caused the accident and a claim with the insurance companies involved in the lawsuit. If you are facing a car accident dispute and feel overwhelmed by the situation, it is totally normal. A seasoned Boston car accident lawyer like Michael O. Smith can assist you with ensuring that you are treated fairly and that you receive the outcome that you deserve.

Recently, the Massachusetts Court of Appeal heard a case in which the plaintiff was a passenger in another person’s car when it was involved in a crash. The plaintiff sued the driver of the vehicle in which she was driving, asserting negligence and many other claims. He also asserted a claim against his own insurance company, the driver’s insurance company, and the driver of the other vehicle involved in the crash’s insurance company. The civil claims were eventually dismissed or stayed except for the plaintiff’s negligence claim against the driver.  The jury ultimately concluded that the defendant drove negligently but that the plaintiff was not injured as a result of the negligent driving. The plaintiff filed a motion for a new trial, which was denied.

The plaintiff appealed on a number of grounds. The plaintiff sued one of the drivers for pain and suffering damages only. This required the plaintiff to satisfy at least one statutory basis for entitlement to pain and suffering damages, such as where medical expenses exceed $2,000. The plaintiff argued that the judge erred in denying his request to seek discovery from two of the insurers regarding any medical bills that they may have paid on his behalf.

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Injury accidents are stressful and inconvenient no matter how mild the resulting injuries may be. One of the worst outcomes, however, is a fatal injury. No amount of money can truly make a family whole again after the sudden and avoidable loss of a loved one, but it can help cope with the financial impact of the crash. Although a fatal motor vehicle accident can happen in a wide variety of situations, truck accidents are a common cause to the massive size and weight of these vehicles. If you lost a loved one or suffered serious injuries due to a Boston truck accident, contact Attorney Michael O. Smith as soon as possible to explore your rights.

Two serious truck accidents happened in the Boston area during September of this year, raising serious concerns about pedestrian and motorist safety. The first accident happened at Harvard Square and involved a 60-year-old woman who was struck by a boom truck shortly after 7 am. The woman was crossing Brattle Street near the Out of Town news kiosk. Investigative officials concluded that she was not using the crosswalk at the time of the collision.

The second incident involved a tractor-trailer that rolled over on top of a passenger vehicle on the Massachusetts Turnpike. The driver of the vehicle sustained serious injuries requiring hospitalization while the passenger sustained minor injuries.

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Teen drivers are some of the most dangerous motorists on the roadways. Whether due to a lack of experience or naive beliefs regarding how they should be acting behind the wheel, teens tend to take their driving privileges for granted. In fact, during 2017 over 2,500 teenagers lost their lives in fatal motor vehicle accidents according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration making car accidents the leading cause of death for teens. When teenagers are irresponsible behind the wheel, it can put other motorists and pedestrians at high risk. If you were involved in a Boston car accident with a teen driver, our lead attorney Michael O. Smith is prepared to help you assert your right to compensation.

National Teen Driver Safety Week starts on October 20 and runs through October 26. During this time, parents are encouraged to have conversations with their teenage drivers about the importance of obeying traffic rules, refraining from driving while under the influence, and being a good influence on their peers who are also drivers. Teen drivers also have a tendency to forgo using their seatbelts, too, according to NHTSA, and are more susceptible to things like distracted driving or drowsy driving. In some cases, teens also try to pack as many passengers as possible into a vehicle, which has numerous safety implications.

Like many other states, Massachusetts uses graduated licensing laws that place decreasing restrictions on a new driver’s driving privileges. The intent behind starting with several restrictions and paring them down as the driver gains experience is to make sure that the driver has the best start possible with his or her driving record. Teens cannot drive with other passengers who are less than 18 years of age until they have had their license for six months, for example. They are also prohibited from driving between 12:30 am and 5 am as well as from using a cell phone while behind the wheel.

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A number of auto recalls in 2019 have given motorists cause for concern and created serious safety risks for drivers, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians. If you receive a recall notice, it is important to take your vehicle in as soon as possible to undergo the necessary repairs. In some situations, an automaker may fail to issue a recall in the time leading to devastating accidents and injuries. In some situations, defective auto parts can even cause fatalities. If you were injured in a car accident and believe a defective auto part is responsible, call our seasoned team of Boston car accident lawyers today to learn more about your rights.

General Motors has issued several recalls throughout this year, including a recall that caused 113 car crashes in a variety of their vehicle models, including the Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra, and Chevy Tahoe. The defect involves a faulty powered brake-assist system, which means that the vehicle may not be able to stop appropriately. Drivers who experience things like a ticking noise while trying to depress the brake or a vibrating brake pedal may be affected.

Nissan has experienced serious issues with its backup cameras and recently issued a recall for 1.23 million motor vehicles. Although no injuries have been reported related to this defect at present, drivers who rely on the backup camera for reversing should proceed with extreme caution.

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Pedestrians are at serious risk of suffering injuries from distracted and negligent motorists especially in a crowded and busy place like Boston. Although a car accident can be just as stressful and damaging, pedestrian accidents often result in catastrophic injuries simply because of the damage that a vehicle can cause to an unprotected person. At The Law Office of Michael O. Smith, we are ready to help you explore your legal rights following a sudden and avoidable Boston pedestrian injury accident.

Boston and Sommerville have experienced pedestrian accidents recently, with a van reportedly striking two pedestrians at an intersection causing one of the victims to later die from her injuries. The following day, a woman was severely injured after being allegedly struck by a garbage truck on McGrath Highway in Sommerville while using a marked crosswalk. There are countless questions that are being raised in the investigations for both accidents. City officials including Mayor Marty Walsh have already indicated that there will be changes coming to some of the most feared intersections.

This has been a serious problem according to a local news report, which identified that the traffic signal involved in the fatal pedestrian accident on Summer Street was providing pedestrians with the walk sign while also giving drivers on the intersecting street the green light to turn. Although a sign warned drivers that they must yield to pedestrians, businesses and residents argued that this was not enough to provide adequate protection.

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It’s no secret that trucks pose a serious danger to motorists, including motorcycle riders who may be less visible to a driver. Although there are many different rules and regulations that apply to trucking operations with the intention of keeping everyone safe, countless drivers fail to comply with these laws. In some instances, they turn to narcotics and other illegal substances to help them stay awake during long hauls in violation of countless laws. At the Law Office of Michael O. Smith, we are prepared to assist you with determining whether you are entitled to compensation after a Boston truck accident.

Recently, a Massachusetts truck driver was charged with causing the deaths of seven motorcyclists when the rig that he was operating careened into the group of motorcyclists in New Hampshire. Three other individuals were seriously wounded in the accident. Reports suggested that the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles failed to take appropriate action to suspend the truck driver’s license as the result of several out-of-state driving violations that had been reported to the RMV. The truck driver claimed that he reached down to pick up his beverage and unintentionally drifted from his lane of travel at the time of the crash.

When police raided his home, however, they found illegal narcotics believed to be heroin and when he was arrested at the scene of the crash police officials observed erratic behavior consistent with amphetamine consumption. The truck driver was employed as a truck driver for a Massachusetts trucking company and possessed a commercial driver’s license.  He had previous citations for drunk and drugged driving, which had been reported to Massachusetts DOT and RMV officials.

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Rideshare services have become incredibly popular as a way to travel, especially in crowded cities like Boston. There are certain dangers that come with using ridesharing services, however, that can put you at risk of suffering a serious and devastating personal injury. It’s not always clear, for example, whether you will be covered by the driver’s or the company’s insurance in light of an accident and these drivers are often in a rush to find their next fare, making them less safe than they should be on the road. As dedicated Boston car accident lawyers, we are prepared to help you assert your right compensation following a rideshare accident in Boston.

There are several important factors to consider if you are involved in a rideshare accident as a pedestrian, bicyclist, or passenger. As a recent situation highlights, the rideshare companies’ insurance policies and standards may not be as helpful as some people believe. Recently, a Framingham resident was sued for a rideshare accident that happened in 2015 while he was riding in a vehicle driven by an Uber driver. The lawsuit alleged that the man opened his door in a bike lane without checking to see if the lane was clear, causing serious injuries to a passing bicyclist. Uber refused to provide the man with legal defense and declined to pay the injured cyclist any compensation. The man did not own a vehicle, which is why he was using Uber, which meant that he also did not have auto insurance to cover the collision.

When it comes to rideshare insurance coverage, there are a few things that you should know before signing up to use these services. First, rideshare services frequently classify their drivers as independent contractors instead of employees and require their drivers to carry their own insurance policies. This allows the companies to keep a greater distance and to remove some of the liability that they would face for the drivers’ actions if they were employees. Massachusetts, like other states, recognizes a doctrine called vicarious liability, which holds an employer liable for the tortious acts that its employees commit in the course and scope of employment.

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Everyone is susceptible to causing a motor vehicle accident if they fail to pay attention behind the wheel, including government employees. There are a number of different rules that apply to situations involving accidents with government employees, however, that are important for a victim to understand as early as possible. These rules may impact your case and will be a factor in determining the best route for securing the compensation or settlement that you deserve. Our seasoned Boston car accident lawyer Michael O. Smith is standing by to help you assess your potential lawsuit.

In a recent case, the Massachusetts Court of Appeal considered whether the Massachusetts Insurers Insolvency Fund (the Fund) was required to pay the victim of a motor vehicle accident where the car that caused the crash was owned by the government and driven by a government employee. The victim had a standard motor vehicle insurance policy that included uninsured motorist benefits.

In each of the consolidated cases in the action, the relevant insurance company denied the victim’s claim on the basis that a government vehicle is not considered an uninsured motorist under the policy, which is often referred to as a government vehicle exclusion. The victims each pursued compensation from The Fund, but the claims were also denied on the basis that G. L. c. 175D, section 9 required them to first exhaust their uninsured motorist policies.

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If you were injured in an accident involving a drunk driver, it’s important to find out where that person was coming from before they caused the crash. When a bar or other establishment that offers liquor overserves a guest and that guest later causes a motor vehicle accident, the bar or establishment can in some situations be held liable. This is known as a dram shop law. Our diligent team of Boston car accident lawyers can help you determine whether you have a cause of action against another business or person in your claim so that you can receive the maximum amount of compensation possible in your case.

The Massachusetts Court of Appeal considered a case involving Massachusetts’ dram shop laws. The plaintiff asserted a wrongful death claim against a tavern, alleging that the defendants were negligent in operating the tavern because they overserved a minor. The tavern employed a head doorman who was responsible for ensuring that everyone was of legal drinking age. The doorman allowed two patrons who were eighteen-years-old to enter the tavern upwards of 200 times prior to the night of the accident.

On the night of the fatal accident, the underage drinkers reportedly got into an argument with two of-age patrons at the bar, resulting in an altercation. The doorman had noticed that the underage patrons exchanged sour looks with two other patrons who were already in the tavern. The four patrons involved in the fight left the bar to engage in a fight outside that became extremely violent. One of the individuals involved in the fight ran into a busy street where he was eventually struck by a moving vehicle. He died as a result of his injuries.

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A car accident is always stressful and disruptive for the victim, but when the person who causes the crash flees the scene the outcome can be even more devastating. Hit and run drivers leave the victim without recourse because the victim cannot file a civil claim against them to recover compensation. If you were involved in a Boston hit and run accident, it is critical for you to understand your rights and the best way to protect yourself.

Earlier this year, Boston police identified a woman who was killed in a car accident by a hit-and-run driver. She was 57-years-old at the time of the crash. There were no witnesses to the accident and the only evidence that the police had was a blurry surveillance video suggesting that a driver in a dark-colored sedan with tinted windows caused the crash.

Massachusetts law makes it a crime to leave the scene of an accident. If the person who fled is later found, the plaintiff may be able to use evidence of the defendant’s failure to remain at the scene of the accident as evidence that he or she was negligent at the time of the accident. Specifically, M.G.L. Ch. 90 Sec. 26 requires drivers to report collisions to the police where the damage that resulted from the collision exceeds $1,000. This requirement is in force even where no one suffered an injury as a result of the crash. For someone who is caught leaving the scene of an accident. M.G.L. Ch. 90 Sec. 24 imposes a criminal penalty of 6 months to 2 years in jail. If the accident resulted in a fatality, the maximum amount of jail time increases to 10 years.

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