Articles Posted in Auto accident

Massachusetts has adopted the modified comparative negligence rule which states that a plaintiff cannot recover compensation from a negligent party if it is concluded that the plaintiff was 50 percent or more at fault for the accident. This is a critical rule to keep in mind during a car accident or other personal injury case because it can impact your right to recovery. As seasoned trial attorneys, the Boston car accident lawyers at Mass Injury Group are ready to help you ensure that you receive a fair outcome in your case. We will assist you with all aspects of your case including gathering evidence and determining the best way to obtain the settlement or judgment that you deserve.

Knowing what types of evidence that other party may be able to offer against you is a key part of developing a strategy for your case. In a recent case, the Massachusetts Court of Appeals considered an appeal of a decision from the Board of Appeal on Motor Vehicle Liability Policies and Bonds (the board) to uphold a surcharged imposed by a driver’s insurance company.

The board concluded that the driver did not yield the right of way at a stop sign causing him to collide with another vehicle that did have the right of way to proceed through the intersection.  The board concluded that the driver was more than 50 percent at fault for the accident. The driver appealed the decision to the superior court, which affirmed the board’s conclusion. The driver appealed.

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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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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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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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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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Like many states, Massachusetts has a dram shop act that attaches liability to a business that overserves a customer with alcohol who then proceeds to cause a personal injury accident. The statute can create many interesting legal issues, but it is important for plaintiffs who were injured in crashes with drunk drivers to understand whether they have a claim against a bar, restaurant, or other business that served alcohol to the defendant before the personal injury accident took place. As seasoned Boston car accident lawyers, we are prepared to help you assess your claim and to determine whether you are entitled to compensation.

The Massachusetts Court of Appeal considered a case in which issues surrounding the liability involved with serving liquor to a guest were involved. The victim was killed in a one-car accident after leaving a restaurant owned by one of the defendants where he had been served alcoholic beverages. The plaintiff, the decedent’s estate, alleged that the restaurant was negligent and reckless in serving the decedent more drinks while he was showing signs of obvious intoxication and that this conduct was the direct and foreseeable cause of his death.

According to Massachusetts’ dram shop act, a plaintiff asserting a claim under the statute must provide within 90 days of filing the complaint an affidavit that lists enough facts to raise a legitimate question regarding the liability of the defendant.

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Insurance policies can be very confusing, and it can seem impossible to know whether your expenses after a car accident are covered. There are many different types of insurance policies, and each insurer can include a different array of terms, such as exclusions about what it will and will not cover in the event that an injury or damage happens. Although these policy terms may seem clear upfront, they can often be worded in tricky ways or include exceptions that are challenging to interpret. Our dedicated team of Boston car accident lawyers has handled many car accident cases. This includes negotiating with insurance companies to make sure that our clients are treated fairly. We can answer any questions about a car accident and whether your insurance company or another insurance company should provide you with coverage.

In a recent case, an appellate court was asked to decide whether a motor vehicle exclusion in a homeowner’s insurance policy relieves another insurance company of its duty to provide coverage for the insureds when the insureds provided alcohol to a minor in their home, and the minor caused a car accident. The victim of the car accident filed a lawsuit against the insureds, who owned the home where they provided the minor with alcohol. The homeowner’s insurance company defended the insureds in the action, subject to a reservation of its rights in the homeowner’s insurance agreement.

The parties entered into a settlement agreement, in which the victim released the insureds, and the insurance company agreed to pay the victim coverage limits depending on its duty to indemnify the insureds under the homeowner’s insurance policy. The lower court concluded that the motor vehicle exclusion applied and relieved the insurance company of its duty to indemnify the insureds.

Many employers allow employees to use vehicles for work-related purposes. Although some of them understand that this exposes them to liability if the employee is involved in a crash, others fail to understand the risks. Our seasoned team of Boston car accident lawyers are prepared to help you protect yourself in an accident involving a third-party who was using your vehicle.

In a recent appellate case (the “Case”), the Massachusetts Court of Appeal discusses this issue. In the Case, the owner of a restaurant allowed employees to use his vehicle to get to and from their homes and the restaurant. The owner required some employees to sign an agreement that limited the use of the vehicle to get to and from work. Under Massachusetts law, employers are liable for the tortious acts that their employees commit under the course and scope of employment. This concept is known as vicarious liability. One morning, one of the employees assisted another individual with jump-starting his car.

The employee removed the cables and lowered the hood of the restaurant owner’s car at which time it accelerated and struck the owner of the other car that was being jumped. The victim filed a claim for negligence and alleged that the restaurant owner was legally responsible as the owner of the vehicle that caused his injuries.

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