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Massachusetts Appellate Court Upholds Summary Judgment for Defendants in Passenger’s High-Speed Collision Lawsuit

Sometimes accidents happen on the freeway when drivers think they are exercising caution. Simple driving tasks like merging, changing lanes, or traveling through intersections can become incredibly dangerous when motorists are not paying as much attention as they should or having patience to make sure that the way is clear before they proceed. If you were involved in a Boston car accident, the lawyers at Mass Injury Group are available to discuss your situation and whether you may be entitled to compensation. There are many different issues and facts to consider when determining whether you should bring legal action and we are ready to help you answer them.

A recent case arose from a two-vehicle crash that happened when one vehicle attempted to change lanes. The plaintiff was the passenger in a van owned by the defendant and being operated by a driver. The other vehicle, a moving truck, was traveling in the same direction. The driver attempted to change lanes and observed the moving truck in the right lane about 25 to 30-feet behind him. As the driver attempted to move the vehicle into the right lane, there was a sudden impact. The two vehicles collided, and the plaintiff suffered serious injuries.

The plaintiff sued multiple defendants including the driver of the moving van and the company that owned the moving van. These defendants filed motions for summary judgment, which ask the court to decide the case as a matter of law because there are no genuine issues of material fact. The lower court granted the motions for summary judgment and the plaintiff appealed.

The appellate court first rejected the plaintiff’s assertion that the moving van driver needed to show that the other driver was solely responsible for the crash. Instead, the moving van driver needed to show that the plaintiff could not prove an essential element of her claim against him. The plaintiff argued on appeal that the jury could infer from the facts that the moving van driver was negligent as a result of driving at excessive speed.

A police report prepared after the accident concluded that the left front of the moving van collided with the right rear of the van in which the plaintiff was traveling. The road also showed skid marks where the moving van driver attempted to stop suddenly. The van in which the plaintiff was driving did not leave any skid marks. This did not support the plaintiff’s assertion that the moving van driver was traveling at an excessive speed.

The appellate court also rejected the plaintiff’s argument that expert witness testimony suggested that the moving van driver was driving at an unreasonable speed. The expert only offered an opinion about vehicle speeds in relation to when braking occurred and did not offer an opinion about how fast either of the vans in the accident was traveling.

If you were injured in a Boston car accident as a passenger or a driver, you should speak with Mass Injury Group as soon as possible to explore your potential right to compensation. Call our office today at 617-263-0060 or contact us online to schedule a free and confidential consultation. We are prepared to help you fight for the just outcome that you deserve.

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