Driving can be risky, and many Cape Cod drivers have been the victims of a Motor Vehicle Accident as a result. Drivers can reduce their odds of being in an accident by following safe driving practices and obeying traffic laws. Unfortunately, not everyone on the road is a safe driver, and very little can prevent accidents caused by the intentional or negligent acts of others.
Most drivers correct their unsafe driving habits once a specific act gains them a traffic violation or causes an accident. However, a lot of unsafe drivers are repeat traffic offenders. These repeat offenders and can pose a particular danger to public safety. Consequently, many laws have been drafted to help with repeat offenders, which can be anything from requiring the offender to enter a driver safety program to revoking their driver’s license entirely. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident by a negligent or unsafe driver, you are encouraged to contact a local injury attorney who routinely handles motor accident cases.
Some drivers’ actions can be so horrendous that they may be deemed a danger to society. Recently, a Barnstable Superior Court Judge ruled a repeat offender in a fatal motor vehicle accident a menace to the public. The alleged offender caused a seven-car pileup that resulted in the death of one man and caused the injuries to two 9 year old girls. The pileup occurred on July 13 in front of a Chatham ice cream shop after the offender lead police on high speed chase.
The pileup in July has gained notoriety because the defendant did not have a valid driver’s license at the time. His license had previously been revoked as a result of a prior high speed chase with police. Furthermore, between 1998 and 2013 the defendant had over a dozen traffic violations. When the defendant allegedly caused the tragic accident in July, he was in the process of reinstating his driver’s license; however, he had not taken the required roadside or written test.
The Superior Court Judge’s ruling is the result of Massachusetts’ Dangerousness statute, which allows a defendant to be held without bail for ninety days if a judge determines them a menace to the public. The statute defines certain crimes and criteria for a judge to make a determination. The current defendant has been held for 90 days without bail after the same ruling by a Orleans District Court Judge in July. After the current ruling, he will continue to remain in the Barnstable County Correctional Facility for another 90 days. The defendant is currently awaiting trial for the July accident and has been indicted on 11 charges including manslaughter.
Criminal charges are an important part of Massachusetts’ law that help deter dangerous drivers. However, criminal charges only remedy violations of public laws and do not provide for the relief to damages to specific victims. Accident victims or the family members of fatal accident victims may also be able to seek compensation for their injuries in a civil court.
Accidents can cause injuries and death. According to the most recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report, 19 people died in Massachusetts in 2011 from car accidents. While most of these aren’t the result of repeat offenders, many accidents are caused by the negligence of others. Under Massachusetts law, all drivers have a legal duty to exercise reasonable care when operating a motor vehicle. If they fall short of the reasonable care standard, they can be liable for damages caused by an accident.
Any car accident where one is severely injured or killed can be physically, emotionally, and financially difficult. An experienced accident attorney will be able to gather evidence related to the accident and can review all the elements of your case.
If you are involved in an accident, we can ensure that you do not settle for less than the compensation you deserve. Local attorney, John C. Manoog III, has extensive experience handling motor vehicle accident cases. For a free initial consultation, call the office at 888-262-6664 or reach us by email. There is always someone available to talk to you about your case.
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