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Articles Tagged with car accidents

A Massachusetts car accident can occur in any number of ways. More often than not, a crash between two or more vehicles is due to the negligence of one or more drivers. Sometimes, however, negligence is attributable to the acts or failure to act of a party that was not even at the scene of a car accident. A recent story about used cars underscores the potential dangers for consumers.

CBS Boston recently investigated the sale of used cars that were subject to motor vehicle recalls for defective parts or other mechanical problems. The results were startling. It was discovered that some vehicles were being sold off used car lots without bothering to address recall issues. Some find it particularly infuriating because necessary repairs pursuant to a recall cost dealers nothing. Nevertheless, it was discovered that some used cars were sold without even telling the consumer that the car was subject to a recall.

As many as one third of recalled vehicles don’t get repaired, and some of them are sitting on used car lots. One consumer bought a van that caught on fire in his driveway. He had no idea that a recall targeted the issue. A 2005 Acura was recalled for a braking issue but was still offered for resale on a lot without any notification to the consumer of the issue.

A wrongful death lawsuit that has been pending on Cape Cod for more than 2.5 years is nearing completion. Three of the four counts from the formal complaint have been resolved, with the remaining count scheduled for trial in March. The lawsuit arose from a fatal accident that occurred in Hyannis in mid-May 2010.

On the night of the tragedy, a 47-year-old Cape Cod woman in a motorized wheelchair was attempting to cross a street in Hyannis. It was just about 10 p.m. and raining heavily. A now 21-year-old woman had been drinking with friends at the Holly Tree Resort Hotel in West Yarmouth. She, along with a passenger, was driving to a local store when her car struck the wheelchair bound woman and dragged her a distance of about 50 feet.

The victim’s purse became stuck on the car’s windshield briefly, and the air bags in the vehicle deployed. Nevertheless, the driver did not stop and returned to the hotel where she had been drinking. She was arrested two days later, following a police investigation. She faced numerous criminal charges and was ultimately convicted and sentenced to spend three years in jail. She was also sued for wrongful death in the month following the crash.

otor vehicle accident.

Nevertheless, accidents do happen, and sometimes they involve vehicles that transport us for a free. One recent collision involved a Brockton Area Transit bus and a car. The collision took place on a recent Friday evening a bit before 6:30 p.m. While specific details of the crash were not initially disclosed, it is known that a passenger on the BAT bus was transported to the hospital for medical care. The specific nature of the passenger’s injuries was not detailed.

The car driver that collided with the bus was also injured. That driver informed authorities she intended to drive to a medical facility on her own for medical care. She complained of lower back pain. Nevertheless, on the day following the collision, authorities sited the driver with unspecified charges resulting from the crash.

A motor vehicle accident is frightening under any circumstances. A victim injured while riding on public transportation often has little or no time to react to a crash and may, as a result, suffer serious injury. Massachusetts personal injury laws provide for the right of those injured in an accident caused by the negligence of others to sue for recovery of damages sustained. If negligence is established in a civil lawsuit the injured passenger may be entitled to reimbursement for medical expenses, lost time from work and other damages permissible under our states’ personal injury laws.

Source: enterprisenews.com, “Infiniti driver cited after BAT bus crash,” Carla Gualdron, Jan. 5, 2012

In the immediate aftermath of a pedestrian accident, it is not always clear exactly what happened. The potential for serious injury or even death is obviously substantial when a larger enclosed vehicle collides with a pedestrian on Massachusetts roadways. Initial reports of a pedestrian versus car accident in Malden in early January provided scant details of the tragedy.

This much is known. A car struck two pedestrians near a gas station on Broadway in Malden. A photo of the accident scene shows a damaged SUV and police tape cordoning off an area of the roadway. The front of the vehicle shows significant damage, and debris is strewn about the road in front of it.

In all, three ambulances were reportedly called to the scene, and both pedestrians were said to have been transported to the hospital. One victim’s injuries were described as serious enough to warrant a trauma alert and admission to Massachusetts General Hospital. Though each pedestrian was reportedly seriously injured, no further details were provided. The car driver was described as unhurt but apparently distraught over the incident. It was not immediately clear if an arrest was made or if criminal charges are contemplated.

A little over a year ago, a fatal accident occurred in Sudbury. The crash happened just two days after Christmas and took the life of a 91-year-old female passenger. The victim was riding in a car operated by a Marlborough woman who is now 39 years old. While it remains to be seen if wrongful death litigation will make its way through the Massachusetts civil court system, the driver has been charged criminally for vehicular homicide.

Police say the driver rear ended a box truck. The elderly woman was airlifted to a Boston hospital where she died a few days later. Her cause of death was attributed to injuries she sustained in the accident.

This is the second time the driver has been criminally charged in the case. The original charges were dismissed due to a legal technicality, and the district attorney filed the same accusations again. An official investigation determined the driver was negligent, though the woman faults the driver of the box truck for the accident. The criminal case will now proceed, and the victim’s family will likely follow its progress carefully.

In the immediate aftermath of a pedestrian accident, it is not always clear what happened. This is all the more true when the driver chooses to leave the scene of an accident. One recent pedestrian versus car accident in Methuen left a Massachusetts woman fighting for her life while the driver apparently chose to leave her there and eventually drive to a police station. He was charged with leaving the scene of an accident causing injury.

The car accident is said to have occurred as the 70-year-old woman was attempting to cross a street shortly after 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 11. The specific details of the crash were not reported, though the driver showed up at police headquarters about a half hour after the collision. He first told police he thought he hit a deer, but 10 minutes later he acknowledged that the significant damage to his car caused him to think he may have hit a person.

A week after the car accident, the victim remained at the Boston Medical Center with critical injuries. She apparently fractured her pelvis and suffered significant trauma. Her long term prognosis was not reported.

Fortunately, not every Massachusetts car accident results in life threatening injuries. However, that does not mean that the consequences for victims are necessarily limited to just bumps and bruises. In the immediate aftermath of a car accident, the victims may not know the extent or severity of their injuries. One recent crash in Shrewsbury resulted in hospitalization for three victims, though they were all expected to survive their injuries.

The car accident happened in the late morning hours in early December. A Massachusetts man from Worcester was headed eastbound on Route 20 when he tried to turn left into the Olde Shrewsbury Village Shopping Plaza. In doing so, he collided with a westbound car driven by a man from out of state.

In all, injuries were reported to three people. It is not clear in which vehicles these individuals were riding. Further, the specific nature and extent of any injuries sustained was not reported. Beyond the fact that no one was said to be in danger of losing their life, no updated medical conditions were immediately available.

A recent fatal accident in western Massachusetts underscores some of the potential differences between criminal proceedings and claims for personal injury or wrongful death in our state. A fatal accident on our roadways often results in both criminal and wrongful death claims. In the aftermath of a collision that results in one or more deaths, authorities typically conduct a formal accident investigation and ultimately determine what happened and whether they believe any laws were broken. When it appears that criminal conduct is involved, formal charges are usually brought. Apart from any criminal proceedings, the surviving family of the deceased retains the right to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court.

Occasionally, as evidenced by a fatal accident in May that involved a car and a bicycle, law enforcement personnel decide that criminal charges are not warranted. That, however, does not mean the surviving family is barred from bringing a civil lawsuit. Even when a collision is deemed to have not risen to the level of criminal conduct, a civil lawsuit may be commenced based upon evidence of negligence. In short, one can be negligent without committing a crime. The burden of proving negligence in a civil proceeding is less stringent than that required for a criminal conviction.

While the reported details are few, the fatal accident occurred in downtown Northampton. It is only known that a car struck an 18-year-old bicyclist, who died from the injuries sustained. Nevertheless, the office of the district attorney concluded the tragedy was an unfortunate accident and that no criminal charges would be filed. In effect the prosecutor’s office concluded that there was not sufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the driver of the car was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

A settlement of a lawsuit against Massachusetts law enforcement authorities that arose out of a fatal accident was announced recently. The wrongful death claim was based on an incident occurring at a police checkpoint in North Andover in late Nov. 2009. As a result of the claim, the deceased victim’s family will receive $1.6 million.

While details of the incident are sketchy, it is known that a 45-year-old man struck a Massachusetts State Trooper during a traffic stop. The surviving family alleged that the man was beaten by authorities. Further, it was claimed that police delayed more than three quarters of an hour to arrange for medical services for the man.

Police apparently attempted to restrain the man and placed him under arrest. During the booking process, the victim was said to be unresponsive. Later, he was declared dead at a hospital. No individual officer was disciplined or faced criminal charges relating to the incident. The Essex County sheriff, North Andover police and Massachusetts State Police were all included in the litigation, and it was reported that all shared some part of the settlement amount.

The room for error when driving a motor vehicle on Massachusetts highways is small. We all owe a duty of reasonable care to others in or near the roadway. Most of us are taught to drive defensively, but doing so does not always ensure that a car accident can be avoided.

Police were in the process of reconstructing the scene of a Cape Cod car accident following a head-on collision in Provincetown recently. The initial details concerning the crash were sparse. The collision occurred on Route 6 on a recent Thursday afternoon.

Preliminary reports suggest that a vehicle that was headed eastbound crossed into the westbound lane for reasons that are not yet clear. That vehicle struck an oncoming car, causing critical injury to both drivers. One was transported to Provincetown Airport and then airlifted to a trauma center. The other driver was transported to Cape Cod Hospital. The specific nature of the injuries sustained was not reported, and the further medical condition of each victim is not known.