High School Football Captain Killed in Winchester

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According to a recent news article in the Boston Globe, the captain of the Winchester High School football team was killed in a single-vehicle car crash. Authorities are reporting that he was driving alone in his car in a suburb north of Boston in the early morning hours when he suddenly left the road and crashed into a tree.

fire-brigade-759827-m.jpgThe cause of the accident is still under investigation as friends, family, and classmates mourn the tragic loss of the 17-year-old victim.

As our Boston car accident attorneys know too well, these tragedies forever change lives. While insurance companies are often quick to blame these types of accidents on distracted driving or simply an unfortunate turn of events, an accident reconstruction expert may be able to determine if the victims or their families have a valid negligence claim.

During pretrial phase of a car accident lawsuit in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, plaintiff's attorney will be able to serve various discovery requests on defendants. This process is known by attorneys as propounding discovery. These requests can require a car manufacturer to turn over all information pertaining to defects in a particular vehicle, including test data, recall notices, internal service bulletins shared with dealerships, and company memoranda related to defects in the car.

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White v. Mazda Motors of America: On Defective Manufacturing Claims in Car Accident Cases

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Our Boston attorneys who represent clients injured by defective vehicles understand the importance of using an expert witness.

car-fire-1267612-m.jpgIn White v. Mazda Motors of America, Inc., a case from the Supreme Court of Connecticut, plaintiff's car caught on fire a month after he purchased it. According to court records, plaintiff was driving home after working the night shift. He had owned the car for the past month and had driven to and from work each day during that month, putting a total of 2800 miles on the car.

While driving home, he began to smell gasoline coming from the car. He pulled over and got out of the car. Everything else seemed normal, and the gauges and dashboard lights were reading as normal. When he inspected the engine, he saw a bright flash, and the car burst into flames. Plaintiff fell backwards in reaction to the explosion, and, while he luckily was not burned, he did injure his knee when he fell to the ground.

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On Traffic Collisions Caused by Street Racing

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According to a recent article in the Daily News, two people died and another person is injured after a deadly car crash that authorities believe may be related to street racing.

372080_car_speedometer.jpgWitnesses say that a Mini Cooper was driving at speeds of around 90mph and appeared to be racing with another vehicle. The driver is said to have lost control, and the car hit a tree. The car split in half and exploded when it hit the tree.

Both the driver and front seat passenger were thrown from the vehicle during the crash. They were rushed to a local hospital. The driver was pronounced dead shortly after arriving, and the female front seat passenger is listed in critical condition.

Authorities also found a passenger in the back seat of the Mini Cooper who had been burned to death. All three occupants of the car were in their early 20s. As our Boston car accident attorneys know, street racing is extremely dangerous and results in a significant number of serious car accidents each year.

As our Boston traffic accident attorneys can explain, in a normal collision, plaintiff must establish that the defendant owed a duty of care to protect plaintiff and his or her property from harm that was foreseeable by a reasonable and prudent driver and breached that duty of care.

There is no question that drivers owe a duty of care to others who share the roads and sidewalks. A breach of that duty by not acting in a reasonable manner constitutes a negligent act. The next element that plaintiff must prove is that the breach caused damage to plaintiff. After establishing breach of a duty and causation, plaintiff must then establish the amount of damages to be awarded by a trier of fact, such as a jury.

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Truck Driver Killed in Fiery Multivehicle Accident

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According to a recent news article from WFTV 9, I-95 in Florida was shut down after a multivehicle crash that resulted in the death of a semi truck driver. State police are reporting that the truck driver lost control of his vehicle and hit a crash attenuator. A crash attenuator is a crushable device (usually painted yellow and black) that is placed on the end of a guardrail or other gouge point on a highway that is designed to absorb impact and help protect occupants of vehicles that hit the device.

12057_dangerous_truck.jpgWitnesses say that when the truck hit the barrier, the trailer swung around and blocked all northbound lanes of the interstate, causing traffic to come to a standstill. Another truck driver did not stop in time and crashed his truck into five cars stopped at the scene, and then crashed into another tractor trailer.

After the impact from the second truck, three additional vehicles were struck in the chaotic crash scene, and the semi truck that had hit them burst into flames. The driver of the truck that failed to stop for the accident was killed in the fire. At this point, two other vehicles caught fire, but the occupants of those vehicles were able to escape. Several people involved were taken to local hospitals with non-life threatening injures.

As our Boston truck accident lawyers can explain, accidents that involve multiple vehicles are likely to have a complex discovery process prior to settling the case or going to trial. In the context of a civil lawsuit in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the discovery process involves the sending of various legal pleadings and requests to defendant's attorney.

One type of pleadings typically used in a car accident case is known as requests for admissions (RFAs). The RFAs are sent to the other side's attorney and require defendants to admit or deny certain allegations. When served with a set of RFAs, the responding party must admit allegations, deny them, or, in some cases, state that there is not enough information to answer the question.

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Driver Crashed Car into 7-Eleven: On UM/UIM Coverage

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According to a recent article from the Chicago Tribune, a driver crashed his car into a local 7-Eleven convenience store and then fled the scene. Witnesses are reporting that the driver went into to the convenience store to get a carton of milk.

1149771_one_car_key.jpgWhen he arrived at the store, he allegedly crashed his car through the wall until it was completely inside the business. The driver then ran away on foot leaving his car inside the convenience store. When police arrived at the scene, they found a 2004 Acura in the middle of the store with the engine still running.

Police searched the area for someone matching defendant's description. Police later found the man, arrested him and took him into custody. Defendant told police that he went to the store to get a carton of milk, and, when he hit the brake to stop, the pedal stuck and would not depress. Unable to stop, he ran into the store.

Defendant was placed under arrest for driving without a license, leaving the scene of an accident (hit-and-run), and failing to give his information to the storeowner before leaving the scene. Defendant was taken to the county jail where he was to be held until his arraignment.

Our Boston motor vehicle injury attorneys can explain that while this is a strange accident, hit-and-run accidents happen all the time. Many times, the driver who caused an accident is never found. If the driver is found, it may be very difficult to convict the driver of the hit-and-run because of the fact that someone must identify him or her as the person driving the car. It may not be enough to prove that defendant owned the vehicle at the time of the accident.

In many of these cases, the victim of the car accident that was caused by a hit-and-run driver, must file a claim with their own insurance company, making a UM or UIM claim. UM is an abbreviation for uninsured motorist coverage and UIM is short for underinsured motorist.

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Hughes v. Kia Motors Corp., et al.: On Causation in Car Accident Lawsuits

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Experienced Boston car accident attorneys understand that sometime a case must be filed against parties other than a driver involved in the crash.

wrong-way.jpgHughes v. Kia Motors Corp., et al., a case from the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, involved plaintiff who was leaving the parking lot of a restaurant after midnight, went out the wrong exit, and ended up traveling the wrong direction on a one-way street.

Plaintiff realized her mistake and tried to change to the proper lane when she entered an intersection, but a Mack truck hauling a fuel tanker hit her. After the truck came to a stop, plaintiff's car spun out of control into a gas station parking lot. The car hit another parked car and then ran through a fence and back onto restaurant property. The car then spun onto a nearby residential property, where it sideswiped a tree and was thrown into a carport. The car crashed into the tree, metal support poles, another parked car, and a flagpole before coming to a stop.

EMS personal arrived at the scene and found plaintiff already removed from the vehicle. She was unconscious but was able to breath several times a minute with the help of a bag-valve mask. According to EMS, the only obvious physical injury was a cut on her knee.

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Williams v. GEICO - Challenging Car Insurance Step-Down Provisions

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Auto insurance companies have a laundry list of ways to limit or circumvent liability for claims in major accidents. One of the most notorious methods is a "step-down provision." holdmyhand.jpg

Applicable in a range of circumstances, the step-down provision holds that, under certain conditions, the insurer will only cover the statutory minimum required by law, as opposed to the liability limit for which the insured actually paid. One type of step-down provision is the family step-down provision. It holds that if one of the injured parties is a family or household member of the at-fault party, the insurance coverage will "step down" to the statutory minimum.

Our Boston car accident lawyers understand that while insurers have successfully asserted this clause in crash cases across the country, a number of state supreme courts and legislators have stepped in to find such clauses contrary to public policy. That means the greater public good is harmed by enforcement of such a provision.

Recently, South Carolina joined the ranks of states standing up to insurers on this issue, with the state supreme court ruling in Williams v. GEICO. The insurance company in this case attempted to stretch the family step-down provision to the at-fault driver's wife (as a family member), despite the fact that she was also a named insured.

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"Road Gators" Pose Highway Hazard to Motorists in Boston

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While we might expect to see gators sunning themselves at roadside on some long strip of highway in the Florida Everglades, such scenes would be highly unexpected here in Massachusetts. tiretread.jpg

We do, however, have an abundance of "road gators," as they are often called. Although not a massive reptilian, they bear a striking resemblance to such - and can be far more dangerous. "Road gators" are shreds of debris, usually steel-reinforced truck tires that can stretch anywhere from 8 to 10 feet long and weigh 70 pounds or more. This debris is often found on the highway shoulder, but sometimes found lying squarely in the middle of the road - and can cause a serious accident, particularly when on interstates with speed limits of 70 miles-per-hour.

It's a particular problem in summer, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. Hot pavement contributes to tire wear and tear, and these problems stretch well into September. Often, people swerve to avoid debris, but the chain reaction ends up being worse than if they had actually struck it. The NHTSA reports swerving to avoid roadway debris causes some 25,0009 crashes each year.

Our car accident lawyers in Massachusetts know liability in these cases can be tricky. Unless it occurs directly in front of the injured party or witnesses, it may be next to impossible to identify the truck from which the debris originated.

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Four-Car Accident in Massachusetts Leaves Two Hospitalized

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According to a recent news report from ABC 40, two people were hospitalized after a four-car accident in Western Massachusetts. The accident occurred at an intersection around noon.

Intersection.jpgEmergency crews arrived to find three cars heavily damaged and one car that had sustained minor damage. One of the drivers sustained serious injuries and was taken to the hospital. Another driver was taken to the hospital with what were described as non-life-threatening injuries.

Two other drivers and two passengers refused treatment when asked by paramedics if they needed to go the hospital. It has been reported that one of the vehicles ran a red traffic signal, and that may have been the reason for the crash.

As your Boston car accident attorney understands, you should never refuse medical attention if you have been in an automobile accident if offered by the paramedics, EMTs, police, or firefighters. You may not realize the extent of your injuries or even whether you have any injuries at all.

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Man Arrested in Fatal Massachusetts Hit-and-Run Car Accident

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Our Boston car accident lawyers know the doctrine of Respondeat Superior may be a valuable tool to help a plaintiff achieve a full and appropriate financial recovery.

1172422_police_on_the_scene.jpgAccording to a recent story in the Bangor Daily News, in Maine, a man was arrested who had an outstanding warrant from Massachusetts, where he is suspected of being the driver in a hit-and-run car accident in which the victim died.

Defendant was arrested on a charge of being a fugitive from justice. If a person has a warrant for his or her arrest and gets arrested in a different state, the state in which the arrest occurs will charge the defendant with the crime of being a fugitive from justice. This is not a true crime in the normal sense, but rather is used as a mechanism to legally hold the defendant until the state that issued the warrant can take custody of the defendant. This is what is commonly referred to as the extradition and rendition process.

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Pedestrian Killed in Car Accident in Greater Boston

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According to a recent story from 7 News Boston, a pedestrian was killed in a crash in Cambridge. Police are reporting that a car traveling in the eastbound lane of Memorial Drive hit a 50-year-old man.

wrong-way.jpgPolice are still investigating the cause of the accident and why the man was in the roadway. The man was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, where he was pronounced dead.

Our Boston car accident lawyers know a motor vehicle crash involving a pedestrian often leads to serious injury or death. In these tragic cases, it is often a surviving spouse, child, or parent who will file a case on behalf of the decedent's estate. The decedent's estate is entitled to any financial compensation for pain and suffering the victim experienced before death. The estate may also be entitled to lost wages, medical bills that stemmed from the accident, and funeral expenses, if that money was paid from the assets of the estate.

Surviving heirs may be entitled to file claims in their own capacity for loss of consortium and negligent infliction of emotional distress. There may also be a possibility for "special damages," which your car accident lawyer can explain.

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20 Injured in Crash between MBTA Bus and Car

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Our Boston car accident lawyers know that a bus crash can lead to very serious personal injury. According to a recent article in the Boston Globe, a driver alleged to be operating under the influence of drugs hit a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) bus.

1165924_bus.jpgCamera footage shows a car traveling down a divided road at a high rate of speed when the driver crosses over the double yellow lines. After driving on the wrong side of the road for approximately 50 feet, the car collides into a city transit bus. The front end of the car is destroyed, and, with smoke coming the hood, the car eventually comes to a stop on the sidewalk.

Of the 37 passengers on the bus, 20 of them are reported to have suffered injuries. The injuries are primarily to the head and neck area and are not reported to be life threatening.

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Stotler v. Dep't of Transp.: Sovereign Immunity in Negligence Actions

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Stotler v. Dep't of Transp., an appeal heard in the Connecticut Supreme Court, involves a truck that was going down a steep hill on a state highway when the brakes failed. The runaway truck collided with several cars after losing control.

12057_dangerous_truck.jpgThe plaintiff was killed in the deadly car accident and this action was brought in the name of the plaintiff's estate. As your Boston car accident attorney can explain, if a victim is killed in a car accident, the surviving spouse, or next of kin, or some other heirs of the decedent can go the probate court, open an estate, become appointed administrator (executor), and file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver in the name of the estate.

In this case, the plaintiff alleged that the highway department was negligent in many ways, including failing to adequately warn the truck driver of the steep grade change on the road, not constructing a runaway truck ramp, failure to maintain the roadway, and several other claims of negligence.

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Jalen Sanders of the NY Jets Hospitalized after Car Accident

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According to a recent article in the Boston Herald, Jalen Saunders, a rookie wide receiver who plays for the New York Jets, was in a single vehicle crash. He is reported to be in the hospital for observation, and there has been no word on the seriousness of his injuries. He is expected to miss at least one preseason game due to his hospitalization.

crashedcar.jpgAs our Boston car accident attorneys understand, single vehicle accidents can pose unique challenges to an injured victim. First, it should be noted that just because there was only one vehicle that crashed, does not mean that it was the injured driver's fault.

Often times a driver will act in a manner that causes another driver to crash without crashing his or her own vehicle. We tend to see this when a driver weaves or makes an unsafe lane change, or even drives the wrong way down a street, causing another vehicle to take evasive action. Swerving out the way may lead to running off the road and crashing into an object like a utility pole or having a rollover accident.

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Progressive Casualty Insurance Co. v. MMG Insurance Co.: UIM Coverage and A Single Vehicle Crash

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As your Boston car accident lawyer can explain, insurance companies will often engage in substantial litigation to avoid paying claims.

metal-570770-m.jpgProgressive Casualty Insurance Co. v. MMG Insurance Co. involved a car passenger who suffered severe personal injuries as a result of a motor vehicle accident. Those injuries cost him much more than $500,000, which was the policy limit on the vehicle

The victim's mother owned the car. The driver of the car was the sole person liable for the single-car crash.

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