According to a recent news article from CBS Boston, two cars were in a collision involving a commuter rail train in Braintree. Police have stated one car stopped at a railroad crossing and was rear-ended by a second car, pushing it onto the tracks. While the driver of the first car was unable to move off the tracks before the train arrived, all occupants of the vehicle were able to escape before the train collided.
While this accident ended without anyone being injured, each year, deadly car accidents involving MBTA trains and other forms of public transportation occur throughout the greater Boston area. These cases, which involve MBTA as a defendant, often involve more complex litigation than cases involving private defendants.
As our Boston MBTA injury attorneys can explain, when the defendant is a government agency or other large institution, you are often dealing with a self-insured entity, rather than an insurance company. These types of defendants are less likely to quickly settle a case when dealing with an attorney who is known to only settle cases and never goes to trial.
While there is nothing wrong with settling a case before trial, as it happens all the time, it should only be a fair settlement that provides the victim with a full and appropriate recovery. On the other hand, if the defendant is unwilling to make a reasonable settlement offer, you want an experienced injury attorney on your side who will aggressively represent your best interests and take the case to trial when necessary.
One of the reasons these cases are more complex is a legal concept known as sovereign immunity. Government agencies are provided with certain protections from liability. The theory behind the doctrine of sovereign immunity is that governments would not be able to properly function if they were constantly worried about being exposed to liability in personal injury cases.
However, this does not mean that MBTA or other government agencies are completely immune from being sued. While your attorney can explain the facts relevant to your particular case, there are often various ways around the protections that will allow plaintiff to be fully compensated for all damages, including pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, special damages, and, in some cases, punitive damages.
One of the best things you can do if you have been injured in a car accident involving an MBTA vehicle is contact an attorney who regularly handles these cases as soon as possible. You should avoid making any other statements about the accident to an insurance company or governmental surety corporation until speaking with an attorney. The agency represented will often ask you to make a recorded statement describing what happened.
Anything you say in that statement may be used against you at trial or during a deposition. This is actually the point of taking the statement, despite the fact that the representative may tell you they are trying to get your story so an appropriate settlement can be reached.
If you are injured in an accident in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment: 1-888-367-2900.
Car Rear-Ended Onto Commuter Rail Track In Braintree, December 5, 2014, CBS Boston
More Blog Entries:
Why Do Boston Drivers Hit and Run?, July 3, 2014, Boston Car Accident Lawyers Blog