According to a recent news report from the Peabody Patch, Massachusetts State Police and its accident reconstruction unit continue to investigate a serious traffic accident involving a moped and a truck. Authorities say the 41-year-old moped driver was riding in the breakdown lane of Route 1 North in Peabody. A Volvo truck driving in the right lane went to turn into a parking lot, when it crossed into the breakdown lane and hit the moped.
First responders were called to the scene, provided immediate medical attention to victim, and transported him to Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in downtown Boston. The 48-year-old operator of the truck was not hurt in the crash, but the moped driver is listed in serious condition at MGH. Volvo trucks are typically larger commercial trucks, ranging from box trucks to semi-tractor trailers. Authorities did not describe the size of truck involved in this accident, but it is likely far bigger than a pickup truck. State police will continue to investigate the cause of the accident. They have not filed any charges or issued any citations in connection with this serious traffic accident.
As our Boston car accident lawyers can explain, accidents involving bicycles, motorcycles, mopeds, and even pedestrians who are hit in the breakdown lane or side of a roadway often involve additional research and litigation. The reason for this is because, on different roadways, there are different rules as to whether pedestrians and bicycles are allowed to be on a roadway. There is also a question as to whether a moped is truly a moped or, instead, considered a motorcycle. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, one of the determining factors involves size of the engine. If it is 50 or more CCs, it may be considered a motorcycle. If it has less, is may be a moped.
Those living in the greater Boston area several years ago may remember when mini motorcycles were popular, and adults were riding them all over town, especially in places like Revere Beach. Those mini motorcycles typically had stickers saying they had a 49 CC engine, though police routinely claimed those stickers did not accurately represent engine size.
The reason this matters is because, if a victim was not lawfully in the breakdown lane at the time of the accident, it may be considered a contributing factor in causing the accident. And, if a plaintiff is also negligent, they can compare the level of negligence of the plaintiff with that of defendant, and any recovery may be offset or reduced by plaintiff’s negligence. However, comparative negligence can be fairly complex when applied to the facts of an actual case, and you should speak with an experienced auto accident attorney about the facts relevant to your situation.
Comparative negligence was designed as way to reach an equal or fair result in cases where plaintiff was also potentially negligent. Under the contributory negligence standard, still in effect in a few jurisdictions in the nation, if a plaintiff is even slightly negligent, the law provides that he or she will be precluded from recovery. However, there is also a last clear chance doctrine applied to some of these cases, in which fault lies with the party who had the last clear chance to avoid an accident.
If you are injured in an accident in Boston, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment: 1-888-367-2900.
Update: State Police Investigating Accident Near Sonic, August 19, 2015, Peabody Patch
More Blog Entries:
Estate of Edmund M. Carman v. Tinkes: On Motions for Summary Judgment, August 14, 2014, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog