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Crashes involving public transportation vehicles are sometimes the fault of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA).  When a crash involves the MBTA (or the “T” as it often called in Boston), or one of its agents or employees, special issues may arise not present in claims against private or even corporate-owned vehicles.

Sovereign Immunity and the Public Agency Requirement in Boston T Accidents

Boston MBTA Accident Lawyer If a plaintiff is injured in a car accident caused by a corporation or private citizen, there is generally no limit on liability or the amounts that can be obtained in a jury verdict so long as the sum awarded is deemed to be reasonable in light of the facts of the case.  If the jury award is not reasonable, defendant may ask for something known as a remittitur, pleaded through a motion to alter or amend judgement, as contained in Rule 59 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP).

Conversely, when the defendant is a public agency, as defined in Massachusetts General Laws (M.G.L.), there is typically a cap on the amount of damages a plaintiff can recover. It’s a maximum of $100,000 to any single injured person.  This is due to what is known as the doctrine or law of sovereign immunity. Continue reading

Most car crashes in Boston involve two or more vehicles, typically owned by private citizens, though sometimes by corporations. In some cases, vehicles involved may be owned by a local, state, or federal agency. If the driver deemed to be at-fault in the accident was driving a government vehicle, this may complicate the matter of compensation due to the doctrine of sovereign immunity.

Boston Car Accident Lawyer The doctrine of sovereign immunity comes from British common law, where essentially held the king was above the law.  This term sovereign have been retained long after kings and queens ruled the land. Today, the term is used to refer to a state or federal government or what are known as political subdivisions of the government in the Massachusetts General Laws.

Cases involving government vehicles or employees must be carefully handled by an experienced Boston car accident attorney. Continue reading

When a truck collides with a pedestrian in Boston, the injuries are often very severe if not fatal. It is possible that some pedestrian accidents involve a semi-tractor trailer, but the majority of truck accidents in Boston involve local delivery trucks, as they are much more common on the streets in our urban area.  In these cases, there is often a claim for damages filed directly against the truck driver, and also against the driver’s employer under what is known as the doctrine of vicarious liability, or the master-servant doctrine.  Yet another name for this law is the doctrine of respondeat superior, Latin for, “let the master answer.” It means that if a driver was negligent and acting in the course and scope of employment, the employer may be held liable too – even if there is no proof the employer was negligent.

Boston Truck Accident Lawsuits According to a recent news article from the Boston Globe, a female victim was killed while crossing the street in Boston’s South End neighborhood after being hit by a truck.  Authorities have said the accident occurred around 2:20 p.m. at a major downtown intersection.   Police are still conducting an investigation as of the time of this article and have not yet released any information pertaining to the cause of the fatal Boston truck – pedestrian accident in which a woman was killed.  There have been no criminal charges filed as of yet and there have also been no formal accusations of negligence. Continue reading

Although many car accidents do not involve any malicious intent by the at-fault driver, and may indeed by “honest mistakes,” that’s still not necessarily the accurate legal conclusion. That’s because each and every time a motorist gets behind the wheel of a vehicle in Massachusetts, he or she owes a duty of care to use reasonable and prudent caution. car accident lawyer

Failure to do so – even in the event it was not intentional – is negligence, and grounds for compensation if injuries resulted.

So for instance, accidentally stepping on the gas when you mean to hit the break could be failure to use reasonable care, even if you didn’t mean to take the action you did.

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Boston truck accidents are often inherently more serious and legally complex than a typical auto accident case. First, there are often more personal injuries, given the weight and size differential of semi-trucks to passenger vehicles. The chances of death may be much higher given the sheer force of impact.

From a legal standpoint, we are often dealing with numerous defendants. While some drivers own their rigs, it’s more typical for a carrier to own the rig and either hire the driver as an employee or an independent contractor. In some cases, the trailer may be owned by an entity other than the carrier. This was done in part to shield these companies from liability as much as possible, and it does make it trickier for injury lawyers to sort through the web of business contracts and liability insurance policies that may be applicable.

If the driver is an employee, the trucking company can be held vicariously liable per the legal doctrine of respondeat superior, or Latin for “let the master answer.” It isn’t necessary to prove the trucking company did anything wrong, only that the driver was negligent and acting in the course and scope of employment. However, that same doctrine does not apply when truckers are independent contractors. That doesn’t mean legal action against the company is impossible, but it does mean negligence will need to be proven, and there will most likely be numerous defendants.

Boston Truck Accidents Continue reading

Fatal car accident lawsuits in Boston are often very complex and best handled by an experienced personal injury lawyer who has a track record of success in deadly crash litigation. While fault may seem a fairly straightforward issue, there are also matters of causation and comparative negligence and damages that have to be sorted out. Many of these cases require hundreds of hours of research and analysis and usually necessitate expert witness testimony.

Boston car accidentsAccording to a recent article from News 7 Boston, one person was killed in a three-car accident in Medfield, Massachusetts.  Medfield is located to the south and east of the city of Boston. Authorities have said the fatal crash, which occurred on Route 109, occurred at around 2 p.m. and involved the driver of a Jeep who was allegedly speeding prior to the accident that involved a collision with two other vehicles and one where the jeep completed flipped over and came to a stop resting on its roof.

Aside from the man declared dead at the scene, another victim was rushed to Tufts Medical Center, a level-one trauma center located in Boston’s Chinatown neighborhood. A third person was also injured, but his injuries were not as severe as the other two.  This person was taken to a local hospital in an ambulance.

As our Boston car accident lawyers can explain, the Massachusetts State Police (MSP) will send in an investigation and accident reconstruction team to work with local police in conducting a full investigation into the cause of the crash.  This does not mean there will necessarily be any criminal charges filed, as the state police investigate all fatal car accidents.

It should be noted that the conclusions of law enforcement are not necessarily final when it comes to the question of fault. Although those findings can be used in your civil lawsuit, those facts were gathered for the purpose of investigating traffic infractions and criminal charges – the outcome of which will be totally separate from any civil litigation. That’s why contacting an attorney as soon as possible is smart, so we can immediately begin our own gathering of evidence and analysis.  Continue reading

Most Boston car accident cases will settle prior to even being filed in the Suffolk Superior Court.  In some cases, when a settlement offer by the at-fault driver’s insurance company is insufficient, the case will be filed in court, and then often settled prior to trial.  A small number of claims will end up going to trial.  In these situations, there may be the need for expert witnesses to be consulted and even to testify at trial.

Boston Car Accident Lawyer The need for an expert witnesses is determined by the subject matter of the evidence being offered.  Many things presented as evidence in the form of witness testimony or exhibits is considered to within the purview of the layperson on the jury.  Anyone who is not an exert in a certain field relevant to the evidence is a layperson under the law.  Continue reading

A car accident often results in serious personal injury.  The worst Boston car accidents result in one of more fatalities. These fatal Boston car crashes will obviously be emotionally devastating for friends and family, but they can be financially upending as well.  They decedent will no longer be there to work and provide money for his or her family and there will also be all of the costs associated with the burial.  These are all types of damages that can be claimed in a car accident wrongful death action filed under the legal theory of negligence.

Boston car accidentsAccording to a report from the Mayor’s Office for the City of Boston, as part of the Vision Zero program, the city estimates 25 people are killed annually – and nearly half of them are pedestrians.  The name Vision Zero comes from the vision of the program to reduce the number of traffic-related fatalities down to zero.

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In many Boston car accidents, there is often no question as to fault.  These are called clear liability cases by attorneys and insurance company claims adjusters.  For example, if a car is stopped at a red light and the driver behind that person is not paying attention and slams into the back of the plaintiff’s car, there is a presumption of liability.  Some accidents such as ones that occur in an intersection may require more investigation to learn who had the right of way to enter the intersection.  In some cases, it may seem like it was simply an accident that was not either driver’s fault, yet this may not always be a correct assumption and one of the drivers will have a valid personal injury claim.

Boston car accident lawyer Under the law in Massachusetts, a tort is defined as civil wrong for which the law provides a remedy.  There are essentially two types of tortiuous conduct including negligent conduct and intentional conduct. Continue reading

While many more teen driving accidents occurred during the roughly 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day ( the 100 Deadliest Days for Teen Drivers), the winter also posses a significant risk for teen drivers who are not accustomed to driving in winter weather conditions.  Teens tend to take unnecessary risks with snow and ice and that makes matters worse.  The result is often a serious or even deadly rollover accident.

Rollover Crash Characteristics

car accident BostonThe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) keeps detailed statistics on rollover crashes across the U.S. including the number of fatal rollover crashes.  This data is separated into various “characteristics” of rollover crashes.  The following are some significant findings from the study: Continue reading