Articles Tagged with Boston car accident attorney

Driverless cars have returned to Boston, following a brief stoppage following a fatal crash in Arizona.

After that incident, the City of Boston asked companies testing self-driving passenger car services to suspend all tests and pilot programs until a safety evaluation could be performed and various concerns addressed.  The action stemmed from an accident involving a woman who was killed by a purportedly self-driving ride-sharing app vehicle while she was walking her bike across the street.

Boston car accidentsIn that case, police have said she was allegedly not at a crosswalk, and was walking alongside her bike in while crossing the middle of a roadway when she was struck by a self-driving vehicle. This particular vehicle was supposedly programmed to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk, but it was unable to avoid hitting a person who was crossing in the middle of the street.

Now, officials have cleared the vehicles to continue operation on city streets. Continue reading

Self-driving cars may well be the future of automotive travel in the U.S. – and it may happen sooner rather than later. Some cars like Tesla already have an advanced form of cruise control, but the truth is it’s a rudimentary form of a self-driving car.  Google is working on another far more advanced self-driving car system it could sell to other car makers, one that would be fully autonomous, and other self-driving technologies are being tested.

But no matter how soon these vehicles get on the road, the legal system may need some time to catch up. For instance, what happens when (not if) one of these fully autonomous vehicles crashes and is deemed at-fault? If there is no human behind the wheel, who is liable in a Boston car accident lawsuit? Even if a human is behind the wheel, could he or she still be responsible?

Boston Distracted Driving AccidentsIn the case of a self-driving vehicle for hire such as a taxi, there is no human driver and the only humans in the vehicle are sitting in the rear with no access to the controls. In such a case, who would be to blame? The manufacturer of the technology? The owner of the vehicle? The person sitting in the driver’s seat?

There are all valid questions that will need to be ironed out as these technologies are unveiled.  Continue reading

Auto insurance in Massachusetts is not getting cheaper, so it may not be a great time to tell you to increase your UM/UIM coverage – but it’s important.car accident attorney

Here’s why: Auto insurance premiums have recently hit a national average of $1,427, according to The Washington Post. This is for a few different reasons, including catastrophic weather (which increases the number of crashes). However, as the Post reported, one’s college degree or credit score may actually have more bearing on how much your car insurance costs than your actual driving record, given the complex and often opaque formulas used by auto insurers. What this boils down to is that people who might really need insurance are going to either skimp on coverage, buying only the bare minimum required by law, or they aren’t going to buy any at all and take their chances getting caught.

The Insurance Information Institute reports that from 1992 to 2015, the estimated percentage of uninsured motorists nationally ranged somewhere between 16 percent and 13 percent. Florida had the highest rate of uninsured motorists (27 percent), while Massachusetts had one of the lowest (6.2 percent). Here, state law requires motorists carry a minimum:

  • $20,000 per individual in bodily injury liability and property damage
  • $40,000 per crash for bodily injury liability and property damage
  • $5,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) benefits

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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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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

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 just a few years ago, self-driving cars seemed more like science fiction than reality, it now appears they will be regular fixtures on the road sooner rather than later. While Google is still devolving its system that uses advanced radar, GPS, an an array of camera’s, the high end electric car company Tesla has managed to get its models on the road already.

Boston car accidentsThe Tesla version is not a true self-driving car like have seen in movies such as”Demolition Man.” In that movie, a person could get in the car, tell the car where they want to go and let the car do the rest.  This is what Google is working on, and they have taken some fully automated rides around California, but the company is not where it needs to be yet in terms of safety testing and reliability. Continue reading

Boston area car accidents often involve only  vehicles owned by private citizens, but on occasion, they can involve vehicles owned by a municipal  government.  If the driver of the government owned vehicle was responsible for the crash, the legal doctrine known as sovereign immunity comes into play.  In the Commonwealth, that doctrine is codified in Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 258, Section 4, which is the tort claims act.

Boston car accidentsThe tort claims act was designed to protect  state and local governments from liability in lawsuits, and to limit the extent of the damages awards in lawsuits that can be filed. This goes back to the time when there was a king of England and he did not want the crown to be sued.  Eventually this morphed into what we know today as the doctrine of sovereign immunity. Continue reading

It is the responsibility of every motorist to drive in a safe and responsible manner to prevent a foreseeable injury to persons and property.  Failure to do so is considered a form of  negligence. This act of negligence could be the basis for a Boston car accident lawsuit.

Boston Car Accidents While there is a lot of personal responsibility in preventing serious and fatal car accidents, there is also a lot the city can do to prevent car accidents.  This involves making the streets as safe as possible for everyone driving, walking, and riding a bike on the streets of Boston and the surrounding areas.  The city can also make sure signage is helpful and appropriate and drivers are properly educated.

Government agencies that fail to correct poor road design, maintenance or dangerous conditions may also be held liable if it contributes to a crash. These cases, however, can be more complicated than a typical negligence lawsuit because one must first overcome hurdles like sovereign immunity, which is waived under the circumstances outlined in M.G.L. Chapter 258, Section 2.

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Whenever a car accident occurs in which a vehicle hits a pedestrian, the result is often fatal, and if not fatal, results in serious personal injury that has lifelong damage. There are a variety of ways a pedestrian can be hit by a car, but some accidents do not involve pedestrians in the typical sense of the word.

Boston car accidentsA recent news article from the CBS Local Boston describes one of these accidents that unfortunately proved fatal for a 10-year-old girl.  In that accident, which occurred on the Massachusetts Turnpike (Mass Pike) outside of Boston, two cars had been traveling together to New York and were trying to stay close to each other, as people often do when they are driving in more than one vehicle. Continue reading