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With marijuana being legal in Massachusetts, there have been an uptick of crashes caused by drivers under the influence of the drug. While we often talk about the dangers of drunk driving, drugged driving, can and often does result in serious personal injury or even death. However, as our injury lawyers can explain, the difficulty is often proving the at-fault driver was in fact under the influence of marijuana at the time of the crash.

Boston car accidentsWhen a person is suspected of drunk driving, the police can investigate and ask the suspect to perform a series of standardized field sobriety tests (SFSTs). If the police have probable cause to arrest the suspect on suspicion of drunk driving, they will take the suspect back to the police station or the state police barracks and have the suspect take a breath alcohol test.

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According to a recent news article from the Boston Globe, a New York City bus driver was involved in serious bus accident when he allegedly crashed into another bus.  He was killed, as were two others.

Boston drunk driving crashAuthorities have said this driver had a history that included multiple traffic accidents including a recent conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol.  Despite his employer allegedly knowing of his criminal and motor vehicle history, he was cleared to continue driving prior to the deadly bus crash. Continue reading

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When people talk about drunk driving crashes in Boston, they often call them drunk driving accidents.  While it is okay to use this term, as discussed in a recent article from The Chronicle of Higher Education, these are generally someone’s fault, and therefore, the proper term should be drunk driving crashes, as this does not indicate a lack of blame. The truth is, these collisions occur because of specific choices made by the driver. The offense of operating under the influence (OUI), as defined in MGL c. 90 s.24, is to drive a vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor and/ or with a blood-alcohol concentration that meets or exceeds 0.08. To do so is not only a criminal offense, it is a breach of one’s duty to passengers, other motorists and pedestrians to use reasonable care on the roads.

Boston car accident lawyer In keeping up with the changing terminology, Waze, one of the most popular navigation apps, has begun using the word “crash” when explaining a road hazard ahead that involves a motor vehicle collision.  Continue reading

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According to a recent news article from Boston.com, a man was just arrested in the greater Boston area after allegedly crashing his car.  When the police ran his driving record and arrest history through the computer on the cruiser, they saw that he allegedly had 18 prior offenses for drunk driving.

Boston drunk driving crashIn this particular accident, authorities say the defendant crashed his motor vehicle into a utility pole.  The 58-year-old man was driving his 2005 Toyota Scion at around 8 p.m. when the crash occurred, and the reason for the crash was that he failed to handle a curve in the road and allegedly left the road surface and crashed into the large utility pole.  Continue reading

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There is often a distinction between what actually happened and what can be proven in a court of law. This is because of the complex rules of evidence and trial practice that come into play during a civil drunk driving crash lawsuit in Boston. In some cases, the alleged drunk driving accident is actually captured on video, and that video may be introduced at trial in many circumstances.

Boston drunk driving According to a recent news article from CBS Local Boston, an alleged drunk driving car accident in Cohasset was captured on video by bystanders in a vehicle traveling behind the suspected drunk driving. Continue reading

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Drunk driving involves acting with an extreme risk towards the safety of oneself and others. The tort underlying a Boston drunk driving lawsuit is negligence which involves breaching one’s duty of care towards plaintiff in a manner that causes damages to others.  The four elements of negligence are duty, breach, causation, and damages. Causation can be further broken down into actual and proximate cause.

Boston drunk driving lawyerActual cause is also known as “but for” causation. This is where the harm incurred (damages) would not have happened absent defendant’s negligent conduct. One example would be where defendant is negligent in fixing plaintiff’s brakes.  Plaintiff is unable to stop in time at a red light and goes through the intersection where he or she T-bone’s another vehicle causing serious damage. Had the mechanic not been negligent in fixing the brakes, plaintiff would have stopped in time and the accident would not have occurred.  We could say that “but for” the mechanic’s negligence in fixing the breaks, the accident would not have occurred. This is actual causation. Continue reading

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Drunk driving is a dangerous crime that has caused hundreds of thousands of serious injuries and deaths over the last several decades. It is a somewhat unique offense in that it is sometimes committed by those who view themselves as average, law-abiding citizens who made a temporary lapse in judgment. For a long time, our legislature and courts held the same view, as reflected in light penalties for convictions.

But times are changing. Laws are becoming more stringent. Drunk driving accident victims often have many options when it comes to pursuing justice and compensation for the harm inflicted by impaired motorists.

Boston drunk driving lawyerWhile we know that drunk driving is illegal and dangerous, lets look at what it means to cause a drunk driving accident. In our legal system, the four elements of negligence are duty, breach, causation and damages.  Duty refers to the duty of care to act as a reasonable and prudent person so as to prevent a foreseeable injury to foreseeable persons and property.  A breach of this duty is failing to act in this reasonable and prudent manner, and that breach must cause damages to the plaintiff. Continue reading

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Drunk drivers who end lives need to be held to account. That of course includes criminal charges, which police and prosecutors take very seriously. However, it also includes the right of victim/ survivors of the victim to pursue a claim for damages in civil court.Boston Drunk Driving Accidents

Although the standard of proof differs in criminal cases versus civil cases, there may still be evidentiary issues with which to contend. Although one does not necessarily need to be intoxicated to be negligent, proving intoxication of a defendant in a crash can establish negligence per se, which means a person is negligent by virtue of violating the law. However, this doctrine can only be applied in narrow circumstances (i.e., plaintiff can show she was in a class of people the legislature intended to protect when the law was written).

Drunk driving can, however, be used to establish comparative negligence. That is, defendant may be assigned a greater portion of responsibility for a crash owing to their impairment.

Because proving impairment of defendant is key to these civil cases, it’s important your drunk driving injury lawyer gather all relevant facts for use as evidence.

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Drunk driving accidents are somewhat different than other traffic accidents in the greater Boston area.  While it is true that they are often deadlier than other car accidents, this is not say that negligent sober drivers cannot be responsible for a deadly car accident, but the level of reckless behavior exhibited by someone who is intoxicated is often far more outrageous than most sober drivers.

drunk driving accident BostonOne of the more upsetting aspects of drunk driving is that drunk driving is a very serious crime.  It is serious because it can and often does result in serious injury or death, but many do not treat it like a serious crime.  This includes the lawmakers around the county who classify drunk driving (at least the first several offenses) as a misdemeanor, and many can get off without ever having a conviction on their record.  There are a lot of reasons for this, but the main reason is that juries, lawmakers, and even judges see this as a thing that most everyone has done at some point in their lives, and for the most part this is true.  Continue reading

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According to a recent news article from Courtroom View Network, a case in trial in West Palm Beach, Florida involves a car accident that resulted in the death of the driver and one passenger. Court records indicate that the driver and her friends had been drinking throughout the evening at a local bar.

Drunk Driving Accident On their way home from the bar, driver’s father claims a defect in the airbag ignition system caused the airbags to deploy after the vehicle struck a curb as the vehicle was traveling down the road.  When this occurred, the driver allegedly lost control of 2003 Ford Mustang, crashed into a tree, and flipped over.  As a result of this horrific crash, the driver and the front seat passenger were both killed. Continue reading