A lot of people who drive a vehicle while intoxicated tend to do so on a regular basis. These habitual drunk drivers tend to think of it as a victimless crime. However, when there is an alcohol-related accident, drunk driving is far from being victimless, as it can have serious consequences for other people.
According to a recent news article from Mass Live, the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance has been awarded a major grant to help victims of drunk driving accidents in several countries in the Commonwealth. Funding for this program comes from court costs and fines that the court assesses from those convicted of operating under the influence (OUI).
Boston alcohol-related accident attorneys know too well drunk driving accidents can leave victims with tremendous pain and suffering, unable to work, burdened with mounting medical bills, and other financial and emotional damages. In fatal cases, the victim’s family will also be experiencing devastating financial and emotional effects of drunk driving.
If you are in this situation, there are number of claims and damages (monetary) demands your car accident lawyer can make to help alleviate your financial issues. A car accident lawsuit involving drunk driving is typically filed as a negligence action in a Massachusetts civil court such as the Suffolk County Superior Court in Boston.
Typical damages included compensation for pain and suffering. This includes the pain and suffering during the actual accident and any pain and suffering during recovery and rehabilitation. If a victim is killed during a drunk driving accident, he or she is still entitled to damages for pain and suffering in many cases and this money will be paid into the decedent’s estate and then distributed to his or her heirs, if decedent had a will. Lawyers use the term intestate to describe someone who died and did not have a valid will. In this case, the heirs at law and their respective shares of inheritance will be determined pursuant to the laws of intestate succession for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
In addition to pain and suffering, your attorney can also make a claim for lost wages. This is compensation for time lost at work and/or the ability to work in the future. In some cases, such as where the victim is an hourly employee, this may be simple to establish. In other cases, where the victim is self-employed or works on commission, your attorney may need to consult with certain expert witnesses, such as a financial specialist.
Insurance companies will typically try to undervalue a victim’s future income potential, so it is important that your attorney regularly handles these types of matters.
Another form of damages that can be claimed is for past and future medical expenses. Future medical expenses can be more significant than one might initially think in cases of serious personal injury. Some cases will requires hundreds of thousands of dollars in future care, so the victim can lead as close to a normal life as possible. Your attorney can also make a claim for special damages in certain circumstances.
If you or a loved one was involved in a drunk driving accident in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.
More Blog Entries:
Habitual Drunk Driver Arrested In Lowell, Boston Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Blog, December 1, 2013