Articles Posted in Boston Drunk Driving Accidents

According to recent news article from CNN, Katie Arrington was involved in a fatal drunk driving collision as she was on the campaign trail to be a South Carolina representative in the U.S. House. In this accident, the alleged drunk driver hit her head-on and died as a result of the accident.  Arrington was left with serious personal injuries and spent time in the hospital.

Boston Drunk Driving Accident Authorities have alleged the 69-year-old female driver was operating her motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .153 grams of ethanol per hundred milliliters of blood. This is nearly two times the legal limit of 0.08.  The legal limit is 0.08 not only in the jurisdiction in which this alleged fatal drunk driving accident occurred, but also across the nation, including Boston. Continue reading

Most Boston drunk driving accidents involve one or more personally owned vehicle.  They also typically occur late at night or in the overnight hours after the bars close since this is the most likely time for someone to be out on the road while drunk.  While this is certainly the norm in terms of Boston drunk driving crashes, it is not the only time drunk driving accidents occur in Boston and around the nation and not every accident involves  personal vehicles.

Boston drunk Driving In some cases, we have seen drivers of vehicles, such as a semi tractor trailer or other large commercial vehicle, involved in a Massachusetts drunk driving collision.  Because of the size of these commercial vehicles,  there is so much weight that is transferred into energy in a crash that smaller vehicles and pedestrians or bike riders do not really stand a chance.  These vehicles also take a lot longer to stop than a standard passenger vehicle. Continue reading

With Memorial Day upon us it is a good time to talk about the risk of teen drunk driving accidents as we head into the summer months.

Drunk Driving Car Accident Statistics involving Fatalities in Boston

Drunk driving is not only very dangerous to the person behind the wheel, it presents a grave danger to anyone else on the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) records indicate more than 10,000 people die each year in the U.S. from alcohol-related traffic crashes.  This number means on average, one person will be killed by a drunk driver nearly every 50 minutes of every day.  Not only is this unacceptable in terms of lives lost, it results in cost to society of around $44 billion each year. There are a variety of factors which make up this cost, but the costs to the victims and their families can be astronomical in terms of  money and emotional pain.  We must remember for each Boston drunk driving accident death, there is a family who is left behind to deal with the pain and suffering. Even in cases which do not prove fatal, there can be tremendous pain and suffering and lives may be altered forever.

Boston drunk drivingIn some cases, it is the passengers in the drunk driver’s vehicle and in other cases, it is pedestrians and drivers or passengers in other vehicles. Due to the higher level of recklessness we tend to see in Boston drunk driving accidents, as compared to accidents in which defendant was acting negligent, but still sober, we tend to see much more severe personal injury.  These are all factors which can make a Boston drunk driving crash more complex from a legal perspective. Continue reading

Drunk driving collisions are among the most dangerous types of car accidents in Boston.  They tend more often to result in fatalities or serious bodily injury to one or more plaintiffs than other “typical” crashes.  While any car accident has the potential to be severe, the reason impaired driving accidents are so often catastrophic is because of the extreme reckless acts so often committed by a drunk driver. Things like wrong-way driving, red-light running and extreme speed all become more common when someone is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. When plaintiffs do survive a serious drunk driving accident, they are often left with severe and lasting injuries including, but not limited to permanent brain damage.

Boston Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer While there is no such thing as a “typical” drunk driving accident, we often see cases where drunk drivers were speeding excessively, operating with a complete disregard for the traffic laws as codified in Chapter 90 of the Massachusetts General Laws (M.G.L.), and the level of recklessness may actually be enough for the police to charge a drunk driver with assault with a dangerous weapon (his or her car) in addition to drunk driving as we can see in a recent example of a serious alleged Boston drunk driving car accident. Continue reading

Typically, a worker who is injured on the job in Boston is precluded from filing a civil personal injury lawsuit.  The reason is identified in Chapter 152, of the Massachusetts General Laws (M.G.L.), which stipulates workers’ compensation is a single-recovery system.  If a worker is an employee (as opposed to an independent contractor), and the injury occurred in the course and scope of employment, he or she must file a workers’ compensation claim to obtain recovery. drunk driver injury

However, there are limited exceptions to this preclusion. One is when injuries result on-the-job due to negligence of a third party. This person is not the employer or a co-worker or a manager. Negligence of contractors, vendors and completely separate third parties may be grounds for third-party litigation.

Because so many people drive in the course and scope of employment and because drunk driving is such a prevalent problem, we see many cases wherein workers are harmed by drunk drivers. These individuals may claim workers’ compensation coverage, and also pursue third-party litigation against the drunk driver and other responsible third parties.  Continue reading

Every one in three traffic deaths in the U.S. is caused by a drunk driver, according to national statistics. In Massachusetts, 2.2 percent of drivers report driving after drinking too much at some point in the last 30 days – which is higher than the national average of 1.9 percent. The actual number is likely much higher, given self-reporting errors.drunk driving injury

Drunk driving crashes cost Massachusetts millions of dollars each year in emergency services, medical services, property damage and loss of productivity – not to mention the devastating personal and financial burden of individual victims and families. In terms of recovering some of those losses, civil litigation is usually the best recourse victims have. Although some criminal cases will conclude with a restitution order, a drunk driving accident lawsuit often results in higher compensation – a necessity for those whose lives are forever altered.

But drunk drivers aren’t the only possible defendants in these cases. MGL ch. 138 section 69 prohibits the sale or delivery of alcohol to an intoxicated person on any licensed premises. Although this is a Massachusetts statute aims to establish grounds for criminal justice action, courts have also held violation can be used to establish civil liability of restaurants, bars, nightclubs and other venues after an impaired driving crash. These cases are not simple or easy, but they can be an important means of damage recovery and a way to help prevent future drunk driving crashes by holding these businesses accountable. Continue reading

Negligent Entrustment in Boston Drunk Driving Cases

In some drunk driving accidents in Boston the defendant is driving a vehicle owned by a parent, friend, or other family member. There is generally nothing wrong with lending someone a car, but as discussed in Picard v. Thomas, a 2004 case from the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) of Massachusetts, a claim for negligent entrustment of motor vehicle can be made pursuant to the  Massachusetts General Laws (M.G.L.)  and common law if the following elements are met:

  • Vehicle owner entrusted his or her vehicle to a person who is incompetent or unfit and this incompetence or other unfitness resulted in injuries to plaintiff
  •  Vehicle owner gave actual permission to the at-fault driver
  • Vehicle owner had actual knowledge of at-fault driver’s unfitness or incompetence with respect to operation of a motor vehicle.

happy hour DUI accidentIn other words, if a person lets another person use their vehicle despite knowing this person is not able to safely operate a motor vehicle, vehicle owner can also be held liable for any personal injury suffered in connection with a serious or fatal motor vehicle accident in Massachusetts.

Continue reading

Most car accidents involve only two vehicles.  In the case of a serious Boston drunk driving case however, there may be multiple vehicles involved. This can complicate matters as the total loss in terms of both property damage and personal injury can far exceed the policy limits on the alleged drunk driver’s auto liability policy.  While insurance companies will make some exceptions, especially when factoring in costs of litigation, they are not likely to pay damages well in excess of the policy limits. In these cases, plaintiff who has been seriously injured will have to explore other avenues of recovery to increase the chances of a full and appropriate financial compensation.

A Recent Drunk Driving Car Crash Involving Multiple Vehicles

drunk driving accidentAccording to a recent news article from CBS Boston Local, a 25-year-old defendant has been alleged to have merged onto the Mass Pike at far too high a rate of speed while his driving his 2008 BMW.  As he attempted to merge onto the interstate, he allegedly crashed into the rear of an older Lexus.  He is then alleged to have kept driving until he crashed into a Toyota Sequoia.  After he allegedly ran into the Toyota, it was pushed into another vehicle. During this crash, a passenger in defendant’s car was severely injured. Continue reading

In many drunk driving car accidents in Boston, a drunk driver will consume too much alcohol to a point where he or she is intoxicated and then crash into another car harming occupants in this vehicle or even hitting a bicyclist or pedestrians.  In these cases, there is generally no relationship between defendant and plaintiffs.  In some cases it is possible at-fault driver knows the victims, especially if it occurs in one of many small towns in the greater Boston area, but even that is generally not the case.  In other words, there is a clear divide between the parties on opposites sides of the “v” as lawyers often say referring to the way a case is captioned with Defendant v. Plaintiff.

Drunk Driving AccidentHowever, this is not the only type of Boston drunk driving lawsuit.  In many cases, a defendant will drive while intoxicated and then get into a car accident in which his or her friends in the car were injured or killed and this can become a much more heart-wrenching matter.  These are the cases where a group of friends went out drinking at a bar or party and get into the car likely knowing driver was too intoxicated to drive.   Continue reading

Use and abuse of powerfully addictive drugs like heroin and synthetic opioids like Oxycontin have thrown the country into crisis on many fronts.  Massachusetts has been plagued for years with heroin addiction and now also finds itself dealing with the synthetic opioid epidemic.  One of the ways it has manifested is in a growing number of drugged driving cases in Boston. These can result in serious and fatal car accidents.

Although drugged and drunk driving cases are similar, there are some big differences. Specifically, the ways in which evidence is gathered and impairment proven.

Boston drunk drivingProving alcohol impairment is fairly straightforward, as it moves quickly through the system and presence of the toxin in the blood at certain levels is a clear giveaway of intoxication. Plus, many law enforcement officers readily know the signs and symptoms of alcohol use. Conversely, it may require additional proof to determine if someone is on drugs as opposed to having some type of medical issue.  It can also be complicated if one has a valid prescription, though no prescription excuses one for driving while impaired. These difficulties in identifying drug impairment are at the heart of why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) created a course and certification for Drug Recognition Experts (DREs) who may be needed to testify in both criminal and civil trials. Continue reading