There are some people who regularly drink alcohol to the point of intoxication and then get behind the wheel of a car. While it may seem like a normal thing for some, driving a 2,000-pound vehicle while drunk is actually one of the most dangerous things imaginable.
Not only is the drunk driver taking a risk of hurting himself or herself, it is risk taken on behalf of others without their knowledge or consent. Each year, across the nation and in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, lives are ruined and lost due to drunk driving car crashes.
According to recent news story from the Boston Globe, police were called to the scene of accident caused by a drunk driver. Authorities are reporting that the suspected drunk driver was driving his motor vehicle in the wrong direction of the highway when he crashed into another car.
A 39-year-old woman who was driving with her two children drove the car that he hit. Luckily, the children were not injured in this car crash. The driver is alleged to have kept driving in the wrong direction after the accident until he saw police and made a U-turn.
The suspected drunk driver was charged with Operating Under the Influence (OUI), leaving the scene of an accident (hit-and-run), and negligent operation of a motor vehicle. As noted in the article, this is not the only time Massachusetts State Police have seen an accident caused by someone driving the wrong way in recent months. In July, six people were injured in a wrong-way crash, and, in August, three more people were injured in a car driving north in the southbound lane. Police have attributed drunk driving as a cause of some of the wrong-way crashes that have occurred in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts recently.
Our attorneys who represent victims of alcohol-related car crashes understand just how dangerous drunk driving can be to others on the road. In a car accident negligence case, there are four elements that must be established for the plaintiff to be awarded a full and appropriate financial recovery.
The first element that must be proven in a drunk driving crash lawsuit is that the driver owed a duty of care toward the victims. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, anyone who operates a motor vehicle has a duty of care to prevent foreseeable harm to people on the roads or sidewalks.
The second element that must be established is that defendant breached his or her duty of care. If it can be proven to a jury that a driver was under the influence of alcohol to the point of impairment, this would likely satisfy the breach requirement.
The next element in a car accident lawsuit filed under a theory of negligence is that the breach of duty caused the accident. While this is usually not an issue, it may be more relevant in chain reaction crashes involving more than two vehicles. It is possible that one car hits another and pushes that car into a third, and the fact that the driver of the middle of car was drunk may not have caused the accident. In other words, if he or she had been sober, the car might still have crashed into the next car. This does not however, mean that the first driver is not negligent; it may just affect the number of defendants in the action.
If you have been injured in a Boston drunk driving accident, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.
Wrong Way Driver on 495 Was Under the Influence, August 5, 2014, Boston Globe
More Blog Entries:
Saugus Property Hit For Third Time, Teen Charged With Drunk Driving, Cops Say, Oct. 4, 2014, Boston Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Blog