It is no secret that the times that we are living in are changing drastically with the ongoing spread of the coronavirus. As a community we have had to change and adapt to fit these new circumstances. On March 24, 2020, Governor Baker’s emergency order went into effect, closing all nonessential businesses to its employees, customers, and the public. For essential businesses, such as law offices, we have been encouraged to shelter in place, and practice social distancing. In compliance with these recommendations, many on the work force have now had to make the transition from working in the office to working remotely.
Safe driving campaigns are nothing new in Massachusetts. For decades, our state and counties have poured millions of dollars into educating motorists about the need to buckle up, and to refrain from speeding and drinking and driving. More recently, social media and other campaigns were directed toward drivers who text and drive and use hand-held devices. But with the recent legalization of marijuana for recreational use, safety advocates have felt the need to educate the public about this newest hazard to drivers and pedestrians, especially when marijuana is combined with alcohol.
A tragic accident in Sturbridge, Massachusetts a few month ago where a 67-year old man was killed while walking on Main Street underscores the increasing risks that pedestrians appear to be facing. In 2018, there were 6,227 pedestrians killed on our nation’s roadways, which was 250 more than in 2017. Since 2008, the percentage of pedestrians killed has risen by 41% according to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association. Read more
Insurance fraud in Massachusetts and elsewhere comes in many forms. We often think of staged accidents where individuals scheme to cause an accident and then claim it was a hit-and-run. Some schemers collaborate with others to stage a rear-end or other type of accident and then feign injuries, or they deliberately stop their vehicles quickly so as to be rear-ended by an innocent trailing driver. In some of these ruses, there are attorneys, body shops, and medical providers who work in tandem. Even if the accident is real in some cases, the injuries, treatment, wage loss, and medical expenses are contrived.
Most Massachusetts drivers today cannot possibly contemplate what travel in the Boston area and throughout the Northeast was like before the Massachusetts turnpike was built or even imagine a time when it didn’t exist. Before 1957, however, travel to other towns and cities throughout our state and from New York to Maine was on mostly narrow, one- and two-lane roadways that wound their way through farmlands, small towns and along the coast taking many hours for motorists to get to their destinations.