Every large urban area has certain intersections that are notorious for car crashes or are hazardous to pedestrians and bicyclists. These are due to faulty road design, inadequate road maintenance, poor planning for increased traffic and pedestrians, lack of traffic calming measures, crazy configurations that have befuddled highway road designers, or an omission of signage or road markings that only causes confusion. Boston is not alone in having a number of dangerous roadways and intersections where large numbers of accidents occur for these and other reasons. If you were injured as a motorist, passenger, or pedestrian by the negligent driving or conduct of another person, call a car accident lawyer at Burns and Jain.
In April of this year, a grad student at UMass-Amherst was killed by a motorist while apparently in a crosswalk at North Pleasant Street near the Crestview Apartments. It occurred around 10:40 p.m. The motorist did stop at the scene and was cooperative with police. No citations were issued at the time and police did not indicate how the accident occurred or if any one party, or both, were at fault in some way. No witnesses to the accident were identified. Police did say that accident reconstruction experts were being used to determine how the accident occurred.
A police officer in Braintree suffered non-life-threatening injuries recently when he tried to thwart an attempted getaway by shoplifters at the South Shore Plaza. Two teenagers had tried to flee in a car being driven by another teen but were blocked by the officer in the parking lot who was on foot. The driver struck the officer with his car but collided head-on with another vehicle when he attempted to evade a pursuing police cruiser. The driver was taken into custody and charged with various offenses including assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
In early March 2019, a 62-year old Worcester man was struck and killed while crossing the street at St. Nicholas Avenue around 6:00 am. The driver was a 26-year old male from Webster who was proceeding south on St. Nicholas and hit the man who was crossing from the driver’s left.
Car accident injury claims are one of the most common types of personal injury claims and lawsuits that are filed, but one involving a police vehicle are less common. This is primarily because police officers perform a vital public safety function and liability on their part can be difficult to prove. For instance, when an officer is responding to an emergency or urgent call, the vehicle’s siren and flashing lights are a warning to motorists to pull over and to allow the vehicle to pass, much like an ambulance or fire truck. In many instances, motorists ignore the obvious signals and fail to stop or take any action to avoid interfering with the officer responding to the emergency.
Train crossings are not an uncommon sight in many areas of the country, including Massachusetts. You can generally recognize when a train is crossing your path by flashing lights and a barrier that prevents cars from crossing the tracks. However, serious injuries and fatalities do occur at train crossings. Just this past April, 2018, a Springfield woman ran her SUV into a moving train around 2:00 a.m. on Memorial Drive in Springfield and suffered fatal injuries. It has not yet been established how the accident occurred.
Massachusetts has approximately 3000 railroad crossings throughout the state or areas where roads cross railroad tracks instead of over or under them. Between 1975 and 2016, there have been 36 fatalities at such crossings. According to the Federal Railway Administration, in 2017 there were 2,105 collisions between motor vehicles and trains in the U.S., resulting in 807 injuries and 274 fatalities. These incidents have been reduced considerably since 1981 when there were 9,461 collisions with 3,293 injuries and 728 fatalities.
Traffic accidents happen everyday and chances are that if you drive long enough, you will be in one as well. And if you are injured, what happens if the motorist who caused your accident was uninsured?
It only makes sense that young, inexperienced drivers pose a greater risk than those who have been driving for years. Statistics from across the nation are consistent in showing that car accidents are the number one killer of teens. Young drivers are more likely to speed, drink and drive, and use their cell phones than older groups of drivers. They also use seat belts less frequently, a major reason for catastrophic and fatal injuries in a crash.
Facing another cold, Massachusetts winter morning on your way to your car can be depressing, to say the least. Your car’s windshield is solid snow and ice and it can’t be more than 2 degrees outside. A large pile of snow is also on your roof. So, you shave off a small amount of ice and snow from the front windshield, just barely enough to see ahead of you, get the car started and you’re off. But you fail to see a car to your right at the next intersection and you slam into it.
Texting while driving has caused too many collisions. Since 2010, Massachusetts has outlawed texting while driving. This law, however, did not ban using your cellphone for making calls or scrolling through your email unless you are a driver under the age of 21. In the past few years, lawmakers have introduced legislation banning any hand-held use of cellphones for all drivers but the measures either stalled or died quietly in the House. Governor Baker did not endorse a full ban either, feeling it was unfair to drivers in older vehicles that lacked the technology that permitted hands-free use.