Boston is one of the most amazing cities in the country, with Its wealth of beauty and carefully catered attractions tailored to almost every type of individual, including history buffs, sports enthusiasts, food lovers, and college students. Yet, even with its array of culture, activities, and historical sites like the Freedom Trail and Harvard Square, it can be a dangerous area for pedestrians and motorists when alcohol is involved.
Drunk driving accidents happen all across the nation at alarming rates, and Boston is no exception. However, if you have been involved in this horrifying incident, you should not have to deal with the tragic repercussions on your own.
Drunk driving accidents can often involve devastating injuries, excruciating pain, and a slew of astronomical medical expenses that will affect not only the victim but their whole family. That is why in this blog post, we hope to provide you with further information regarding Boston drunk driving accidents, including the legal options you have if you have been harmed in such an accident, and how an experienced Boston drunk driving accident lawyer can help you get the justice you deserve.
The Sobering Truth—Drunk Driving in Boston
Over a nine-year span in Massachusetts, over 1,300 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving drunk driving. On average, that is about 120 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities per year. However, what is worse, in terms of cities, Boston ranks second in a list of cities with the highest rate of drivers with a DUI.
Although drunk driving accidents can happen anywhere in Boston, certain locations are more prone to drunk driving because of their busy nightlife. As a result, motorists and pedestrians in these parts of the city must stay alert for drivers operating their vehicles under the influence.
For instance, Fenway-Kenmore is known to be a frequent tourist area for its historic Fenway Park. However, the area is also jammed packed with countless bars and restaurants, making it a possible hot spot for deadly drunk driving accidents.
Drunk Driving in Boston—What Does it Mean Exactly?
In Boston, a motorist with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or greater is considered legally drunk. Consequently, operating a motor vehicle in this impaired state is deemed to be not only a criminal manner but can also lead to civil claims against drunk motorists who cause other people harm.
Have You Been a Victim of a Drunk Driving Accident in Boston?
Motorists and passengers in other motor vehicles are often most likely to be considered victims in a drunk driving collision. However, bicyclists, motorcyclists, pedestrians, and even the passenger in the car the intoxicated motorist is operating can also be considered a victim if they sustained harm and losses due to the crash.
That is why, if you have been involved in a drunk driving incident, you should reach out to a skilled Boston drunk driving accident lawyer as soon as possible. These lawyers can go over the facts of your accident and determine whether you have been a victim of a drunk driving crash, the legal options you can pursue, and the compensation you are entitled to.
Common Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Boston
Sadly, drunk driving accidents can cause devastating injuries, affecting virtually any part of the body. Even though those who survive the accident rarely ever escape unharmed instead, they often suffer severe injuries that can affect the rest of their life.
Some of the most common drunk driving accident injuries include:
- Spinal cord injuries: These types of injuries often leave victims with a permanent loss of strength, sensation, and function below the injury site.
- Traumatic brain injuries: A traumatic brain injury can leave victims struggling with lasting cognitive, emotional, and motor disabilities.
- Lost limbs: A lost limb, no matter if it is through a surgical amputation or because of trauma, can leave victims relying on others or prosthetic devices for the rest of their life.
- Deep lacerations: These cuts can lead to significant scars, numbness, weakness, or a loss of feeling at the injury site.
- Internal organ damage: These types of injuries often require surgery and can result in a loss of the damaged organ, leading to lifelong health complications and possibly death.
- Soft tissue injuries: Although most soft tissue injuries often heal, they can still cause numerous problems, including chronic pain and limited mobility, even with appropriate treatments.
Who Is Liable for an Alcohol-Related Car Crash in Boston?
Most alcohol-related crash victims do not realize that there may be more than one liable party for their harm and losses. For these reasons, it is helpful to work with an experienced Boston drunk driving accident lawyer following the crash. These attorneys can help you identify all the parties responsible for your damages and hold them accountable for the harm and losses you endured.
Those that are often found at fault for an alcohol-related crash tend to include:
- Drunk motorists
- Restaurants and Bars
- Other individuals, businesses, or even governmental entities whose actions contributed to the cause of the crash
Damages Available Following a Boston Alcohol-Related Car Accident?
If you were injured because of a drunk driving accident, you may pursue compensation for your harm. In Massachusetts, this compensation includes:
Economic damages: These damages refer to the actual and measurable losses a victim suffers due to the accident.
- Medical bills, including past, present, and future medical expenses, such as doctor visits, assistive devices, hospital stay, emergency room visits, prescription medications, surgeries
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Rehabilitative therapy such as occupational or physical therapy
- At-home nursing care
- Replacement services
- Other out-of-pocket expense
Non-economic damages: These damages refer to the more subjective losses that occur that are not easily quantifiable.
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of a limb
- Loss of reputation
- Loss of companionship
Punitive damages: Unlike economic and non-economic damages, which compensate the victim for their losses, punitive damages punish the victim for their egregious actions and deter them and others from committing this action again in the future.
However, unlike many other states, Massachusetts does not often allow punitive damages. In fact, they are generally only awarded in rare exceptions such as wrongful death.
Actions to Take After a Drunk Driving Accident in Boston
Although the scene following a drunk driving crash is often chaotic and stressful, you need to realize that the actions you take after this collision are not only important to your health and safety but your legal rights as well. That is why if you are ever involved in a drunk driving accident in Boston, you should:
Contact 911 Immediately
Calling the police after your crash is the fastest way to notify the police and emergency medical services that someone at the scene needs medical help and to get the accident on record. Once the police arrive, they can investigate the crash and write down their findings in their police report. If you decide to pursue an injury claim, this report can provide you with valuable evidence regarding what happened and who was at fault.
Gather Evidence From the Scene
If it is safe, make sure you gather evidence from the accident scene, including taking as many pictures and videos as you can. These photos should include your visible injuries, damages to your car, the placement of the vehicles on the road, skid marks, weather conditions at the time of the accident, traffic signs near the accident scene, and even the other driver’s conduct.
Get Information From the Drivers
Ensure you exchange details with all the drivers involved in the crash, including names, contact information, driver’s license number, and insurance information. However, if the other driver is significantly intoxicated, leave the investigation to the police officers.
Obtain Witness Details
If there were people at the scene who saw what happened, try to get their name and number. Witness statements can provide you with relevant details regarding what happened and also back up your claims. However, if these individuals do not want to offer you their details, do not force them. Instead, once you retain an experienced Boston drunk driving attorney, they can try to obtain this testimony for you.
Keep Track of Documents, Bills, and Records
To collect maximum possible compensation for your injuries, you must first provide a strong case with reliable evidence. That is why keeping records, receipts, and bills following your drunk driving accident is so important. These documents can provide your lawyer with the proof they need to show the harm you endured because of a drunk driving collision.
In addition, try to obtain these records as you are going through the different medical treatments. Otherwise, if you wait too long to collect them, you risk the chance of evidence disappearing or the process of obtaining these documents taking too long.
See a Doctor As Soon As Possible
Even if your injuries appear minor, you should still see a medical professional as soon as possible following your accident. Many times, serious trauma such as head and brain injuries can take days to weeks to manifest. Yet, the longer you wait to get medical treatment, the more deadly the injury can become. For these reasons, you should have a doctor check you over.
In addition, getting this medical treatment is valuable for your claim, as insurance companies will try to do anything to deny your case. By not getting swift medical treatments, the insurance company will often argue that your injuries are not that serious or due to a subsequent event. Fortunately, when you get treated promptly after your accident, your doctor can document your injuries in their medical report and provide you with evidence of a direct link between the accident and the harm you sustained.
Be Careful What You Say
As you talk to the other individuals at the crash scene, you need to watch what you say. Although it may be evident that the crash was caused by a drunk driver, if you make any definitive statements, apologize for anything that happened, or take the blame for any part of the accident, it can come back later and hurt your claim.
An Experienced Boston Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Can Help
If you have been involved in a Boston drunk driving crash, you are already dealing with enough. You should not have to worry about the legal complexities that are involved with filing an injury claim. However, when you work with an experienced Boston drunk driving accident lawyer, you will not have to go through this ordeal on your own.
These attorneys can:
Evaluate your potential claims, go over your legal options, and provide you with the legal advice you need.
- Answer all of your questions and concerns and offer you the support you require during this difficult time.
- Investigate your accident and secure the evidence needed to show fault and damages.
- Make sure to hold all the negligent parties accountable for your harm.
- Handle all the negotiations with the insurance company and go after a fair settlement on your behalf.
- Bring in the experts such as doctors, accident reconstructionists, and economists to substantiate your claim.
- Take your case to trial, if necessary, and work tirelessly to bring a successful resolution to your lawsuit.