Massachusetts Car Accident Attorney

Massachusetts Car Accident LawyersYou drive your car because it is a convenient way to get you where you need to go. It is your go-to transportation for work, school, and every place else you need to be. Cars are useful and necessary, but they also have a downside. You do not have a choice about the drivers with whom you share the road. As you travel roads and highways throughout Massachusetts, you often put yourself at risk. The person in the next lane could be safety conscious. He or she could also be distracted, drunk, a speeder, or simply reckless.

When one of these risky drivers crashes into your car, the outcome is often predictable. Bad drivers put you and your passengers at risk. They cause serious damage and severe and catastrophic injuries. You spend months, even years, managing medical, psychological, and emotional issues. You suffer from long-term disabilities and financial consequences that often change your life.

Accidents are usually the result of bad driving, negligent actions, and preventable circumstances. When a negligent driver harms you, you deserve compensation for your injuries. When you work with our Massachusetts car accident attorneys, they work hard to make sure that negligent drivers pay for their actions. Contact Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman today to see how we can help you with your legal matter.

Compassionate Legal Representation for Massachusetts Car Accident Victims

At Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman, we believe that negligent drivers must pay for the damages they inflict upon others. We have always fought hard for our injured clients. We have used our firm’s manpower and resources to recover damages on their behalf. We have dedicated our practice to providing big-firm advocacy and small-firm compassion.

Our personal injury attorneys have sought fair results for our injured clients. We have investigated their accidents, determined the responsible parties, and placed them on notice. We have reviewed and evaluated our clients’ injuries to learn how the accident affected their lives. We have explored every option to recover damages for our injured clients and their families.

Our Firm’s Results

Our lawyers have worked hard to recover damages for our injured clients. We have recovered millions of dollars by resolving cases in ways that best met their immediate and future needs.

When possible, we have resolved cases through aggressive negotiations. We have worked directly with insurance carriers, self-insured entities, and their defense attorneys. Our attorneys have resolved our clients’ cases through mediation, settlement conferences, and other alternative resolution forums.

We have prepared each case from the beginning, anticipating that a lawsuit was one of the possible outcomes. When litigation was the best option, we have had no problem trying our clients’ cases. Our attorneys have presented their evidence before the court and let a judge and jury make an informed decision.

As no two cases are alike, we cannot promise a specific settlement. We share our case results to demonstrate our firm’s commitment to client advocacy and optimum outcomes.

  • $3.2 million, trucking accident: Our law firm recovered $3.2 million for our client’s brain injury. We are complying with our client’s privacy request by keeping the details confidential.
  • $1.58 million jury verdict, car accident: Our client sustained two herniated discs resulting in spinal cord impingement. The negligent driver’s insurance company would not settle fairly and tried to show that the injuries were pre-existing. We allowed a jury to make the decision based on evidence.
  • $1 million settlement, car accident: Our client sustained multiple injuries in an auto accident. We filed suit and litigated the case for 14 months. We eventually settled before the trial date.
  • $1.75 million settlement, trucking accident: A semi-truck struck our client’s vehicle, causing multiple injuries. Our law firm filed a suit because the liability insurance company would not negotiate fairly. Eventually, they increased their offer, and we settled the case.

Auto Accidents in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation documented 140,410 vehicle crashes during 2019. The statewide crash portal lists 99,743 as non-injury accidents. The numbers are not as positive as they seem. Statistics also show 33,168 confirmed or suspected injuries. Some victims sustained fatal injuries. Others have medical issues with the potential to cause life-changing consequences.

Bad Driving Behaviors Cause Massachusetts Car Accidents

Risky driving behaviors often cause or contribute to most accidents. While some drivers operate their cars defensively and drive safely, others drive as though safety does not matter.

Drinking and driving. Nationally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has documented 30 drunk driving deaths each day. The agency’s recent statistics show that 488 Massachusetts drivers were involved in fatal accidents. Based on Section 24 of Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Laws, a driver is legally intoxicated when a test confirms that they have a 0.08 percent blood alcohol content. Alcohol affects a person’s driving behavior long before their blood reaches that level. At BAC levels as low as 0.02 percent drivers begin experiencing losses in judgment and declines in functioning that often contribute to bad driving.

Drugging and driving. Drugs impaired drivers’ actions often cause or contribute to accidents. Drugs affect driving whether they are legal or illegal, prescription, non-prescription, or recreational. Marijuana and other drugs often cause drowsiness, sleepiness, and delayed reaction times.

In a recent Drug-Impaired Driving study, the Governor’s Highway Safety Association discussed drug use and how it relates to traffic accidents. Of the fatally injured drivers who were tested for drugs after an accident, 43.6 percent tested positive for drugs. They also found that 50.5 percent tested positive for two or more drugs and 40.7 percent had both drugs and alcohol in their blood.

Speeding. NHTSA’s most recent annual statistics show that speeding was a factor in 9,378 traffic fatalities nationwide. When a driver is operating a vehicle under the influence or involved in other unsafe behaviors, speeding worsens the outcome. Often a speeding driver will not stop because he or she never notices that there is a problem. When a speeding driver notices a problem, excessive speed cuts down the time they have to execute defensive maneuvers and avoid an accident.

Other states reduce speeding incidents by using automated enforcement technology and red light cameras at critical intersections. The Massachusetts legislature recently defeated a bill that would have placed enforcement technology at locations where speeding is a problem.

Distracted driving. The NHTSA recently documented 2,841 distracted driving-related fatalities in a single year. The figures are likely higher but, after an accident occurs, it is often difficult to confirm that a driver was distracted. The National Transportation Safety Board acknowledges distracted driving as a major transportation concern. They recommend eliminating all digital device use while driving.

Ubiquitous phone use has inspired a backlash against distracted drivers, but digital devices are not the only driving distraction. As the NTSB explains, “…executing any task other than driving is dangerous and risks a crash…” The agency does not see hands-free phones as a distraction solution. They still take the mind off its primary driving tasks. The NTSB recommends driver education, stricter enforcement, and banning all digital devices while driving.

Drowsy driving. Drowsy driving is preventable, yet it causes numerous fatalities each year. Accidents often occur when a driver fails to get enough restorative sleep due to sleep apnea or some other medical condition. Drowsy driving is also a problem with drivers who are taking prescription or non-prescription drugs. As the NHTSA explains, it is difficult to confirm drowsy driving after an accident has occurred. There just are not enough clues.

Older drivers. As drivers age, they deal with additional driving challenges. Massachusetts DOT statistics show that older adults caused or contributed to 25.4 thousand accidents during 2019. The most recent annual NHTSA nationwide statistics show that 6,907 older drivers died in vehicle accidents. Physical and cognitive issues play a role in causing more accidents as people age.

Physical and medical conditions contribute to accident severity.

  • Some older adults have difficulty maintaining speed and controlling lane positioning.
  • Some older drivers misjudge gaps between moving cars.
  • A recent NHTSA study concluded that older adults often focus on the road ahead and forego the visual scanning that would make them more aware of hazards around them.
  • Older adults with mild cognitive impairments had fewer problems than those with dementia and more severe cognitive issues. The NHTSA still recommends additional training to help older adults overcome the spectrum of cognitive issues.
  • When older drivers are involved in crashes, their frailty leaves them more subject to serious and catastrophic medical conditions.

Top Accident Locations in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation tracked seven years of accident data and identified the areas where frequent accidents occur. The Crash Locations Map shows a significant cluster of crashes in the Boston area.

The most recent Top Crash Location Report pinpoints the two intersections in the state where more crashes occurred than any other location.

  • #1 Lowell, MA: A Veterans of Foreign Wars Highway intersection accommodates a flow of traffic from Bridge St and a third intersecting street, Lakeview Ave. Over the seven years studied, 124 crashes occurred at this intersection. These included 96 non-injury accidents and 28 crashes that included injuries and/or fatalities.
  • #2 Milton, MA: The intersection of Randolph Ave. and Chickatawbut Rd is the second most frequent location for accidents in the state. 60 crashes occurred there over the seven years studied. Thirty were non-injury crashes and 30 involved injuries and/or fatalities.

Common Car Accident Injuries in Massachusetts

Car Accidents in Massachusetts In Massachusetts, vehicle occupants do not sustain injuries in the majority of accidents. Some accidents are simple fender benders. When the impact is light, many people walk away unharmed. Unfortunately, injured vehicle occupants are not as fortunate. Of the accidents which occurred in the state during a recent one-year time frame, 2,311 people reported serious injuries and 323 people died. (These casualty figures include pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists.)

How and Why Massachusetts Car Accident Injuries Occur

Injured passengers seek treatment for a range of conditions, from soft tissue injuries and sprains to catastrophic, disabling trauma.

Several factors increase the chance of catastrophic injuries.

  • When an accident occurs, speed enhances both property damage and injuries. Speed multiplies the force on impact, increasing the chance of more severe injuries. When a speeding driver observes an unsafe situation, their brakes do not always slow them down enough to reduce the impact. When a distracted driver is speeding, they often fail to brake because they do not recognize the danger. They do not attempt to stop, so their inaction usually increases the damage and the injuries.
  • The points of impact often determine the type of injury a driver or passenger sustains. A severe frontal impact often injures a passenger’s lower extremities. Serious side impacts sometimes cause injuries due to metal intrusions into the rear passenger compartment. A rear impact often causes the whiplash movement that injures a passenger’s neck, back, and spine.
  • Safety equipment sometimes prevents or lessens injury severity, but not always. When an impact is severe, seat belts often constrict a passenger’s abdomen and chest. This sometimes causes fractures and internal damage.

Types of Massachusetts Car Accident Injuries

Serious crashes often cause catastrophic injuries. Statistics from the Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems Database show that vehicular accidents caused 50 percent of the brain injuries to the 18,126 patients in their database. The National Spinal Cord Statistical Center statistics show that vehicular accidents caused 38.6 percent of the SCI injuries for the 34,130 people they currently monitor.

Car accidents cause many additional types of injuries.

  • SCI-related paralysis
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Disc and spine injuries
  • Nerve damage
  • Whiplash
  • Severe sprains and strains
  • Muscular damage
  • Severe Burns
  • Multiple fractures and crushes
  • Traumatic amputations
  • Internal organ damage
  • Fatal injuries

Massachusetts Car Accident FAQs

When you pass a car accident on the street, you realize that it could easily have been you. Bad drivers are everywhere. They speed, drive distracted, and they drink before getting behind the wheel. No matter how safely you drive, it is difficult to avoid a bad driver’s destructive acts. A single crash could destroy your car, cause serious injuries, and change your life.

At Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman, we want you to be safe. We also want you to be prepared in case an accident occurs. We created our Car Accident FAQ so you will know what to expect and you will understand your basic legal options.

How often do accidents occur in Massachusetts?

MassDOT Crash and Fatal Injury Portals track accidents throughout the state. A recent year’s statistics show that 140,411 accidents occurred in Massachusetts. These statistics include vehicle, motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrian accidents.

How often do people sustain injuries in Massachusetts car accidents?

No one reported injuries for 99,743 of the 140,411 crashes reported in a recent year. That sounds positive until you consider the fates of those who did sustain injuries. Injured people seek medical treatment and follow-up physician’s care. Those with catastrophic or serious injuries often remain hospitalized for extended periods. Even people with mild trauma need medical care. Many injured people lose income because of temporary impairments. People with the most serious injuries never work again.

In just one recent year, Massachusetts saw:

  • 140,411 crashes.
  • 99,743 crashes did not cause injuries.
  • 2,311 serious injuries.
  • 15,335 minor injuries.
  • 15,200 possible injuries.
  • 323 fatal injuries.

What is the most common type of car accident?

The NHTSA tracks data for all accident types.

Their recent statistics documented these national trends:

  • Nationally, rear-end impacts caused 594,000 injuries, more than other accident types.
  • Rear-end impacts also caused 2,439 fatal injuries.
  • Angled impacts (t-bones, intersections, etc.) caused 6,037 fatalities, more than other types of accidents.
  • Angled impacts caused 515,000 injuries nationwide.

What are the most common causes of Massachusetts car accidents?

Insurance companies, attorneys, and courts look at a lot of factors in determining the cause of an accident.

“Cause” is often a combination of human, vehicle, and environmental factors.

  • Vehicle: Some vehicles contribute to accidents due to improper maintenance, failed repairs, and vehicle defects such as bad brakes.
  • Environmental: Poorly maintained pavement, adverse weather, and confusing traffic patterns often contribute to accidents.
  • Human: Vehicle operators are usually the most significant factor in causing an accident. Drivers speed, drive distracted, fall asleep at the wheel, and drive while drug or alcohol-impaired. Any one of these risky behaviors prevents drivers from reacting to road-surface, weather, traffic, or mechanical emergencies.

Who decides if the other driver owes for my Massachusetts car accident injuries?

Insurance companies decide when their insureds are responsible for damages. They investigate to determine if their insured is at fault.

Then they often rely on a simple negligence formula to evaluate liability.

  • Duty owed: Did their insured driver have a duty to you? (to stop at a traffic sign, to drive safely, etc.)
  • Duty breached: Did their insured fail to comply with that duty?
  • Proximate cause: Did that failure cause the accident?
  • Damages: Did you sustain damage or injuries as a result of that failure/accident?

Insurance companies have a duty to make prudent decisions based on their insured’s legal responsibilities. They sometimes decide that their insured is not liable for a person’s damages, and they deny liability. If they decide to pay, they sometimes make low settlement offers and refuse to pay more. Often settlement decisions involve financial issues such as policy limits and claim reserves.

If you do not agree with an insurer’s decision, you have other options. An attorney can help you recover a fair settlement. You must take action before your statute of limitations expires.

When a police officer gives the other person a ticket after a Massachusetts car accident, doesn’t that mean they are at fault?

When an insurer evaluates a police officer’s report, they see it as formal documentation of the people, vehicles, accident scene, and circumstances involved. Most insurance claim handlers understand that, unless a police officer witnessed an accident, anything he or she says about fault is an opinion. Even if the officer issues a ticket, insurance companies do not automatically accept it as a measure of fault.

How much time do I have to file a Massachusetts car accident claim?

Massachusetts General Laws provide a three-year statute of limitations for auto accident injury claims. The clock begins ticking when your accident occurs. Your time to take action expires three years later. If you fail to settle your claim or file a lawsuit in time, you lose your right to file a claim for damages.

Do I have to file a lawsuit to get a Massachusetts auto accident settlement?

You have three years to work out a settlement with the responsible party’s insurer, but that does not always happen. Insurers sometimes refuse to pay. When they decide to pay, they do not always make fair settlement offers. When you realize that you may never reach a fair settlement, a lawsuit may be your best option.

What happens if I am injured by a hit-and-run driver in Massachusetts?

It is challenging enough when you have to deal with a difficult liability insurer. It is worse when there is no liability insurance to pay for your injuries. This sometimes happens when the person who injures you does not have liability coverage. It also occurs when someone crashes into your car, then leaves the scene without identifying themselves.

When you have uninsured motorist coverage on your auto policy, your own insurer pays your damages under these circumstances:

  • The person who caused the accident leaves the scene.
  • The liability carrier declines their insured’s coverage.
  • The liability insurer becomes insolvent.
  • The responsible driver has insurance but not enough to cover your damages.

Uninsured/underinsured motorists coverage is mandatory under Massachusetts law. When you have an injury claim and the coverage applies, your own insurer must establish a liability claim file for your damages. They negotiate, settle, and handle your claim as a liability insurer would.

How can a Massachusetts car accident lawyer help me?

Massachusetts Car Accident CaseFrom the moment an auto accident injures you, your life gets complicated. Insurance investigators want information, so they visit you in your hospital room. They call you to ask questions, and they knock on your door. Investigators even talk to your neighbors to get the information they need. Car accident attorneys help you through this difficult post-accident time. They intervene on your behalf and protect your legal interests while you take time to heal.

The decision to work with a legal representative is up to you. You have the right to deal directly with the negligent party who injured you until you hear from his insurer. You decide if you want to give the insurer a recorded statement. You decide if you want to answer all their questions and provide the requested personal information. In the end, they retain the right to deny your claim. Insurers may deny liability claims, even when you cooperate and comply with every request.

When you choose to work with a law firm, your legal professional handles these complications on your behalf. They use their time, energy, and resources to provide important services.

Arrange a free consultation. When you consult with a lawyer as soon as possible after your accident, you learn that you have choices and legal options. A legal consultation is a no-pressure opportunity to help you determine your next move. A law firm arranges an appointment that is convenient for you and your circumstances.

  • In-person
  • Phone consultation
  • Scheduled call
  • Live chat

Listen to your version of the accident. Car accident lawyers understand that every accident is different. They ask questions because they understand that your story is the key to resolving your injury claim. The information you share helps determine the negligent parties, contributing factors, and legal issues. It becomes the roadmap by which your attorney investigates the accident.

When you discuss medical bills, treatment protocols, and accident-related impairments, your attorney also understands more about your compensable damages. These details help your attorney evaluate your case and determine a fair settlement value.

Answer your questions. Of course, you have questions too. Attorneys help you feel comfortable with an ongoing Q&A. They are legal professionals who are available and ready to answer your questions. Initially, attorneys respond based on prior cases and general knowledge. As they learn more about your specific accident, they provide more detailed answers.

Handle your case on a contingency fee basis. When you go to the doctor or any other professional they give you a bill, and they expect immediate payment. Car accident attorneys do not work that way. They understand that injured people often have financial concerns, but they still deserve strong legal representation. Attorneys take cases and perform services for weeks, often years. They could work hard on your behalf, but they often only charge a fee when they resolve your case.

Investigate your accident. Your version of an accident becomes the starting point for a thorough investigation. Law firm investigators rely on your information as they research and uncover evidence.

Relevant evidence supports your position when your attorney negotiates or tries your case, such as:

  • Site investigation
  • Photographs
  • Videos
  • Vehicle impact analysis
  • Witness statements
  • Police reports and formal documents

Evaluate liability. Once an attorney has a complete picture of the issues, they evaluate liability. This involves reviewing the evidence and establishing a viable liability theory. They make sure that supporting evidence meets standards that allow it to hold up if presented in court.

If your attorney believes they can negotiate a settlement, they present their theories to the liability insurance carrier. They make demands based on their liability and injury evaluations.

Evaluate your injuries. Lawyers understand that no two injuries are the same. That is why they obtain and review all relevant medical reports and hospital records before giving an opinion on value. They seek opinions from medical experts. They also rely on their experience with past settlements and recent court judgments involving similar injuries and liability issues.

Negotiate your settlement. Car accident lawyers always do what is best for their clients. Sometimes it is best to settle your injury claim so you can move on with your life. When liability insurers cooperate, attorneys work with them to accomplish that goal. Aggressive negotiation allows your attorney to resolve your case without the expense and time commitments involved in filing a lawsuit.

File a lawsuit on your behalf. If negotiations do not deliver the anticipated results, attorneys may recommend filing a lawsuit. An attorney would consult with you before filing on your behalf. They draft a complaint and follow a process that complies with Massachusetts Rules of Civil Procedure.

A lawsuit names you and your spouse as the plaintiffs. It names the responsible party as the defendant. The suit explains your attorney’s liability theory and describes your injuries. It also makes a formal demand for damages. The lawsuit process is often extremely slow. In preparation for a day in court, attorneys conduct discovery, including depositions, document requests, and independent medical testimony.

Long before a judge adds your case to a trial docket, the attorneys participate in settlement phone calls, mediations, and conferences. In most cases, attorneys settle during one of these sessions.

Participate in alternative dispute resolution

In Massachusetts, Dispute Resolution Rules make ADR mandatory in many situations. Mediation is a frequently-used ADR. It is a system of facilitated negotiation that brings together all the involved parties in a neutral setting. These sessions often lead to settlements.

Present your case in court. Injury cases rarely go to trial. Most court officials encourage the parties to resolve their differences informally. If they cannot, your attorney must try your case. A trial often requires costly preparation. Car accident attorneys often present live or video testimony from liability, medical, and financial specialists. They present their evidence and argue their liability theories in open court.

Your attorney advises you whether a bench or a jury trial is the right option for your case. In a bench trial, a judge hears the evidence and renders a verdict. In a jury trial, the attorneys select jurors. The judge provides instructions at the end of a jury trial, and jurors decide the outcome.

Execute settlement documents. Whether your attorney settles or tries your case, it is not over until the two of you handle the final details.

  • Your attorney prepares a release of all claims and a lawsuit dismissal entry.
  • You sign the completed documents.
  • The liability insurer releases your settlement funds.
  • Your attorney files the dismissal entry with the court.
  • Your attorney disburses your settlement and collects his or her fee.

Do you need a Massachusetts car accident lawyer to handle your injury claim?

Brent F Sibley Esq

Car Accident Accident Attorney, Brent F Sibley

It generally works out better when you do. Attorneys understand liability and damage issues. They address legal matters you might not recognize. They confront insurance companies and responsible parties, and they stand up to them when they are unfair. Car accident attorneys do everything they can to help make sure their clients receive a fair settlement.

Call Our Massachusetts Car Accident Attorneys Now

If another driver caused an accident that injured you or a member of your family, you should seek immediate legal assistance. At Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman, our legal professionals could work to recover damages from the person who caused your injuries. For your free consultation and to determine if we can help you, reach out to Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, and Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, at 833-552-7274 (833-55-CRASH), or leave a message on our contact page.

Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
76 Canal Street, Suite 302
Boston, MA 02114