Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog
Disclaimer - By publishing this information on this Web site, the Boston, Massachusetts law firm of Altman & Altman LLP is not claiming to represent any clients or cases mentioned here. The content provided is designed to inform readers and is not intended as legal advice.

A New Hampshire mother was cited last week after she took a picture with her cell phone of a man standing on the side of the road wearing an Armageddon-esque sign.

According to, Michelle Tetreault was driving with her teenage daughter when the pair spotted the man standing in a median near a stoplight. Tetreault was stopped when she took the picture of the man, who was wearing a sign warning: “Repent! The end is near!” What she didn’t know was the man was involved in a sting operation to catch drivers disobeying New Hampshire’s newest cellphone law which prohibits drivers from using phones or electronic devices while driving. Tetreault was subsequently ticketed $124. In a statement to, Tetreault, whose former brother-in-law died in a crash caused by a texting driver, said she never uses her phone while driving but was unaware that the law also applies to vehicles at stop signs or lights.

Law enforcement has gotten incredibly crafty when it comes to cracking down on distracted driving. Under Massachusetts law, drivers are allowed to talk on their mobile devices, however they are not allowed to text, send emails or surf the web. Drivers who are under18-years-old are banned from using any mobile device for any reason while driving.

Is Distracted Driving Really A Problem?

Simple answer, yes. Many drivers on the roads today can tell you they have seen other drivers engage in texting while driving, or may admit to doing it themselves. According to the CDC, 3,328 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver in 2012. Each year, this number rises. An additional, 421,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver in 2012, a 9% increase from the 387,000 people injured in 2011. Unsurprisingly, 20% of all motor vehicle crashes result from some form of distracted driving.

Distracted driving remains a serious threat to public safety, killing and injuring tens of thousands of people a year. If you or a loved one has been injured as result of a negligent driver using his or her cell phone, we can help. At Altman & Altman, LLP, our experienced team of Massachusetts Car Accident Lawyers has successfully handled thousands of car accident injury cases, including accidents involving cell phone use. While no amount of money will ever compensate for your injuries, victims of personal injury and their families may be entitled to financial relief through a Personal Injury or a Wrongful Death Lawsuit. Distracted driving cases can be difficult and confusing to navigate on top of injuries and medical expenses, but our dedicated attorneys will carefully walk you through each step of the process. We are happy to answer any questions you may have, and get you the compensation you deserve.


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Drowsy driving is associated with an estimated 100,000 vehicle collisions per year in the United States. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that approximately 71,000 injuries and 1,500 fatalities annually are caused by drivers falling asleep at the wheel. In 1997, Washington state proposed a bill allowing a driver who causes a fatal accident due to falling asleep behind the wheel, to be charged with ‘sleeping-driver homicide’ as a gross misdemeanor. Although that particular bill failed, other similar bills have since passed. Particularly in the past five years, with the dangers of distracted driving in the spotlight, the issue of fatigued driving has been resurrected.

Current Fatigued Driving Laws Across the Country

Although many states penalize drowsy driving, it usually falls under general, unsafe driving laws, such as reckless driving. However, two states have specific ‘drowsy driving’ laws – New Jersey and Arkansas. New Jersey’s legislation considers anyone who has been driving without sleep for 24 hours to be driving recklessly, the same classification given to driving under the influence. Arkansas has a similar law. Parallel to Washington’s 1997 proposal, Arkansas legally considers fatigued driving to be negligent homicide, a Class A misdemeanor. New York has similar laws pending. Continue reading

An elderly man from Wellesley, Massachusetts is in serious condition after being struck by his own vehicle Monday morning. The 70 year old man, who has yet to be identified by authorities, has possible internal injuries. Initial reports released for the accident indicate that the victim has injuries that are expected to be serious in nature. The exact extent and severity of these injuries was not immediately disclosed following the incident on Monday.

The unidentified victim became trapped underneath his own vehicle shortly after 11:30 AM on Monday morning. According to preliminary reports released by responding officers from the Wellesley Police Department, the victim had driven to the town’s Recycling and Disposal Facility in order to drop off some items. The man allegedly backed his vehicle into a spot at the Facility and attempted to put the emergency parking brake in place before exiting the vehicle. The immediate events prior to the accident were not made immediately clear by the victim or those issuing the report on the matter. But law enforcement officials believe that sometime after the victim exited his vehicle, either as he was in the process of exiting or immediately thereafter, he became aware of the fact that his vehicle had begun to roll forward. The man held onto the front door of the car in an effort to prevent it from moving forward any further, and it was at this time that he was knocked down.   Continue reading

The popular rideshare service Uber could be facing heavy regulations following a hearing at the State House on Tuesday morning. The Financial Services Committee held a public hearing for a series of bills that would require Uber and similar ridesharing services to apply stronger regulations to their companies. Uber and another company by the name of Lyft have been facing serious backlash in recent months from members of the taxi service community—they feel as though the more popular ridesharing services are taking away revenue previously acquired by the taxi companies. The ongoing feud has been gaining more ground in recent times as taxi service employees want Uber drivers to be held to the same strict standards.

In a bill proposed by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, he calls for a reform that would require Uber drivers to undergo state criminal background checks. Governor Baker also proposes that insurance companies carry at $1 million in liability insurance for each ride provided by their company. Reports have indicated that Uber provides approximately 1 million rides per month in the Bay State area according to information provided by Uber. This number of rides being provided, while good for the company, is highlighting a growing need to ensure customer safety for those who choose to take the trendier option. Lawmakers who are in favor of heavier regulations for Uber and Lyft have stated that their call for stricter standards is based out of a growing need for guaranteeing public safety. Continue reading

The increasing tension that has been building between Uber services and taxi services is being taken to the next level as the two companies have a hearing scheduled for Tuesday morning at the State House. The public hearing is slated to take place at 11:00 AM and is being held by the Financial Services Committee. The hearing will oversee bills filed by Governor Charlie Baker, among others, which have been aimed against Uber and another ride-hailing service known as Lyft.

The ongoing tension between the companies is a consequence in part due to the difference in regulation standards applied to each service. Taxi companies face heavy regulations, whereas the ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft face little to no regulations. It seems as though anyone can sign up to be an Uber driver so long as they have a valid license and access to their own vehicle. And while the Uber Company has released statements recently claiming that they do in fact regulate their drivers—it still appears as though they have a lot of work to do. Employees of taxi companies believe that if each of these companies is offering the same general services to individuals that they should all be held to the same standards of regulation. The bill proposed by Governor Charlie Baker calls for a heavier regulation to the Uber and Lyft services—regulations that would more closely mirror the ones implemented in regards to the taxi companies.

Governor Baker’s bill calls for the requirement of Uber drivers and other ride-hailing services to undergo state criminal background checks. There has been an increase of Uber related issues in the past few months and those closely following the cases will agree that criminal background checks should have been required from the beginning of the company’s creation. Women have been sexually assaulted by their Uber drivers, and others have suffered through car accidents during their Uber rides as well. In addition to Governor Baker’s call for criminal background checks, he is also calling for each ride to carry at least $1 million in liability insurance. The hope is to not only settle the disagreement between taxi companies and ride-hailing services, but also to ensure the safety of each customer partaking in these services.

In addition to the issues posed by regulation differences, taxi companies also feel as though their profits are suffering at the hands of ride-hailing services. Uber and Lyft allow customers to book and pay for their services via an application on their smart phone. This ability has become progressively more common, and perhaps more trendy, as often times these services are being put to use by younger individuals who may need a ride home after a night out on the town. The convenience of being able to hail an Uber ride in under thirty seconds after a few short clicks on their iPhone is hard to compete with. As of yet, taxi companies have not begun to offer a similar service. And in the golden age of technology—it could be something that proves beneficial if they hope to stay relevant in the long run.

Regardless of whether or not you enjoy the fingertip convenience of an Uber app or if you prefer to call a cab the old-fashioned way, the general consensus is that Uber and Lyft services still need to be regulated for safety and security purposes going forward into the future.

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In spite of the fact that we have yet to officially move into the fall months, Boston Public Works are not wasting any time in their preparations for the winter to come. Starting on Thursday the city will begin welcoming new truckloads of salt to the Public Works site located on Frontage Road. The shipment arriving on Thursday will be the first of many as Boston prepares to brace themselves for another winter projected to mirror the brutal one it faced last year.

According to reports, the Public Works facility on Frontage Road received approximately 3,000 tons of salt from large dump trucks and is scheduled to receive an additional 9,000 tons of salt next week. Other facilities in surrounding cities had already begun to equip themselves with the necessary road salt they will need ahead of this forthcoming winter season.

The Farmer’s Almanac, popular for providing a longstanding tradition of projecting weather patterns for the upcoming seasons, has predicted that the Boston region should expect “above-average” snowfall this winter…again. Last year, areas of Massachusetts reached record setting numbers when they amassed over 110.6 inches of snow. The DPW supervisor for Boston, Daniel Nee, said he and his employees are still reeling from the lengthy workdays they experienced last year. He went on to say that between February and March of this last winter season, he worked 72 days straight. “Everyone was going 24/7, there was no rest.” Reports indicate that removal crews extracted roughly 40,000 truckloads worth of snow last year. Due to the impending Almanac prediction, public workers in the region are not taking their chances and are taking all necessary precautions. Continue reading

A 75 year old man from Ayer, Massachusetts sustained non-life threatening injuries after experiencing an accident on his all-terrain vehicle on Sunday, although some reports have suggested that the accident took place on Monday night. A clear distinction in the matter was not immediately made available by news agencies. The man seriously injured in the crash, who has been identified as Tom Bonnell, had been transporting a black bear he had hunted in the area at the time the accident took place.

According to preliminary reports released for the accident, New Hampshire Fish and Game Conservation officers have stated that the incident occurred on Ossipee Mountain near Moultonborough, New Hampshire. Reports have indicated that Tom Bonnell was descending Ossipee Mountain when he lost control of his all-terrain vehicle, or ATV. The exact events leading up to the accident have not been provided at this time, but responding officers have stated that Bonnell’s ATV rolled over, causing his injuries. It was at this time that Bonnell had been propelled from his vehicle and onto the rough, sloping terrain of the mountain. Officials have indicated that Tom Bonnell had not been wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. Continue reading

One woman’s reckless driving has caused a fatal crash in Vermont that took the lives of two people. The crash occurred Thursday at approximately 12:30 PM in Fonda Junction, Vermont along Route 7. Route 7, which is also known as St. Albans Road, had to be shut down for about six hours following the accident.

Investigators responding to the scene have stated that the driver of the vehicle that had been traveling erratically has been identified as 35 year old Maria Carlson of Swanton, Vermont. According to preliminary reports, Carlson had been driving her truck northbound along Route 7 when she lost control of her vehicle and crashed into a nearby telephone pole. Carlson did not stop there however. After hitting the telephone pole, Carlson drove through a neighboring yard and back out onto the road. Once she reached the road, she drove head-on into a car that had been driving past. Both individuals in that other vehicle were killed during this accident.

The victims have been identified as 68 year old Diane Bohannon and 67 year old Robert Benjamin, both of Alburg, Vermont. Diane Bohannon was driving the car at the time of the accident and was pronounced dead on scene. Robert Benjamin was transported to Northwest Medical Center where he died a short time later. Maria Carlson was treated for non-life threatening injuries following the crash. The extent and nature of her injuries was not made immediately available.

A witness was cooperating with investigators following the crash and told law enforcement officials that they had seen Maria Carlson driving at speeds close to 100 MPH before she initially crashed into the telephone pole. When Carlson was question by responding police officers about the accident she caused, she told the officers that she had no recollection of the crash or the events prior. Police are investigating into whether or not Carlson may have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol during the accident. Reports have not indicated if responding officers administered a breathalyzer test following Carlson’s arrest.

Officially, Maria Carlson is being charged with gross negligent operation resulting in a death. Further information on possible arraignment dates or additionally charges has not been made available at this time. It is unclear if Carlson has obtained a lawyer for her case. Following the accident, Maria Carlson was admitted to the hospital to seek treatment for her injuries. Once released from the hospital, she was ordered to be held on bail until her arraignment could take place.

As a result of the crash, the telephone pole came down and effected electrical lines in the surrounding area. Swanton Electric Company arrived on scene to help restore power to the area in order for law enforcement officials to allow people to gain access to the road again.

State Police officials in Vermont have asked for individuals who may have witnessed the accident or the events leading up to the crash to please contact them with any relevant information. This information could possible aid law enforcement officials in their investigation into the matter.


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A young child is in critical condition after an accident that took place in Lynn, Massachusetts on Wednesday afternoon. Initial reports have indicated that a 3 year old boy was struck by a car as the vehicle was turning a corner. According to police officers responding to the scene, the boy had been standing on the sidewalk with his older brother when the older child lost his hold on the young boy. Shortly thereafter, the young boy ran into the street and was struck by a vehicle that was reportedly being driven by an elderly individual. Identities for the victim and the driver of the vehicle have not been released at this time.

Lynn Fire Chief Steve Archer has stated that the accident took place Wednesday afternoon around 1:00 PM at the intersection of Western Ave and Franklin Street in Lynn. The young boy and his older brother had apparently being waiting outside while their mother was finishing up at a laundromat just steps away. Following the accident, the child was immediately transported via ambulance to Massachusetts General Hospital where he is currently listed as being in stable but critical condition in the hospital’s pediatric intensive care unit. Reports have indicated that the child was conscious at the time that he was being transported to the hospital. According to the law enforcement officials investigating the matter, the child had suffered a broken leg after being hit by the vehicle. The child had surgery on Wednesday night at approximately 8:30 PM following his admittance to the hospital in an effort to repair the damage. Lynn Police Lieutenant Dave Brown has stated that all reports indicate that the child is expected to be okay. Lieutenant Dave Brown went on to say that authorities are not immediately aware of any internal injuries the child may have suffered in addition to the broken leg.

The investigation into the matter is ongoing. Police have not indicated if they are going to pursue charges against the elderly driver in regards to the accident. It appears as though the individual operating the vehicle may not have been able to see the small child dart into the street prior to striking him. Lieutenant Glenn Dunnigan has indicated that the child had gone underneath the vehicle after being struck but that he had not been pinned underneath the car following the accident. Law enforcement officials have not stated if there were any additional factors that could have contributed to this accident taking place. It appears as though there may not have been enough time between when the child ran into the road and when he was struck for the operator of the vehicle to have proper time to react and avoid the situation. It is not clear at this time if the driver of the vehicle suffered any injuries during the incident.

More information regarding the accident and the possible charges against the driver are expected to be released in the upcoming days.

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If you have ever driven in Boston, you are familiar with the difficulties this provides on a near constant basis. Rotaries, one way streets, freeway exits appearing almost out of thin air when you’re trying to figure out how to get out of the tunnel and over to the airport. Government Center to Logan and back again. These situations would be difficult to navigate on their own—but when you add in the fact that Boston is currently listed as having the worst drivers in the country—it makes these issues even more problematic to deal with.

In an annual ranking conducted by Allstate Insurance, Boston was found to have the worst drivers in the country out of a list of 200 large cities. Two other cities in Massachusetts, Springfield and Worcester, also finished in the bottom five, with Springfield placing at number 196 and Worcester at number 199. When Allstate conducted the same research last year for their 2014 report, they found that Worcester, Massachusetts had the worst drivers in the nation. Apparently, they have become slightly less terrible in the past year and now Massachusetts’ largest city has taken over the bottom tier ranking. Nearby Providence, Rhode Island also placed poorly, finishing at number 195 on Allstate’s “America’s Best Drivers” report. It must be a New England thing.

Of the cities pooled to create the report, Allstate found that Kansas City drivers were the best nationwide. Brownsville, Texas finished as the runner up coming in second place behind Kansas City. Other notable cities that were found to be in possession of the best drivers were Boise, Idaho, Fort Collins, Colorado, followed by Cape Coral, Florida to complete the top five spots on the insurance company’s list. Continue reading

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