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.

Articles Posted in Car Accidents

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

With the new school year beginning this week in many Massachusetts communities, Altman & Altman would like to pass along some valuable safety information and tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and remind all drivers, students and parents to make safety a priority this year.


NHTSA 41-15

“Students travel to school by a variety of means: school bus (the safest means of transportation to and from school), walking, bikes, public transportation, or in vehicles with family or friends. It is everyone’s responsibility to use caution and stay focused and alert around traffic to ensure children can travel to and from school safely.

According to NHTSA data, from 2004 to 2013, there were 327 school-age children who died in school-transportation-related crashes; 54 were occupants of school transportation vehicles, 147 were occupants of other vehicles, 116 were pedestrians, and 9 were pedalcyclists. There were more school-age pedestrians killed between the hours of 7 and 8 a.m. and between 3 and 4 p.m than any other hours of the day.

To further enhance school transportation safety, NHTSA offers the following traffic tips for everyone (motorists, children and their parents):

Motorists should drive with extra caution around children going to/from school:

  • Obey signs, signals, and crossing guards in school zones.
  • Slow down especially with children walking/biking to school and around bus stops and in school zones and in low light or bad weather.
  • Learn and obey the school bus laws in your State.
  • Drive focused and alert at all times. Avoid use of electronic devises and other distracting behaviors while driving.
  • Ensure everyone in the vehicle is buckled up properly and that children are in the back seat in the proper seat.
  • Drop off so the child does not have to cross the street, and then avoid U-turns.
  • Look for and expect to see pedestrians and bicyclists, especially before and after school.

School bus riders are safest when children:

  • Stay three giant steps (six feet) away from the curb when waiting for the bus; and when the school bus arrives, wait until the driver says to board.
  • Quickly board the school bus, find a seat, sit facing the front, and do what the school bus driver and safety patrols say to do.
  • Getting off the bus, cross in front at least five giant steps (10 feet) away and look left-right-left for traffic. Wait for the driver to signal it is safe to cross

Walking to school is safer when children:

  • Walk with an adult, responsible older sibling, or in a group.
  • Walk on the sidewalk if there is one, or walk facing traffic as close to the edge as possible.
  • Walk focused and alert. Never use electronics when crossing the street.
  • Pay attention to their surroundings and don’t play with, push or shove others.
  • Cross at a corner, in a crosswalk, or with a pedestrian WALK signal.
  • Stop and look left-right-left for all traffic, including bicycles, before crossing. Cross only when it is clear.
  • Wear bright colors and/or use lights or reflective gear to be more visible to motorists.

Biking to and from school is safer when children and adults alike:

  • Wear and buckle a properly fit helmet every ride.
  • Wear bright colors and/or use lights or reflective wear to be more visible to motorists.
  • Have a good grasp of traffic safety rules including riding in the same direction as traffic and stopping at all stop signs and signals.
  • Choose safe routes to ride, including streets with lower traffic volume and speeds.
  • Ride focused and alert—never using electronics or both ear buds while riding.”

Each year, thousands of children are injured in school bus accidents and pedestrian accidents. Having your child be involved in any type of injurious accident is traumatic and is something that no parent should ever have to endure.

If you or your child has been injured as the result of another person’s negligence, the first step is to get immediate medical attention, and then call an experienced personal lawyer to understand your options about possibly filing a liability suit. At the office of Altman & Altman, we have nearly 50 years of experience in handling all types of personal injury cases and we understand that being involved in any accident can be confusing and emotionally taxing. With our experience and knowledge we ensure our clients receive the compensation they are entitled to. Call us for a free initial consultation. Our attorneys are always available to answer any questions you may have about your case via telephone, in person, or through email.

 

Information taken from NHTSA.gov.

Distracted driving can lead to a number of serious accidents—sometimes with fatal results. A few states have recently placed a new law in effect that bans drivers from being on their phone, whether to take a call or send a text, while they are operating a vehicle. The hope is that if people were to put down their phones, they would remain alert to their surroundings and drive safely. A recent incident in Maine is proving, however, that even if the driver isn’t the one holding the phone, they can still become distracted by the devices anyway. A man from Hampden, Maine lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a tree after he attempted to take a “selfie” with the passengers in his car. That’s right—he took his eyes off the road in an effort to squeeze himself into a picture that was being taken inside of the vehicle he was actively operating.

29 year old Jordan Toner has officially been charged with failing to maintain control of a car while being distracted following the incident that took place in Orient, Maine on Saturday. According to reports provided by Maine State Police, Toner lost control of his 2014 Mazda CX5 and crashed into a tree shortly after 1:30 PM. Jordan Toner was driving along Deering Lake Road with several passengers when one of his friends decided they wanted to take a “selfie”. Toner allegedly leaned over in an effort to join in the picture taking, and that was when he swerved off the road and into a nearby tree. Reportedly, two women were in the front seat beside Toner and neither of them had been wearing seatbelts at the time of the accident. The two women experienced the most serious injuries during the crash, with one suffering a fractured nose and facial lacerations and the other sustained neck and back injuries from the impact. Continue reading

Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of teen fatalities in the United States. Every year, an estimated 5,000 teens die and approximately 400,000 are severely injured. When comparing statistics to those for adults, the risk of a collision is four times greater for  drivers between the ages of 16 and 19. Lack of experience and maturity are largely to blame for the high rate of collisions among teens. Additionally, misinterpreting or underestimating the risks involved with certain driving behaviors can lead to hazardous choices.

Teen males are particularly susceptible to motor vehicle accidents. In fact, statistics show that young males are over one and-a-half times more likely to die in a crash than females. To lower these statistics, it is essential for parents to educate their teens on common causes of teen crashes. By stressing the importance of utilizing safe driving practices, and the consequences of risky behaviors, you can help reduce the number of serious accidents involving teenage drivers.

Speeding

About one-third of fatal teen car accidents involve speeding. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Research Institute interviewed teen focus groups across the country. The majority of those polled considered speeding to be “over 10 miles above the speed limit,” and more than half admitted to regularly speeding. The Governor’s Highway Safety Association reports that teen speeding fatalities were up from 30% in 2000 to 33% in 2012. Many agencies, such as the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, are concerned that the recent focus on teens and distracted driving has taken attention away from working to decrease teenage speeding accidents.

Drinking and Driving

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that one in 10 high school teens drinks and drives. When the CDC surveyed high school students over the age of 16, a substantial number of students admitted to driving while under the influence at least once within the past 30 days. Although teenage drinking and driving has decreased by 54% since 1991, approximately 85% of those polled reported binge drinking (having five or more drinks) within two to three hours before driving. Perhaps the most common form of teenage rebellion, exploration, and peer pressure, teen drinking and driving greatly influences the high rate of car accidents involving young people in the United States. Continue reading

A car that had been driving erratically, nearly avoiding multiple crashes, ended up colliding with a toll booth yesterday and killed the driver of the vehicle following the impact. The fiery crash happened on the Everett Turnpike in Merrimack, New Hampshire on Thursday afternoon. New Hampshire State Police arrived on scene shortly after the accident occurred.

According to reports, a 2006 red BMW had been reported for driving erratically earlier in the afternoon, around 1:00 PM. The car had been traveling south toward Bedford and Merrimack at the time of the initial call for their behavior. It was during this time that the driver of the BMW, who has yet to be identified by police pending family notification, narrowly avoided causing multiple accidents while reaching speeds close to 100 MPH. The BMW had apparently caused a minor crash with a pickup truck during this time period before they barely swerved out of the way in time to avoid a motorcyclist as well as a dump truck traveling along the same highway. Continue reading

A man who was renowned in the Washington D.C. area for the countless hours he spent impersonating Batman at local hospitals has died following a car accident on a highway in Maryland. The man, 51 year old Leonard Robinson of Owing Mills, Maryland, was struck and killed while he was attempting to check the engine of his “Batmobile” along the eastbound I-70 highway on Sunday night. According to police reports, the crash took place at approximately 10:30 PM that evening.

Responding officers have stated that Robinson was hit by a Toyota Camry shortly after he pulled over to inspect the engine of his vehicle, a Lamborghini he had customized to look like a real-life Batmobile. Robinson was apparently coming home from a car show when he suddenly had to pull over in the fast lane in order to check issues he appeared to be having with his engine. It was around this time that the unidentified driver of the Toyota Camry struck Robinson’s Lamborghini, which in turn struck Robinson following the impact—he was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the Toyota Camry did not suffer any injuries during the accident, and investigation into the circumstances surrounding the crash is still ongoing. State police responding to the scene have said that no charges have been filed against the driver at this time.

Leonard Robinson first gained national attention after he was filmed being pulled over by police in 2012 while he was driving his Batmobile in full Batman attire. Before then, however, he was well known for adorning himself in a replica Batman suit in order to visit sick children at nearby hospitals. Reports have indicated that Robinson made his fair share of wealth in the cleaning business and made the decision to purchase over $25,000 worth of Batman shirts, toys, and books that he then gave to the children he was visiting in the hospital. Those who knew Robinson as the man and not just the hero have revered his dedication to bringing smiles to the children who needed it the most. He would frequently visit the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, and on one visit he took time to reflect on the vast injustices these children were facing every single day. Robinson himself had three healthy children—perhaps a driving factor in his decision to devote so much time to children who weren’t as fortunate.

He was also acclaimed for his work for the organization Hope for Henry, a D.C. based organization that provides help to children in need. If you asked Robinson about his time as Batman, he would simply answer “I’m just doing it for the kids.” But to the kids his visits meant so much more. The founders of Hope for Henry, who established the organization after the couple’s son Henry passed away from a rare disease, would often throw parties where Batman would become the star centerpiece. Laurie Strongin, founder of Hope for Henry, said that while Batman star Leonard Robinson never met her son, he would still call her every year on what would have been Henry’s birthday. Through her tears she was able to provide comments to the Washington Post, and she detailed how her organization had just completed a video starring Leonard as Batman alongside a young Leukemia patient, also impersonating Batman. Strongin said that Robinson always said “yes” when asked to do anything to help out the children.

Further details on the accident are expected to be provided in the days to follow. For now, however, those who knew Leonard Robinson as a hero and as a friend will mourn for the man who gave so much for others without asking for anything in return.

Additional information and quotes may be found at the following links: http://www.wcvb.com/news/batman-impersonator-dies-in-highway-crash/34758078

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/route-29-batman-is-killed-after-his-car-breaks-down-along-a-maryland-highway/2015/08/17/13f0e9b2-44e3-11e5-8ab4-c73967a143d3_story.html

Dealing with property damage insurance claims after a motor vehicle accident that takes place in Massachusetts can be overwhelming and confusing. The questions of which party caused the accident, whether it was based on negligence, and what kind of insurance policies both drivers have are all taken into consideration. A basic understanding of policy limits, collision coverage, and comprehensive coverage can be immensely helpful in the event of an accident. If you are involved in an accident, it is in your best interest to contact an attorney immediately. Without legal representation, knowing your rights and interpreting certain information may be a challenge. For example, the insurance adjuster may present a damage repair estimate that is much different than the one you have obtained. Understanding the legal aspects of motor vehicle accidents and property damage is essential to protecting your rights and obtaining compensation if the other driver is at fault.

Understanding Policy Limits

When damage to your vehicle is a result of another driver’s negligence, it can be covered only up to the policy limit of that driver’s insurance coverage. Their insurance company is only required to pay out the amount available in the plan they have chosen. If the damage is less than their policy offers, the other driver’s insurer will send a check for the full amount of damages determined by estimates and property worth. However, if the damage exceeds the amount their plan covers, you will have to examine your own policy’s collision coverage to determine if the difference will be covered.

Understanding Collision Coverage

With collision coverage, your insurance policy will cover the amount of damage to your vehicle (minus the deductible) regardless of who was liable. However, the amount may not exceed policy limits. In order to use your collision coverage to subsidize the difference between the damage amount and the other driver’s property damage coverage, your collision coverage must exceed the at-fault driver’s property damage coverage. This only applies to auto insurance. If a building was damaged, such as a garage or home, your homeowner’s insurance policy would determine how to proceed.   Continue reading

Texting and driving is extremely dangerous, and in some states the action is even illegal. The number of vehicle related accidents that can be directly tied to phone distraction is on the rise. However, a few up-and-coming phone applications have been developed in an effort to combat these accidents from occurring at such a high volume. A range of different options allows drivers and cellphone enthusiasts to select the app they feel best suits their needs while they are on the road. As Boston car accident lawyers we often see what can happen when a driver briefly takes his or her eyes off the road. Sometimes it can be a minor fender bender other times it can be catastrophic.

For those of you who struggle with completely disconnecting yourself from your phone while you travel, app developers are hoping they can lend you a hand (figuratively and literally) to assist in your debacle. Keeping both hands on the wheel and remaining alert and attentive are the most important things you can do while you are driving. The first of these options provided for hands-free driving is an app by the name of Auto SMS. This application is described as being an auto-response to both text messages and phone calls received while traveling in your vehicle. Auto SMS will automatically respond to all phone calls and text messages received when the application is set to a “text-to-speech” setting. In addition to responding to your messages, the application also has the ability to read the text messages aloud to you so that you are aware of who is contacting you and what the matter is regarding. Auto SMS has a variety of settings that you can adjust to best suit your needs, offering you the ability to auto respond to certain people at certain times and the manner in which you would like to respond to these individuals. Continue reading

Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be overwhelming, especially while recovering from a subsequent injury. Stress is likely to increase when the driver at fault has inadequate auto insurance coverage or no coverage at all. To protect yourself from unnecessary medical and property damage expenses, it is important to include uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage in your plan. The Insurance Research Council’s latest report reveals that, although the number of uninsured motorists has experienced a downward trend over the past five years, the amount of uninsured claims has increased an estimated 75%. In 2012, insurance companies paid out over $2 million in uninsured / under insured motorist claims.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured motorist coverage allows you to make a claim against your own insurance company when the at-fault driver carries no auto insurance. Although there is an option to sue the at-fault driver, it is likely that he or she will not have the funds to compensate you. Claims against your own insurance company can be as high as the limit of coverage and will cover both property damage and medical expenses.

The statute of limitations for uninsured motorist claims typically provides a very short period during which to file. Therefore, it is in your best interest to report a claim as soon as possible. Try to exchange insurance information with the at-fault driver at the scene of the accident. If the driver does not comply, ask the police officer involved to check the insurance information of everyone involved. Continue reading

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that a person is injured in a car accident every 10 seconds. Crashes affect approximately three million Americans annually. From fender benders to catastrophic collisions, car accidents can be costly.  Statistics show that motor vehicle accidents are the leading type of traumatic event for men, and the second most frequent trauma for women in the United States. The psychological effects of even the most minor accident may become debilitating over time. Anxiety, depression, phobias, and post-traumatic stress disorder are the most common conditions experienced by car accident victims. These issues may call for medical attention or time away from work.  Our Massachusetts car accident lawyers have seen how such a trauma can effect accident victims.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

A recent study reveals that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects 10% to 45% of car accident victims. While feelings of fear, loss of control, anxiety, and stress are typical responses after any kind of trauma, they tend to dissipate over time. What differentiates PTSD from these other conditions is the long lasting or recurring nature of the symptoms. These symptoms may include:

  • Re-experiencing Symptoms – Often referred to as flashbacks, this is when a victim has episodes of physically and emotionally re-living the accident. This may also manifest through nightmares and other negative experiences.
  • Avoidance – This is a defense mechanism used to keep the victim from initiating memories of the crash. He or she may avoid the site of the crash, or any people involved that trigger anxiety.
  • Changing beliefs – A traumatic car accident may induce a shift in a victim’s perspective of people, activities, or self-image. This is usually considered as another avoidance mechanism. New feelings of fear, guilt, and shame are common.
  • Hyper-arousal – This is when an accident victim exhibits a nervous, hyper-alert state. He or she has trouble releasing tension and may have difficulty focusing or sleeping.

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