Motorists in Massachusetts and elsewhere have a duty of care toward those who they share the road with. If you are involved in an accident with someone who violates this duty, it may be possible to take legal action against that individual. There are several different ways in which a person may engage in negligent or reckless behavior.
Driving while impaired is dangerous
Generally speaking, a reckless act is one in which a person shows a blatant disregard for the safety of others. Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol makes it difficult or impossible to operate a vehicle safely. Consuming drugs or alcohol may make it harder to process information, lower inhibitions and otherwise put yourself and others at risk of being hurt or killed.
Excessive speed is problematic
Driving at a high rate of speed may make it harder to stop or slow down in a timely manner. It may also increase the severity of an accident because the amount of energy created at the point of impact is based on how fast a car is traveling when a collision occurs.
What to do after a crash
The first thing that you should do is stop and check for obvious signs of injury. If there are passengers in your car, make sure that they are alright before calling for help. After calling authorities, gather any evidence that might be available at the scene. Witness statements, photos or videos of the crash may make it easier to prove that your motor vehicle accident was caused by someone else’s reckless behavior. In some cases, more than one party will be liable for any damages that you incur.
Motor vehicle accident cases may be resolved through a negotiated settlement or through a formal trial. It’s possible that a settlement will be reached in your case after a trial date has been set. You may be able to collect a financial award from the defendant’s estate if this person is killed in an accident caused by his or her reckless actions.