For many people, summertime is associated with recreational activities, spending time with friends, and relaxing. This often involves the consumption of alcoholic beverages. With the increase in consumption of alcohol comes an increase in the number of drinking-related accidents that occur in Massachusetts. Although motor vehicle accidents are a common result of drunk driving, many intoxicated motorists also crash into buildings or other property structures, posing a serious risk to pedestrians and persons within the zone of the collision.
A common device that is used to prevent buildings and pedestrians from being struck by motorists is a bollard. These pylons or other solid structures are placed strategically in front of a building or in an area where it is likely that a motorist may crash into the building in order to prevent the vehicle from crashing into the structure. In most cases, the vehicle will collide with the bollard and lose momentum. To protect pedestrians, bollards are often placed between a busy street and a sidewalk.
According to a recent report from CBS Boston, however, Massachusetts does not require bollards to be placed in certain areas. What prompted the report was a recent crash in which a car missed a row of bollards and careened onto the sidewalk, placing pedestrians at risk. Had a few more bollards been in place, the car would have been prevented from traveling onto the busy sidewalk.
Drunk drivers are one of the largest causes of devastating accidents. If you have suffered harm as the result of an intoxicated driver’s negligent or reckless behavior, you may be entitled to compensation. To succeed, you must establish that the defendant owed you a duty of care and failed to act according to that duty, and that you suffered injuries and damages as a result of that failure. When it comes to operating a motor vehicle, we each owe one another a duty to act with the same reasonable care that a prudent person would use in a similar circumstance. This includes obeying any laws or regulations that apply, such as the Massachusetts law prohibiting motorists from operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content level above 0.08 percent. If the plaintiff can show that the defendant failed to adhere to this law at the time the accident occurred, the plaintiff will be entitled to assert a rebuttable presumption that the defendant breached the standard of care. Also, in some situations, the egregiousness of the defendant’s conduct can rise to the level of recklessness. Massachusetts law allows victims of drunk driving accidents to seek punitive damages for reckless behavior.
At the Law Offices of John S. Moffa, we pride ourselves on providing seasoned, compassionate, and personalized legal counsel to accident victims throughout Massachusetts. Going up against insurance companies and figuring out how to navigate the judicial process can be very complicated. If you have been involved in a drunk driving accident, we can guide you through each step of the claim and help you ensure that your rights are asserted throughout the process. Call us now at 1-800-446-4485 or contact us online to set up your free consultation.