Brockton, MA Car Accident Lawyers
The Brockton, Massachusetts, car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman understand the challenges of dealing with all types of motor vehicle accidents:
Regardless of the specifics of your accident involving a motor vehicle, it’s critical for you as a car accident victim to hire experienced and aggressive legal representation in Brockton, Massachusetts.
If you think you’re not at risk for being involved in a car accident or other motor vehicle accident, think again.
Some studies indicate that fatal car accidents are in the decline, thanks in part to safety technology installed in newer motor vehicles.
However, certain studies also show that motor vehicle accidents in general are on the rise because of distracted driving related, in part, to drivers using cellphones and other technology while behind the wheel.What is Distracted Driving in Brockton?
Every day in the United States, approximately nine people are killed and more than 1,000 are injured in motor vehicle crashes that involve a distracted driver, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
What is distracted driving? A person is engaging in distracted driving when he or she is driving while performing another activity that takes his or her attention away from the act of driving.
Distracted driving can increase a driver’s likelihood of being involved in a motor vehicle crash. The CDC explains distracted driving this way: “At 55 m.p.h., sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for about 5 seconds, long enough to cover a football field.”What are the 3 Types of Driving Distractions?
- Visual: A visual distraction is a distraction that causes a driver to take his or her eyes off the road.
- Manual: A manual distraction is a distraction that causes a driver to take his or her hands off the wheel of the vehicle.
- Cognitive: A cognitive distraction is a distraction that causes a driver to take his or her mind off of driving.
Anything that takes a driver’s attention away from driving can be a distraction.
Some examples include:
- Sending a text message
- Talking on a cellphone
- Using a navigation system
- Using an audio system
- Eating and drinking
Texting while driving is considered to be an especially dangerous activity because it combines all three types of distractions—visual, manual and cognitive.Who is Most at Risk for Distracted Driving?
Young people are most at risk for distracted driving.
Consider these statistics as reported by the CDC:
- Drivers under the age of 20 have the highest proportion of fatal crashes involving distraction.
- 9% of all teen motor vehicle crash deaths in 2017 involved distracted driving.
The agency’s national Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System looks at health-risk behaviors among high school students, including behaviors like texting or emailing while driving.
Recent YRBSS findings include:
- 42% of high school students who drove in the past 30 days in 2017 reported sending a text or email while driving.
- Students who reported frequent texting while driving were less likely to wear a seatbelt, more likely to ride with a driver who had been drinking and more likely to drink and drive.
Many states are enacting laws that ban texting while driving or are using graduated driver licensing systems for teen drivers. These strategies are aimed at helping raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving and preventing it from taking place.
As for Massachusetts, Governor Charlie Baker signed legislation on Nov. 25, 2019, prohibiting drivers from using cellphones and other electronic devices while driving unless the technology is being used in a “hands-free” mode. The legislation also establishes penalties for violating the law and requires that law enforcement officers report data on violations so the information can be shared with the public.
The law goes into effect Feb. 23, 2020.
More specifically, the new law, known as “An Act requiring the hands-free use of mobile telephones while driving,” bars drivers from reading or viewing text or looking at images or video, unless what is being viewed on the device is helping with navigation and the device is mounted in an appropriate location. In addition, drivers are prohibited from making phone calls unless they are able to do so without physically holding the phone via technology such as Bluetooth.
The new law allows drivers to use electronic devices if they are being used to respond to an emergency and needed for first responders to perform their jobs. It also permits use if drivers are stationary and not in active lanes of travel.
Punishment for violating the hands-free law includes a $100 fine for a first offense, $250 fine for a second offense and $500 fine for a third or subsequent offense. A third or subsequent offense will count as a surchargeable incident, and drivers who commit a second or subsequent offense are required to complete an educational program on distracted driving prevention.What Should you do if you are in an Accident With a Distracted Driver?
If you believe you’ve been involved in a car accident with a distracted driver in Brockton, MA or elsewhere in Massachusetts, or if you’ve been involved in any motor vehicle accident in Brockton, MA or elsewhere in Massachusetts, obtain prompt medical treatment.
Collect contact information for the parties involved and any witnesses at the scene. Document the accident scene to the best of your ability by taking cellphone pictures and making detailed notes.
Your next step is to speak with an experienced Brockton, MA car accident attorney about the proper course of action. Don’t delay. A personal injury attorney in Brockton, MA will help you understand your rights under the law and review all of the options that you have.
Importantly, a personal injury lawyer will perform a thorough investigation of the accident and work to gather evidence of the other driver’s negligence, including evidence that the other driver was using a cellphone at the time of the crash or otherwise distracted. A lawyer will also explore whether anyone else is legally responsible for your injuries.
Your personal injury attorney will also work with the other driver’s auto insurer on your behalf to make sure you’re being treated fairly and receive full compensation for your injuries.
If the at-fault driver’s insurance policy does not provide enough coverage to reimburse you for your injuries, you might be able to recover under your own insurance policy. An attorney will help you make that determination and protect your rights.
If an insurance company contacts you, refer the insurer to your Brockton, MA car accident lawyer and refrain from making any other statement. You’re not obligated to speak to the insurance company. A common mistake is prematurely accepting a settlement offer. Even minor car accident injuries can turn into major ones.Consult With an experienced Brockton, MA Car Accident Lawyer
A car accident lawyer should be aggressive, skilled at negotiations and experienced in dealing with auto insurance companies. Insurance companies are infamous for using strategies to delay or dodge their payment obligations, and a seasoned lawyer can help you cut through insurance company red tape.
Keep in mind that car accident claims can be complex, especially if the injuries are serious or catastrophic, multiple vehicles are involved or there are special circumstances such as issues involving distracted or otherwise impaired driving, uninsured or underinsured motorists or vehicles being used in the scope of employment.
Every car accident case is different. The key to a successful outcome is personalized legal advice tailored to your situation and the facts of your case.
The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman has successfully handled car accident claims on behalf of individuals in Brockton, MA.
Schedule your free consultation with a Brockton car accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman. Call (617) 367-2900 or contact us online.