Drunk driving still ranks high among the top causes of accidents in the state of Massachusetts. While Massachusetts is considered one of the safest countries in terms of drunk driving, there is still a considerable risk of being involved in a drunk driving accident. The rate of DUI fatalities in the state of Massachusetts is 45% lower than the national rate. While this may be a bit comforting for Massachusetts residents, there is still a major cause for concern. A reported 2.1% of drivers in the state choose to drink and drive compared to only 1.9% of drivers in the country. These figures make the drunk driving statistics of Massachusetts rather paradoxical.
As opposed to other traffic accidents, in a drunk driving accident, the drunk driver willingly puts their own lives and the lives of others at risk. Despite being fully aware of the potentially severe risks involved, the driver still chooses to get behind the wheel while intoxicated. Drunk driving accidents are completely avoidable and foreseeable, however, they still end up causing many injuries and deaths each year.
If you or a loved one has been harmed by a drunk driver, a seasoned Brockton DUI accident lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve. The at-fault driver needs to be held accountable for their poor decisions. You need not suffer alone while the culpable party runs free. Our team of compassionate and understanding car accident lawyers at Robert Shea are committed to helping drunk driving accident victims get the justice and compensation that they deserve. Call us today at 508-506-5681 to talk to one of our experienced attorneys.
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Drunk Driving Statistics In Massachusetts
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2018, there were a total of 120 alcohol-related driving fatalities in the state of Massachusetts accounting for 33.3% of all traffic-related fatalities. Under 21 alcohol-related driving fatalities accounted for 29.4% of all teen car crash fatalities.
In the state, residents aged between the ages of 21 and 34 carry the highest risk of dying in a drunk-driving car accident. There is a great disparity when it comes to gender with men more than three times as likely to die from a DUI accident compared to women.
What Are The BAC Limits In Massachusetts?
While 0.08% is generally considered the accepted blood alcohol limit, the state of Massachusetts applies separate BAC levels to drivers depending on their age and occupation:
For drivers below the age of 21, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content of 0.02% or higher. This is mainly because young drivers are less experienced and are more prone to engaging in risky behavior. However, it is still important to note that it is illegal for people below the age of 21 to drink alcohol.
For drivers operating commercial drivers, the BAC limit is set at 0.04%. Keep in mind that commercial vehicles such as large trucks should be driven with extra care.
For drivers aged 21 or above, the allowed BAC limit is 0.08%.
What To Do After An Accident With A Drunk Driver?
After being involved in a drunk driving accident, you need to take the following steps to protect your rights:
Call the police
You should always contact the police after being involved in any car accident, especially if it involves a drunk driver, injury, death, or property damage. You need them to file an official police report.
Assess your situation
You need to take a look around to determine whether others involved in the crash are okay and call emergency responders. And if possible, move your car to a safer area. Do not leave the scene until the responding police allow you to.
It is crucial that you get the names, contact details, and insurance information of the other driver. But if the driver is behaving in an erratic manner, keep your distance and wait for the police.
Document the scene
Take photos and videos of the scene of the accident and note down any important details such as the smell of alcohol.
Speak to witnesses
If there are any witnesses available at the scene, speak to them and collect their names and contact details.
Seek medical treatment
The sooner you do this, the better. Seeking urgent medical attention not only helps you to recover faster but having your injuries documented by a licensed physician will help in proving your claim.
Contact an attorney
Handling a drunk driving accident claim on your own can be very complicated and frustrating. You need someone who has in-depth knowledge of drunk driving laws. Your attorney will guide you on the best course of action. The sooner you contact an attorney the easier it will be to build a solid case for you.
What Damages Can You Recover After a Drunk Driving Accident in Massachusetts?
Massachusetts operates under the no-fault system, meaning that you are required to pursue compensation from your insurance policy carrier. You can only step out of the no-fault system if your case meets certain criteria. The types of damages you can be awarded include:
These damages are meant to compensate victims for tangible verifiable monetary losses incurred as a result of the accident, and they include medical expenses, past and future lost income, car repair costs, loss of support and services, etc.
These are meant to cover you for subjective losses that can be assigned a monetary value such as mental suffering, pain and suffering, loss of companionship, etc.
These types of damages are not typically awarded in any drunk driving accident claim. They may only be awarded in cases where the drunk driver acted in a malicious, willful, wanton, or reckless manner and caused the death of another motorist.
How Long Do I Have To File A Claim in Massachusetts?
The statute of limitations for personal injury cases including drunk driving accident claims in the state of Massachusetts is three years from the date of the accident.
How Much Will an Attorney Cost?
Fortunately, our drunk driving accident lawyers in Brockton, Massachusetts, provide their services on a contingency fee basis. This means that you don’t have to pay us anything unless we secure a favorable settlement or verdict. We only deduct a certain small agreed-upon percentage from your compensation amount as our payment.
Contact an Experienced Brockton DUI Accident Lawyer Today
If you have suffered serious injuries as a result of an accident caused by a drunk driver, you need to get in touch with a seasoned and reliable personal injury attorney in Brockton as soon as possible. Drunk drivers are prone to making poor decisions such as speeding, aggressive driving, and many other negligent acts leading to very serious accidents and injuries.
It is only fair that you and your family are fully compensated for your losses. We will fight aggressively for your rights and help you get back to your normal life as soon as possible. Get in touch with the Law Office of Robert Shea today at 508-506-5681 for effective legal representation.