In states like Massachusetts, someone who owns a vehicle might not have to directly cause an accident to face penalties for the outcome. One rule known as the Family Car Doctrine, for instance, holds parents legally liable for any damage caused by minors who drive their vehicles. This rule can be applied regardless of whether the at-fault driver was insured by the family. In other cases, car owners may face penalties for accidents that occur after they permit individuals who are known to be dangerous drivers to operate their vehicles.
Motorcyclists are not protected by seat belts or airbags and their machines have no crumple zones to absorb the energy of colliding vehicles. They often suffer catastrophic injuries after being struck by a car, truck or SUV, and studies show that a great many of these accidents are caused by distracted, reckless or impaired passenger vehicle drivers.
A report into the habits of teen drivers compiled by researchers at Liberty Mutual will likely make difficult reading for parents of teenage drivers in Massachusetts and around the country. Almost 70 percent of the teens polled told researchers that they routinely use the apps installed on their smartphones while behind the wheel, and only 6 percent felt that this was the most distracting form of driver behavior. The results of a study of drivers of all ages sponsored by the nonprofit National Safety Council was equally alarming. Almost three quarters of the drivers surveyed by the NSC said that they had no problem accessing Facebook while driving.
On any given day or night, there are a lot of sleep-deprived people driving around in Massachusetts. Though the behavior is dangerous, drowsy driving is often overlooked as a leading cause of fatal car accidents. A report has pointed out the dangers of drowsy driving, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has decided to include drowsy driving in its list of impaired driving causes alongside drugged, drunk and distracted driving.
When the weather in Massachusetts warms up during the summer months, a lot more people decide to go swimming. Every year, a number of people drown in swimming pools that are located at private residences, parks and commercial properties such as hotels. The owner of a property with a pool owes a duty of care to their visitors and may be held liable for a drowning that occurs in their pool.
A notorious stretch of Massachusetts highway was the scene of another serious traffic accident on Aug. 4. A 45-year-old woman was left fighting for her life when the SUV she was traveling in on Interstate 495 in Middlesex County was struck by a semi-tractor trailer. The driver of the SUV and two children were also injured in the crash, which took place in Littleton at about 3:00 p.m.
Massachusetts residents may be aware of the recent fatal drunk driving accident that involved a former NASA astronaut. The 59-year-old former pilot and shuttle commander was charged with reckless murder after he killed two children in a car accident in Alabama on June 6. The victims’ custodial parent has also filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the man in federal court.
People that own commercial properties in Massachusetts can be found liable for accidents that occur on their premises. Commercial property owners may mitigate their risk of being sued by injured parties by purchasing premises liability insurance coverage. The owners, operators and lessees of airport spaces usually purchase this type of insurance coverage so that they are not found responsible for the tenant’s negligent actions.
The June tragedy at the Pulse Night Club in Orlando shocked many Massachusetts residents. The event should also serve as an important reminder to bar and club owners of the importance of having strong security measures in place in order to prevent their patrons from suffering serious personal injuries or fatalities in the event something goes wrong.
Massachusetts shoppers who slip and fall on a wet floor may have a legal claim against the owner. These types of accidents result in thousands of civil lawsuits around the country each year. Shopping injuries are surprisingly common and often result from a failure to properly secure the shopping area of a store. From wet floors to items left out in the open for customers to trip over, stores are required to maintain an environment that is reasonably free of hazards.