Boston Drunk Driving Accident Attorney
Boston is a city to satisfy sports enthusiasts, history buffs, food lovers, and more. With its amazing downtown restaurants and bars, it is not uncommon for tourists and residents alike to enjoy one too many cocktails along the way. While this may not become of great consequence for many, those who decide to get behind the wheel after drinking pose deadly risks to themselves and others
If you have been a victim of a drunk driving accident, you should not have to be stuck dealing with the horrifying repercussions on your own. You deserve justice for everything you had to endure because another person decided to get behind the wheel drunk.
That is why the Boston drunk driving accident lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers LLP are here for you, ready to take on this fight and go after the justice and financial recovery you are entitled to. Contact us for a free case evaluation, and read on for more information about our team and drunk driving accidents in Boston.
Jacoby & Meyers LLP—About Our Legal Team
The law firm of Jacoby & Meyers LLP provides top-rated legal representation to victims of severe injustices. Today, our firm represents victims in all types of personal injury claims, providing compassionate, skilled legal representation they need.
Since our founding in 1972, our law firm has collected millions of dollars in jury verdicts and settlement awards for our clients, including a $1,272,000 settlement for a 20-year-old group-home counselor who was hit head-on by a drunk driver while on their way home.
While we cannot guarantee any particular result in any case we take on, when you work with Jacoby & Meyers LLP, you can rest assured that our legal team will fight hard for the maximum compensation you deserve.
The Legal Ramifications of Drunk Driving
Under Massachusetts law, driving under the influence of alcohol requires a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or greater. When an individual with this BAC is operating a car and harms another individual, the issue can become a criminal matter. The drunk driver can separately be subject to a personal injury lawsuit by the victims of the accident.
Passengers and motor vehicle drivers are most often the ones harmed in a drunk driving collision. However, in the busy streets of Boston, motorcyclists, pedestrians, and even bicyclists can easily become victims of drunk driving as well. When anyone is injured because a driver chose to drink and get behind the wheel, even if their BAC was less than 0.08, victims have legal recourse to recover compensation for the expenses and impacts they experience as a result.
Jacoby & Meyers LLP is here to help Boston drunk driving victims through this process so that they can receive the compensation they need to move on with their lives the best they can after such a tragedy.
Common Injuries In a Boston Drunk Driving Accident
Drunk driving crashes are often horrific accidents that can cause debilitating injuries to virtually any part of the body. In truth, even those who survive drunk driving accidents rarely escape without any injuries.
While the injuries can range in severity and type, some of the more common drunk driving accident injuries tend to include:
Injuries to the Brain
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) often leave victims struggling with severe emotional, cognitive, and motor disabilities. While mild brain damage may only affect brain cells temporarily, more severe brain injuries like TBI can cause bruising, bleeding, and other physical damage to the brain, which can cause long-term complications and even death.
Injuries to the Spinal Cord
Spinal cord injuries tend to result in a permanent loss of strength, function, and sensation below the injury site. They can also leave victims feeling the effects of this injury emotionally, mentally, and socially.
Injuries to Limbs
Unfortunately, a lost limb, whether from the accident itself or because of a surgical amputation required after a drunk driving accident can leave the victim with severe physical and emotional trauma, and require them to rely upon their spouse, children, family members, and prosthetic devices for the rest of their lives.
Injuries to Soft Tissues
Soft tissue injuries include sprains, strains, and contusions, as well as bursitis and tendinitis. While most soft tissue injuries heal over time, they can still cause many problems for the victim, including issues with mobility and chronic pain, even with proper treatments.
Injuries to Internal Organs
An internal organ can be harmed in a drunk driving vehicle collision, especially if the crash is high-impact. This collision can also lead to internal bleeding and cause the affected organ to fail to perform its essential functions. Kidney damage and liver lacerations are two of the more common internal organ injuries caused by a vehicle accident, and usually require surgery to fix. They can also lead to a lifetime of health complications or even death.
Injuries to Bones
Broken ribs, arms, ankles, legs, pelvis, and wrists are common injuries following a drunk driving accident. The severity of these broken bones depends on the level of impact in the accident and can range from simple breaks that may only require a cast to compound fractures that may require surgery to repair.
Potentially Liable Parties in a Boston Drunk Driving Car Accident Case
Who is liable—legally responsible—following a Boston drunk driving accident? The obvious answer may seem to be the drunk driver, but it’s not always that simple. In fact, in many instances, there may be more than one party responsible for your harm. For this reason alone, it’s important after a drunk driving accident to speak to an experienced Boston drunk driving accident lawyer, such as those at Jacoby & Meyers LLP.
By helping you identify all the parties responsible for your damages, these attorneys can not only hold all those at fault accountable but also identify and recover maximum insurance resources to pay for your damages.
Liable parties in a Boston drunk driving accident may include:
- Intoxicated drivers
- Bars and restaurants; for instance, if a patron became visibly intoxicated at such an establishment and the establishment allowed the patron to leave, and the patron subsequently drove and got into an accident, it may give rise to a “dram shop” cause of action against the establishment
- Employers; if an employer failed to do an adequate background check on, for instance, a truck driver, and employed them despite their having a history of drinking and driving.
Steps You Should Take After a Drunk Driving Accident in Boston
The scene immediately following a Boston drunk driving collision can be hectic and leave you feeling overwhelmed. However, the actions you take in the immediate aftermath of the crash can affect not just your health and safety but your legal rights as well. That is why, following a drunk driving accident, you should consider taking the following steps:
Contact the Authorities Immediately
After a Boston drunk driving crash, you should call 911 immediately. This is the quickest way to get emergency responders and police on the scene. Once the police arrive, they will investigate the collision and write down their findings in their police report. If you decide to pursue legal action, this police report can provide you with important details regarding the incident to support your case. For instance, if the police took a Breathalyzer test of the other driver that showed they were intoxicated, it can be immensely supportive of your argument that the other driver was negligent.
Get Pictures and Videos From The Accident Scene
If you are able, gather evidence from the accident scene. Some of the most valuable evidence you can collect is with your phone—pictures and videos of your injuries, the vehicles involved in the crash, the placement of these cars on the road, weather conditions at the time of the accident, skid marks on the street, traffic signs near the accident scene, any alcohol bottles that you can see in the cars, and the other driver’s conduct.
Get Information From the Other Drivers
Attempt to exchange contact details with all the drivers involved in the crash, including names, numbers, driver’s license numbers, and insurance information. However, if the other motorist is significantly intoxicated, leave it to the police officers to obtain these details, your attorney can later get this information from the police report.
Get Witness Contact Details
If you notice anyone at the scene who saw the crash, try to get their names and contact information as well. These witness statements can often provide helpful information to investigate the drunk driving accident, and they may even be able to provide testimony to support your case.
Keep Track of Bills Following the Crash
To collect the most money for your injuries, you need to have proof of the expenses you have incurred from the accident. Thus, keeping bills, receipts, and medical records associated with the drunk driving accident is immensely important. These documents can provide your attorney with the proof they need to show the damages and losses you endured because of the accident. Keep a record of any expenses you would not have incurred but for the accident.
Try to obtain these records as you go along with your different medical treatments. If you wait too long to get them, these records can potentially get lost, or the process of getting them can take longer and be more difficult.
Get Medical Attention as Soon as Possible
Even if it does not appear you sustained harm requiring emergency treatment, you should still see your doctor as soon as possible following a Boston drunk driving accident. Severe trauma, such as brain and spinal cord injuries, can take weeks to manifest. Yet, the longer you hold off on getting medical treatment, the more fatal these injuries can become. That is why it is best to have a doctor check you over promptly after the accident and get the medical help you need.
In addition, how quickly you get medical treatment after an accident almost always has implications for your legal claim. Following an accident, insurance company adjusters will try to find anything they can to use against you so that they can deny your case or pay out less. By not getting to a doctor soon after the drunk driving accident, the defending party’s insurance company may be able to argue that your harm and losses are not that serious or are the result of a subsequent event.
But when your doctor treats you promptly after your accident, your medical provider can record your injuries in their medical report, providing a direct link between the drunk driving accident and the harm you sustained.
Watch What You Say at the Crash Scene
You need to choose your words carefully at the accident scene. Even if the drunk driver obviously caused the accident, avoid making any definitive statements or take the blame for any part of the incident. These statements—if remembered by the other driver or a witness, or recorded in a police report—could come back later to hurt your case and the amount of money you can recover.
Do Not Talk to the Insurance Company Without First Speaking To Your Attorney
Before you speak to an insurance adjuster, talk with an attorney. As at the accident scene, you want to take care of what you say to an insurance representative, as they could try to use your statements to fight your claim.
Before having any conversations with an insurer, you should reach out to an experienced Boston drunk driving accident lawyer, like those at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP. These attorneys can help you not only understand the pitfalls to avoid with the insurance company if you communicate with the company directly, but your attorney can take over communications with the company on your behalf altogether.
The Statute of Limitations and Drunk Driving Injury Claims in Boston
The statute of limitations is a law that sets the maximum amount of time you have to pursue legal action following an alleged offense. If you do not file your suit within this allotted time, you can be barred from pursuing damages for your injuries and losses.
In Massachusetts, the statute of limitations to file a personal injury claim following a drunk driving accident is three years from the crash date. However, there may be exceptions to the rule that can increase or decrease the amount of time you have to file. That is another reason why it is best not to wait to get legal help. Contact an experienced Boston drunk driving accident lawyer as soon as you can. These attorneys can determine how much time you have to file your case and ensure your legal rights are protected otherwise.
Boston Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer FAQs
After a Boston drunk driving accident, you deserve to know what legal remedies you have to address the consequences of this horrific accident. You may have to endure devastating injuries, debilitating pain, and astronomical medical expenses. You at least shouldn’t have to foot the bill for them—those responsible for the accident should.
Drunk driving accident victims have many questions after their accidents about drunk driving accidents, and about how to protect their legal rights and pursue compensation. Jacoby & Meyers, LLP provides the following FAQ to address some of the most common of these.
1. Is Drunk Driving Prevalent in Massachusetts? What About Boston?
Over nine years, nearly 1,400 individuals died in drunk driving accidents in Massachusetts. In addition, 2.2 percent of people living in Massachusetts reported driving after drinking too much alcohol. In Boston, specifically, the situation may be worse—Boston ranked second in an insurance study of cities with the highest rate of motorists with DUIs.
While drunk driving crashes can occur anywhere in Boston, certain locations are more likely than others to see drunk driving accidents. For instance, Fenway-Kenmore is a tourist favorite because of its historic Fenway Park. As the area is also flooded with bars and restaurants, it tends to be a recipe for deadly drunk driving collisions.
2. What Type of Compensation Am I Entitled To In a Boston Drunk Driving Accident Lawsuit?
If you have been harmed in a Boston drunk driving accident, you may be entitled to certain types of compensation, referred to as damages. These damages may include.
Economic Damages: These damages refer to the actual and measurable losses resulting from an accident, such as:
- Medical bills—past, present, and future. These may include—among other things—doctor visits, surgeries, prescription medications, hospital stays, emergency room visits, and medical devices
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Personal property damages
- At-home nursing care
- Replacement services such as cleaning services, grocery shopping services, and child-care services
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
Non-economic Damages: These damages refer to more subjective losses that occur because of an accident. While they are not as easy to measure as economic damages, courts frequently award them.
They may include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of a limb
Punitive Damages: Unlike the other damages, which compensate the victim for their losses, punitive damages punish the defendant for their egregious actions and deter the defendant and others from engaging in such conduct. However, in Massachusetts, these damages are not allowed unless a person or corporation’s gross negligence or willful or wanton conduct causes a death. Thus, the only way you may be able to recover punitive damages in a Boston drunk driving case is if you are the surviving family bringing a wrongful death action.
3. How Much Is My Boston Drunk Driving Accident Case Worth?
Unfortunately, no legal team or attorney can tell you exactly how much money your drunk driving accident claim is worth.
Many factors can affect the value of your claim, such as:
- The severity and the extent of the injuries you sustained
- Whether you can work following the accident
- Whether the accident resulted in lost wages
- The types of medical treatments you will require as a result of the accident
- Whether the accident injuries are permanent or resulted in a disability
- Whether and the extent to which your normal daily activities have been disrupted because of your accident injuries
- How certain the defendant’s liability is
- How credible and persuasive the evidence and witnesses are on each side
At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, we will not pretend to be able to tell you exactly how much your case is worth. However, if you work with one of our skilled drunk driving accident attorneys, we can review your claim, figure out which of these elements may come into play, and demand and fight for the maximum amount of damages possible.
4. How Long Does a Boston Drunk Driving Accident Case Usually Take to be Resolved?
There is generally no set timeline for how long a drunk driving accident claim will take to be resolved.
An experienced drunk driving accident attorney can give you a better idea of the timeline as your claim proceeds; but usually, there are just too many factors that can affect this timeframe, including:
- The Medical Improvements: It is often recommended that you wait until you reach the point where you can see maximum medical improvements before you finalize a settlement offer. Before then, you cannot be sure what the total amount of your future lost wages, medical expenses, and ongoing medical treatment costs will be. Once you know these amounts, your attorney will have a better idea of the total amount of compensation you can demand.
- The Severity of Your Harm: If your injuries are severe or you become disabled as a result of them—as unfortunate as that is—the value of your claim will be much higher. In such cases, the insurance company may take more time investigating your case or try harder to deny your claim.
- Insurance Company Disputes: If an insurance company is unwilling to work with you to settle the case, they can delay your settlement timeline. You might go back-and-forth with settlement offers, with the insurance company always offering something unreasonably low. In these instances, your attorney may recommend taking your case to trial to get a court to award a fair damages amount. Going to trial can substantially increase the amount of time to resolve your drunk driving accident, from months to even years.
5. If the Drunk Driver was Later Convicted of a DUI, Is That Enough Proof to Win My Boston Drunk Driving Injury Lawsuit?
In Massachusetts, if a driver is convicted of a DUI based on the accident in which they injured you, it can serve as strong evidence of negligence. In the face of such evidence, a defendant and their insurer are often more willing to settle. They know they will have to face an uphill battle in court trying to prove that you caused the crash and not the drunk driver.
However, such evidence of fault does not mean that you automatically win your drunk driving accident case. Even if the defendant was convicted of a DUI, they might try to avoid liability in many other ways. For example, they may still argue that their impairment did not cause the accident or your injuries. The arguments defense attorneys and insurance companies lodge to avoid liability can get complex.
This is another reason why it is important to work with a skilled Boston drunk driving accident lawyer. These lawyers can promptly get to work investigating your drunk driving accident and secure all the evidence needed to show that the defendant’s intoxication caused the accident and your injuries.
6. What Are Dram Shop Laws?
Dram shop laws allow drunk driving accident victims to seek money for damages from a business or individual who served alcohol to a drunk driver before the accident and injuries. Massachusetts law prohibits vendors from selling or serving alcohol to an already intoxicated individual or an underage patron.
As a result, if the drunk driver who harmed you in a crash bought alcohol at a restaurant or a bar before causing your accident and injuries, the establishment could also be held accountable for your losses and damages. You should consult an attorney and share all the facts you have about the accident to help determine if there is potentially an establishment with dram shop liability.
7. Massachusetts is a No-Fault Insurance State—How Will This Affect My Right to Sue After a Boston Drunk Driving Accident?
Massachusetts is a no-fault insurance state, meaning that every driver must file a claim with their own insurance company after an accident, regardless of whose fault it was that the accident occurred. Additionally, in a no-fault state, victims of a car crash cannot pursue an injury claim in court until certain conditions are met.
In a Boston drunk driving accident case, you must show:
- You accumulated $2,000 in medical treatment costs, and
- The accident resulted in injuries that included a substantial loss of hearing or vision, broken bones, or some severe degree of disfigurement
Only once these conditions are satisfied is a drunk driving victim able to pursue legal action against the at-fault party. Don’t assume you do not have a claim, though. Consult with an experienced Boston drunk driving accident attorney to make sure you know all your options for legal remedies.
8. The Insurance Company Offered Me a Settlement Soon After My Boston Drunk Driving Accident—Should I Accept It?
Soon after a drunk driving incident, an insurance company may offer you a settlement. Although this may seem like a great thing and a quick way to resolve your case, it is likely not in your best interest to accept this first offer. When an insurer jumps to offer you money shortly after a drunk driving accident, the amount they offer is often a meager pay-out that barely starts to cover your incurred and potential expenses. If you accept this amount, that’s it. If you later discover the amount is insufficient to cover all your medical bills and other expenses, you’ll be out of luck.
Always speak with an attorney before accepting a settlement offer in a drunk driving case. The attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP can look at an insurance company’s offer, evaluate your case, and determine if the settlement offer is fair to you. If it isn’t they can help you push the insurance company to agree to a fair amount.
9. Why Should I Contact The Law Firm of Jacoby & Meyers LLP About My Boston Drunk Driving Accident?
To bring a successful Boston drunk driving accident claim, you need to provide relevant and strong evidence showing what happened and who is at fault for your injuries, as well as sound legal arguments proving your claim. Following a drunk driving accident, most victims are in no position to be able to do this on their own.
But the attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP are. Our drunk driver accident attorneys have the knowledge and experience to hit the ground running with your claim.
Generally, when you work with our team, we can:
- Review your claim and explain your legal options
- Answer your questions and concerns
- Investigate your drunk driving accident and obtain the evidence needed to prove fault and damages
- Bring in experts, as necessary, such as accident reconstructionists and doctors, to substantiate your claim
- Ensure that legal motions are filed before time expires
- Tackle all discussions and negotiations with the other side and their insurer to fight for a full and fair settlement
- Take your case to trial, if required, and fight for a court award of maximum damages
If you or a loved one were harmed in a drunk driving accident in Boston, do not wait to seek legal help. Contact the law firm of Jacoby & Meyers, LLP today at (877) 472-3061 for a free case evaluation, and let our experienced Boston drunk driving accident attorneys show you how we can fight for you and your rights and go after the financial recovery you deserve.
“If it were not for the integral legal team of experts at Jacoby & Meyers I would not be where I am today with my recovery. I highly recommend hiring Jacoby & Meyers should you ever find yourself injured in an accident, and an individual or company needs to be held accountable for their negligence.” -C.J.
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