Driving in Massachusetts can be dangerous. Individuals who text and drive, drink and drive, or disobey traffic laws can place other motorists at risk of serious harm or even death. Fortunately, laws implemented in 2006 and 2007 and directed at teenagers have had a positive effect by reducing the number of accidents involving teen drivers. In fact, the number of Massachusetts accidents involving 16- and 17-year-old drivers dropped from 12,673 in 2006 to 6,400 last year.
Many are attributing this reduction to a decrease in teen drivers, which has plummeted by one-fourth since the laws went into effect in 2006. The law’s requirements, many say, have deterred teens from obtaining a license. The law increases several training requirements that must be met before a teenager can obtain a driver’s license, including tripling the number of hours spent behind the wheel with parent supervision, doubling the hours required with a professional instructor, and requiring parents to attend a seminar to discuss teen driving.
While the number of teen accidents has dropped dramatically, the sad fact remains that every year many Massachusetts residents are injured in car accidents. Reports indicate 1,500 injury wrecks occurred in Massachusetts last year involving 16- and 17-year old drivers. Some of those accidents were fatal. So, despite the laws best efforts to prevent dangerous driving and the accidents they cause, people should be aware they are still at risk, and they should know what they can do if they find themselves injured in a serious car accident.
When one suffers a serious injury in an accident caused by a distracted or negligent driver, he may face a long road to recovery, which may include severe pain, emotional suffering, and financial turmoil. The victim may be unable to carry out everyday tasks, work, or feel comfortable being behind the wheel. Also, medical expenses can compound, leaving the victim with a high amount of unmanageable debt.
These suffering individuals can find help. An attorney with experience handling accident cases can fight for the compensation the victim deserves. To recover damages, the victim must show the defendant’s negligence caused the accident. This negligence may be shown by a distracted driver’s inattentiveness, drunkenness, or his disobeying traffic laws.
If the case succeeds and compensation is obtained, then the victim may be able to pay for the medical care he needs, be compensated for pain and suffering, and recover any lost wages. This success provides the victim with true justice that the criminal system may be unable to provide satisfactorily.
Source: The Boston Globe, “In Mass., fewer teen accidents and drivers,” Todd Wallack, Nov. 5, 2013