Boston’s nightlife offers numerous opportunities for patrons to enjoy a drink during a night out, whether they visit a local bar or try out local breweries and other venues. From sports bars to speakeasies, Boston has it all.
If you suffered injuries in a drunk driving accident, you should work with a Boston drunk driving accident lawyer to help collect evidence and establish your right to compensation. A lawyer can make it easier to determine what caused your collision. They can find out whether the other driver received a drunk driving citation based on behavior at the scene.
Unfortunately, every year, drunk drivers cause serious accidents throughout Boston. This blog discusses the dangers of drinking and driving and explains what to do if a drunk driver injures you in Boston.
Boston residents may struggle with higher overall levels of binge drinking.
According to data from the CDC and the US Census Bureau, a significant percentage of Boston residents struggle with consuming excessive quantities of alcohol. Binge drinking leads to high levels of intoxication.
Unfortunately, with high levels of intoxication comes a significant loss of control. Even minor drunkenness can make it difficult for drinkers to safely judge whether they can get behind the wheel of a car. At higher levels of intoxication, drinkers may insist that they feel well enough to drive, but ultimately, they pose a danger to everyone on the road. High levels of intoxication, which often follow binge drinking, can make it very difficult for drivers to navigate safely in traffic.
When it comes to binge drinking, it does not matter whether drinkers consume alcohol on their own or in groups. While groups may have someone on hand to help moderate behaviors after drinking, such as a designated driver, groups of drunk individuals may encourage one another to engage in dangerous behaviors.
Alcohol consumption can make navigating Boston’s tight streets more difficult.
Boston streets—designed centuries before modern vehicles—often allow little room for error. Boston has tight lanes, and pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers must often coexist within a narrow space. Unfortunately, it can be impossible to navigate these conditions after drinking. Because drunk drivers may have a much harder time staying in their lane, they may cause severe accidents on narrow, winding streets.
Drunk driving leads to a high rate of collisions.
Drunk driving accounts for more than 10,000 fatalities across the United States each yard. On average, 28 percent or more of traffic-related deaths happen due to drunk driving. Driving drunk makes it more challenging to navigate the road safely.
Intoxication interferes with motor control.
Even with a small amount of alcohol in their system, people may start having problems with motor control. Lack of motor control can manifest in several ways, including difficulty safely controlling a vehicle. It can make steering the car or maintaining a safe speed difficult. A drunk driver who has to brake suddenly may not be able to stop. On the narrow streets of Boston, which also have heavy pedestrian and bike traffic, this can prove deadly.
Intoxication causes poor decision-making.
Intoxicated drivers lack the reasoning skills necessary to make good decisions on the road. Getting behind the wheel while buzzed is the first of many bad choices a drunk driver makes. After even a single drink, drivers show loss of judgment. That loss of judgment and reasoning worsens as individuals continue to drink.
Poor decision-making skills make it hard to decide how to behave on the road. Responsible drivers follow traffic signals and adhere to the speed limit. On the other hand, drunk drivers may speed to get home faster. Or, they may decide to drive very slowly to hide their drunkenness and avoid a police officer’s attention.
Alcohol can interfere with reaction times.
Driving requires quick reactions. At any moment, circumstances around the vehicle can change. Another driver may slam on his brakes. A pedestrian may step out into traffic, or heavy rain might hide a cyclist from view until the last second. Unfortunately, drunk drivers often fail to respond to those incidents.
In many cases, slow reaction times cause more severe accidents than those that would have occurred whether or not the driver was drunk. An intoxicated driver might slam on his brakes seconds too late, increasing the force behind a collision, or fail to turn away from a potential hazard in time to minimize the overall impact.
High levels of intoxication can cause visual impairment.
Drinking too much does not just impact motor skills. It can also interfere with a driver’s vision. Some drunk drivers have blurred vision or trouble focusing on the task before them. Others may struggle with tunnel vision, preventing them from seeing anything that happens in the periphery. Poor vision makes it difficult to navigate, even on familiar streets.
Intoxicated drivers may have a hard time focusing on the task at hand.
Distracted driving increases the risk of many types of accidents. Drunk drivers may have difficulty paying attention to the road. Their attention may drift to other things: passengers in the vehicle, a cell phone, or even the music playing on the radio. With their attention away from the road, drunk drivers cause severe accidents.
What Happens After a Drunk Driving Accident in Boston?
Getting into an accident with a drunk driver can be devastating. You may wonder what you should do next. How can you protect yourself? You may also have questions about how to seek compensation. You may ask questions like: How do you know whether you deserve compensation from the drunk driver? How do you know how much compensation you should recover?
Following these steps will help you figure out how to protect your rights and pursue compensation after a drunk driving accident in Boston.
Step One: Seek medical attention and report the accident to the Boston Police Department.
First, call 911 for medical attention if the accident injured you. Then, contact the police to file a report.
If you get into an accident with a drunk driver in Boston, the driver may try to convince you not to report the accident to the police. Drunk driving can carry heavy penalties, especially if the driver has already received past DUI convictions. A drunk driver may face jail time, significant fines, and loss of driving privileges, not to mention insurance increases related to a drunk driving accident.
However, remember that the drunk driver chose to get behind the wheel while drunk and caused your accident. While you might feel sorry for the driver, you must protect your interests and ensure you can seek the compensation you deserve for damage to your vehicle and your injuries.
When the police arrive at the accident scene, they will take statements from both drivers. During this discussion, you should share any information or details about the accident itself. Remember that the police did not witness the accident, which means they can only extrapolate from the evidence on hand.
Should you tell the Boston police that the other driver was intoxicated?
If you suspect the other driver of driving while intoxicated, share that information with the police. Tell the police if the other driver indicated they were drinking or if you observed the driver drinking alcohol while behind the wheel.
Several common conditions may cause drivers to mimic drunken behavior, including blood sugar issues in people with diabetes. Traumatic brain injury from the accident itself could also cause the driver to behave oddly following the accident. However, if the other driver acts erratically, make sure to point this out to the police.
Let the police know what you suspect and why. If the driver has another condition, such as very high or very low blood sugar, the police can ensure the driver gets appropriate treatment.
What will the Boston police do about a drunk driving accusation?
If the Boston police suspect the other driver of being intoxicated, officers can arrange for a Breathalyzer or blood test. The police will also ensure that the other driver does not drive away while still drunk.
Step Two: Get medical attention for any injuries you sustained in the accident.
Injuries after a drunk driving accident can be severe. You may have worse injuries after an accident with a drunk driver than after an accident with a sober driver.
Even if you think you avoided serious injury in the accident, you should still seek medical attention. A medical care provider can offer a full assessment of your injuries and help you get the care you may need. Furthermore, a medical report documents your injuries, providing evidence if you need to file a personal injury claim.
The driver who caused your accident may also need to go to the hospital for treatment. In some cases, the police may accompany that driver, especially if they could be dangerous to hospital staff.
Step Three: Review the accident report.
Within a few days of your accident, you should request a copy of the crash report from your accident. Make sure it offers an accurate account of how your accident occurred and when and where it took place. If you notice any inaccurate information, make sure you contact the Boston Police Department to correct it.
Step Four: Contact a Boston drunk driving lawyer.
How does the other driver’s intoxication impact a drunk driving claim in Boston?
You can file a claim for any injuries you sustained in an accident due to someone else’s negligence. The other driver’s intoxication does not impact your right to a claim, but it might make it easier to prove that the other driver caused the accident.
If the other driver receives a drunk driving citation, the court may award you punitive damages. Punitive damages, which discourage other people from making bad choices, may provide you with more funds to manage your recovery. Punitive damages usually come out of the drunk driver’s pocket rather than an insurance policy.
How can a lawyer help with a drunk driving accident claim?
After a drunk driving accident, you have to worry about your recovery, vehicle repairs, and filing a personal injury claim. Hiring a lawyer can lessen your worries by helping you navigate the personal injury claim process from beginning to end. They can give you a better idea of the compensation you deserve and help you negotiate with the insurance company. They can also take your case to court if necessary.
The sooner you contact a lawyer about your accident, the sooner they can start working on your behalf. Attempting to handle a drunk driving accident claim on your own could lessen the value of your claim and will cause you significant stress. Hiring a lawyer will help you focus on your recovery and keep you from having to face tough decisions on your own. Don’t wait to get the help you need.
Mr. Finkelstein is the Managing Partner of Finkelstein & Partners, LLP. He has become a noted consumer activist through his representation of injured individuals against corporate wrongdoers and irresponsible parties.
An accomplished litigator, Mr. Finkelstein has represented Plaintiffs in wrongful death and catastrophic personal injury cases. He has successfully handled dozens of multi-million dollar cases.