ACCIDENT INVOLVING DEATH OR SERIOUS INJURY
The State of Massachusetts implements several laws pertaining to a wide variety of traffic offenses along with several punishments depending on the frequency and gravity of the violation as well as the driver in question’s driving history. These laws are implemented to reduce the incidents involving accidents thereby physical injury, damage to property, and fatalities.
However, despite all these regulations and penalties, a number of vehicle-related accidents have been recorded through the years sounding the alarm for road users. Two of the most serious vehicle-related offenses include afflicting serious physical injury and accidents involving death.
Massachusetts as a “No-Fault State”
Massachusetts is a “no-fault” state. A “no-fault” state is basically one which does not actively penalize drivers involved in car accidents or the sake of those suffering from injuries. In these states, the insurer will be the one to pay for the medical bills and lost earnings in the event of an individual being a victim of injury during an accident. However, if there ate probable causes surrounding the accident that will link a driver with other existing offenses in the state, for example, driving under the influence, failure to yield, failure to signal, reckless driving, etc. In this scenario, the driver in question will be penalized according to the penalties of the said offenses.
For cases involving fatalities, the State of Massachusetts bases its penalties on two articles of the Massachusetts General Law: MGL Chapter 265, Section 13 and MGL Chapter 90, Section 24G. They are either classified as Involuntary Manslaughter or Motor Vehicle Homicide respectively.
Involuntary Manslaughter, as defined by the MGL Chapter 265, Section 13 is 1) an unlawful killing that was unintentionally caused as the result of the defendant’s’ wanton or reckless conduct; or 2) an unlawful killing that resulted during the commission of a dangerous battery by a defendant. The term “unintentional” is further defined as an act without intention yet causes the death of a victim without the person in question intending to actually cause the death itself.
MGL Chapter 90, Section 24G articulates that Motor Vehicle Homicide is classified as either “felony” or “misdemeanor”. Felony cases involve a driver operating on a public way recklessly and while under influence subsequently causing the death of another person. Misdemeanor cases usually involve drivers operating in a public way under the influence or driving recklessly or negligently thereby endangering the lives and safety of the public subsequently directly causing the death of another person.
For incidents involving Involuntary Manslaughter, drivers can be penalized for up to 20 years in state prison, fines depending prescriptions by the law, as well as possibilities of victim restitution in case the insurance limit has been reached.
Felony Motor Vehicle Homicide incidents implement 2 1/2-15 years in jail or state prison, fines, and 15-year license revocation while Misdemeanor Motor Vehicle Homicide has 30 days-2 1/2 years in jail or prison, fines, and 15-year license revocation.
What to do?
It is imperative that any driver under the accusations of the said offenses contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. Boston traffic attorney can successfully help t you or your love done transport through the justice system and the circumstances surrounding the accidents so as to bring positive results and avoid harsh penalties.