The number of people who ride motorcycles has been increasing over the past decade or so according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Unfortunately, the number of motorcycle accidents across the nation has also risen. The CDC says that motorcycle fatalities increased about 55 percent from 2001 to 2008. Non-fatal accidents that involved injuries sufficient to require hospitalization also increased during the same time frame (the latest data available from the agency).
Often when motorcycle accidents are discussed, the concepts of distracted driving, inattentive driving, and issues of a failure to see or failure to yield to a motorcycle are especially common in motorcycle wrecks. Significantly, most Worcester area residents know that drunk driving is prohibited in every state of the union. Drunk drivers can pose serious danger to a motorcyclist as a recent story from Southborough highlights.
A Framingham firefighter suffered serious injuries Tuesday evening when an alleged drunk driver slammed his car into the firefighter’s motorcycle at a Southborough intersection. The motorcycle rider was taken to a Worcester hospital with what authorities describe as “major injuries,” according to The MetroWest Daily News.
The driver of the automobile involved in the wreck, a Southborough man, was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving after the crash.
Drunk driving allegations may lead to criminal charges against a driver. But, alcohol-related motor-vehicle accidents that produce injuries may raise a number of questions and issues that are not within the realm of the criminal justice system.
An accident victim may be able to seek justice in civil court to compensate for injuries suffered in the wreck. Massachusetts law may allow an injured victim of a drunk driver to pursue justice against an establishment (such as a bar, restaurant or liquor store) if the establishment negligently provided alcohol to the drunk driver. Negligence in these types of “dram shop” issues may involve evidence that the establishment served an obviously intoxicated person, or served or sold alcohol to a minor.
Source: MetroWest Daily News, “Framingham firefighter injured in motorcycle crash,” Oct. 17, 2013