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Criminal Prosecutions Provide Little to Massachusetts Accident Victims

After a serious Massachusetts car accident, the chances are that anyone who was injured faces hefty medical expenses. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident, the at-fault party may be facing criminal charges for their role in causing the accident. If an at-fault party is convicted, they may be fined, placed on probation, or even incarcerated. In some cases, they will also be required to pay restitution to the accident victim.

However, the criminal process is not typically concerned with obtaining compensation for accident victims. Criminal law is designed to punish those who violate the law, rather than compensate those who are injured as a result of the defendant’s violation of the law. While providing restitution to accident victims is one aspect of the criminal justice system, any assistance provided is usually minimal and cannot be relied on.

First, an accident victim has little to no say about whether criminal charges are brought against another driver. The decision to bring charges rests with the county prosecutor, who may not decide to press charges except in the most egregious traffic accidents. Second, a defendant’s insurance company will not cover any restitution damages awarded by a court. Thus, an accident victim relies on a defendant’s ability to pay the restitution on their own, which may take months, years, or may never happen. In some cases, accident victims may be eligible for compensation through a Victim’s Compensation Fund, but even this process is often unreliable.

Indeed, a recent news report discusses a tragic DUI accident that resulted in a woman’s death. The woman was a passenger in a car that was driven by her boyfriend, who was intoxicated at the time of the accident. The Victims’ Compensation Fund denied the family compensation because it found the young woman was partially at fault in that she knew her boyfriend was drunk.

Instead of relying on the criminal process, Massachusetts accident victims can take control of the situation by filing a personal injury case against an at-fault driver. Anyone who is injured can bring a personal injury case, and does not need approval from a prosecutor or any other state agency. Unlike criminal cases, personal injury cases are focused on providing accident victims with much-needed compensation after a major accident. Compensation may include amounts for past medical expenses, future medical costs, lost wages, decrease in future earning capacity, as well as for any emotional pain and suffering brought about by the accident.

Have You Been Injured in a Massachusetts Car Accident?

If you or someone you love has recently been injured in a serious Massachusetts car accident, contact the Law Offices of Barry Feinstein & Affiliates, P.C., for immediate assistance. At our personal injury law firm, we represent clients in all types of injury cases, including truck accidents, slip and fall claims, and wrongful death cases. To learn more about how we can help you pursue a claim for compensation based on your injuries, call 800-262-9200 to schedule a free consultation today. Calling is free, and we will not bill you for our services unless we can help you obtain the compensation you deserve.


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