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Mark Bello
Mark Bello
Attorney • (877) 377-7848

The High Cost of Drinking, Driving and Irresponsible Parenting

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A Salem, MA man has filed a wrongful death lawsuit in the death of his 19-year-old daughter. The young woman was a passenger in an auto accident that occurred on March 21. Her 19 year old boyfriend stands accused of exceeding the speed limit in his mom’s Toyota 4Runner SUV, running two stop signs, side-swiping a car, crashing into three parked cars, and, finally, rolling the SUV. The unfortunate young woman was ejected through the sunroof before hitting the pavement; she was pronounced dead at the scene. The young driver and two other passengers suffered minor injuries.

The lawsuit, filed less than two weeks after the accident, also accuses the 19-year-old driver of motor vehicle homicide while driving drunk and reckless, failing to stop, and driving to endanger. His mother has also been named in the lawsuit for permitting her son to drive the SUV. One good reason to file suit this soon after an accident is to preserve evidence and prevent repairs or destruction of the Toyota so that the vehicle can be inspected by experts in the case. Reconstructing the scene of the accident may assist in determining cause and other contributing factors, such as vehicle defects, road defects, other motorist involvement, and traffic issues. Weather does not appear to be a factor.

The young driver a his three passengers were returning from a party at approximately 1:00 a.m. While he has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, the driver admitted having “a few drinks”. Sadly, this young man has a history of reckless driving; he has been arrested before. In May 2008, his driver’s license was suspended over a speeding ticket. One month later, he was cited for speeding and driving without a license. In July of the same year, he was arrested on marijuana charges. A year ago, he was arrested again, this time for drinking in a police station parking lot and then fleeing from police. In October 2009, he was arrested on drug charges with the intent to distribute. He was still on probation at the time of this fatal accident. All these charges and arrests in less than two years and Maxson managed to still get behind the wheel again. Perhaps our readers will now understand why the mother was sued in this case; permitting a young driver with this record of recklessness and substance abuse to drive the family car might amount to gross negligence in this case.

This appears to be a very strong wrongful death case against a grossly negligent driver. Two families have been torn apart; two young adults have lost their future, because of a few of drinks and a parent’s irresponsibility. Did the driver have a valid driver’s license? Did his mother know he was using her car? If so, did she know he was using it to attend a party? The driver and all occupants were under the legal drinking age; who provided the alcohol? Did anyone attempt to take his keys? Did anyone try to prevent him from leaving the party and getting behind the wheel? Lawsuit Financial sincerely hopes that the investigation will answer all currently unanswered questions. Unfortunately, they will not bring back the young victims.

We remind everyone that the best way to reduce serious personal injury lawsuits is to engage in auto accident prevention. All of us can think before we act; all of us can be more responsible drivers. Actions do, indeed, speak louder than words. How many times have you read about a case like this and said “What an idiot; I would never drink and drive,” or “I will never drink and drive again,” or “I would never let anyone who I know is drunk, drink and drive?” or "I’ve got to take my son’s keys away for a while until he learns to be more responsible?" To take this a step further, why not tell others to do the same. We must act responsibly to prevent avoidable tragedy.

Accidents can and do happen; despite warnings, people are often negligent. If you are seriously injured, or a loved one is seriously injured or killed in an accident, caused by the negligence of another, it is important that you seek legal counsel, right away. The wheels of justice turn slowly and you may find yourself in a long, drawn out lawsuit. You may also experience serious financial difficulty with your regular bills added to medical bills, funeral expenses, lost wages, and more. Lawsuit Financial is a litigation funding company; we relieve financial pressure that causes litigants to settle cases too early for too little. A financially distressed plaintiff is not a positive influence on settlement negotiations. We will pay your bills and await repayment out of your case. If you lose your case, we will excuse the obligation. You read that correctly; you only pay us back if you win your case. This is called non-recourse lawsuit funding. We will await the outcome of this tragic case that has had a drastic impact on two families. We extend our heartfelt sympathies to both.