The family of a motorcycle accident victim who died after falling six stories from his hospital room window says he was not suicidal. Disoriented? Yes. He was suffering from brain injuries, his daughter said. He wanted to go home. hospitalsign

But the hospital had a duty to make sure he was safe and not a danger to himself.

Determining whether his fatal injuries were the result of general negligence or medical malpractice will be part of what the family’s recently-hired injury lawyer will be exploring.  Continue reading

A rash of Maine car accidents has resulted in teen deaths and injuries across the state. teens

From Bangor to Arundale, authorities say inexperience, speed, alcohol and general carelessness have played a role in each of these tragic crashes.

Among those auto accidents being reported by local media: Continue reading

The surviving husband of a 67-year-old woman who died as a passenger in a Maine car accident has filed a lawsuit to recover damages from the two drivers involved in the wreck. One of those drivers is a young, uninsured motorist who was without a license at the time of the crash. The other is his late wife’s sister. drivefastsaab

Although it may seem unsettling that one would take legal action against a relative, especially one who has likely already suffered such trauma, there is a very practical reason for such action. It has to do with insurance coverage and the fact that the 22-year-old driver who struck the two women didn’t have any.

Meanwhile, decedent and her sister were covered by uninsured motorist (UM) coverage and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. These coverage forms will provide coverage when the at-fault driver(s) either don’t have any insurance or when the insurance available isn’t enough.  Continue reading

A driver was recently critically injured following a three-car crash that ended with one vehicle slamming into the front of the Gothic building in downtown Belfast, an hour south of Bangor. storefront3

According to The Bangor Daily News, officers believe an older man in a Sedan with Massachusetts plates was speeding down the hill on Maine Street around 1 p.m. when he suddenly crossed into opposing traffic and slammed into a van at a five-way intersection. He then drove straight into a parked vehicle and then into the front of a building. The parked vehicle was also sent flying up over the curb, just in front of the Bangor Savings Bank.

The occupants of that parked vehicle – which included a toddler in his car seat – were not seriously injured.  Continue reading

A defective auto part cost a young boy his bright future, prompting the Texas jury deciding his car accident injury lawsuit to award $124 million in damages to his family. cars

The 7-year-old suffered severe and irreversible brain damage, as well as blindness and partial paralysis as a result of the rear-end collision. The boy was seated in the backseat, behind his father, who was driving. His father had stopped for a school bus. The car behind him failed to stop.

But while the boy’s younger brother, who was seated next to him in the back, emerged from the crash relatively unscathed, this young man suffered severe injuries. That’s because upon impact, the father’s seat collapsed backward, causing the father’s head to collide with son’s at high force. The result was that the boy almost died.  Continue reading

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court was faced with a number of interesting personal injury liability questions of first impression in the recent case of Murdock v. Thornepolicecar2

For instance: Does a motorist who waves forward another driver have a duty to ensure it is completely safe for the driver to move ahead? Further, does a driver in the outer lane of a four-lane road approaching stopped traffic and a driveway on the right have a duty to anticipate traffic turning into his lane when vehicles in the inner lane are stopped short of that driveway for this purpose?

To answer yes to both questions would be to substantially expand the scope of potential liability for motorists. But the state high court wasn’t ready to do that just yet. Justices didn’t completely foreclose on the possibility, but rather concluded the case at hand wasn’t ripe for such a decision. They dismissed the appeals and told litigants they could appeal again once all other relevant matters were resolved by the lower court.  Continue reading

An auto accident in Waterville is being blamed on a mechanical failure. driver1

According to the Kennebec Journal, the problem had to do with the front end of a Volkswagon Jetta. The 31-year-old driver  reported he was operating the vehicle on North Street when he suddenly described feeling in the steering wheel as if he’d struck a pothole. He swerved and struck a large white van head-on.

Inside the van, the 62-year-old driver and two passengers sustained minor injuries. One was transported the hospital. Incredibly, the driver of the Jetta wasn’t seriously hurt.

Police investigators reported there was no pothole in the area. However, they came to the conclusion that a mechanical failure in the vehicle was responsible for the collision.

Both vehicles had to be towed from the scene.  Continue reading

Drunk driving accidents and the devastating injuries and deaths they cause are 100 percent preventable. gravelroad1

Maine legislators believe this as well, which is why criminal penalties for causing an accident while drunk are severe – especially if someone is seriously hurt or killed. Maine Revised Statute 29-A, Section 2411 spells out  penalties for OUI offenses, aggravating factors and penalties. Generally, if you are in an accident that results in a major injury or death, you will be facing a felony and a long-term license suspension.

But how does that help the victims, whose lives have been irreparably affected? Other than ensuring the at-fault driver is off the road, it really doesn’t. The only way to recover damages is to pursue a claim for damages against the driver (and by proxy his insurance company). If the driver doesn’t have insurance or the coverage is paltry, victims may recover through their own uninsured/ underinsured motorist coverage policy. Continue reading

Car accidents in Maine claim hundreds of lives each year. In an effort to better understand the many factors that contribute to these lethal incidents, the Maine Department of Transportation keeps track of crash data, including time, location and cause. caroncurve

Recently, local news station WCSH6 analyzed the data, which was collected from a three-year time frame from 2012 to 2014. One of the elements reporters zeroed in on was location. As one DOT spokesperson pointed out, this allows traffic safety officials to target areas of particular concern.

In Bangor, the city’s engineer said he uses this information when he receives calls from concerned residents regarding areas they describe as “the worst” for traffic crashes.  Continue reading

A young woman was asleep in the passenger seat of her fiance’s vehicle when he crashed head-on into a 1,000-pound moose, standing in the middle of the Maine Turnpike last November. She has no memory of the animal flipping over the top of the vehicle as it tore off the roof and struck her in the head. moose2

But she did live to tell it. Her recovery has been a long, slow journey, and it isn’t over yet. She spent two weeks in a medically-induced coma at a hospital in Lewiston. Doctors feared if she did survive, the traumatic brain injury she suffered may leave her unable to care for herself, facing decades in a nursing home.

She has incredibly beat those odds. She had to learn once again how to talk, walk, write and perform other basic tasks. Like many traumatic brain injury sufferers, the recovery has been arduous, and the medical bills astronomical.  Continue reading