The recent drowning death of a five-year-old boy swept away by the Androscoggin River highlights summer water risks in Maine.

The boy fell in the river while playing at Bonney Park near Auburn. His older brother jumped in after him and was later pulled from the water by rescuers before being LifeFlighted to Maine Medical Center in Portland. A sister and the father also jumped in to try and save him and were lucky to make it back out of the rushing river, according to authorities.swimming pool

Rivers and their spring tributaries can be especially dangerous during spring runoff. Our Maine personal injury lawyers urge you to talk to your children about the importance of water safety because Memorial Day signals the start of warm summer months and the most dangerous time of the year for drowning deaths.

As we recently reported on our Maine Injury Lawyer Blog, May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. As riders hit the road each spring, they face the highest risks of the year. And already this month, we have reports of a slew of serious and fatal motorcycle accidents throughout the state, including the death of a 24-year-old Portland man and a motorcycle crash in Acton that resulted in serious head injuries for a Barrington couple involved in a Saturday evening crash.

Our Maine motorcycle accident lawyers also note safety advocates are focused on the other two-wheel riders hitting the roads this spring. Like motorcycle accidents, the number of serious and fatal bicycle accidents in Maine spikes each year as the last of the snow melts. bicycle

Coastal Journal reports the City of Bath will be among those promoting Bike to Work Week on May 14-18, which culminates in Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 18. Fitness advocates and environmentalists continue to promote cycling as a means of physical activity that offers environmental benefits and cost savings of up to $8,000 a year for those who regularly bike to work.

Central Maine Medical Center’s safety grade has dropped to one of the lowest in the state, in part because of problems with blood-stream infections. The hospital’s grade dropped from a B to a C — making it one of just two Maine hospital to receive a C grade, according to a recent report in the Press-Herald.

The report by a Washington, D.C. nonprofit reviewed cases of infections from 2016 and 2017 and cases involving bedsores and deaths from treatable complications in 2014 and 2015. It is the third time in recent months the hospital has come under attack as it struggles with bloodstream infections from central lines and catheters inserted into Intensive Care Unit patients. Late last year, Medicare announced it was penalizing CMMC for a second year in a row as a result of high rates of patient injuries and infections.hospital

Hospital Infections a Hidden Risk & Growing Concern

MotorcycleMay is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and a prime time for Maine motorists to commit to watching out for motorcyclists as the summer riding season begins.

Because, statistically speaking, an accident is likely to be a non-motorcyclist’s fault.

“When motorcycles and other vehicles collide, it is usually the other (non-motorcycle) driver who violates the motorcyclist’s right of way,” according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Bangor has a new weapon in the fight against drunk driving after the passage of a citywide ordinance that requires servers and sellers of alcohol to undergo training about state laws. WABI TV reports the new ordinance comes after Bangor police recently issued nearly 70 citations for alcohol-related incidents. Police report seven convenience stores sold to minors during a recent enforcement blitz. Six bars permitted minors into the business and then sold them alcohol.beer

Bangor’s Public Health and Community Services Department reports the new training is aimed at reducing instances of sales to minors or intoxicated patrons.

Maine Drunk Driving Accident Prevention in Focus 

The Maine Bureau of Highway Safety is reminding motorists to obey the state’s Move Over Law, after a trooper’s dash-cam video recorded a truck side-swiping a motorist stopped by Maine State Police.blocked road

You can view the video at the Boston Globe. The officer had been standing alongside the motorist’s vehicle in the moments before it was struck by a box truck, and he likely would have been very seriously injured or killed. Authorities report the at-fault truck driver told police he was looking at his phone.

Maine’s Move Over Law (Title 29-A §2054-9) was passed in 2001 and requires motorists approaching stopped emergency vehicles to slow down and pull over to the lane furthest from the traffic stop (whenever possible). Emergency vehicles under the law are defined as law enforcement, fire department vehicles, or ambulances. Wreckers were added to the law in 2007. The law provides for a minimum fine of $311.

The Kennebec Journal reports a man was seriously injured after falling from a pub deck.

The incident occurred shortly after midnporch injuriesight on a Sunday at a pub in Rockland. The 30-year-old Old Town man fell from a 17-foot-high deck and struck his head. He was taken to Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport and then transferred to Portland, where he was listed in critical condition.

It’s the second such tragedy at the pub. News Channel 5 reported a 25-year-old Rockland man was killed after falling off the deck in June 2015. The Portland wrongful death lawyers at Peter Thompson & Associates represented that victim’s family in a wrongful death settlement. That lawsuit was settled, and additional safety precautions were taken, including the removal of the picnic tables from which the first victim fell.

A number of legal questions are being raised by the death of an Arizona pedestrian, who was struck earlier this month by a self-driving Uber vehicle in Tempe, Arizona.crosswalk

It is the first death in the country involving a self-driving vehicle, and the Insurance Journal reports legal liability in the case is being closely watched. It could raise issues relevant to Maine car accident victims as well.

The self-driving SUV was operating in autonomous mode under the supervision of a safety driver when the Volvo XC90 struck and killed a 49-year-old woman walking her bicycle outside a crosswalk on a four-lane road, according to police. The incident has been caught on videotape.

An increasing number of motorists are driving without insurance, according to an article published this month in the Insurance Journal.

Nationwide, the Insurance Research Council estimates 13 percent of all U.S. motorists were uninsured in 2015, up slightly from 2010 following a number of years of decline. Maine reported about 5 percent of all motorists are on the road without insurance, which put it ahead of other states. But motorists in Maine still remain at substantial risk of uninsured motorist accidents — in part because poor driving records have often left such motorists without either a driver’s license or liability insurance. driving

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage in Maine

The Press Herald is reporting a 58-year-old pedestrian was killed by a city-owned truck in an accident that occurred on Congress Street shortly before 4 a.m. A dump truck driven by a 49-year-old city employee was carrying a load of snow near the Maine Turnpike overpass when it struck the victim, according to the Portland Police Department.snow plow This is one of several snow-related mishaps to make news recently — our injury attorneys in Portland recently blogged about several fatal accidents involving snowmobiles and Maine ski resorts.

Maine pedestrian accidents are a growing concern in urban areas. In this case, the victim’s family may look to either the city or their own auto insurance policy to make a recovery if the victim carried uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

The involvement of a city employee will complicate the victim’s family’s ability to make a recovery. A law firm with significant experience handling cases against municipalities and school boards should always be consulted as soon as possible after a serious or fatal accident involving a government entity.

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