Maine biking accidents can have disastrous effects on cyclists, pedestrians, and any road user in the vicinity. The cyclist experiences the most significant injuries and subsequent damages in many cases. As a result of the growing concern about bike accidents in Maine and throughout the country, the National Transportation Safety Board (“NTSB”) lead a study to understand the prevalence and risk factors of bicycle crashes. The NTSB analyzed crash and injury data and interviewed national and local traffic safety stakeholders.

The agency identified three primary safety issue areas in the report: (1) improving roadway infrastructure for bicyclists, (2) enhancing conspicuity, and (3) mitigating head injury. According to the study, while more bike crashes involving motor vehicles occur at intersections, crash severity is higher when an accident occurs at a midblock location. The agency asserts that improving public road infrastructure with distinct bike lanes and road diets can reduce the likelihood of accidents at intersections and midblock crossings. Road diets refer to a roadway reconfiguration that eliminates travel from the road and utilizes space for other uses, such as bicycles.

Further, although there are different reasons why drivers and bikers may not detect each other in time to prevent an accident, enhancing conspicuity can reduce these occurrences. Cyclists wearing reflective clothing, bikes with lights, and in-vehicle crash warning systems could alert motorists to bicycle traffic. Finally, because head injury is the leading cause of bike-related deaths, bike helmets are an effective way to mitigate this concern.

Anyone who has watched a hockey game in person is probably aware of the ubiquitous Zamboni ice resurfacing machine. The Zamboni is a vehicle similar to a commercial or industrial floor cleaner, which smooths the ice surface to make it appropriate for a professional hockey game. The standard Zamboni, which has been used for decades, runs on an internal combustion engine and emits known carcinogens in its exhaust. When used in a semi-enclosed space over extended periods of time, Zambonis may present a health risk to anyone regularly present while the machines are in use. Two athletic trainers for the Philadelphia Flyers professional hockey team have filed a lawsuit against the team and facilities, alleging they have developed health problems as a result of the defendants’ unsafe use of Zambonis.

According to the facts discussed in a local news report describing the recently filed case, the two plaintiffs have been employed by the team for over 15 years, and each was repeatedly exposed to the Zamboni machines extensively while the teams were practicing. The plaintiffs’ claims allege that each of the men developed essential thrombocythemia, which is a rare blood disorder that may be linked to the carcinogens present in the Zamboni exhaust. One of the plaintiffs has also developed a type of blood cancer that may be linked to the chemicals The plaintiffs further allege that the defendants knew or should have known of the carcinogenic risk from using the Zambonis as they did. Furthermore, the plaintiffs noted that there are effective alternatives to a Zamboni that do not utilize an internal combustion engine that emits carcinogens, and such machinery could have should have been used instead of the Zambonis.

Although the case has only recently been filed and the defendants have responded that the plaintiffs’ claims are without merit, the plaintiffs may be entitled to a significant settlement or judgment if they can demonstrate that the defendants knew of the dangers to the plaintiffs, kept them in the dark about it, and repeatedly allowed them to be exposed to the dangerous chemicals. When exposure to dangerous chemicals results in permanent health problems, the damages awarded can be substantial.

Recently, a cyclist was seriously injured after being involved in a bike accident in Portland, Maine. According to a local news report, the collision occurred on the corner of Mellen St. and Park Ave. at around 2:30 in the afternoon. When emergency responders arrived on the scene, they found the cyclist in critical condition and transported him to the Maine Medical Center. The driver of the vehicle involved in the accident suffered minor injuries and was transported to a different hospital.

Police are still investigating the cause of the accident, and are asking anyone with knowledge of the collision to come forward.

Maine Bike Accidents

Bicycles are a great way to get around Maine in the warmer months. However, cycling is not without its risks. For example, according to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, in 2019, nearly 850 people were killed in bike accidents. The vast majority of these collisions were entirely preventable.

How to Stay Safe When Cycling in Maine

Cyclists should always follow some basic safety tips when riding on Maine roads.

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When a major car accident causes significant injury or property damage and was because of the at-fault party’s negligence or recklessness, you may have grounds to bring a personal injury claim against them. Sometimes, however, it is unclear whether the other party is entirely at fault or if you contributed to causing the accident also. Because establishing liability in a personal injury accident is crucial to any legal claim you are considering, it is important to understand how Maine allocates responsibility and liability in similar cases.

According to a recent local news report, a head-on car accident resulted in a temporary road closure for Route 1 in Hancock. Local authorities reported that a tractor-trailer was transporting a manufactured mobile home when the load shifted and caused the tractor-trailer to jackknife and crash into another car head-on. It is unclear whether there were injuries, and the accident remains under investigation.

When an accident takes place in Maine, because the state is an “at-fault” state, this means that the driver who caused the collision must use their insurance to pay for accident-related expenses such as property damage or medical bills.

Everyone who owns a car typically also has car insurance. After all, it is required by law in most states, Maine included. Each state, however, typically has its own requirements for minimum coverage amounts and types of coverage each driver must have to remain in good standing. Understanding what each type of coverage pertains to is crucial so that if you are ever involved in an accident, you know exactly how much the insurance company will cover.

According to a recent local news report, a 71-year-old woman died following a major accident. Police reported that her car struck a tree after colliding with multiple vehicles and that the woman was pronounced dead at the scene. Following the accident, another individual was transferred to a local hospital with minor injuries. Authorities noted that the accident involved at least four cars when the local fire department arrived on the scene. The accident remains under investigation.

Maine, like other states across the country, has specific requirements for drivers when it comes to car insurance. Every Maine driver must have liability insurance, medical payments coverage, and uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, at a minimum. Failing to meet these minimum requirements may result in a fine or license suspension.

Distracted driving is extremely dangerous and results in hundreds of accidents on Maine roads each year. Drivers operating semi-trucks and other large vehicles while distracted are especially reckless, placing the lives of innocent Maine residents on the line. Semi-trucks and other large vehicles are more difficult to control and take longer to stop. Additionally, the damage caused in a crash involving a semi-truck is more likely to be catastrophic.

A recently published local news report discusses the criminal proceedings against a man who was involved in a January 2021 accident in which the semi-truck that he was driving struck another vehicle, killing two of the occupants.

According to the news article, the driver of the semi-truck admitted to law enforcement after the accident that he was listening to a show on Netflix before the Maine semi-truck crash occurred. The truck driver denied that he was distracted by the show, claiming that he had the screen turned away from his eyes and was only listening to the program. The truck driver claimed that the other vehicle cut in front of him and he was unable to avoid the crash. Law enforcement authorities apparently believed that the truck driver was distracted by the Netflix program, as he was arrested and charged with negligent homicide after the crash.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court recently issued an opinion involving a negligent maintenance and operation claim against the University of Maine. The plaintiff suffered injuries after she slipped and fell on a patch of untreated ice on a campus parking lot. In response to the plaintiff’s lawsuit, the University moved for summary judgment asserting immunity under the Maine Tort Claims Act (MTCA). Specifically, they argued that the parking lot fell within an exception of the MTCA.

Generally, under the MTCA, governmental entities are immune from civil tort lawsuits involving the recovery of damages. Unlike other states, the MTCA recognizes an “exception-to-immunity approach rather than an exception-to-liability approach.” One such exception provides that governmental entities are liable for negligent acts or omissions in the “construction, operation or maintenance” of any buildings or the “appurtenances to any public buildings.”

While the MTCA does not explicitly define “appurtenance,” the Court considers appurtenance as an “object or thing that belongs or is attached to a public building.” As such, to be an appurtenance, the object at issue must be (1) physically annexed to the property, (2) adapted to the property and (3) intended to be irremovable from the property.

Distracted driving continues to pose risks to transportation safety as it impairs a driver’s performance and increases the likelihood of a Maine truck driving accident. A significant amount of research focused on the rate and risks of distracted driving in passenger car vehicles, and very few studies evaluated the effect on truck drivers. However, truck drivers are more susceptible to using a handheld device or radio to coordinate deliveries and logistics because of the fundamental job responsibilities.

According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis, fatalities involving cell phone usage increased nearly 24 percent between 2011 and 2015. Further, from 2014 to 2017, distracted driving fatalities had the most significant percentage increase. Most concerning is that truck crashes have continued to increase over the past decade. These accidents can lead to chain reaction events, severe injuries, and property damage.

For example, a news report from Kittery explained that a tractor-trailer hit two vehicles on the Maine Turnpike. Safety officials explained that a state trooper was in the breakdown lane with his flashing lights on behind a flatbed truck. A tractor-trailer driver veered into the lane, slammed into the trooper’s vehicle, and then drifted into travel lanes, hitting a Jeep. The Jeep became pinned against a concrete barrier. Shockingly, the family inside the Jeep and the trooper only sustained minor injuries. At the time of the accident, the tow truck driver was under the flatbed and miraculously survived without injuries. Officials charged the tractor-trailer driver with distracted driving and failure to move over.

Recently, Abbot Nutrition, a division of the medical device and manufacturing company Abbott Laboratories announced a voluntary recall in the wake of multiple reports that several of its powdered baby formulas were making children sick. According to a recent report by CNN, on February 17, 2022, the company recalled certain lots of Similac, Alimentum and EleCare powdered infant formulas. However, later that month the company also recalled additional lots of its Similac 60/40 formula.

The concerns surrounding the baby food recall are that several infants developed rare and otherwise unexplainable infections after they consumed these various formulas. More specifically, infants were diagnosed with Cronobacter sakazakii and Salmonella Newport.

Cronobacter sakazakii is a type of bacteria that is hazardous to adults, but especially dangerous to children. It is commonly found in certain consumable products, such as powdered baby formula and tea bags. However, if an infant is exposed to Cronobacter sakazakii, they can become very sick and even die. In fact, there are at least two reports of young children who died related to Cronobacter sakazakii infections after they consumed Abbott Labs’ formula.

Skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing are popular winter sports. However, they also carry a risk of serious injury. Maine winter sports injuries can arise from a number of different scenarios; while some accidents stem from inexperience or overly-risky behavior, others involve a resort’s negligence. Ski resorts must maintain their facilities in reasonably safe conditions; however, these places have inherent dangers. Although many resorts and parks have implemented ski trail safety measures, unpredictable elements can pose risks to anyone on or near the trail.

For instance, recent news reports described an accident involving a teenage skier at a Maine ski resort. According to the resort, the 17-year-old skier was riding in a ski lift cabin when a gust of wind came through and caused the cabin to detach. After detaching from the haul rope, the cabin fell nearly 10 feet. Ski patrol transported the skier to the mountain base, where he was released to his parent. Resort employees unloaded the other guests and suspended night skiing.

In addition to ski lift injuries, winter sports participants can suffer injuries from:

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