State authorities and police in Bangor are searching for the driver of a Jeep Liberty involved in a midday crash on I-95 with a 15-passenger van, causing two serious injuries. The driver of the Jeep fled the scene before emergency officials arrived.
We anticipate more crashes in the midst of Maine’s snowy season and, unfortunately, we see a spike in hit-and-run incidents as well, primarily because drivers are either drunk, driving illegally or don’t have insurance. Sometimes, it’s a combination of all three.
Thankfully, there are some avenues of recourse for victims. By making an uninsured motorist claim in Bangor, victims can secure compensation for injuries, vehicle damages, medical bills and lost wages through their own insurance carrier.
There are a fair number of cases in which the at-fault driver may have insurance, but it’s not enough to cover the full extent of the damages suffered. Here again, underinsured motorist claims can make up the difference.
The good news is that Maine has one of the highest statutory minimums for liability insurance required for drivers. The law mandates motorists have to maintain coverage of $100,000 for the accident or at least $50,000 per person. They also have to keep a $25,000 minimum for property damage and another $1,000 bare bones for medical payments.
So let’s say you are in an accident with an underinsured driver. Your total medical costs are $60,000, but the other driver only has coverage for up to $50,000. If you have underinsured motorist coverage, your insurance company would make up the difference.
This coverage would also extend to any passengers who were hurt in your vehicle as well. Having uninsured motorist coverage protects you not only in hit-and-runs, but in multi-vehicle accidents, in cases cases of extensive property damage, in crashes with out-of-state motorists and when you have expensive and ongoing medical costs.
Keep in mind also that even if the other driver doesn’t have insurance, you are still entitled to file suit against him or her for negligence.
In the recent crash off I-95, news reports indicate the driver of the Jeep struck the van from behind before fleeing. The two passengers who were injured, both in their 40s, complained of severe pain in their necks and backs.
Officials were investigating the possibility that the Jeep involved in the crash was the same one reported stolen earlier in another part of the city.
Unfortunately, this wreck wasn’t an isolated incident. Officials in a single day reported seven crashes in the stretch of highway near Bangor. One trooper was quoted as saying that people are simply too confident in their winter-weather driving abilities. The biggest problem? They’re driving too fast, and the roads are very slick.
Officials urge drivers to slow down, keep windshield wipers in good working condition, avoid passing snow plows and sanding trucks and carry an emergency roadside kit with you, just in case.
If you are the victim of a Bangor car accident, contact us at 1-800-804-2004 or read more on our website.
Police searching for Jeep in Bangor hit-and-run crash; other accidents reported on snowy Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014, By Nok-Noi Ricker, Bangor Daily News
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Bangor Workers’ Compensation Claims May Stem from Cold Weather Injuries, Jan. 7, 2014, Bangor Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blog