Articles Posted in Motorcycle Accidents

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. Legal News Gavel

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.

Legal News GavelMay 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.

A man whose 53-year-old wife died in a Maine motorcycle accident in 2014 has settled his claims against the construction contractor in Augusta that allegedly failed to inspect and repair a dangerous pothole that reportedly caused his wife to lose control of her bike.Legal News Gavel

The plaintiff had been riding a motorcycle separately from his wife in Augusta when he watched her strike the pothole and saw the bike go down. The couple had married just six weeks earlier, and they were traveling with another pair to see a home in Manchester they were preparing to purchase. His original wrongful death lawsuit was filed in 2015 in Kennebec County Superior Court, and it initially named not just the construction company but also the state, the state’s department of transportation, the city of Augusta, and a number of other defendants.

In the end, claims against all defendants other than the construction company were dismissed. This likely had to do with the fact that any claim against government agencies can be tough to prove, due to concepts like sovereign immunity and the difficulty of proving these entities owed a duty of care to the individual in question. But, as this case revealed, that doesn’t necessarily mean there are no other avenues of compensation worth pursuing.

The Maine Bureau of Highway Safety reports more people have died so far in Maine motorcycle accidents than in all of last year. In total, 18 people died in fatal motorcycle crashes in 2016, while as of the end of September 2017, 20 people had been killed in such crashes. Legal News Gavel

The victims ranged in age from 25 to 81, and aside from two who were females, the overwhelming majority of riders affected were male. State statistics show more than half of the riders in fatal crashes weren’t wearing helmets. While Maine does have a motorcycle helmet law, M.R.S. 29-2083, it is not a universal helmet law, meaning only specific categories of riders are required to wear one. Those are operators and riders under 18, as well as those operating a motorcycle with a learner’s permit or within one year of completing the driving test or while riding as a passenger with someone who is required to wear a helmet.

In those situations, when it comes to personal injury litigation, this fact could be used to reduce the damages awarded to motorcycle accident victims. However, it does not in and of itself release negligent drivers from liability. Anyone injured in a motorcycle accident or survivors of those killed in motorcycle crashes – helmet or no helmet – should discuss their legal options with an experienced injury lawyer.

A 77-year-old motorcyclist recently died in a Maine motorcycle accident in Greene, after colliding with a pickup truck. Legal News Gavel

Maine State Police report the pickup truck driver pulled out of a parking lot onto the road – and directly into the path of the motorcyclist. The truck was reportedly driven by a 40-year-old man who was transported to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries. There was no mention in news reports of a potential civil action for wrongful death, but that could be within the realm of possibility, assuming survivors of the victim have standing to bring such an action under Maine’s wrongful death statute.

The motorcycle accident underscores the risk of serious injury and death to older motorcyclists – the fastest-growing group on two wheels.

The road to recovery is ongoing for a Maine couple involved in an Orrington motorcycle accident in May. motorcycle1

As reported by the Bangor Daily News, the 22-year-old motorcyclist lost control of his motorcycle while traveling on Route 15, crossing the center line and striking an oncoming vehicle head-on. He lost part of his leg. His girlfriend, 23, had been on the back of the bike and was thrown off. She suffered a serious traumatic brain injury and a broken leg. She had to undergo surgery to relieve the pressure of a brain bleed in her head. Although he lost his leg, it could have been worse had the car he hit not been driven by a 25-year-old with U.S. Army training, who applied a tourniquet. He knew he had less than three minutes to stop the man from bleeding to death, and his quick action was successful in preventing this from becoming a greater tragedy.

Now, families of the motorcyclist and his girlfriend have started a community page on social media, as well as a number of charity events, to help raise money for the ongoing cost of medical care and rehabilitation. Although the pair survived, their road to recovery will be extensive, likely requiring numerous more surgeries and extended stays in rehab.  Continue reading

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court has remanded for further consideration a case in which a wife sued her husband for damages caused by his negligent operation of a motorcycle on which she was a passenger. motorcycle3

Although it often seems unthinkable outside of family court that spouses might sue one another, this case shows how most of the time, these claims are not personal. In the vast majority of situations in which relatives or friends are on opposites sides in civil litigation, it’s not the individual from whom they are trying to collect. Rather, it is the insurance company.

Here, plaintiff sought payment of medical bills and other expenses from the motorcycle insurance policy carried by her husband. But here in Maine, it is not possible to sue the insurance company for liability in an accident (except for when the insurer acts in bad faith). Instead, one must file a lawsuit against the insured. Continue reading

A motorcycle accident in Oakland involving a rider from Belgrade resulted in a trip to a Bangor hospital after a crash that resulted in severe head injuries. motorcycleboy

Initial investigation revealed the motorcyclist may have driven through a stop sign and crashed into another vehicle, causing the 55-year-old rider to be ejected from the bike. It was a five-way intersection and the crash happened shortly before 3 p.m.

An accident reconstructionist was called to the scene to piece together what happened. The driver of the other vehicle said she didn’t see the motorcyclist until he hit the rear passenger side of her vehicle.

A 55-year-old man was in critical condition following a Maine motorcycle accident in Oakland, about an hour southwest of Bangor.motorcycle8

So severe were his head injuries, authorities said, he had to be flown by helicopter to the Eastern Maine Medical Center.

Reportedly, the operator failed to stop at a stop sign at an intersection, and as a result, collided with a sport utility vehicle. The crash happened around 2:30 p.m. Driver of the SUV was uninjured, and there were no passengers in the vehicle. The motorcycle rider was ejected from bike and struck the pavement. He was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

A number of serious motorcycle accidents involving Maine residents has raised concern for authorities as we head into the fall riding season.

Our Portland motorcycle  accident lawyers always advocate for the rights of riders. Too often, drivers of larger vehicles simply don’t pay attention. This failure can result in catastrophic injuries, and sometimes even death.motorcyclestunter

That was sadly the case for Stuart “Toby” Pennels, 55, a combat veteran and Republican candidate for state Senate against Democrat Bill Diamond. Pennels lost control of his motorcycle after being struck by a pickup in Sandy River Plantation on Route 4. He was wearing a helmet, but suffered severe injuries to the chest and shoulder. He was transported to a hospital in Lewiston. The retired U.S. Army colonel who survived two tours in Iraq and one in Bosnia died one month after his motorcycle crash, leaving behind a wife and three adult children.

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