Articles Posted in Pedestrian Accidents

In Maine, there is a potential intersection of the workers’ compensation and personal injury systems when the injury is caused by a third party.

Generally, if you are injured at work, regardless of the cause, you are compensated for that injury entirely through the workers’ compensation system. However, did you know that if a party other than your employer is responsible for the injury, you may also have a separate claim against that party?

For example, if you were driving a vehicle as part of your job and were injured in an accident caused by another driver, you have both a workers’ compensation claim and a claim against the other driver.

INSURANCE ADJUSTERS HAVE THE INTERNET TOO!

Most people at one time or another have heard the advice “Do not put anything in an email or online that you would not want on the front page of the newspaper”. This is never truer than when you are bringing a personal injury claim. The insurance company WILL search for your online profiles. More than once, we have received a call from an adjuster directing us to a client’s online profile.

“So what?” you might be thinking, “I have nothing to hide. Besides, nothing I put on my Facebook or MySpace account has anything to do with my accident.”sThis is almost never true. For example, if you are claiming an injury, and you are writing about all of the things you did over the weekend, that is relevant. If you are posting pictures of your participation in a charity walk, that is relevant. As your attorneys, we know the truth is accident victims have good days and bad days while recovering. It is our job to make that argument on your behalf. However, the insurance adjuster will use this to show that your injuries are not very serious.

What happens if someone else’s negligence behind the wheel causes you injury and they don’t have enough insurance?sIn Maine, every auto insurance policy is required to have several components. In a previous post, we discussed uninsured motorist (UM) coverage, or the coverage that exists when the other party is not insured. The partner component of UM coverage is underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. Like with UM coverage, every auto insurance policy in Maine must have a minimum of $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident of UIM coverage (See Maine Revised Statutes Annotated Chapter 29-A Section 1605 (1)(C)(2) & (3) and Maine Revised Statutes Annotated Chapter 24-A Section 2902). This means, if you have insurance, you automatically have this coverage as part of your policy.

UIM coverage is used when someone causes you injury and their insurance policy is not sufficient to cover your damages. For example, although Maine requires $50,000 minimum of insurance, Massachusetts only requires $20,000 minimum. With the rising costs of medical expenses, even a moderate injury can easily use up this amount. This must also cover any lost wages, pain and suffering, attorney’s fees, and all other damages you may have. (The only exception is your vehicle damage, which is usually covered separately.)

So, if you are injured by someone who has $20,000 of insurance and you have $50,000, then there is a total of $70,000 of coverage right?sUnfortunately, no. In Maine, your UIM carrier receives a credit for the amount paid by the insurance company for the at fault driver. Therefore, in this example there is only a total of $50,000 of coverage. $20,000 paid by the at fault driver and $30,000 paid by your UIM carrier. Therefore, if you only have the minimum required insurance coverage of $50,000 of UIM, and someone else with the minimum causes you an injury, there is no additional coverage for your injuries.

Reported by the Bangor Daily News on Septemeber 22, 2010

NEW SHARON — An elderly man was killed Tuesday morning as he crossed Route 134 in front of his house, police said.

Glen Fitch, 87, was killed instantly when he was struck by a pickup truck driven by 43-year-old Walter Fails of New Sharon.

What happens if someone else’s negligence behind the wheel causes you injury and they don’t have insurance?sIn Maine, every auto insurance policy is required to have several components. One of those components is uninsured motorist coverage (UM). Every auto insurance policy must have a minimum of $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident of UM coverage. (See Maine Revised Statutes Annotated Chapter 29-A Section 1605 (1)(C)(2) & (3) and Maine Revised Statutes Annotated Chapter 24-A Section 2902). This means, if you have insurance, you automatically have this coverage as part of your policy.

UM coverage is used when someone with no insurance at all causes you injury. In that case, you can use up to the amount of your policy. Therefore, if you have only purchased the state minimum of insurance, the maximum amount available tosyou from an accident will be $50,000. This is true even if the accident was not your fault. With the rising costs of medical expenses, even a moderate injury can easily use up this amount. This must also cover any lost wages, pain and suffering, attorney’s fees, and all other damages you may have. (The only exception is your vehicle damage, which is usually covered separately.)

Note that the limit is further split, depending on how many people are injured in the accident. For example, if a family of three are traveling in the same car and all three are injured, the maximum amount available for the whole accident is capped at $100,000. No one person can recover more than $50,000 and the total amount the insurance company will have to pay will not exceed $100,000. Again, if all three have even moderate injuries, there will likely not be enough money to properly compensate everyone.

Until recently, auto and other liability insurance companies in Maine were not required to disclose the amount of insurance carried by their insureds, even when they were clearly at fault for an accident. This gave the insurance companies an advantage in settlement negotiations and in determining how long a case took to settle. Fortunately, the Maine legislature corrected this obvious inequity and granted injured persons the right to the insurance coverage information. (M.R. .A 24A -§2164-E.) If the insurance companies do not disclose the information within 60 days of a written request, you are entitled to a $500 fine from them. Many insurance companies are not yet aware of the change in the law and the team at Peter Thompson & Associates has successfully collected several $500 fines for our clients. If you have questions about your rights when dealing with insurance companies, contact us at 1-800-917-1784 or read more on our website, www.Peter-Thompson-Associates.com, on our car accident practice page.

A pedestrian was hit by a vehicle while crossing Boonsboro Road near the James River Day School on Monday night. No other information has been released about this incident.

Our firm, Peter Thompson & Associates, successfully tried a case similar to this involving a driver who claimed he was unable to avoid the collision. The critical issue in that case was whether the driver was paying sufficient attention immediately before the collision. Our expert constructed a time and distance model showing that a driver paying attention to the road would have seen our client if he was paying proper attention.

October 19, 2009: Andrew Jones, 19, was crossing to the west side of Bangor Street in a crosswalk, when he was struck by a sedan-style vehicle driven by Wendy Peace, 41, of Fairfield. This accident is being investigated by Peter Thompson & Associates. If you have information about this accident, please contact Attorney Peter Thompson at 1-800-804-2004.

Tiffeny L. Green, 35, of Martin Corner Road was arrested at the Waldo County Sheriff’s Department on Tuesday night. Green was charged with leaving the scene of a personal-injury accident, among other things. Waldo County Chief Deputy Robert Keating said Green admitted to Deputy James Greeley that she knew she struck something with her vehicle but thought it was a mailbox.

Andrew Widdecomb, 17, of Lincolnville was hit by Green’s vehicle as he walked along Heal Road with his girlfriend at 6:25 p.m. Monday. Widdecomb was taken by ambulance to Penobscot Bay Medical Center in Rockport. A passenger-side mirror broke away from Green’s vehicle when it struck Widdecomb.

Jack Vincent, a 12-year-old Scarborough boy who was hit by a pickup truck last week is reportedly improving, although it is still unknown what permanent limitations he will have from his injuries.

York County Sheriff Maurice Ouellette acknowledged that the bridge is too narrow to accommodate cars and pedestrians at the same time. The driver is claiming that he didn’t have enough time to react before hitting Vincent.

In our opinion, an investigation into this matter should carefully consider the truck driver’s speed and knowledge of the children’s use of the bridge, and should analyze whether law enforcement officials should have done more to prevent this accident from occurring. In our opinion, there should also be additional investigation whether the State failed to do enough to accommodate the use of the bridge by pedestrians and children.

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