Maine Motorcycle Injuries Cause for Concern

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.

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.

Although this may have been the most prominent motorcycle crash in recent memory, it certainly was not the only one. In Bangor, a hospital trauma team treated a 35-year-old man whose Harley Davidson was struck by a car in Trenton. Authorities say the 26-year-old car driver was turning left onto Route 3, but her line of sight was blocked by the vehicle in front of her. She didn’t see the motorcycle until seconds before impact. The 35-year-old motorcyclist suffered head injuries, while his 34-year-old passenger sustained extensive scrapes and bruising.

In South Portland, a 27-year-old motorcyclist and his passenger suffered head injuries and broken bones after crashing on Broadway Street. The two had to undergo surgery, but were expected to survive. Officials were exploring whether impairment and speed may have been factors.

And in Winthrop, police said a mechanical malfunction is believed to have contributed to a crash that involved a 58-year-old motorcyclist. He was reportedly exiting a driveway on his 1980s-model motorcycle when the bike accelerated due to a throttle malfunction. It darted onto the street and into the path of a car, which struck him.

Determining whether a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit is in order following a motorcycle crash will depend heavily on the facts. For example, a product liability lawsuit may be more appropriate in the case of the motorcycle with malfunctioning equipment. Generally, though, anytime another motorist is at-fault for a crash resulting in injuries, our attorneys can help negotiate insurance companies for fair settlements and, if necessary, take the case to court.

The Maine Department of Transportation reports that between 2006 and 2010, there were 100 fatal motorcycle crashes, more than 2,400 with injuries and 455 with just property damage. Nearly 85 percent of all motorcycle crashes resulted in either an injury or fatality, which is far worse than for other motor vehicle operators.

The vast majority of those happened in June, July and August, though 21 percent occurred in September, October and November, collectively. Of those injured or killed, 45 percent were between the ages of 40 and 69.

If you are the victim of a Portland motorcycle accident, contact Peter Thompson & Associates at 1-800-804-2004 for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights.

Additional Resources:

Republican Maine Senate candidate from Casco succumbs to motorcycle crash injuries, Sept. 4, 2014, By Christopher Cousins, Bangor Daily News

More Blog Entries:

Maine Motorcycle Accidents A Spring Risk, May 12, 2014, Portland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog

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