New Year’s Eve is known as one of the most dangerous times to be on the road. Motorists who aren’t usually out on the road find themselves driving back from late-night celebrations. Adding to the risks is the fact that a much higher rate of drivers than normal are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. And while drivers must take special care when navigating the roads over any holiday weekend, this is especially the case when New Year’s Eve falls on a weekend as it did this year.
According to a local news report, one person was killed and another seriously injured in a head-on accident that occurred on New Year’s Eve. Evidently, a 39-year-old man was driving southbound near the Route 129/Route 130 split in Lincoln County. At some point, the driver crossed over the middle line, crashing into an oncoming motorist’s vehicle.
The driver of the struck vehicle, who was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident, suffered fatal injuries in the collision. The at-fault driver was wearing a seatbelt and suffered non-life-threatening injuries. There was also a young child in that vehicle, who was secured in a car seat. The child suffered minor injuries but is expected to make a full recovery.
Police are still in the midst of their investigation. However, they told reporters that they believe both speed and alcohol played a role in the fatal accident. No charges have been filed yet, although that may change once the investigation concludes.
Will Not Wearing a Seatbelt Hurt Your Personal Injury Case?
All drivers in Maine are legally required to wear their seatbelts. However, what happens if an accident victim who was not wearing their seatbelt suffers serious injuries or dies in a collision caused by another negligent motorist? For example, in these situations, the at-fault party may claim that the accident victim was also negligent for failing to wear their seatbelt. This is referred to as the seatbelt defense.
However, under Maine law, an accident victim can still pursue a claim for damages against the at-fault party because their failure to wear a seatbelt had nothing to do with the other party’s negligence. Additionally, the accident victim’s failure to wear a seatbelt is not admissible, meaning the jury will not hear that they were not wearing their seatbelt. In this way, Maine has rejected the seatbelt defense, and accident victims who were not wearing their seatbelt should not hesitate to file a claim for damages from the at-fault driver.
Were You Involved in a Maine Car Accident?
If you or a loved one was recently involved in a Maine car accident, reach out to the personal injury lawyers at Peter Thompson & Associates. At Peter Thompson & Associates, we have more than 60 years of combined experience helping accident victims and their families recover meaningful compensation. Over this time, we’ve recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our injured clients. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with a Maine car accident lawyer today, give us a call at 800-804-2004.