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.
While the community response has been heartwarming, the fact of the matter is it’s unlikely to cover the full cost of medical expenses and lost wages these two are likely to incur over the course of their recovery. The Mayfield Clinic reports on average that unhelmeted motorcycle riders spend eight days in the hospital, racking up $61,000 in hospital bills. Meanwhile, AutoBlog.com reports that the average cost of a fatal motorcycle accident is $1.2 million, with non-fatal accidents costing anywhere from $2,500 to $1.4 million, depending on the extent of the injuries.
Based only on the preliminary information of the motorcycle accident investigation, it would appear the motorcycle operator was at-fault. For him, personal injury protection benefits will be the best bet for helping to cover some of his costs. PIP benefits are not mandatory with Maine auto insurance policies, but this case illustrates why it’s a good idea to buy it. PIP insurance will cover not just medical bills but lost wages stemming directly from an accident, even when you are the one who caused the crash.
The passenger, may want to pursue legal action against her boyfriend for recovery of bodily injury insurance benefits. People sometimes shy away from taking such action because they fear seeming overly-litigious and don’t want to sue someone they love. But in most cases, it’s not about holding that person individually accountable. When the auto insurance company won’t settle for a reasonable amount, legal action may be necessary to recover the policy limits.
Motorcycle accidents in particular tend to spike in the summertime. If you are injured in a traffic accident in Bangor or elsewhere in Maine, we can help.
Contact Peter Thompson & Associates at 1-800-490-5218 for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights.
Community rallies to help Maine couple injured in motorcycle crash, June 17, 2015, By Nok-Noi Ricker, Bangor Daily News
More Blog Entries:
Estate of Summers v. Nisbet – Maine High Court Restores Widow’s Priority in Fire Death Lawsuit, June 30, 2016, Bangor Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog