Those who suffer injuries at a construction site or shipyard, may recover damages for their injuries and losses. Maine workplace accident cases are often complex because they entail a complicated interplay of various statutes and regulations. Maine shipyards and construction sites are some of the most dangerous workplaces. These premises often have heavy-duty machinery and dangerous features that present hazards to anyone in the vicinity. Further, because of the various parties working at these locations, the sites often lead to chaos, and the inattention to detail can have disastrous consequences. These accidents can lead to broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and death. For example, news reports recently described a Maine shipyard’s worker crane accident. The victim suffered severe injuries requiring several surgeries while working with a crane at the shipyard.

The most common types of Maine shipyard and construction site accidents involve automotive and crane accidents, scaffolding accidents, trench collapses, burns, equipment failures, and toxin exposure. In some cases, non-exempt employees may pursue claims against their employer through the state’s workers’ compensation program. However, employers and co-workers are typically immune from liability. As such, the law permits injury victims and their loved ones to pursue third-party lawsuits against any other negligent party involved in the accident.

Some common examples of third-party negligence involve accidents that occur because of the negligent design or manufacturer of safety equipment, the use of toxic materials in construction projects, faulty engineering plans, the failure to want of dangerous conditions, motor vehicle accidents caused by third-parties, and defective machinery. Although workers may recover a portion of their damages through the workers’ compensation program, the amount is rarely enough to cover the extent of the victim’s damages. Further, workers’ compensation does not allow for the award of pain and suffering damages. Pain and suffering is a real, traumatic consequence of many accidents. Damages for pain and suffering are appropriate to compensate the victim for the injury’s emotional and physical stress.

Many Maine car accidents cause reverberating effects that can result in traffic jams, road closings, and delays. However, some collisions can have a more serious impact, causing chain-reaction accidents and multiple injuries and fatalities. After a multi-vehicle accident, establishing liability poses many challenges to injury victims wishing to recover against negligent motorists. Almost every car accident results from someone’s negligence, and multi-vehicle accidents often arise after a series of negligent acts.

A chain-reaction accident occurs when more than two vehicles are involved in an accident. These accidents may be a series of rear-end collisions or a multi-vehicle pileup. The initial victim often faces the most severe injuries because of the inertia involved in the first collision. However, depending on the vehicles’ speed, each party can suffer property damage and physical injuries. These accidents often cause significant damage, and recovery for losses is necessary to mitigate medical expenses and potential financial ruin.

Recently, a Maine news source reported on a harrowing multi-vehicle accident near Presque Isle and Caribou. Police responded to the scene after receiving calls of several weather-related accidents on the highway. They explained that poor visibility and weather conditions might have contributed to the accidents. The accident involved 15 cars, and some individuals suffered injuries.

During the winter months, Maine roadways often experience freezing temperatures that bring snow, ice storms, and black ice. Many motorists adjust their habits when the weather is visibly dangerous; however, some dangerous conditions are not apparent. One of the most threatening conditions is black ice. Drivers are more likely to experience serious injuries in a Maine car accident caused by black ice. Although some of these accidents are unavoidable, many involve some degree of negligence.

Black ice forms when snow or moisture in the air rapidly freezes and attaches to the frozen pavement. Freezing rain usually traps air and becomes visible on the roadways; in contrast, black ice is usually clear and unnoticeable. In some cases, black ice forms naturally; however, in other situations, black ice forms because of some defect in roadway maintenance. Poorly maintained or designed roadways can make black ice more likely to occur. Black ice usually occurs after mild rainfall on roads that are at a higher elevation or do not get direct light. This is especially concerning because areas that do not get direct light are often around a curve or near large trees. Drivers often approach these areas suddenly and do not have time to control their car from spinning.

For example, a recent Maine news report described a black ice accident involving several collisions. According to police, a truck slid on black ice and crossed a center line, hitting a Jeep. Shortly afterward, three other black ice crashes occurred within minutes of each other. The most serious accident occurred when a sedan rolled over after the driver lost control after skidding on black ice. The icy road conditions resulted in four injuries.

Following a major Maine car accident, local authorities or police may work with professional reconstruction teams to establish a timeline of events and to figure out how the accident took place. Figuring out what caused an accident, whether it be negligence, illegal activity such as driving under the influence, or distracted driving, can be valuable for both parties to have on hand when filing insurance claims, considering lawsuits, and potentially securing criminal charges against the at-fault party if applicable.

According to a recent news article, a major car accident left a woman dead in its wake. The two vehicles crashed head-on, but local authorities are still investigating and claim the true cause of the accident may not be determined for a while. Police and firefighters worked with a professional accident reconstruction team to identify the timeline and events leading up to the accident. Following the collision, three people were transported to a local hospital with varying degrees of injuries, and one driver had to be extracted from their vehicle by firefighters. The accident remains under investigation.

In car accidents, however, investigations may often take a long time because of a lack of evidence. If there were no witnesses, nearby traffic cameras or cameras from businesses, or the individuals involved have a choppy recollection of how the accident occurred, it can take a while before investigators can definitively identify the cause or timeline of an accident.

Most parents and caregivers have come across the headlines regarding the concerning amounts of heavy metals in toddler juices and infant cereals, pouches, and puffs. Unlike typical Maine food poisoning lawsuits, claims surrounding tainted infant foods may pose more challenges. Families who believe that their child suffered injuries from consuming tainted infant food should contact an attorney to discuss their rights and remedies.

According to a recent New York Times article, the alarming reports from the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform follow a review of internal documents from seven of the largest baby food manufacturers in the country. The request came after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and World Health Organization (WHO) found that heavy metals present in baby foods are dangerous to infants and childrens’ cognitive development. Although many of the companies complied with the request, several declined to participate. The companies’ refusal presents further concerns that these manufacturers may be concealing dangers.

It is important that parents understand that heavy metals such as arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury occur naturally in soil and through agricultural practices and manufacturing. However, many of the baby foods included in the study contained unsafe levels. Those who suffer heavy metal poisoning may experience diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, breathing issues, chills, and weaknesses in some situations.

Car accidents are usually sudden, unexpected events and often end with significant injuries or even death. When someone in an accident was killed as a result of another party’s negligence or was perhaps a passenger in a vehicle where the driver operating the vehicle itself was negligent, family members of the deceased may have grounds for a Maine wrongful death claim.

According to a local news report, two teens were killed, and several others were seriously injured following a major car collision. Local authorities reported that a Toyota Avalon crashed into a Pontiac carrying four teenage passengers, which left two of the teenagers, ages 17 and 15 respectively, dead at the scene. The couple that was in the Avalon and one of the teenage passengers remain hospitalized with serious injuries. Law enforcement is still investigating the crash and trying to identify what caused the accident to take place.

Following a tragic accident, filing a claim may be the furthest thing from your mind. However, a wrongful death claim could provide a valuable avenue for recovering compensation for injuries that lead to death. A wrongful death lawsuit is a type of personal injury claim where surviving members of the deceased’s family or other designated individuals can seek damages after the deceased’s death. Wrongful death claims were originally and historically created to provide loved ones with an avenue for recovery and to avoid situations where the at-fault or responsible party could get away with their actions simply because the victim died.

Recently, the Supreme Judicial Court issued an opinion in a complex federal and state Maine medical malpractice case. The case arose following injuries a patient suffered during a 2013 surgery to her rotator cuff. The patient argued that the medical provider diagnosed her and suggested surgery, without addressing how the patient’s Tourette’s Syndrome would affect the doctor’s surgical approach. During the patient’s informed consent process, the orthopedic practice providers did not advise her that if the doctor found a rotator cuff tear, he would not repair it because the surgery would be “guaranteed to fail.” The doctor discovered a tear during surgery and did not repair the cuff. The patient continued to experience pain and ultimately underwent surgery in 2015 and 2018 with another provider to repair her rotator cuff.

In 2016, under the Maine Health Security Act (MHSA), the patient filed a notice of claim for negligence, failure to obtain informed consent, failure to repair, and failure to obtain an MRI, against the medical provider. Additionally, she filed a federal discrimination case against the doctor based on a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). She alleged that the doctor treated her disrespectfully, rudely, and in an insulting manner. In 2018, the prelitigation panel found that the medical provider was not negligent. After the federal court dismissed the plaintiff’s malpractice case, the plaintiff filed the complaint in a state action. The defendant moved to dismiss the case based on claim preclusion.

A party may move to bar litigation under claim preclusion if there were issues that could have been litigated in the original action under the original claim. In this case, the court found that it was unclear whether claim preclusion bars the plaintiff’s state malpractice case. Therefore, the court addressed the threshold issue of whether they should reach the appeal’s merits. Under the final judgment rule, appellate courts will only hear appeals from “final” judgments in a case, and parties cannot appeal rulings while the case is still ongoing. However, a judicial economy exception exists, in cases where an appellate review can establish a final disposition. Courts generally invoke this exception in unique situations such as when there are multiple pending proceedings or exceedingly long litigation.

Maine car accidents are common, especially when roads are crowded and vehicles are moving at high speeds. Throw into the mix a police chase, and the risk of an accident increases exponentially. According to a recent local news report, two people died in a car accident stemming from a police chase on the interstate. Evidently, a man led police on a high-speed chase, which caused traffic to slow significantly on one side of the highway. In the midst of the heavy traffic, a tractor-trailer collided with a passenger vehicle, which pushed it under another tractor-trailer. Two local Maine residents were pronounced dead at the scene. The collision remains under investigation, but police have identified the driver in the chase that caused the major traffic stall, who faces multiple charges related to the chase.

In Maine, following a fatal accident where someone dies because of another party’s irresponsibility or negligence, wrongful death claims are available for certain individuals to file on behalf of the deceased. Because of the complexity of these claims, potential plaintiffs who are considering filing a wrongful death claim are always advised to contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can navigate local state laws with ease.

In wrongful death claims, many potential plaintiffs do not realize that an individual or at-fault party could be found not guilty in a criminal case, but still be responsible for damages in a wrongful death case since these claims are civil in nature. Most of the time, wrongful death cases are advanced by surviving family members seeking financial compensation following a tragic accident.

The holiday season, and especially gift-giving, is often a favorite for many individuals. It is especially exciting to see children unwrap new toys that they will play with for months to come. However, when these toys are defective—and parents do not know it when they give them to their children—the children may be hurt by the toy. When a child is injured because the product is defective, they can bring a Maine product liability claim, alleging the defective product caused their injury. Product liability refers to a manufacturer or seller being held liable for placing a dangerous product into a consumer’s hands.

While toys are often seen as fun and enjoyable, there can be major consequences if they are unsafe. In 2018, there were an estimated 226,100 toy-related injuries treated in U.S. hospitals; 73% of these injuries happened to children 15 years old or younger. Tragically, there were also 17 toy-related deaths that occurred to children that same year. These deaths resulted from non-motorized scooters and riding toys, rubber balls, stuffed toys, and plastic toy food.

Toys—along with other consumer products—are often recalled because they can be dangerous to use. However, when someone is injured because they used the product, the individual, or their loved one if they passed away, may pursue a product liability claim. According to Maine law, a person who sells any products in a defective condition that is unreasonably dangerous to the user or his property is subject to liability for the physical harm caused. There are other requirements to products liability a plaintiff must prove: (1) the injury occurred to a person whom the manufacturer, seller, or supplier might reasonably expect to use, consume, or be affected by the product or to his property; (2) the product is expected to and does reach the user without significant change in condition in which it is sold.

No matter where you live, you probably have a ceiling fan in at least one room of your home. Given how common ceiling fans are in all kinds of residences, from houses to apartments to studios, you probably do not give them a second glance when entering a room. In the event that a ceiling fan is defective, however, and hurts someone or damages property while spinning because of the manufacturer or a design flaw, you may be able to recover damages in a Maine product liability lawsuit.

According to a recent news article, more than 190,000 ceiling fans have been recalled after the blades detached. Flying blades, the Consumer Product Safety Commission claimed, could cause injury and damage property for unsuspecting consumers. Of the 80,000 sold to consumers in the U.S. and Canada, there have been 47 reports of blades detaching from the fans, with two of them involving blades hitting people and four involving property damage. The Consumer Safety Commission has recommended that all consumers immediately stop using the fans, especially if they notice unusual blade movement or uneven gaps that appear between the body of the fan and the blades. Further, consumers can contact the distributor of the fans for a replacement free of charge.

If you are a Maine consumer who was injured by a ceiling fan, you may have a product liability claim. When you purchase any product, there are promises, otherwise known as implied warranties, made between the manufacturer of the product and the seller. Consumers receiving a product that is fit for the purpose for which it was sold and not defective, for example, is one of those warranties. Thus, when someone is injured because the product fails to deliver on those warranties, then both the seller and the manufacturer could be responsible for any injuries that occur to the consumer.

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