Chain reaction collisions are those that occur when three or more vehicles collide with one another. Generally, this occurs as a series of rear-end accidents that typically stem from the impact of the first collision. The injuries from a Maine chain reaction accident tend to be more severe than a two-vehicle crash because of the sudden force of multiple vehicles. However, while the initial collision may involve the first driver’s negligence, that does not necessarily negate the other parties’ contributory negligence. Chain reaction accidents tend to be challenging because it can be difficult to pinpoint every party’s negligence and apportion liability relative to their fault.

For example, a Maine news report described a 3-vehicle crash in Livermore Falls. The assistant fire chief of the town was riding his motorcycle when he approached a stopped car. While he was slowing down, an SUV slammed into his motorcycle. The force of the impact pushed the motorcyclist into the car in front of him. The collision ejected the motorcyclist from his seat, and he died upon impact. Law enforcement stated that they believe that the fire chief was wearing a helmet during the incident. Three minor children were passengers in the vehicle that crashed into the motorcycle. Police stated that the accident is still under investigation.

While it seems easy to blame the rear driver, more than one person is responsible for the accident in many cases. For instance, in the case above, it is unclear whether the car traveling in front of the motorcycle stopped suddenly. In that case, the head driver may be responsible for negligently stopped on a roadway. These cases require an in-depth analysis of the accident scene and typically require an accident reconstructionist.

After a Maine car accident, injury victims and their loved ones must develop a strong case for an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. Gathering and presenting relevant evidence is necessary to pursue a claim of this nature successfully. While there are some instances where negligence is presumed, such as in rear-end accidents and negligence per se cases, the majority of cases require a significant amount of evidence. Moreover, the law provides defendants with the opportunity to dispute their negligence in cases where negligence is presumed. Establishing liability is especially important because of Maine’s Comparative Negligence Act (Act). Under the Act, a claimant’s recovery will be reduced by their level of fault. Most importantly, the law bars recovery if the claimant is 50% or more responsible for the accident.

Maine accident victims must produce evidence that substantiates their claim. The evidence must establish the claimant’s version of events, injuries, and claims for lost wages. Evidence may include witness accounts and depositions, photographs, medical records, and police reports. An attorney can help claimants gather this evidence and present it to the fact-finder in a logical and clear manner. Although these types of evidence may seem straightforward, they must meet Maine’s rules for civil procedure. For example, many claimants believe that they can enter evidence of the at-fault party’s driving history and record of traffic citations. However, in many situations, the probative value of this evidence is outweighed by its prejudicial effect on the jury; as such, the court may not allow the evidence. There are several considerations that plaintiffs should reflect upon while preparing their claim for damages.

Car accidents can result in serious injuries and death, and it is vital that Maine claimants contact an attorney to ensure that they recover the damages they deserve. For instance, a recent Maine news report recently described a harrowing motorcycle accident involving a retired police officer. According to reports, the officer and his passenger collided with a sedan near South Portland. The officer died from his injuries, and his wife, who was riding with him, remains in stable conditions at the hospital. The sedan driver was cited for a moving violation, but the case is still under investigation. Cases involving motorcycles and victims who can no longer communicate their version of events present significant challenges. However, a Maine personal injury attorney can help families understand their rights and remedies in these situations.

The most recent statistics from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that over 90,000 police-reported collisions involved drowsy driving. Moreover, over 50,000 people suffered injuries in accidents related to drowsy driving. Drowsy driving accounts for a significant number of Maine car accidents. For instance, a recent Maine news report described an accident that occurred when a driver fell asleep at the wheel. According to the report, the driver admitted that he fell asleep while driving in Augusta, Maine. Three pedestrians, a grandmother, her 1-year-old grandchild, and two others were walking northbound in a gravel area when the accident occurred. The driver, who was traveling northbound, swerved into the centerline, slammed into the pedestrians, and then hit a utility pole. Three of the pedestrians, including the 1-year-old, died at the scene of the accident.

Fatigue and drowsy driving are preventable, and those who operate their vehicles in this state and cause an accident may be held liable for the ensuing damages. Tackling the frequency of drowsy driving is challenging, as American values do not always align with avoiding fatigued driving. The emphasis on extended workdays, longer commutes, and daily demands results in many fatigued drivers. However, regardless of societal expectations, individuals need to take responsibility for the health and safety of those on the road.

While fatigue, drowsy, and sleepy driving are often used interchangeably, there are critical differences in how the terms are understood. The overlap makes it hard to quantify exactly how many accidents are related to drowsy driving. However, despite the nuanced differences, accidents involving these conditions have some similarities. Maine drowsy driving accidents typically occur between midnight and 6 a.m. or in the later afternoon. These times of day are associated with a dip in circadian rhythm and typically follow a long workday. Further, drowsy drivers tend to be the only occupant in the car. Finally, accidents involving drowsy drivers typically occur on long highways and rural roads.

As the weather warms up and more people get vaccinated, the world seems to be slowly returning to normal. People are out enjoying the sunshine, walking around, and taking advantage of being outdoors this time of year—but this also means more pedestrians and bikers on our sidewalks and streets. As we return to normalcy, it is crucial that drivers and pedestrians alike exercise the utmost caution when navigating Maine’s streets and sidewalks—and that we are respectful of the laws that keep both groups safe while sharing the road.

According to a recent news report, three pedestrians, including a one-year-old girl, were killed following a fatal accident. The Augusta Police Department reported that the accident was still under investigation, but that a driver has been identified, and the crash is still being reconstructed by Maine State Police.

Although pedestrian accidents may seem rare, they take place more frequently than you think. Based on data from the Maine Department of Transportation, 56 Maine residents were killed, and 1,292 were injured between 2006 and 2010 in pedestrian-related car accidents. In addition, pedestrian accidents in Maine appear to be on the rise. In fact, in 2019, the state saw an increase in the number of pedestrian deaths, and the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety reported that 17 people were killed that year—more than three times the number of deaths reported in 2018.

Recently, an appeals court issued a decision in a case against Amazon that may upend the way courts evaluate Maine product liability lawsuits involving online retailers. The incident giving rise to the claim began when a woman purchased a defective hoverboard from a third-party seller on Amazon. The product caught on fire, causing the woman to suffer severe burns. The woman filed a lawsuit against several parties, including a strict liability lawsuit against Amazon. In response, Amazon moved for summary judgment, arguing that their case was distinguishable from prior cases holding the eCommerce site liable because they did not ever possess the hoverboard.

Despite the distinction, the court reviewed the case under the principles of prior holdings, such as the Bolger decision. The court reasoned that the online retailer operated on a business model that places itself in between the seller and consumer. Amazon contended that Bolger should not apply because it was not decided correctly and does not comport with the modern economy. However, the court found that the holding can reasonably extend to modern product liability concerns.

In the alternative, the court found that Amazon may be liable under the “stream of commerce” model. This approach applies in situations when the product liability defendant is not in the direct chain of distribution. It imposes liability based on the financial benefit the defendant obtains from the transaction, their role in providing the product to the public, and their influence on manufacturing the product. The court opined that there were genuine issues of material fact regarding whether those factors apply in this case.

Parental liability refers to a parent’s obligation to pay for damages caused by their minor child’s negligence, intentional, or criminal acts. These situations arise in cases where a minor’s conduct results in damages to another. Under M.R.S.A §304, Maine parents and legal guardians maintain liability for damage by their children. The statute provides that parents and legal guardians of minors between the ages of 7 and 17 years old who willfully or maliciously cause damage or injury to another person will be jointly and severally liable with the minor for the damage or injury. However, the statute only applies in situations where the minor lives with the parent or legal guardian and limits liability to $800. The statute does not relieve the minor from personal liability for the incident.

While some injury victims may be wary of filing a lawsuit against a minor, it is often necessary. A minor’s negligence, willfulness, or maliciousness can result in significant injuries and even death to another. For instance, a news report recently described a harrowing incident that took the life of a 3-year-old boy. The accident occurred when a 13-year-old girl ran over the young boy, resulting in his death. According to witnesses, the 13-year-old was under the watch of the young boy’s parents. The mother got out of the car, and as she did, the 13-year-old girl unbuckled the toddler, put him in the driveway, jumped into the driver’s seat and tried to flee. While doing so, she ran over the boy, killing him in front of his family. State Police stated that the case is under investigation; however, the crash report stated that the girl acted in an erratic, reckless, careless, negligent, or aggressive manner. Police have not ruled out charges against the girl.

The damages cap on parental liability is quite low and rarely meets the expenses and losses that a victim or their family faced. In those situations, injury victims should consult with an attorney to discuss other avenues for relief. In some cases, a victim may claim damages against a homeowners policy, renters insurance policy, or motor vehicle insurance policy. Moreover, an attorney can help identify any other responsible parties that may be liable for the damages. These cases require an in-depth understanding of complex statutory and procedural rules, so it is essential to contact an experienced attorney to discuss how to proceed.

Everyone has seen a yellow wet floor sign warning you that the area you’re walking into may be slippery. When you slip and fall or are injured in Maine on another party’s property, however, you may have a premises liability claim if the individual failed to provide take the necessary steps to ensure the area was reasonably safe.

As an example, in a recent state Supreme Court decision, the court addressed what duty, if any, is owed by a hospital to an individual who is on its premises solely to visit one of its patients. The plaintiff was visiting his hospitalized wife when he slipped and fell on ice in the hospital’s parking lot. The plaintiff sued the hospital, alleging inadequate snow and ice removal in the parking lot caused him to fall and that the hospital breached the duty of care it owed to him. The hospital was granted summary judgment, and the plaintiff appealed.

On appeal, the court sided with the plaintiff and reversed the lower court’s summary judgment decision. The court concluded that the plaintiff was an invitee, so the hospital owed him a duty to keep the premises and grounds in reasonably safe condition. Invitees, who are owed the highest duty of care in premises liability claims, can be established in two ways: either by showing that they were on the premises “for a purpose connected with the business conducted on the land,” or that “it can be reasonably be said that the visit may confer a business, commercial, monetary, or other tangible benefit to the landowner.” Because the plaintiff was on hospital grounds to visit his wife, which was closely connected to the hospital’s business, he satisfied the first element and established himself as an invitee.

When car accidents occur, people frequently assume that they only involve two vehicles and parties: the party who was hit, and the at-fault party. Sometimes, however, collisions can escalate quickly—resulting in chain-reaction accidents with devastating results. When these accidents take place, it can be overwhelming to know where to start when it comes to recovering compensation. Figuring out who to file a claim against, who was at fault, or even the facts and context associated with the accident can be challenging when so many parties are involved. However, recovering from a Maine chain-reaction accident does not need to be complicated as long as you have the proper representation to guide you through the process.

According to a news report, a 22-car chain reaction accident left at least one person dead and several others injured. In the course of the accident, a semi-truck hit a snowplow, which caused it to roll over into a ditch. Based on witness accounts at the scene, whiteout conditions appeared suddenly, and the change in the weather and visibility on the road was a probable factor in causing the crash. Following this quick burst of snow, there were at least three chain reaction crashes within a 20-mile stretch of the interstate, according to local authorities. The crashes still remain under investigation, and it is unclear how many people were injured or how serious their injuries were.

Although drivers in Maine are no stranger to similar, sudden changes to weather conditions and visibility while driving, no one expects it to result in a chain reaction accident. In chain reaction accidents, there is usually at least one party who is considered at fault. Establishing who that is, however, can often be a complicated process. In larger accidents, sometimes all of the injured parties following the initial crash that set off the chain reaction will proceed collectively against the initially negligent driver.

When an individual suffers injuries because of poorly maintained property or land, they may be able to recover against the negligent land or property owner. However, Maine injury victims often face challenges when the incident occurs on public or government land or because of the negligence of a governmental entity or employee. The Maine Tort Claims Act (MTCA) provides municipalities and governmental entities with immunity for negligent acts. While the MTCA provides barriers to recovery, the government may still be liable for bodily injury and property damage in situations involving negligent ownership, maintenance or use of government vehicles, machinery, and equipment or roadways. Further, they may be responsible for injuries occurring at public buildings, such as public schools, parks, and courthouses.

While the MTCA provides broad immunity to governmental entities, the statute also includes exceptions to governmental immunity. Two critical road-related exceptions include:

  • Negligence during road construction, cleaning, and repair; and

When it comes to our health, we all deserve to trust the products that we use to maintain or improve our well-being. Because some of these products often touch on the most intimate parts of our lives, it is crucial that consumers can safely rely on manufacturers to produce and market safe products for our use. When health-related products such as medical devices end up hurting us rather than helping us, however, the manufacturers of those products must be held accountable.

According to a report from a consumer advocacy organization, IUD-related product liability lawsuits have been taking place with greater frequency in recent years. The Paragard IUD, which has been circulating the market since its initial approval in 1984, is a copper birth control device that prevents pregnancy. The device has been marketed as convenient for patients on the go, easy to insert, and easy to remove.

In recent years, however, dozens of lawsuits have emerged as a result of the device. Products liability suits alleging issues with the IUD’s manufacturing, labeling, marketing, and development have arisen, especially as manufacturers have continued to sell the device despite knowing that it could break during removal. Many patients who have had the IUD break during removal have filed claims alleging that pieces are missing or lodged in their organs or that breakage has resulted in allergic reactions, infection, loss of fertility, pain, and even surgery to remove broken pieces.

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