Independent contractors are workers whom an employer contracts to perform work for someone else. For example, a roofer may form an agreement with a roofing company to fix the roof of a company client. Under these arrangements, the independent contractor is not technically an employee. Unfortunately, this means if an independent contractor suffers injuries on the job, the employer can avoid paying out workers’ compensation. Instead, an independent contractor may look to alternative routes for compensation.

As a recent news article reported, a paper mill worker suffered from several injuries after falling from a roof in Skowhegan, Maine. Officials believe the person was an independent contractor fixing a piece of equipment on top of the building’s roof. The local fire department assisted with rescuing the person, who was transported to the hospital for multiple injuries. The accident comes on the heels of another subcontractor’s tragic death in the same town. The subcontractor was working at a different mill when he suddenly collapsed.

Can Independent Contractors Recover Workers’ Compensation?

If independent contractors suffer injuries on the job, they generally cannot recover workers’ compensation against the entity that contracted them for the job. Independent contractors must have workers’ compensation insurance for any employees they hire, but independent contractors themselves often do not receive workers’ compensation. Maine law presumes all workers are employees for workers’ compensation purposes. However, employers can escape that presumption by proving their workers are independent contractors who will not receive workers’ compensation for injuries on the job. Unfortunately, this arrangement is all too common. Employers save money by avoiding workers’ compensation insurance and payouts, leaving their workers with no recourse if they suffer injuries that impede their ability to earn a living. However, independent contractors can recover workers’ compensation if they can show the employer misclassified them as independent contractors rather than an employees.

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Bike accidents, particularly collisions with a vehicle, are especially hazardous. Compared to cars and trucks, bicycles lack the same protections in the event of an accident. Additionally, the sheer force of a vehicle collision is often too great for a bicycle to withstand. As a result, cyclists who collide with a car often suffer devastating injuries. These harms are even more pronounced when the victim is a child.

For example, a 15-year-old girl on a bicycle suffered injuries after a car accident in Sanford, Maine. The girl was riding her bicycle when a car struck her. When emergency personnel arrived at the scene, the girl was trapped under the car. She was transported to the hospital in critical condition. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

What Are the Top Causes of Maine Bicycle Accidents?

Unfortunately, many car accidents can lead to severe injuries or fatalities. Too often, if a driver speeds or operates their vehicle carelessly, it is the passenger who suffers the consequences. When a passenger dies in a car accident, the deceased’s family may wish to seek justice for their loved one. While no amount of money will bring a loved one back, a wrongful death suit can provide a way to seek redress for your harm. It can also help you recover from the financial burdens that resulted from the fatal accident.

As a recent news article reported, a teenage passenger was killed, and two others were injured after a car accident in Saco, Maine. Shortly after midnight, police officers responded to a call from a nearby resident who heard a cry for help. When the officers arrived at the scene, they found that a car had veered off the road and crashed into a tree. Sadly, the front-seat passenger was found dead at the scene. The driver was transported to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. The passenger who made the initial cry for help was also taken to the hospital with minor injuries. A police investigation into the accident found the car had crashed after speeding and passing another vehicle.

Can a Grieving Family Recover Damages for a Passenger’s Death?

In Maine, a person can bring a wrongful death lawsuit to seek damages after a fatal accident. Under Maine’s wrongful death statute, the administrator of the deceased person’s estate can sue the driver responsible for the passenger’s death. The resulting damages award then goes to the beneficiaries of the victim’s estate. Maine law allows a person to bring a wrongful death claim as long as the deceased could have done so if they survived the accident. Finally, a person must bring a wrongful death suit within two years of the fatal accident.

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Between the stress of busy workdays and commitments at home, drivers may have little time for sleep. However, getting enough sleep is critical to operating your vehicle safely. Drowsy driving can lead to falling asleep at the wheel, which often results in serious injury to other drivers. Even if a driver does not fall asleep, their drowsy driving can lead to distracted driving. When drivers are not alert enough to stay focused on the road, they place themselves and others at risk of physical injury and significant property damage. As a result, avoiding drowsy driving is a key step drivers should take to stay safe.

As a recent news article reported, a drowsy tractor-trailer driver caused extensive damage in Hopkinton, New Hampshire. The tractor-trailer driver was traveling on Route 127 when he hit a guardrail, causing extensive damage to both the tractor-trailer and the guardrail. When police investigated the incident, they learned the driver had caused a second accident. Just hours earlier, the driver had previously hit another tractor-trailer. Though no one was harmed, the other tractor-trailer endured severe property damage. The driver received an out-of-service order for violating safety conditions on the road, which temporarily prohibited him from driving. Police blamed the accident on drowsy driving and inattention.

How Can You Avoid Drowsy Driving?

Too often, the criminal justice system fails to bring justice to victims and their loved ones. When a person is found not guilty of a crime or faces a light sentence, the victim’s loved ones may feel that the criminal case failed to hold the perpetrator accountable for their profound loss. In these scenarios, a victim or their loved ones might look for another way to seek justice. When the criminal justice system fails to hold perpetrators accountable, a victim or their loved ones may turn to civil court and file a negligence lawsuit.

As a recent news article reported, a corrections officer received no jail time for an accident that killed a nine-year-old girl in Cumberland County, Maine. The accident occurred when the officer crashed his truck into an SUV, killing the girl who was riding in the back of the car. While on trial for manslaughter, the officer admitted he may have fallen asleep at the wheel. Prosecutors asked the judge for an 8-year sentence, 4 years’ supervision, and 100 hours of community service. The judge was much more lenient. At the sentencing hearing, the judge imposed a 6-year suspended sentence, 4 years probation, and 200 hours of community service. A suspended sentence is delayed until the convicted person completes probation, but judges often dismiss the sentence upon successful completion of the probation period. As a result, the officer likely faces no jail time.

Can You Sue a Driver Who Faced Charges in Criminal Court?

A criminal case does not affect your ability to sue a criminal defendant for damages in civil court. First, you can sue a driver who was found not guilty in a criminal trial—or who did not face criminal charges at all. Remember that a jury may find a person not guilty in a criminal case, but a jury could find that same person liable for civil damages. Second, you can sue a driver for damages even if they have to pay a criminal fine. Maine’s criminal law imposes fines as punishment for certain crimes, but these fines have nothing to do with civil liability for an accident. Even if the driver must pay criminal fines, you can still hold them responsible for civil damages.

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Pedestrian accidents can result in particularly serious harm. Pedestrians lack the same protections a vehicle affords its occupants. As a result, the force of a vehicle striking a pedestrian often causes the pedestrian to suffer life-threatening injuries. In the wake of these accidents, a pedestrian may seek to hold the driver who hit them responsible for their harm. To do so, an injured pedestrian can file a negligence lawsuit against the driver for the significant damage that often results from these accidents.

For example, a recent news article reported that a pedestrian suffered serious injuries following an accident in Durham, New Hampshire. The pedestrian was struck by a driver traveling westbound. Witnesses to the crash assisted the pedestrian until first responders arrived to transport the pedestrian to the hospital. The pedestrian received treatment for serious injuries, while the driver was unharmed. According to Durham police, the accident remains under investigation.

Can Pedestrians Sue for Damages in Maine?

Pedestrians who suffer injuries after a car accident can file a negligence lawsuit against the driver who hit them. To hold the defendant liable for damages, the injured plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed them a duty of care, breached that duty through a careless action or inaction, caused the accident through their carelessness and that the accident resulted in harm to the plaintiff. By filing a negligence lawsuit, plaintiffs will typically pursue compensatory damages. This type of damages award seeks to restore the plaintiff to the same position as if the accident never occurred. Pedestrians who want to sue the driver who hit them should know that criminal charges against the driver do not preclude their negligence lawsuit in civil court. The law may hold a driver responsible for a pedestrian accident through both criminal penalties and civil damages.

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Too often, head-on collisions result in severe injury and death. When a driver’s negligence causes another person’s death, the driver harms both the deceased and their surviving loved ones. In the wake of these senseless accidents, it is clear that no amount of money will ever bring a deceased loved one back. However, understanding how Maine handles wrongful death lawsuits can help the deceased’s loved ones think about their options for recovery.

As a recent news article reported, a head-on crash in Woolwich, Maine, killed one person and injured another. The crash occurred on a bridge in the northbound section of Route 1. While traveling southbound, a driver veered across the roadway into the northbound lane. The driver then collided head-on with a vehicle traveling northbound. Sadly, the driver died at the scene. The northbound vehicle’s driver was transported to the hospital to treat serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

Can You Bring a Wrongful Death Suit After a Maine Head-On Collision?

A person can bring a wrongful death suit for negligence if the negligent party would have been liable to the victim if he or she had not died. The reasoning is that wrongful death suits are a way to make sure negligent actors do not escape responsibility for their wrongdoing just because a victim is not alive to sue them personally. In Maine, a person bringing a wrongful death suit must do as the administrator of the deceased’s estate. However, the beneficiaries of the deceased’s estate can receive certain types of damages awards under Maine law.

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Due to the sheer force of a head-on collision, these accidents can be particularly dangerous for drivers and their passengers. When people suffer injuries in a head-on collision, they may seek to hold another driver responsible for their harm. However, determining who is at fault for a head-on collision can grow even more complicated when an accident involves more than two vehicles. In these scenarios, more than one driver could have caused the injured person’s harm.

For example, a recent news article reported that two people suffered severe injuries following a head-on collision involving three vehicles in Peru, Maine. A truck was driving on the highway when it passed a car; it then collided with a second truck traveling in the opposite direction. Two of the three drivers were transported to the hospital for serious injuries.

What Damages Can You Recover in a Head-On Collision?

After a head-on collision, an injured plaintiff can file a negligence claim for civil damages. Typically, plaintiffs will receive an award for compensatory damages. This type of damages award is meant to put the injured plaintiff in the same position as if the accident never occurred. Compensatory damages can include medical expenses resulting from the accident, property damage repair, and redress for emotional and psychological harm.

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When a pedestrian accident occurs at a busy intersection, there may be several possible causes. For example, a vehicle may fail to yield to pedestrians at a designated crosswalk. On the other hand, a pedestrian may fail to use a crosswalk or sidewalk and collide with oncoming traffic. In other cases, a pedestrian may lack a designated crosswalk and have no choice but to walk near traffic. Under these complex circumstances, injured pedestrians may be unsure whom to sue for their injuries or how to prove fault.

For example, according to a recent news article, a pedestrian suffered injuries after being struck at an intersection in Augusta, Maine. It is unclear whether the pedestrian was using a crosswalk when the accident occurred. An ambulance transported the pedestrian to the hospital for his injuries, where he was then flown to a Portland hospital for further treatment. The crash comes three years after Augusta officials implemented changes to improve pedestrian safety near the same intersection where the pedestrian was struck. The changes came in response to a previous pedestrian accident there. These additional safety measures included reducing the number of lanes pedestrians had to cross, and installing flashing lights to warn oncoming vehicles that a pedestrian would be crossing.

Who Has the Right of Way at an Intersection?

Maine law requires drivers to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians at a crosswalk or sidewalk. However, in the absence of marked crosswalks, pedestrians must yield right-of-way to drivers when crossing an intersection. Pedestrians who seek to establish a driver’s fault for an accident may present evidence that they were crossing within a designated crosswalk, requiring the driver to yield to them. In fact, Maine law requires drivers to exercise due care by leaving distance between their vehicle and the pedestrian when passing through a public road. Accordingly, if a driver fails to do so, a pedestrian plaintiff can develop an argument that the driver failed to exercise ordinary care, a key component of a successful negligence lawsuit.

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Chain reaction accidents occur when an initial crash leads to multiple other crashes, which may or may not involve the drivers who suffered the first accident. When a person suffers injuries in a chain reaction accident, it may be unclear who is responsible for that person’s harm. It may also be the case that multiple parties are at fault for a single injury. A Maine personal injury attorney can help you understand the complex questions of fault and compensation that arise from a chain reaction accident.

For example, as a recent news article reported, a chain reaction accident in Richmond, Maine, left five people injured. The accident happened on the highway when a car sideswiped a tractor trailer, causing the driver to lose control of his car and veer off the roadway. The drivers who witnessed the crash slowed down in traffic, which resulted in three cars crashing into each other. Five people suffered injuries, and one was transported to the hospital for life-threatening injuries. The driver who crashed into the tractor trailer was charged with operating his vehicle under the influence.

How Can You Recover Damages in a Maine Chain Reaction Accident?

People who suffer injuries in a Maine chain reaction accident can bring a negligence lawsuit to recover damages against the other parties involved in the crash. To succeed on a negligence claim, the plaintiff must prove the defendants each owed the plaintiff a duty of care, breached that duty through their action or inaction, that their carelessness caused the accident, and that the plaintiff suffered injuries as a result. When multiple drivers are involved, determining who caused an accident can pose a complicated question of both fact and law. It may be the case that multiple drivers have some portion of responsibility for the accident. At the same time, each driver may not be equally at fault for all crashes that occur in a chain reaction accident.

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