Articles Tagged with Bangor injury attorney

Although it’s not exactly sparkler season (the biggest fireworks in November perhaps being the elections), the impact these explosives can have on lives lasts well beyond the Fourth of July. Bangor injury lawyers know this has been especially true since 2011, when Maine state lawmakers passed a law allowing legal sale and possession of consumer fireworks for adults over 21. Their use is restricted to certain holidays (July 4th and December 31st) and those weekends immediately before and after.  This spurred a new wave of retail outlets, peddling mostly Chinese products that are not only powerful, but if defective or used improperly, incredibly dangerous. Lawmakers passed a measure in 2012 and another in 2017 allowing both cities and plantations in Maine to adopt their own consumer fireworks ordinances, which is exactly what they’ve been doing.

Recently a man in Laconia, New Hampshire (about 2 hours from Portland, Maine) filed a lawsuit alleging a 19-shot AA firework cake and one of its charges struck him in the eye, causing him to lose his vision in that eye. Initially, he told investigators the firework, which was consumer-grade, may have had a “quick fuse.” He’s now suing the manufacturer of that firework for product liability, saying the fuse was defective. Authorities on scene noted the firework had been anchored properly to the ground, spectators were a safe distance away and there was a hose on the ground nearby.

Last October, a man in Sabattus, Maine died as a result of a fireworks explosion after he lit a firework inside a cinder block at his son’s home. He was standing roughly 15 feet away, but the force of the explosion sent fragments of cinder block flying, causing several pieces to strike him and resulting in fatal injuries. There is no word yet on whether his surviving family intends to take legal action. Continue reading

A young man in Maine has been indicted on a manslaughter charge following a Maine drunk driving accident that killed one and left another seriously injured. Although civil liability has not been raised at this juncture, our drunk driving accident lawyers know it could well be an issue in the future, given the facts we know so far. 

Many actions for which one might be deemed liable in a civil case are also violations of criminal statutes. While some criminal courts will impose orders of restitution on convicted offenders to be paid to the victim(s), this is separate and apart from civil liability, which should be explored in cases involving serious injuries. For one thing, restitution orders often do not take into account more than medical expenses. Civil liability, meanwhile, will weigh such elements as lost wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of consortium. That means one stands to obtain far more compensation in a civil case. This is also true, particularly in drunk driving accident cases, since there is the possibility of third-party liability under Maine’s Liquor Liability Act. Under this provision, one can be sued for up to $250,000, plus medical expenses, for reckless or negligent conduct in serving liquor to a person who is intoxicated or a minor if the defendant disregards the obvious and substantial risk that serving liquor to that person might cause to the drinker or others.

In this case, according to CentralMaine.com, three young men were drinking together at a local restaurant. The defendant driver was reportedly “the most sober” of the trio, so he was designated as the driver that night. He reportedly skidded 300 feet before careening off the road into the opposite travel lane and striking a tree and then a telephone pole. All three occupants were ejected from the vehicle. One of the passengers died, and the other suffered severe injuries.

In Maine, motorists are required to maintain minimum limits of uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) benefits. These help make up the difference in costs if you are injured by the negligence of another driver who doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your losses. It can also be applied if you are struck by a vehicle, such as a bicyclist/pedestrian/skateboarder, are injured in a hit-and-run or are run off the road by a “phantom” vehicle. The minimum amount of coverage is $50,000 per person and $100,000 per crash.

But even when drivers maintain their benefits, they may still find that insurers are reluctant to pay these costs. Injured parties may need to take their claim to a judge to collect.

That was the situation in the recent Maine Supreme Judicial Court case of Graf v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. According to court records, plaintiff was injured in a Maine auto accident when she was rear-ended by an underinsured motorist. All parties agree the crash was entirely the fault of the other driver, who at the time had a liability motorist policy worth a (statutorily legal) $50,000. Plaintiff claimed UM/UIM coverage and medical payments under two State Farm insurance policies. Continue reading

A driver behind the wheel in a car crash that left one person dead and three seriously injured was reportedly traveling at nearly twice the speed limit, police say.

Speeding, of course, is one of the most prevalent contributing factors in auto accidents, with the National Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reporting the average annual cost of speed-related crashes nationally is more than $40 billion.

Bangor Daily News staffers recently combed through law enforcement analysis of the May 14th crash in Belfast involving a 19-year-old driver and her four young passengers. Continue reading

A driver was recently critically injured following a three-car crash that ended with one vehicle slamming into the front of the Gothic building in downtown Belfast, an hour south of Bangor. 

According to The Bangor Daily News, officers believe an older man in a Sedan with Massachusetts plates was speeding down the hill on Maine Street around 1 p.m. when he suddenly crossed into opposing traffic and slammed into a van at a five-way intersection. He then drove straight into a parked vehicle and then into the front of a building. The parked vehicle was also sent flying up over the curb, just in front of the Bangor Savings Bank.

The occupants of that parked vehicle – which included a toddler in his car seat – were not seriously injured.  Continue reading

Drunk driving accidents and the devastating injuries and deaths they cause are 100 percent preventable. 

Maine legislators believe this as well, which is why criminal penalties for causing an accident while drunk are severe – especially if someone is seriously hurt or killed. Maine Revised Statute 29-A, Section 2411 spells out  penalties for OUI offenses, aggravating factors and penalties. Generally, if you are in an accident that results in a major injury or death, you will be facing a felony and a long-term license suspension.

But how does that help the victims, whose lives have been irreparably affected? Other than ensuring the at-fault driver is off the road, it really doesn’t. The only way to recover damages is to pursue a claim for damages against the driver (and by proxy his insurance company). If the driver doesn’t have insurance or the coverage is paltry, victims may recover through their own uninsured/ underinsured motorist coverage policy. Continue reading

Car accidents in Maine claim hundreds of lives each year. In an effort to better understand the many factors that contribute to these lethal incidents, the Maine Department of Transportation keeps track of crash data, including time, location and cause. 

Recently, local news station WCSH6 analyzed the data, which was collected from a three-year time frame from 2012 to 2014. One of the elements reporters zeroed in on was location. As one DOT spokesperson pointed out, this allows traffic safety officials to target areas of particular concern.

In Bangor, the city’s engineer said he uses this information when he receives calls from concerned residents regarding areas they describe as “the worst” for traffic crashes.  Continue reading

A man driving a car on a rural road in Waterville was reportedly blinded by bright sun when he rear-ended a horse-drawn hayride recently, injuring seven people – one critically. 

According to the Bangor Daily News, the collision happened on Christmas Day when the operators, S&S Carriage Rides, were offering rides to volunteers and guests of the Waterville Elks Lodge.

The force of impact was such that a 56-year-old woman was knocked off the back of the wagon and onto the road, where she was then run over by the car. The seat in which the 42-year-old wagon operator was sitting was broken, though the horses were not hurt. The 73-year-old car driver wasn’t hurt. Seven people in total were taken to the hospital, though the 56-year-old woman had to be flown by helicopter to a health care facility in Portland.  Continue reading

A police officer wading into a rowdy college crowd in Orono to arrest unruly guests fell and broke his ankle. As this incident occurred while he was working, he’s almost certainly entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. However, that only covers part of his expenses, and he has since filed a premises liability lawsuit against the apartment complex where he fell.

In Angelo v. Campus Crest at Orono LLC, the Old Town police officer alleges the management company that operates The Grove apartment complex – the largest off campus living quarters near The University of Maine – was negligent in failing to maintain the property in safe condition. The party to which he responded from outside his jurisdiction was huge, with an estimated 400 people – mostly students – in attendance. Many were drinking alcohol, despite being underage.

Apartment complex managers may not be responsible for every gathering at their location, but the issue here was the fact this was a regular occurrence on this site. The complex opened in 2012, and there was a similar large party that took place there at that time. There was another large party there the following year, just after school started. In this instance, students again amassed on the site the first weekend after classes started. Continue reading

The issue of comparative fault in Maine personal injury lawsuits is a significant one because, depending on the degree of it, an injured person’s right to collect damages may be significantly reduced or eliminated entirely.

Maine Revised Statute Titel 14 Part 1 Chapter 7 Section 156 covers “comparative negligence.” The law states that when a person suffers death or damages that are party the result of that person’s own fault, the claim isn’t barred entirely, but the amount of damages recoverable are to be reduced to such an extent the jury believes equitable, accounting for claimant’s share of responsibility. So if a plaintiff wins $100,000 in damages but is deemed to be 25 percent comparatively negligent, he or she will only collect $75,000 from defendant.

If a plaintiff is determined to be equally or more at-fault for his or her injuries, plaintiff cannot recovery any damages. Continue reading

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