Articles Tagged with Maine car accident

The town of Kittery is now facing nearly half a dozen Maine injury lawsuits following a van crash in which nearly a dozen children, ages 7 to 9, were injured when the driver, employed by the town, crashed due to a medical emergency. Plaintiffs are seeking monetary damages for medical expenses incurred in the weeks following the crash.

Injuries included a fractured leg, head injuries, facial scarring and emotional trauma. According to The Portland Press-Herald, the driver, 21, did have a commercial license, but had disclosed in a previous court case (which was public record) that he suffered from epilepsy and seizures, and he also had an extended history of previous criminal driving infractions. An internal review by the town revealed officials there did not check the man’s prior driving record before he was hired.

This case raises a number of legal issues, some of which, like the sudden emergency doctrine, we touched on previously. However, it also raises the common issue in Maine crash case which is one of respondeat superior, or employer liability for employee negligence.

A Windham woman and her 12-year-old son were seriously injured last month in a Maine car accident in which their vehicle tore through a guardrail on Route 1 in Bath and plunged 30-feet off a two-lane bridge, before landing upside down on a pickup truck. The Portland Press Herald reported the bridge from which the car fell had numerous missing or broken rail bolts. Structurally, it was designed to prevent exactly this sort of thing. But it did not, and those deficiencies may have been a factor. 

The horrific crash now has officials with the Maine Department of Transportation launching an investigation into more than a dozen bridges across the state that may have structural inadequacies or safety concerns.

The 37-year-old woman and her 12-year-old son had to be extricated from the mangled mass of metal by firefighters and were then transported via ambulance to the Maine Medical Center in Portland with serious injuries. Fortunately, the injuries they suffered were not expected to be life-threatening. Continue reading

A baby girl was killed in a Maine car accident on the state turnpike in Wells. Four other people were injured in the crash, according to The Portland Press Herald

It was about 4 p.m. Heavy rains poured onto the roadway. A 22-year-old woman was at the wheel. The 11-month-old baby girl was in the back seat.

The driver allegedly lost control of the vehicle, slammed into guardrails and then came to rest along the tree line on the southbound side of the turnpike. The girl’s mother, 21, had been in the front passenger seat of the car. She and the driver were transported to the Maine Medical Center in Portland with serious injuries.

Two other children in the vehicle – a 3-year-old girl and a 4-month-old boy – survived with minor injuries. Those two, identified as the offspring of the driver, had been buckled into proper child safety harnesses. The 11-month-old girl had also been buckled into a child safety seat in the back. However, she nonetheless suffered fatal head injuries. She was transported to a local hospital, where she died of her injuries.  Continue reading

The surviving husband of a 67-year-old woman who died as a passenger in a Maine car accident has filed a lawsuit to recover damages from the two drivers involved in the wreck. One of those drivers is a young, uninsured motorist who was without a license at the time of the crash. The other is his late wife’s sister. 

Although it may seem unsettling that one would take legal action against a relative, especially one who has likely already suffered such trauma, there is a very practical reason for such action. It has to do with insurance coverage and the fact that the 22-year-old driver who struck the two women didn’t have any.

Meanwhile, decedent and her sister were covered by uninsured motorist (UM) coverage and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. These coverage forms will provide coverage when the at-fault driver(s) either don’t have any insurance or when the insurance available isn’t enough.  Continue reading

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court was faced with a number of interesting personal injury liability questions of first impression in the recent case of Murdock v. Thorne

For instance: Does a motorist who waves forward another driver have a duty to ensure it is completely safe for the driver to move ahead? Further, does a driver in the outer lane of a four-lane road approaching stopped traffic and a driveway on the right have a duty to anticipate traffic turning into his lane when vehicles in the inner lane are stopped short of that driveway for this purpose?

To answer yes to both questions would be to substantially expand the scope of potential liability for motorists. But the state high court wasn’t ready to do that just yet. Justices didn’t completely foreclose on the possibility, but rather concluded the case at hand wasn’t ripe for such a decision. They dismissed the appeals and told litigants they could appeal again once all other relevant matters were resolved by the lower court.  Continue reading

Maine has been battered in recent weeks by heavy snow, angry winds exceeding 30 mph and bitter, frigid cold dipping close to 0 degrees. 

These kinds of conditions aren’t new in the northeastern U.S., but for some reason, many people seem to drive like they’ve never encountered it. Motorists often travel entirely too fast for the conditions, don’t give themselves enough time to get where they are going and pull aggressive maneuvers on roads that are slick and treacherous to begin with.

On a recent weekend where snowfall topped 7 inches in some parts of Maine, numerous traffic accidents were reported throughout the state. All of these were attributed by officials to slippery conditions. It got so bad at one point that state officials reduced speed limits along the Maine Turnpike down to 45 mph.  Continue reading

A series of massive rainstorms over Maine recently set a daily rainfall record in Portland, with nearly 6 inches of water. In nearby Searsport, the precipitation reached almost 10 inches a day.

The storms made headlines as they caused flooding throughout the state, cut off roadway access and in some cases, reached as high as the windows of passing vehicles.

This kind of weather, which is treacherous to anyone caught driving, may seem an anomaly. However, as the Bangor Daily News reported, these kind of “extreme” rain and snow storms are likely here to stay. That assertion is according to a 2012 study that revealed the frequency of these “extreme” events has increased dramatically. What used to happen once year is now happening two or three times, a 74 percent increase. As one meteorologist put it: The severe storms our grandparents experienced once a year when they were young are now happening every six- to- seven months. Continue reading

A motorist in Orient, about two hours north of Bangor, crashed his vehicle as he attempted to take a “selfie” while driving.

In so doing, he not only wrecked his car, he and two of his passengers were injured and had to be rushed to a local hospital. He had reportedly been with seven passengers total. In an attempt to immortalize the good time they were having, the man took out his camera phone, leaned in to be included in the shot – and then lost control of his car, slamming head-on into a tree.

That’s according to several media reports, which indicate the driver was not a teenager, but rather a 29-year-old man. The others in the vehicle were between the ages of 28 and 35. The two friends who were injured were seated in the front seat and were not wearing seat belts. Continue reading

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