Articles Tagged with Maine injury lawyer

Learning good sportsmanship is one of the primary purposes of youth sports. Yet all over the country – and right here in Maine – serious injuries are reported when parents, players, coaches and fans engage in violence both on and off the field.

Our Portland injury lawyers just recently read about a girls soccer field punch during a playoff game at Lisbon High School, a half hour outside Portland. A video clip (viewed more than 73,000 times on social media before it was removed) shows one player swinging at an opposing player after a scored goal. Later in the game, the clip shows that same player attack again, punching the same girl in the face. The victim fell as she tried to dodge the punch and apparently wasn’t seriously hurt, according to the Portland Press Herald. The video is being reviewed by school officials and no criminal charges have been filed. Less than a week later, the Press Herald reported yet another violent attack at a youth sports game, this time at Scarborough High School, where a 20-year-old resident allegedly stabbed a 15-year-old student in the parking lot during a soccer game half-time.

As Maine injury lawyers know, there may be few remedies available for youth sports players who suffer certain injuries in the course of the game. Depending on the nature of the sport, those injuries may be considered the inherent risk one assumes in playing. (Not always, though, so it’s best to at least discuss your rights with an attorney.) However, when an assault or battery occurs at a sporting event, either among fans or between players or even parents, coaches or referees, parties may be found liable under either negligence or intentional tort law. Continue reading

Two people were killed – one a child – and three seriously injured in a Maine car accident believed to have been weather-related. 

The Portland Press-Herald reported the Monday morning crash instantly killed a 45-year-old man and critically injured his fifth-grade daughter, who died two days later. The accident also seriously injured two other children and the girl’s mother. All three children involved in the crash attended Narragansett School in the Gorham School Department, just west of Portland. The newspaper reported the father was a passenger in a Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by his wife when she lost control of the vehicle on a road slicked with snow and ice. The Jeep skidded sideways and was then broadsided by a dump truck, which then pushed the Jeep into a telephone pole. The three girls were seated in the back seat of the vehicle, one in a child car seat. There was so much damage to the Jeep that firefighters had no choice but to cut the doors off to pry the victims out. Of the two girls who survived, one suffered a broken hip and the other several broken bones. The driver and mother sustained severe internal injuries, hospital administrators reported. The driver of the dump truck was not injured.

Maine of course is no stranger to snow and ice, but no matter how many times drivers brave it on the roads, it’s still just as lethal. Investigators are still combing through the circumstances, but the Gorham police chief told the Press-Herald that it was safe to say speed was likely a factor in the collision. However, he added that if this had been a dry roadway at the time of the incident, “this accident would not have happened.”

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Back injuries are the most common type of injury suffered on the job, according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics. What’s more, the Maine Department of Labor reports the problem is getting worse here in The Pine Tree State.

Federal analysis indicates that in 2014, there were approximately 200,000 cases in which workers missed at least one day of work because of a back injury. That’s out of 1.15 million total instances of missed time for occupational injuries.

Meanwhile, the Maine DOL reports injuries to the lumbar spine (the lower back) represented 14.3 percent of all work-related injuries. Compare this to 2009, when lower back injuries comprised 10.7 percent of all work injuries.

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The federal agency in charge of overseeing more than $1 trillion in Medicare and Medicaid funds has taken a stand against the commonplace practice of forcing victims of nursing home abuse into resolving disputes via arbitration, rather than in court.

Increasingly, provisions buried in the fine print of nursing home admission contracts have required residents to resolve quality of care disputes within this private system – out of public view. Not only are these proceedings confidential, but also they consistently favor the nursing home. Even when damages are awarded to plaintiffs, they are usually much less than what one would typically receive in a judgement issued by the courts. Arbitrators are chosen by the nursing homes, and there is an incentive for them to resolve cases in a way that minimizes the financial impact to the facility.

This, of course, is inherently unfair, and advocates for years now have been calling for the federal government to step in and curtail such forced arbitration. Now, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a division of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, has taken a major step in restoring a key right of millions of vulnerable, elderly Americans. The agency’s new rule, hailed as the most significant in decades, holds that any nursing home that gets federal funding can’t deny residents and families the right to have their day in court.

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Drunk driving in Maine causes more wrongful deaths than any type of violent crime. In 2014, law enforcement officials reported 25 people died by homicide, while 50 died in drunk driving accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That’s double. Impaired driving accounts for more than a third of all motor vehicle fatalities in this state. What’s more, the problem appears to be getting worse. The number of operating under the influence deaths in Maine spiked from 44 to 50 in a single year – an increase of nearly 14 percent. Many hundreds more are injured.

We saw it once again in the community of Strong, about 1.5 hours from Bangor. According to the Kennebec Journal, police are reporting a fiery, head-on collision that killed one driver, injured two passengers, and sent another motorist to a Farmington jail on an OUI charge – a class B felony for operating under the influence resulting in death.

The collision was reported at around 7:45 p.m. on a recent Tuesday, when authorities received a call about a traffic accident and possible entrapment on Lambert Hill Road. Authorities arrived to discover two pickup trucks that had collided head-on and were both in flames. The allegedly drunk driver, 24, managed to escape his vehicle, as did his two passengers, although they were injured. However, the driver and sole occupant of the other truck was not able to get out. Fire officials were only able to retrieve his body once they had extinguished the flames.

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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

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

The father of a 21-month-old boy says their child died in a Portland hospital after falling ill a week after a visit to the Oxford County Fair. The child was diagnosed with Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, which is a disease born of E. coli, a bacteria that’s typically found in the intestines of both humans and animals.

After learning of another toddler who is in critical condition with the same condition after visiting the same petting zoo, the deceased boy’s father said he is convinced his child picked up the illness at the petting zoo. He told the Boston Globe he and the other family compared notes on everything they ate, places they went, cleanliness practices. He said the two children didn’t know each other and had never met.

“But we both went to the petting zoo,” he told a reporter.

The other child, 17 months, remains hospitalized. Continue reading

A 9-year-old boy was killed, while his mother and 6-year-old brother were seriously injured, after a 63-year-old woman drove her sedan into a line of people waiting on a wharf in Rockland, Maine for a ferry ride to Monhegan. Also seriously injured in the crash was a 70-year-old man who suffered a shattered hip.

Now, parents of the boy who lost his life have filed a  Maine wrongful death lawsuit against the New York City driver, as well as the owners of the ferry and the boat line business.

Plaintiffs allege the crash could have been prevented if the driver had not been operating her vehicle negligently or, alternatively, had the ferry line acted to erect gates and barriers or worked to safely channel bicycle, pedestrian and vehicle traffic on the wharf where the crash happened. Continue reading

A landlord in Cumberland County is facing criminal charges that could carry up to 30 years prison time for a fatal fire in November that killed six people.

In addition to six counts of manslaughter, the landlord is accused of three misdemeanor code violations for failure to have working smoke detectors, have a second escape from an upstairs bedroom and clear stairwells.

These kind of issues, if proven, would provide a strong basis for the pending premises liability lawsuits, which have been filed by several of the victims’ families.

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