Articles Tagged with Portland injury attorney

Usually, when we think of property owner liability, we’re thinking of a business that is responsible after a customer slips and falls or is attacked in a parking lot. But premises liability can extend to private homeowners too. It does depend on the situation, and private homeowners usually don’t owe the same high level of care to their guests that businesses do when they welcome members of the public. Nonetheless, a failure to use reasonable care can result in liability. Claims are typically paid by one’s homeowners’ insurance. 

Recently, the father of a single mother filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a private homeowner responsible for a house in Waterville where his daughter suffered a fatal fall from the second story.

According to The Portland Press Herald, the 33-year-old woman, from Clinton, was killed a year ago after she fell after stepping out a set of sliding glass doors on the second floor. The problem was that while the doors were supposed to open up to a balcony, that feature hadn’t yet been built. Nonetheless, the homeowner, who was hosting a holiday party, failed to block off those doors or take measures to stop people from opening the door or from walking outside.

Continue reading

In most situations wherein someone’s injury or death is caused by the negligence of another, a civil lawsuit may be in order. However, if the injured party was working or acting in the course and scope of employment at the time of the accident, the case could become more complicated. 

Workers’ compensation laws in Maine contain something known as an exclusive remedy provision. This means that the only remedy one has against his or her own employer for work-related accidents, injuries and illnesses is workers’ compensation, which typically covers medical bills and a portion of lost wages, but nothing else. There can sometimes be grounds for a third-party lawsuit against others aside from the employer. There are also situations in which entities wrongly label themselves as “employers” when in fact they are not, in which case litigation is still appropriate.

These are matters that must be handled by an experienced Portland injury lawyer.  Continue reading

A truck driver from Tennessee was arrested on aggravated DUI and manslaughter charges in Virginia recently in connection with a fatal Maine truck accident that occurred in March. 

Authorities told the Portland Press Herald the 53-year-old driver was reportedly hauling lumber in a tractor-trailer on Route 17 in Washington, ME when he veered his semi into oncoming traffic. The tractor-trailer rolled over, lumber was flung all over the roadway and a total of five vehicles were involved.

Two people – a 74-year-old man from Owls Head and a 45-year-old woman from Warren – were declared dead at the scene.  Continue reading

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

When serious or fatal injuries are caused by another person’s negligence, the victim and/or surviving family have a right to pursue compensation for their losses. However, when the injuries sustained are the result of an intentional act, collecting becomes a more complicated matter. The reason is that while victims are still entitled to damages insurance companies often have policy exclusions for intentional criminal acts resulting in injury or death. That often leaves a plaintiff’s only recourse collection directly from the wrongdoer.

In many instances, that individual lacks the resources and assets to adequately compensate the victim(s). That doesn’t necessarily mean it is not worth it to pursue such a case, but the viability must be carefully weighed.

Recently, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court considered a lawsuit against a homeowners’ insurance company brought by the family of a man killed by another on property belonging to attacker’s grandmother. In Metro Prop. & Cas. Inc. Co. v. Estate of Benson, the court was asked to consider whether insurer could be liable for wrongful death despite its intentional tort exclusion in the policy. Continue reading

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court has remanded for further consideration a case in which a wife sued her husband for damages caused by his negligent operation of a motorcycle on which she was a passenger.

Although it often seems unthinkable outside of family court that spouses might sue one another, this case shows how most of the time, these claims are not personal. In the vast majority of situations in which relatives or friends are on opposites sides in civil litigation, it’s not the individual from whom they are trying to collect. Rather, it is the insurance company.

Here, plaintiff sought payment of medical bills and other expenses from the motorcycle insurance policy carried by her husband. But here in Maine, it is not possible to sue the insurance company for liability in an accident (except for when the insurer acts in bad faith). Instead, one must file a lawsuit against the insured. Continue reading

Drivers in the Freeport area were advised recently by the Maine Department of Transportation to use caution due to heavy rains and standing water on the turnpike.

The department told motorists they should adjust their speed accordingly and remain alert.

The warning was issued after one vehicle traveling on I-295 southbound hydroplaned and flipped on a recent Sunday morning. Four people were in the vehicle, but luckily, no one was seriously injured. Officials advise ongoing heavy rains and strong winds.

The latest report from The League of American Bicyclists puts Maine at the top when it comes to bicycle friendliest in New England.

The state ranked 15th nationally, behind the other New England states of Delaware, which ranked No. 3, and Massachusetts, which ranked No. 4. Meanwhile, New Hampshire ranked 27th, Connecticut 22nd and Vermont 17th.

The scoring criteria for “bicycle friendliness” was based on legislation and enforcement of bicycle safety laws, existing policies and programs, infrastructure and funding, education and encouragement and evaluation and planning.

By now, most motorists have undoubtedly heard about the grave risk posed by faulty airbags, defective ignition switches and unintended acceleration.

These issues and more were exposed within the last year by large auto manufacturers that later issued recalls compelling vehicle owners to have the problems fixed. In fact, there were a record number of vehicle-related recalls in 2014.

Companies have rightly come under fire for waiting too long to inform the public of the issues (in some cases, years), despite the very real risk of crash, injury and even death these defects pose. But the other problem is the low response rate for recalled vehicles. Part of it is lack of awareness. Part of it is there are no laws requiring owners or even dealerships to resolve safety recalls or inform buyers of problems prior to sale.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court recently affirmed a judgment favoring a bicyclist struck and run over by a bus driver, dismissing defendant’s argument that the cyclist’s own actions prevented her from obtaining compensation.

At issue in Semian v. Ledgemere Transportation, Inc. was 29 – A M.R.S. § 2070 (6). This statute allows that a bicyclist may pass a vehicle on the right in certain situations, but does so “at their own risk.”

Because of this provision, defendant bus company argued it could not be held liable for injuries sustained to a bicyclist who was attempting to pass on the right.

Contact Information