Famed veteran of the United States Army and Maine legislative hopeful Stuart “Toby” Pennels passed away earlier this month from injuries sustained in an August 3rd motorcycle accident – which involved a collision with a pickup truck driver in the Sandy River Plantation area. The victim, who was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, apparently lost control of his motorcycle while traveling down Route 4, sustained severe shoulder and chest injuries. He was promptly airlifted to the renowned Central Maine Medical Center located in Lewistown, from which he was transferred to the Hospice House in Auburn, Maine. While there, he passed away peacefully surrounded by his wife of 31 years and three adult children.
He was just 51 years old, and was the frontrunner Republican legislative candidate for Maine’s District 26, which covers the areas of Baldwin, Casco, Frye Island, Raymond and Standish.
Dangers of motorcycle riding
While considered one of America’s favorite recreational activities, motorcycling can be one of the most dangerous activities permitted on the open road. While traveling by motorcycle, in and of itself, may not be terribly risky, the negligence of other drivers can quickly lead to devastating results – as evidenced in this most recent tragedy.
The facts of the collision involving Maine’s Toby Pennels do not suggest whether the other driver was at fault for the crash – however it is not uncommon for motorcyclists to sustain life-threatening injuries after being side-swiped or clipped by motorists too busy to properly check adjacent lanes for traffic. What’s more, cyclists are left extremely vulnerable to injury due primarily to their bodily exposure atop the bike – often donning little to protect themselves aside from a helmet, which is only legally required for riders aged 17 and younger.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a bike accident and are in need of legal advice, please contact the Maine motorcycle accident lawyers at Hardy, Wolf & Downing at your earliest convenience for a free case evaluations.
Options for motorcycle accident victims
Victims of motorcycle accidents may be able to recover from the responsible party under a number of legal theories. First and foremost, Maine negligence laws impart a duty of care upon all drivers to take care around other roadway users – including motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians. Failure to adhere to this duty of care can lead to exposure to liability for the driver, which can cover any of the following:
- Medical expenses
- Property damage to the motorcycle
- Lost wages
- Lost future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional turmoil
- Punitive damages
Motorcycle accident victims in Maine may also pursue a claim for damages under the state’s product liability laws, which may come into play if there is an issue with the motorcycle or one of its components. Like any highly-technical machine, motorcycles are comprised of hundreds of working parts that can cause the bike to malfunction. A product liability lawsuit may be an option for accident victims that believe the cause of their injuries is related to a malfunctioning part.
Lastly, surviving family members of a victim tragically killed in a motorcycle crash may be able to advance a claim under Maine’s laws of wrongful death. A successful Maine wrongful death lawsuit follows a similar path as a negligence action, and awards immediate family members for pain and suffering incurred due to the negligence of the other driver. In essence, wrongful death actions help to ensure a responsible party is not alleviated from liability merely due to the fact the victim has died.
Contact reputable Maine car accident attorneys
If you or a loved one experienced a car or motorcycle accident and are considering your legal options under Maine law, please contact Hardy, Wolf & Downing right away for help in advancing your accident injury claim. For the preeminent practitioners of Maine personal injury litigation, call 1-800-INJURED today.