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Winterport Railroad Crossing Accident Injures One

railroad crossing freight train

RR crossing freight trainThe Waldo County Sherriff’s office is currently investigating a railroad crossing accident that happened in Winterport’s Meadow Road. Police say a female driver of a Hyundai Elantra was driving across the tracks when a Central Maine and Quebec Railway train slammed into the rear of her vehicle, spinning the car around.

The driver of the Elantra, whose name has not yet been released, was taken to Bangor’s Eastern Maine Medical Center for medical treatment. Eyewitnesses say that the victim, who looked to be in her thirties, appeared to have escaped without serious injury, though she was understandably shaken up by the accident.

Recent Winterport railroad crossing accident

The train accident was reported to authorities around 2:30 PM last Tuesday, and has stoked local concern about the safety of this particular Maine railroad crossing. Meadow Road is a rural route which has only recently been paved. Though there isn’t heavy traffic in the area, residents believe that the posted speed limit of 45 mph should be decreased, especially near the crossing.

One Meadow Road resident, Dana Edwards, told the Bangor Daily News he’d like to see increased visibility, lower speed limits and enhanced safety measures at the railroad crossing, stating that trains and vehicles travel too fast through the juncture.

“My whole question — is that crossing being properly maintained by the railroad? I just think it should be lighted,” Edwards told reporters. “I know you can’t light every crossing in the state. But I think it should be lighted with one of those guards that come down, or better signed or something. I just think someone needs to look at it, and make sure they’re doing everything they can to prevent something from happening.”

Investigations underway by railway

One thing is for certain – the railroad crossing accident could have been much worse, and resulted in severe injuries or even death had the Elantra’s driver been even seconds slower getting off the tracks. Jennifer Bricker, another eyewitness on the scene, told reporters that she noticed an empty child’s car seat in the back of the crumpled Elantra. After the accident, pieces of the vehicle’s back end were actually stuck to the locomotive.

Waldo County deputies will be investigating the accident with the help of information from the train’s black box, which logs crucial information about the speed of the locomotive and whether brakes were applied just seconds before impact.

This is the first time authorities have responded to a train-vehicle accident at the Winterport crossing in 25 years, and while it resulted in only minor injuries, it may spark efforts to tighten up safety.

Questionable safety of US passenger rail services

For many years, train services throughout Western Europe have featured automatic safety systems that alert conductors when they are speeding, then activating brakes to prevent a crash.  Though statistics from the Federal Railroad Administration indicate that derailments and train accident rates in the U.S. are down (a 15.5 drop in 2011-2014), the risk of dying in a train accident is nearly double in America than it is in Europe. The hope is that more passenger rails in the United States will be outfitted with Train Protection and Warning System (TPWS) to help prevent accidents caused by poor signaling and human error.

In the event that you or someone you love suffered injury or property damage at a railroad crossing in Bangor, Lewiston or Portland, contact Hardy, Wolf & Downing for a free consultation with a trusted Maine accident lawyer. Our legal team leverages more than four decades of experience handling train and motor vehicle accident claims.

Driver Flees One Accident, is Seriously Injured in Second Crash

car flipped over

A Portland man suffered serious injuries after car accident ambulancehis involvement in two accidents on Friday, September 4. After fleeing the scene of the first accident, the driver was then involved in a one-car rollover accident that sent him to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. The second accident closed the highway for approximately three hours while police investigated the scene.

Rollover accident driver in critical condition

Jabril Mohamud was driving a Hyundai sedan when he crashed into another vehicle on Exit 7 northbound ramp. The 30-year-old fled that scene, heading onto Interstate 295 where he was traveling north in a southbound lane. Around mile marker 7, Mohamud’s vehicle became airborne and landed on the roof, trapping Mohamud inside until emergency personnel could free him. Mohamud was taken to Maine Medical Center, where he was listed in critical condition.

Police have offered no details of the first accident, according to a report at the Bangor Daily News. There have also been no follow-up reports to state whether Mohamud was under any sort of influence when he was behind the wheel, if he was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the second accident or if he has been released from the hospital.

Dangers of rollover accidents

Rollover accidents are particularly complex and violent in nature, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. These crashes tend to have a higher fatality rate than other types of car accidents, accounting for 35 percent of all deaths from passenger vehicle crashes even though rollovers only make up around two percent of all the accidents that occur. The large majority of rollovers are single-car crashes.

Many of the deaths that occur during rollovers can be attributed to motorists failing to wear proper restraints. In 2013, around half of all Maine motorists killed in vehicle accidents were not wearing seatbelts. This number was a bit higher than many other states around the country and may be attributed in part to the fact that most Maine accidents occur on rural roadways, where motorists tend to be more lax about seatbelt use.

Overall, Maine motorists were observed by the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety as wearing seatbelts approximately 84 percent of the time in 2012, the last year with data on the topic. That number has been steadily increasing since 2006.

Legal help for Maine car accident victims

Motor vehicle accidents can have a lasting impact on victims and their families. In some cases, serious injuries that occur during the crash can affect the accident victim for a lifetime. In other cases, tragedy strikes and fatality occurs, leaving family and friends grieving for the loss of a loved one. Lives can be changed in an instant, and in some cases it can be very difficult for victims and their families to rebuild after the devastating event.

At Hardy Wolf & Downing, we work with accident victims daily, helping them pursue justice and legal compensation for their injuries and losses. Our team of Maine car accident attorneys is ready to help you get the compensation you desperately need to pay medical bills and make up for lost wages due to days off work.

We offer free case evaluations and legal advice to those wishing to put their lives back on track. To learn more or get the legal help you need today, contact Hardy Wolf & Downing at 1.800.INJURED.

Portsmouth Rollover Accident Results in Fatality

car flipped over

rollover accidentA rollover accident in Portsmouth took the life of one individual and serious injured another. The single-car crash involved an SUV that rolled several times after the driver attempted to regain control of the vehicle.

The deadly crash occurred on northbound I-95 in Portsmouth on September 1.

Crash occurred in middle of afternoon

Officers were called to the scene around 3:20 p.m. When they arrived, they discovered the driver, Rodney Hoverson, 54, of Harpswell, Maine, has been ejected from the vehicle. Hoverson was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident.  Hoverson was taken to Portsmouth Regional Hospital, where he later died of his injuries.

A passenger in the car, Darren Carlton, 46, of Vassalboro, Maine, was also taken to the hospital with multiple injuries. According to officials investigating the crash, Carlton was wearing his seatbelt when the accident occurred. Police have told local media Carlton’s injuries were not life-threatening.

Officials said the 2003 Mitsubishi Montero was traveling north on I-95 that afternoon, when the vehicle went off the roadway. As Hoverson attempted to regain control of the vehicle, the SUV rolled over a number of times and landed on its roof. The vehicle came to a stop in the southbound breakdown lane. The Montero was the only vehicle involved in the accident, and officials were unsure at this time why the vehicle rolled over.

Distraction may have been a factor

The area of I-95 where the crash occurred was closed for approximately two hours while police investigated the scene. According to a report at Seacoast Online, Hoverson had been warned previously about distracted driving, after crashing a vehicle in Freeport, Maine, in February of this year. After that accident, Hoverson admitted he lost control of the vehicle after getting distracted by the car’s radio.

Around 33 percent of all motor vehicle crashes involve rollovers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The administration also states that there are more fatalities in rollover accidents than any other type of crashes today. In fact, more than 10,000 people are killed in these types of motor vehicle accidents every year.

Nearly 85 percent of all rollover accidents involve a single vehicle. Factors that might play a role in these crashes include speed, alcohol and rural roadways.

Legal help from Maine rollover accident lawyers

The legal team at Hardy Wolf & Downing would like to warn drivers to use care when navigating the roadways of Maine. If you or a loved one has been injured in a rollover or other type of vehicle collision, a Maine personal injury lawyer from our office can answer your legal questions and help determine if you have grounds for filing a lawsuit.

We offer free case evaluations to those who have had their lives upended after a car accident. To learn more about the merits of your case, contact our legal team today at 800.465.8733.

Mother Causes Two DUI Accidents With Child In Car

auto accident drunk driver keys and cocktail

A Brunswick woman, Heather Bowman, caused not one but two collisions in a single trip in Freeport last month. The 39-year-old was driving drunk with a child in the car. Bowman’s actions are an illustration of how one person’s poor decision can endanger the lives of countless other people, from other motorists to her own family.

Drunk driving is 100% preventable but there are still way too many drivers making the wrong choices. A Maine DUI accident lawyer provides one level of protection, helping to hold irresponsible drivers accountable for their actions and prevent their recurrence. And a drunk driver accident lawsuit also helps the victim and his or her family put the pieces back together financially and emotionally.

Drunk driver caused two accidents in single trip

In the Freeport incident, Bowman was spotted driving over a curb, striking a parked SUV, and fleeing from the scene. This first collision took place just before 3 p.m. on Tuesday, August 11, 2015. The driver of the SUV was in the vehicle at the time of impact and was able to give police a description and license plate number of Bowman’s car.

Shortly after 3 p.m., Bowman was again seen driving erratically. She then hit a witness’s car and that witness got out and pulled Bowman’s keys from her ignition until police arrived. At the time, Bowman was headed to pick up her other children from daycare. She was charged with operating under the influence, leaving the scene of the crash, and endangering the welfare of her child.

Impaired driving continues to be a problem

Drinking and driving used to be commonly tolerated but increasing awareness of the risks led to stricter DUI laws and wider enforcement. Even though driving under the influence of alcohol is no longer socially acceptable, many people do it every day and endanger the lives of those around them.

Across the United States, nearly 30 people die each day in DUI accidents – that is about one DUI-related death every 51 minutes. These accidents add up to more than 10,000 deaths per year. Even when the victim of a drunk driving accident survives, the injuries can be life-changing.

Drunk driving accidents can result in:

  • Serious injury
  • Disabilities and deformities
  • Medical bills, both past and future
  • Lost wages
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Wrongful death

For those who have been injured and their families, the law affords remedies to aid recovery. Compensation may be available to lift the financial burden of hospital bills and time off of work due to injury. Victims may also be entitled to payment in compensation for the emotional trauma the accident can cause. Each case is unique and should be evaluated by a skilled DUI accident lawyer.

Legal assistance for DUI victims in Maine

When your world is shaken by a DUI accident, it can cause medical, financial, and emotional worries. But filing a car accident lawsuit in Maine is not an undertaking you need to go alone. The DUI accident attorneys at Hardy, Wolf & Downing have exceptional skills and experience, having successfully represented accident victims for nearly four decades.

To schedule a free consultation with our firm, please call 1-800-INJURED.

Famed Lawyer and Celtic Fan Sues TD Garden After Slip and Fall

Sign showing warning of caution wet floor

caution wet floor signA celebrity attorney, Harvard Law Professor, and television personality didn’t want to sue TD Garden, the home of his beloved Boston Celtics, but with the lingering pain of a nasty slip and fall in the men’s room of TD Garden three years earlier, he decided he had no choice.

The attorney, known for his past work defending a series of high profile clients such as Mike Tyson, Claus Von Bulow, and OJ Simpson, took a fall in a men’s room during a Celtics playoff game when he slipped on the wet floor. He blamed the hazardous condition on TD Garden’s failure to keep the men’s room supplied with paper towels. The plaintiff claimed that patrons resorted to shaking their hands dry onto the floor after washing their hands creating a slippery condition which caused his fall.

Court documents read that he “violently slipped, causing him to fall upward and then hard upon the tile floor and severely twisting his right knee and leg, landing on his back.” He was diagnosed with a sprained medial collateral ligament.

Fall leads to lasting injuries

His medical bills totaled $5,984.22, including $1,150 for an ambulance ride from the Garden to Mass General Hospital. He also seeks compensation for “economic and intangible damages.”

He knows that to some, a slip and fall injury like his may seem inconsequential, but he was on crutches for months after the fall and is still in physical therapy years later to attempt to counter the limited mobility and other lingering effects of the injury. He still may need to have surgery eventually.

Statistics show frequency of slip & fall incidents

Nearly 3,000 employees a year miss work due to a slip, trip or fall injury. In fact, the Maine workforce has lost more than 25,000 days of productivity since 2011. In the 18 month period from January 2012 to June 2013 alone, there were more than 1,035 slips and falls on ice and snow in the Maine workplace.

Slips and trips and falls are also costly: medical expenses for ice and snow slips top over $1.5 million a year.

Grounds for filing a trip and fall claim

Slip and fall injuries can be caused by snow, ice and dangerous spots that were not properly cleared by a property owner.

Property owners or operators may be held liable for injuries caused by:

  • Sidewalks that are cracked or uneven and should have been repaired
  • Highly polished or wet floors that cause patrons to slip and fall
  • Loose flooring or carpeting or unnecessary debris
  • Poor lighting in a dark hallway or stairway

Poorly maintained parking lots or access paths with cracks or potholes are dangerous and should be repaired immediately. If you’re injured in a fall, your Maine slip and fall accident lawyer can help you assess whether the circumstances of your injury warrant a claim.

A Maine slip and fall accident lawyer can assess liability

In the state of Maine, the amount of your award, if warranted, is determined by the court and the physical evidence your legal team exhibits. Based on the evidence, the court will determine if you are less than 50% responsible for your slip or trip and fall injury. The damages owed to you will then be assessed by your liability relative to that of the property owner where the mishap occurred, and so on. Acceptable evidence can be witness testimony, photographs, and medical records, including X-rays, MRI’s, and hospital reports.

Your lawyer will also determine if the owner held title to the property at the time of the accident and thus had a clear responsibility to maintain the premises in a safe condition.

Damages in a Maine trip and fall injury lawsuit

Hardy, Wolf & Downing has an enviable record in successfully litigating premises liability cases. You may be able to collect current and future medical expenses, damages for lost income as well as future earnings, the cost of household assistance to help you with home upkeep while you are incapacitated, as well as damages for permanent disability and any emotional distress you have suffered.  The state gives you six years from the time of your accident to file a Maine trip and fall injury lawsuit.

If we take on your case, you owe us absolutely nothing unless you recover compensation. Call us today to schedule a free consultation at 1-800-INJURED. We serve clients in Auburn, Bangor, Lewiston, and Portland.

Canoe Accident Claims Lives of Pennsylvania Retirees

Boating accident lawyer

life preserverEarly this month, a canoeing accident claimed the lives of a married couple from Warrington, Pennsylvania. Their death occurred just as they should have been preparing for their golden years; the couple was planning to retire next year to Jonesport, Maine, near where their bodies were found.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident in Lewiston, Portland, or Bangor areas, do not delay calling a Maine boating accident lawyer. A water craft injury lawsuit may provide reimbursement for medical expenses and other compensation. It may also prevent other misconduct by holding those who cause such accidents responsible.

Cause of Jonesport boat accident still unknown

The specifics of the Jonesport couple’s death remains a mystery. According to reports, the couple, 53-year-old Judy Alden Carlile and 58-year-old Roy Carlile, were last seen on a Friday night. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, they were paddling their canoe in Chandler Bay in calm waters.

On Friday and Saturday, their bodies were recovered less than a mile from the shore and showed no signs of trauma. Both of the Carliles were wearing life jackets and the canoe has not been found. The couple’s family still does not know how the canoe capsized but have stated that the authorities believe they each died from hypothermia.

Investigation continues in July boat collision

The Jonesport canoe accident is not the only serious watercraft injury to hit Maine recently. As we reported earlier, two motorboats carrying a combined 10 people collided on Thompson Lake in Oxford County late last month. Lt. Adam Gormely, of the Maine Warden Service, said it was one of the most serious boating accidents he had ever seen. Eight people, including five children, were injured. Investigators from the Warden Service seized each of the boats, interviewed their operators, and conducted a search for witnesses.

Ken Bartow, 60, was driving a 19-foot open-bow boat that was carrying his 10-year-old grandson and his grandson’s 9-year-old friend. Bartow’s boat collided with a 17-foot water-ski boat operated by Matthew Nolan, 58. When the boats collided, Bartow and the two boys were thrown into the water. Both children were hospitalized, with the 9-year-old being airlifted to a hospital. Nolan’s boat carried five passengers plus a water skier, several of whom were ejected to the water.

Early reports suggested that the collision was a hit and run. Further investigation revealed that Bartow’s boat was unmanned after he was ejected into the water; the boat continued to the shore with no driver on board. Later reports also revealed that Harold Kowal, who lives on the lake with his wife, witnessed the crash and took his boat out to help the victims. A visitor next door, identified as a paramedic, accompanied him. The two are credited with saving the lives of the children in the water.

The cause of the accident remains unknown and the Warden Service continues its investigation.

Legal assistance for victims of watercraft injuries

Boating accident litigation is a specialized field. For expert advice, consult the attorneys of Hardy, Wolf & Downing. For more than three decades, our Portland-based personal injury lawyers have been fighting for the rights of accident victims. Call 1-800-INJURED for a case review about your grounds for filing a personal injury lawsuit in Maine.

Maine Motorcycle Fatalities Reach Record Highs By August

motorcycle accident

motorcycle accidentRecently released statistics show that motorcycle fatalities in the state of Maine had reached record highs by early August, with a total of 17 deaths as a result of motorcycle crashes between Jan. 1 and Aug. 3, 2015. Four of those fatalities occurred in the first week of August (with two additional car crash deaths also taking place that weekend).

A number of factors have been cited for the increase in such crashes, including an upswing in texting and driving. If you have been injured in an accident due to the negligence of another driver, or if you have lost a loved one, it’s time to contact a knowledgeable Maine motorcycle accident lawyer to understand how to gain compensation for your loss and injuries.

At Hardy, Wolf & Downing, we represent victims of car and motorcycle crashes in the Lewiston-Auburn-Bangor areas. We count an avid motorcycle enthusiast, Attorney Chris Lewis, among the lawyers of our firm and want to make sure that motorcycle crash victims, like others, secure just compensation for their injuries.

A Maine motorcycle accident lawyer can help

Accounts of the deadly first weekend in August present different scenarios resulting in motorcycle crash fatalities. William “Chris” Tozier, 50, died at about 9 am after his motorcycle struck a deer on Hammett Road in Enfield. Another man from Fort Kent died when his motorcycle collided with that of another cyclist (identities of the two men have not yet been released). A third motorcycle victim, Beth L. Woodmancy, 52, was not wearing a helmet when she struck a utility pole and died. And a fourth man, unidentified, died in a single-vehicle crash on Route 27.

While motorcycle registrations have decreased in recent years, fatalities are still on the rise, with 8 fatalities in 2013, 12 in 2012, 7 in 2011, and 11 in 2010. This year’s 17 fatalities represent a record with only half the year gone. The cause of these escalating numbers has been attributed to a number of factors, including speed, alcohol use, and not wearing a helmet. Motorcycle safety expert John Kohler, who coordinates the Motorcycle Safety Program for the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles, believes that many crash victims did not have hands on training or safety courses to fall back on.

Others see a rise in distracted driving in Maine as a disaster for motorcyclists, who often escape notice when drivers are occupied with their phones. A personal injury lawyer can be of crucial importance as you sort out issues of liability in the wake of a serious or fatal accident.

Eligibility for filing a car crash lawsuit in Maine

A car crash lawsuit may not make sense in all cases. But for those who have suffered serious injuries or lost a family member due to the negligence of others, it may be the most important step that you take outside of seeking medical treatment.

Medical bills, rehabilitation costs, loss of employment or wages, or the disruption of family finances that follow a motorcycle or car crash can be catastrophic for an individual or a family, and personal injury lawsuit may be the primary means for recovering such losses. An attorney from Hardy, Wolf & Downing can investigate your crash to determine whether another driver was culpable for the injuries you suffered. And, if this is the case, we can make sure that you receive maximum compensation for your injuries and losses.

Please contact our firm at 1-800-INJURED to set up a free consultation to understand your legal options.

Harpswell Woman Struck Down, Killed by Teen Driver

police car lights

Police CarLast week, 71-year-old Robert Douglas of Harpswell lost his best friend and wife.  The long-time fisherman got a phone call from the sheriff’s office with the devastating news that his partner of almost 50 years – 75-year-old Rita Douglas – had been struck and killed while walking their dog that morning. The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office states that Rita and her pet Pomeranian were both killed instantly by a newly licensed teenager who struck them in her pickup truck. The accident occurred around 6:40 a.m. along Harpswell Islands Road, just a few blocks from Rita’s home.

The driver of the pickup was Isabella Slocum, a Harpswell resident with no prior driving accidents, according to the DMV. Slocum had recently transitioned from her learner’s permit to a “conditional driver’s license” this past June. Authorities continue to investigate whether distracted driving or negligence was a factor in the tragic death.

Pedestrian killed by car while walking dog

Officials with the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department report that the Criminal Investigation Division of the sheriff’s office and Brunswick Police Department continue to investigate the pedestrian accident. Captain Don Goulet says there were no fresh skid marks near the site of the accident, which occurred near a bend in the road. The posted speed limit is 30 mph, but since there were no eyewitnesses at the time of the incident, it is unknown if Slocum was speeding. The absence of skid marks, however, suggests that the girl did not slam on the breaks in an attempt to stop suddenly.

Police do not suspect alcohol was involved, though they are still ascertaining whether Slocum had a cell phone in the truck with her at the time, to determine if she was texting or otherwise driving while distracted. Isabella Slocum has not been charged in the pedestrian knock-down, but her parents have retained an attorney on her behalf.

Thus far, the only clue given by Slocum as to the possible cause of the accident is impaired vision from the rising sun, which she told police was in her eyes as she drove that morning. However, Robert Douglas contends that at 6:40 in the morning, the sun would have been shining in a different direction. Rita Douglas is survived by her spouse and four adult children.

Assistance filing a Maine pedestrian accident lawsuit

Determining liability in a fatal pedestrian accident is a complex task, one that requires exceptional skill, years of experience and a keen understanding of both state and federal laws. Unfortunately, research indicates that the vast majority of motor vehicle accidents and pedestrian knock downs are caused by driver error, negligence and avoidable distractions. If you or a loved one is injured in such a crash, the car accident attorneys at Hardy, Wolf & Downing are uniquely qualified to handle your case, and have been successfully representing injury victims in Maine for nearly 40 years.

To schedule a free case review with a Maine pedestrian accident lawyer at our firm, please call 1-800-INJURED.

Thompson Lake Boating Accident Injures Eight

Life buoy Boating Accident

The Maine Warden Service is investigating a boating accident that occurred late in July 2015 on Thompson Lake in Otisfield. The two-boat collision is believed to have injured eight people, including two children. A nine-year-old boy had to be airlifted to Maine Medical Center because of his critical injuries. The other child suffered broken bones and multiple contusions, but is expected to fully recover. So far, at least six of the eight individuals injured have been released from the hospital.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident in Lewiston, Portland, Bangor or elsewhere in the state, it’s in your best interests to contact a Maine accident attorney promptly. You may be able to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for your losses, and to hold responsible parties accountable for their misconduct so that future accidents may be avoided.

Investigation is ongoing

The Maine Warden Service stopped short of calling the boating accident a hit-and-run, but did note that one of the boats failed to stop after the crash. Witnesses said that one of the boats, operated by Ken Bartow, was cruising along the shore. Bartow’s passengers were two children, at least one of whom was his grandson. For unknown reasons, the boat collided with another boat operated by Matthew Nolan. Nolan’s boat had six passengers and one individual water skiing behind the boat.

Witnesses said that Bartow and his two young passengers were ejected overboard upon impact. An unidentified bystander took his own boat out onto the water to rescue the individuals who went overboard. Jessica Mason, a witness, said, “One kid was bleeding out the side of his, like the side of his face was all bloody. His life jacket had blood on it. The other one had a busted open lip and I think his wrist was broken also. They think the older one had something wrong with his back; he couldn’t even walk or anything.”

Initial reports indicated that seven people were injured in the boating accident, an estimate that was later upped to eight. The spokesperson for the Maine Warden Service said that the investigation is ongoing, the cause of the collision is not yet known, and criminal charges may be possible, but not definite.

Legal rights and liability in Maine boating accidents

If you or a loved one has been injured in a boat accident in Maine, you may be entitled to money damages for your losses.

Remember that evidence is best collected shortly after the crash. Your personal injury lawyer will evaluate whether the other party may have been at fault by operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Other possible causes of boating accidents include using excessive speed, failing to pay attention while operating the boat, and operating a boat in dangerous conditions – such as poor visibility.

If the other party did violate boating rules or otherwise behave in a reckless manner, a boating accident lawsuit may allow you to secure compensation for medical expenses, property damage, and other losses.

Injured in a boat accident in Maine?

Due to the unique issues that may arise with boating accident lawsuits in Maine, it’s essential to hire a lawyer with experience in this area. The veteran attorneys at Hardy, Wolf & Downing have been defending the legal rights of accident victims for nearly 40 years. A personal injury lawyer at our firm will meet with you during your free initial consultation to review your case and discuss the merits of filing a lawsuit.

Contact Hardy, Wolf & Downing at 1-800-INJURED and let us know how we can help you.

Study Questions Relevance of TBI Treatment Guidelines

traumatic brain injury lawyer Maine

traumatic brain injuryResearch conducted by the Los Angeles County Trauma Consortium suggests that adherence to prior guidelines for treating traumatic brain injuries (TBI) do not necessarily result in better patient outcomes. The guidelines, published more than twenty years ago, have been the industry standard for medical personnel considering a craniotomy or intracranial pressure monitoring for critically injured patients.

Comprised of health researchers from the University of Southern California and UCLA as well as trauma centers and the county’s EMS agency, the consortium concluded that medical providers need to focus on providing “evidence-based care” when treating brain trauma and that much work is needed to improve the quality of hospital care in this arena.

One positive result of the findings, which were published in the journal JAMA Surgery, is that they’ve encouraged consortium members to reassess how they treat brain injury, which could lead to more positive outcomes for patients.

Researchers analyze brain trauma treatment outcomes

The health care researchers evaluated more than 700 adults diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury, and found that hospital compliance rates with the brain trauma guidelines were relatively low across the board. Only 46 percent of patients who needed intracranial pressure monitoring per the guidelines actually had the monitor placed, and just 45.6 percent of those whose trauma called for a craniotomy – where part of the skull is removed — actually had the operation.

Researchers say the mortality rate (patients who died from their TBI) varied from hospital to hospital, ranging from 20 to 50 percent.

“Despite improvements in care, mortality from [traumatic brain injury] remains both common and variable from hospital to hospital,” concluded the study’s authors. “Our results demonstrate no association between hospitals’ compliance with two [Brain Trauma Foundation] guidelines and risk-adjusted mortality, suggesting that neither measure should be used as an independent marker of hospital quality.”

Causes & consequences of TBI

Depending on the severity of the damage, a traumatic brain injury can result in life-altering complications for the victim, ranging from memory loss, slurred speech and poor coordination, to convulsions, seizures and coma.

This sort of injury is most often caused by a sharp blow to the head that damages brain cells and creates swelling and/or bleeding around the brain. TBIs may be caused sport injuries, car accidents, explosions, falls from great heights and acts of physical violence. Those who suffer a severe TBI may be left with permanent cognitive dysfunction, coordination difficulties as well as nerve damage that can cause vision problems and partial paralysis.

Other long-term effects may include behavioral and executive functioning problems, and unfortunately treatments are not always successful and can place tremendous financial burdens on the patients and their loved ones.

Personal injury lawyers in Maine

Hardy, Wolf & Downing know from experience that symptoms of brain trauma are not always evident right away. If you were involved in a car accident, slip and fall or were physically assaulted by another person, it’s imperative to seek medical attention immediately so that doctors can diagnose and treat appropriately.

Residents of Lewiston, Portland, Bangor and throughout the state have relied on our services and legal advocacy for more than four decades, helping victims and their families pursue just compensation when negligence is to blame. To schedule a free consultation with a Maine traumatic brain injury lawyer at our firm, please call 800.465.8733.