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5 Causes of Distracted Driving

teen safe driver

Even the most attentive drivers are capable of falling victim to distractions, but only recently has Maine become aware of this phenomenon when it comes to operating a motor vehicle. Law enforcement agencies and safety advocates are taking steps to reduce distracted driving accidents, which is a major cause of auto accidents across the Pine Tree State.

So what is it that is distracting Maine drivers? You might be surprised which activities tops the list.

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Sumner Redstone Sues for Elder Abuse

Sumner Redstone sues for Elder Abuse

The abuse of the elderly has become a significant public health problem, the extent of which can be hard to truly know. Seniors are particularly vulnerable when it comes to abuse, especially when their cognitive faculties are declining and they are unable to advocate for themselves. We would all like to think that our elders would be afforded the respect they deserve, especially from the people who should be dedicated to their well-being. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. (more…)

Supreme Judicial Court Recognizes Maine Attorneys for 2016 Free Legal Aid

Katahdin Counsel Logo

katahdin-counsel-logo-pdf-33In honor of National Pro Bono Week, October 23-29, 2016, Chief Justice Leigh I. Saufley today announced that the Maine Supreme Judicial Court will honor Maine lawyers who have reported their contributions of at least 50 hours of legal assistance to low income and elderly Maine people. This recognition will take place in ceremonies across the state in the coming weeks. This year, the Court will recognize 107 lawyers and 4 law students for donating 11,283 hours of legal work to Mainers in need of civil legal assistance. These legal services have an estimated market value of more than $1,600,000.
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Traumatic Brain Injuries Can Turn Your Family’s Life Upside Down

Traumatic Brain injury

Traumatic Brain injuryOf all the potential injuries a person can sustain in an accident, traumatic brain injuries are some of the most frightening. There are several aspects of traumatic brain injuries that make them especially diabolical in nature:

 

  • Brain injuries aren’t always apparent at the time of the accident and can manifest later
  • These injuries can occur deep in the brain, making them hard to detect even for health care professionals

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I Was In An Auto Accident, What Do I Do Now?

Auto accident

When you get into a car accident, it is often disorienting, confusing, and even scary. Knowing what to do before an accident happens is the best way to prepare yourself if you do get into a collision. This infographic provides a helpful step by step process.

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Record-Setting Personal Injury Settlement in Philadelphia County

Scrabble - Accident Injury Hurt

Life’s major events aren’t always predictable, and the changes they bring aren’t always positive. David Williams, a Pennsylvania landscaper formerly employed by TruGreen, likely understands that sentiment better than most.

David was minding his own business, driving a company truck down a highway in Clinton County, Pennsylvania, when due to no fault of his own the vehicle rolled. The catastrophic accident resulted in irreversible spinal injuries, leaving him a quadriplegic with little hope for further recovery, even after several surgeries. (more…)

2016 Hardy Wolf & Downing Scholarship Winner

Scholarship cap and books

Scholarship cap and booksHardy Wolf & Downing is pleased to announce the 2016 winner of our scholarship award. We were deeply moved by the number of applications received and as loyal supporters of military veterans and law enforcement personnel, we are proud to offer this year’s scholarship award to Marshall Magincalda, a former Marine who served in the U.S. infantry from 2003 to 2008.

We want to express our gratitude to all applicants for their past and continued service and wish them all the best of luck in their future endeavors. (more…)

Study Reveals Abuse Among Residents of Nursing Facilities

Adult son out for a walk with his father, who has alzheimers disease.

elderly patientA recent report published in renowned journal Annals of Internal Medicine reveals a growing problem of elder abuse within nursing facilities being committed by fellow residents of such communities. According to researchers, roughly 20 percent of those residing in these types of care facilities suffer some sort of abuse from another resident. (more…)

Officials Report a Projected Increase in Traffic Fatalities

car accident front end collision

car accident front end collisionIn 2015 alone, 35,200 people in the U.S. lost their lives after becoming involved in car accidents. This statistical projection, recently publicized by the U.S. Department of Transportation, demonstrates an increase of 7.7 percent compared to the total traffic fatalities that occurred in 2014.

That year, the figure stood at 32,675 deaths. It’s important to keep in mind that the 2015 figures are projected statistics, but if they are realized, it will be the most number of traffic fatalities in one year since 2008. That year, more than 37,000 people lost their lives on the nation’s roadways. (more…)

Investigation Underway over Brake Failures in Harley Davidsons

motorcycle accident

Brake Failures Investigations in Harley Davidson - Hardy Wolf & DowningAn investigation has ensued after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) received 43 complaints of faulty brakes on certain models of Harley Davidson motorcycles. Riders reported that both the hand and foot brakes suddenly failed to work, resulting in three crashes and two injuries.

The investigation includes more than 430,000 Harley Davidson motorcycles with model numbers between 2008 and 2011. All of the bikes in the inquiry have an anti-locking braking system that is supposed to prevent riders from losing their grip in situations where they must brake hard. Riders said the brakes in these systems suddenly froze without warning, leading to potentially dangerous situations.

The NHTSA noted that these particular models of motorcycles were required to have the fluid in the brakes replaced every two years. If the replacement was not done properly or in a timely fashion, the old fluid left in the brake system could corrode some of the parts. However, the agency also made a point to say that even with neglect of the brake system fluid, the fact that brakes suddenly stopped working without any warning “is a concern.”

The official investigation was opened on July 6 and Harley Davidson told ABC News that the company was cooperating with the NHTSA throughout the inquiry. The investigation comes on the heels of a 2014 recall by the motorcycle manufacturer that involved more than 60,000 bikes. Brake malfunction also led to the recall. However, in the 2014 recall, riders reported their brakes suddenly engaged without warning.

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Motorcycle Fatalities in Maine

Motorcycle fatalities are typically relatively low in Maine, compared to other areas of the country. In 2014, the state saw just 11 fatal motorcycle accidents. Four of those riders were not wearing helmets at the time of the crash. The highest number of crashes between 2008 and 2012 occurred in Cumberland County.

However, 2015 saw an alarming upsurge in motorcycle deaths, prompting many to question the reason behind the uptick. According to the Portland Press Herald, there were 28 fatalities by the middle of September of that year. More than half – 19 riders – were not wearing helmets at the time of the crash. Helmets are not legally required in the state, except for riders who are 18 years or younger, riders with learner’s permits and those with first-year licenses.

The report attributed the increase in fatalities, at least in part, to the summer weather that brought more bikers out on the Maine roadways. Warm temperatures and lack of rain have allowed more riding this year than is typical for a Maine summer. However, other factors may have contributed to the increase as well, including speed, alcohol and the lack of safety equipment (particularly helmets).

No information was available in 2015 for the possibility that manufacturing defects in motorcycles contributed to the increase in crashes. Those factors could change this year, in light of the new information about brake defects associated with Harley Davidson motorcycles.

Liability in motorcycle accidents

In the meantime, those who suffered property damage or injuries as a result of brake issues with Harley Davidsons could be eligible for legal damages if this investigation determines manufacturers are liable. The current investigation is likely to reveal evidence that will either support or refute claims against the motorcycle manufacturer.

If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, or you lose a loved one in one of these tragic events, legal help is available. Contact the law firm of Hardy, Wolf & Downing today at 1-800-INJURED to speak with a veteran motorcycle accident lawyer in Maine. The case review is free and there are no legal fees unless we win compensation on your behalf.