Distracted driving. Driving under the influence. Unsafe speeds. These are all risk factors for collision, injury and fatality – however millions of drivers nationwide continue to engage in this type of behavior behind the wheel, involuntarily placing the rest of us in harm’s way as we navigate the highways and byways in our communities.
In recent news, several victims have fallen prey to the perils of driver negligence – and the Maine accident lawyers of Hardy Wolf Downing can help you and your family recover if you find yourself in a similar situation.
Driver negligence in the news
It seems not a day goes by without the occurrence of a tragic traffic accident occurring somewhere in the United States. Earlier this month, reports surfaced surrounding the recent fatal traffic accident involving the former mayor of Des Moines, Iowa, which occurred in Bangor on August 5,2014. According to reports, 85-year old Richard Olsen had spent the day at the Hollywood Casino when, en route to Ellsworth, struck an oncoming pickup truck in the oncoming lane. The passenger and driver were killed instantly, and the collision was so abrupt that the cab of the truck was severed from the frame. According to toxicology results, Mr. Olsen’s blood-alcohol content at the time of the incident was 0.14 percent – nearly twice the legal limit in Maine.
Earlier this month, a Harrington man was killed following a head-on collision between two pickup trucks. The victim, a 53-year old father traveling with his young son, was killed instantly after inexplicably drifting into the oncoming lane – striking a smaller truck driven by a 46-year old Milbridge resident. Police have yet to conclude whether distracted driving was a factor in the crash, however authorities do not believe excessive speed as an issue.
Also this month, a Turner, Maine resident was killed following a tragic collision with an SUV on Route 4 in Androscoggin County. According to witness reports, the motorcyclist was attempting to exit a shopping area and was “waved on” by a motorist in the oncoming lane. After pulling out into traffic, the motorcycle was struck broadside by an oncoming SUV – the driver of which apparently did not see or expect the motorcycle to pull forward.
Maine accident lawyer can protect your legal rights
A Maine accident attorney is the best position to help families and victims replace some of what they lost following a sudden roadway collision. In order to recover fair and adequate compensation, a victim or his surviving immediate family must prove that the other driver was negligent in some way immediately preceding the crash. This is a fact-intensive analysis that examines whether a reasonable and safe driver under the same set of circumstances would have engaged in similar conduct.
With regard to the accident involving a heightened blood-alcohol content, courts have found time and again that driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is undoubtedly a deviation from reasonable and safe conduct – as these substances are known to create driver impairment. The second example, however, does not present enough facts at the time to make a positive determination of negligence. Nonetheless, if it turns out that the driver drifted into the other lane due to distraction or another preventable cause, the surviving victim may be able to advance a personal injury lawsuit against the estate of the decedent.
The motorcycle crash described above may be a more difficult case as it may involve some negligence on the part of the decedent – a sad, but realistic result in many personal injury and wrongful death actions. Under Maine laws, if the facts show that the victim contributed to his or her injuries in some way, the court may reduce the award congruent with the victim’s contribution.
An experienced Maine motorcycle accident attorney can help you or your family determine if this is a possible result for your case.
Contact Hardy Wolf Downing today
If you or your family member recently experienced injury or untimely death as a result of a motor vehicle accident, please contact our team of experienced professional legal advocates right away. For more information about how our Maine truck accident lawyers can help, call 1-800-992-7333.