Has a negligent driver threatened your life?
Because of the unforgiving nature of motorcycle accidents, victims often suffer debilitating injuries that affect all aspects of their lives. The motorcycle accident lawyers and personal injury attorneys with Hardy, Wolf & Downing represent victims of motorcycle accidents in the Portland, Lewiston and all of Southern and Central Maine areas, ensuring that victims and their families receive the compensation they need so they can focus on recovery.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Victims of motorcycle accidents are extremely vulnerable to serious injury, traumatic brain injury, and death. Motorcycles lack the protection that cars offer and they do not have safety belts. In addition, motorcycles are less stable and less visible than cars, leaving motorcycle riders and passengers at even more risk than victims of car accidents.
There are various types of accidents, including instances where riders are run off the road, motorcycles go down in the roadway, and motorcycles collide with other vehicles. Most of the motorcycle accident cases seen in our Portland and Lewiston, Maine locations involve collisions between motorcycles and other vehicles.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, per mile traveled, the number of deaths that result from motorcycle accidents is about 26 times the number of deaths that result from car accidents. In most cases, the victim suffers a serious head injury, even if he or she is wearing a helmet; however, helmet use can dramatically increase your chance of survival. In Portland, Auburn, and across Maine, helmet laws apply only to passengers 14 years and younger. Motorcycle helmet laws in Maine also cover operators with learner’s permits and passengers whose drivers are required to wear a helmet.
According to an analysis of Maine motorcycle accidents from 2006 to 2010, the highest percentage of such accidents take place during nighttime hours (when visibility is the poorest) and during the summer months. The age group most affected (just over 25%) includes those in their 40s with the vast majority being male.
Establishing negligence Maine motor vehicle accidents
When motorcycle accidents lead to serious injuries, negligence is usually to blame. Our team of motorcycle accident attorneys will investigate all possible sources of negligence and find the right party to sue for compensation.
In some cases, another driver can be liable for the accident through negligent or reckless driving. A car that strikes a motorcyclist or otherwise causes a motorcycle crash through distracted or drunk driving, speeding or tailgating, or other improper driving bears some responsibility for the injuries or losses that the motorcyclist and his family sustains. In other cases, a poorly maintained road, missing guardrails, or debris from a negligently maintained truck may contribute to the accident. Hardy Wolf & Downing can reconstruct the accident scene to discover which combination of factors led to the rider’s injury.
If the victim wants to file a legal complaint, a motorcycle or car accident attorney must demonstrate which party was directly responsible for the accident, and the injury or loss, through such actions. According to the laws of the state of Maine, car accidents are judged in court based on the idea of “modified comparative negligence.” It is technically possible for both drivers to share the blame for the accident; however, the plaintiff’s share of the negligence cannot go above a certain level or no compensation will be awarded to him or her at all.
Other liability considerations include:
- Failure to yield right of way
- Illegal/unsafe speed
- Following too closely
- Disregard for traffic control
- Improper passing or lane change
- Improper turning
- Unsafe backing
- Improper signaling
- Driver inattention
- Driver inexperience
- Impaired driving
- Obscured vision
- Vehicular malfunction
What steps should I take if I am involved in a motorcycle accident?
Victims can take several steps to ensure they can make a strong personal injury case.
- Get the contact information of everyone involved, including witnesses, and review insurance information.
- Document the details of the accident, including where it took place, road conditions, vehicles involved, and injuries that occurred.
- It is also helpful to take pictures of the scene and any injuries you may have sustained.
However, since most victims are too seriously injured at the time of the accident, it is critical to begin working with a good lawyer as soon as possible. Those who have sustained such injuries in Portland, Lewiston and all of Southern and Central Maine are fortunate to have such strong representation in their area.
Contact Hardy, Wolf, & Downing for a free consultation
If you have questions about filing a potential motorcycle accident lawsuit, contact our law offices for a free consultation. In this setting, one of our attorneys can answer all of your questions and provide a preliminary evaluation of your case and its viability. Our 40 years of service helps us to give you a useful perspective about your best course of action and what steps to take next. Call 1-800-INJURED at any time.
The personal injury attorneys with the firm of Hardy, Wolf & Downing have the experience and dedication necessary to help victims of motorcycle accidents in Portland and across Maine receive the compensation they deserve.
Read our Motorcycle Accidents FAQ’s.
Attorney Lewis has been riding motorcycles for nearly 20 years. He has ridden everything from sports bikes, adventure bikes, and cruisers. He currently is riding a Harley Davidson Street Glide after years on various Triumphs.
Attorney Lewis recently got back from his annual motorcycle trip. This year’s trip included completing the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia and North Carolina, with a detour to the Tail of the Dragon. The Tail is a famous stretch of road that has 318 curves in 11 miles, (or so they say, he says he didn’t count). The Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline drive are truly spectacular motorcycle roads with excellent vistas. After the Tail, Attorney Lewis and his motorcycle party turned north through eastern Tennessee and Kentucky, through the Cumberland Gap, and into Southwestern Virginia and north into West Virginia. Eastern Kentucky and West Virginia have some excellent motorcycle roads with endless corners. No square tires on this trip! The border region, famous for the Hatfield/McCoy feud, is home to some of the prettiest mountains and rugged terrain in the east and the New River Gorge is a sight worth stopping to see. After a stop at Gettysburg Battlefield in Pennsylvania, Attorney Lewis returned home to Maine clocking 2982 miles in eight days on his motorcycle, most of which on secondary roads.
[Christian] Les first called me after a serious motorcycle accident. Les knew he was going to need some assistance because there was no contact between Les’s motorcycle and the at-fault driver. The insurance company for the other driver was going to argue that since there was no contact it wasn’t their driver’s fault.
[Les] I was riding on a dark road in Gorham, following a car and I noticed that there was a car at a T-intersection as I was coming across Dingley Spring Road. And the car came out into the intersection. Complete surprise. When the accident occurred, I was physically pretty beat up. In the past, I’ve had some less than satisfactory dealings with insurance companies so I was confident they could take care of the physical damage to the motorcycle. I didn’t expect that they would have my best interest at heart for the personal injury side.
[Christian] The insurance company refused to pay Les for his injuries. I ended up having to file a civil lawsuit on Les’s behalf. We went through the investigation phase of the case and we were able to establish through depositions that Les was not at fault for this accident and that the other driver was in fact at fault. The insurance company also argued that he had some prior medical conditions that they weren’t responsible for when we knew that his injuries were from this accident and nothing else. We had to fight both fights. We had to fight about the liability and we had to fight about his injuries. We fight to make sure that our client gets the most amount of money that we can out of any settlement. My goal is to make sure that they never think about this case again other than what a great job Hardy Wolf & Downing did.
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