Maine, a picturesque state, boasts stunning landscapes, meandering routes, and a vibrant motorcycle community. Yet, along with the thrill and liberation motorcycle riding provides, there is an inherent risk of motorcycle accidents. Such incidents in Maine can lead to serious injuries, such as fractured bones, traumatic brain damage, spinal cord harm, and in some cases, fatalities.
In the aftermath of a motorcycle accident, victims often face many challenges, including physical injuries, emotional trauma, financial burdens, and complex legal issues. Retaining the services of Maine motorcycle accident lawyers from Berman & Simmons can make a significant difference in navigating these challenges. In fact, no other law firm in Maine can match our depth of talent, expertise, and financial resources to win your case.
What to Do After a Maine Motorcycle Accident
In the event of a motorcycle accident in Maine, it is essential to take a series of measures to protect your legal rights and guarantee your well-being. The necessary steps encompass the following:
- Seek medical attention immediately: Even if you do not experience any immediate pain or noticeable injuries, obtaining medical care promptly after an accident is paramount. Some injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries and internal bleeding, may not exhibit immediate symptoms but can result in severe consequences if left untreated. Prompt medical care can help identify and address these issues, improving your chances of recovery.
- Contact the police: Reaching out to the police after a motorcycle accident is of utmost importance, even if the incident appears minor. The police will create an official report of the accident, which can be instrumental in establishing liability and pursuing compensation for damages in any legal proceedings that may follow.
- Exchange information: Be sure to exchange information with the other driver involved in the accident. This should include their name, address, phone number, insurance company, and policy number. This information will be vital when dealing with insurance claims and potential legal disputes.
- Gather evidence: Take the time to collect evidence from the accident scene. This should include photographs of vehicle/motorcycle damage, road conditions, and any injuries sustained. Additionally, gather witness information, such as names and contact details, as their testimonies may be valuable in supporting your case.
- Contact your insurance company: Notify your insurance company about the accident immediately. Provide them with all the information you have gathered, including details about the other driver, the scene of the accident, and any evidence you have collected. Timely communication with your insurer is essential to ensure a smooth claims process and to protect your rights.
By taking these steps, you can better protect yourself, your legal rights, and your future well-being after a motorcycle accident in Maine. Additionally, these actions can help facilitate a smoother resolution, whether through insurance claims or legal action and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries and damages.
Proving Liability in Maine Motorcycle Accident Cases
Establishing liability is a critical aspect of motorcycle accident cases. In Maine, fault is determined according to comparative negligence laws, which dictate that each party involved in the accident can be assigned a percentage of fault. If you are found to be partially at fault for the accident, your compensation may be reduced proportionally to that percentage. To prove liability, you must demonstrate that the other driver was negligent and that their negligence directly led to the accident.
Some common forms of negligence in motorcycle accidents include:
- Distracted driving: When drivers do not pay attention to the road, they are more likely to cause an accident. Common distractions include texting, talking on the phone, eating, adjusting the radio, and interacting with passengers. Proving that the other driver was distracted can help establish their negligence in causing the accident.
- Drunk driving: Driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not only against the law, but it also poses a significant risk. If the other driver is discovered to be inebriated, their impaired decision-making and reduced reflexes can be deemed as negligent conduct, rendering them responsible for the accident.
- Speeding: Driving above the posted speed limit or at an unsafe speed, given the road conditions, can be a form of negligence. Speeding reduces a driver’s reaction time and increases the severity of accidents. Proving that the other driver was speeding can help demonstrate their liability in the collision.
- Failing to yield the right-of-way: When drivers fail to yield for other vehicles or pedestrians, they can cause accidents. This can occur at intersections while merging or when changing lanes. If you show that the other driver did not yield when they should have, you can establish their negligence in causing the accident.
- Failing to obey traffic signals: Ignoring traffic signals, such as stop signs and red lights, is another form of negligence. Disobeying traffic signals can lead to serious accidents and often indicates that the driver was not acting responsibly. Proving that the other driver failed to obey traffic signals can help you establish their liability.
In addition to these common forms of negligence, other factors may contribute to motorcycle accidents, such as poor road conditions, vehicle defects, or weather conditions. Consulting with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney can help you navigate the complexities of proving liability.
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident in Maine, you may be entitled to recover damages for the adverse effects of the accident on your life. Recoverable damages typically encompass a wide range of economic and non-economic losses, which may include:
- Medical expenses: Motorcycle accidents often result in significant injuries that require extensive medical care. Recoverable medical expenses may include emergency room visits, hospital stays, surgeries, prescription medications, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and any ongoing or future medical treatments related to the accident. The cost of medical equipment, such as wheelchairs or prosthetic devices, may also be covered.
- Lost wages and future earning capacity: If your injuries prevent you from working or force you to take time off to recover, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages. Furthermore, suppose your injuries result in a permanent disability that affects your ability to earn a living. In that case, you may be able to recover damages for the loss of future earning capacity.
- Pain and suffering: Motorcycle accident victims often experience physical pain and emotional distress due to injuries. Pain and suffering damages aim to compensate you for the physical discomfort, mental anguish, anxiety, depression, and overall reduced quality of life you have experienced due to the accident. While these damages are more challenging to quantify than economic losses, an experienced Maine motorcycle accident attorney can help you assess and present the appropriate evidence to support your claim.
- Property damage: In a motorcycle accident, your vehicle and any personal property involved may sustain damage. You may be entitled to recover the cost of repairing or replacing your motorcycle, protective gear, and any other damaged belongings. Additionally, if your motorcycle was a total loss, you could seek compensation for its fair market value at the time of the accident.
- Loss of consortium: In more serious cases, the spouse or partner of a motorcycle accident victim may be entitled to recover damages for the loss of companionship, affection, and support they have experienced due to the accident.
- Punitive damages: In rare cases, when the at-fault party’s actions are deemed reckless or malicious, the court may award punitive damages as punishment and deterrence. While not common, these damages can be significant and help emphasize the severity of the wrongdoer’s behavior.
To optimize your chances of obtaining the complete scope of damages you are entitled to, it is vital to hire a skilled motorcycle accident attorney. Maine motorcycle accident lawyers possess the expertise needed to assist you in collecting the required evidence, negotiating with insurance providers, and representing your interests in court. Working with a seasoned attorney can ensure that you receive the appropriate compensation for your injuries and losses, considering factors such as medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional distress.
Maine helmet laws indicate that all motorcycle riders and passengers must wear a helmet that meets U.S. Department of Transportation standards. Adhering to this regulation is crucial, as it promotes safety, and noncompliance can lead to penalties. Failure to wear a helmet can result in fines and points added to your license, which may ultimately impact your driving privileges and insurance rates.
Wearing a helmet has been proven to significantly reduce the risk of severe injuries in the event of a motorcycle accident. Helmets provide crucial protection for the head and brain, minimizing the chances of sustaining traumatic brain injuries or other life-altering damages. By wearing a helmet, riders can better protect themselves and reduce the severity of potential injuries.
In addition to the legal and safety benefits of wearing a helmet, doing so can also influence the outcome of a personal injury claim following a motorcycle accident. A rider’s compliance with helmet laws may be considered during legal proceedings, potentially affecting the determination of negligence or the amount of compensation awarded. Therefore, wearing a helmet is a matter of personal safety and a vital factor in protecting one’s legal rights after an accident.
How a Lawyer Can Help
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident in Maine, it is essential to act quickly on your personal injury claim. A knowledgeable attorney can provide essential guidance and support throughout the legal process, helping you secure the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses. Some of the ways a motorcycle accident attorney can assist you include the following:
- Investigating the accident and gathering evidence: A thorough investigation is crucial to building a strong case. Your attorney will gather all relevant evidence, such as police reports, photographs, video footage, and witness statements, to determine the cause of the accident and identify any potentially liable parties.
- Engaging experts and reconstructing the accident: In some cases, your attorney may enlist the help of experts, such as accident reconstruction specialists, medical professionals, and engineers, to analyze the evidence and provide professional opinions on the cause of the accident, the severity of your injuries, and the long-term impact of the accident on your life.
- Negotiating with insurance companies: Insurance companies are known for their sophisticated tactics intended to deny fair compensation to people who have been hurt in vehicle accidents and often seek to minimize the amount they pay in claims. An experienced attorney understands how insurance companies take advantage of injured Mainers and will negotiate on your behalf, using the evidence they have collected to support your claim and counter any attempts by the insurance company to downplay your injuries or shift blame onto you.
- Proving liability and pursuing compensation for damages: Motorcycle accident attorneys will work to establish the negligence of the other party or parties involved in the accident, using the evidence and expert testimony they have gathered. They will then pursue compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage through a settlement negotiation or by taking the case to trial if necessary.
- Representing you in court if necessary: While many personal injury cases are resolved through settlements, sometimes a trial is unavoidable. If your case goes to court, your attorney will represent you, presenting the evidence, calling witnesses, and making legal arguments to ensure that your side of the story is heard and your rights are protected.
- Offering ongoing support and guidance: The aftermath of a motorcycle accident can be difficult and confusing. Maine motorcycle accident lawyers will provide you with ongoing support and guidance throughout the legal process, answering your questions, addressing your concerns, and keeping you informed of any developments in your case.
By engaging the services of an experienced Maine motorcycle accident lawyer, you can significantly improve your chances of securing the compensation you need to cover your expenses and rebuild your life after a motorcycle accident in Maine.
Contact Berman & Simmons for Maine Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Hiring Maine motorcycle accident lawyers from Berman & Simmons after a motorcycle accident is crucial in protecting your rights and ensuring a favorable outcome. Our experienced attorneys will help you navigate the complexities of the legal process, gather essential evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent your best interests in court if needed. Contact us today to learn how we can help you win your case.
For the best results, you need the best Maine motorcycle accident lawyers
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in Maine, contact us and speak with one of our experienced attorneys. We handle all types of injury claims resulting from motorcycle accidents, with a particular focus on serious injury and wrongful death cases.
Berman & Simmons is widely recognized as the best personal injury lawyers in Maine and among the best in the U.S., having won many of the largest jury verdicts and settlements ever obtained for injured people in Maine. We have recovered $1.35 billion for our injured clients.
Motorcycle Accident Tips and Tools: What should I do if I’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident in Maine?
Taking some basic steps after a motorcycle accident can make the difference between a legal claim that fails and one that provides fair compensation for you and your family. Here are some suggestions for first steps.
- First, be sure all parties involved are safe and out of danger. Then move your motorcycle if it is causing a hazard; otherwise, leave it where it is.
- Call 911 to immediately report the accident to the police, even if you think the damage is minor. Stay close to your motorcycle until police arrive.
- Remain calm and polite, but do not apologize or admit fault.
- Gather pertinent information from other driver and any witnesses.
- Photograph motorcycle damage and any visible injuries. Write down your recollections about the event.
- Get the name and badge number of all responding officers, and ask for the police report.
- Seek immediate medical attention for your injuries, even if you think they are minor.
- Contact an experienced personal injury trial lawyer who specializes in motorcycle accident cases and one who is prepared to win either by settlement or, if necessary, court judgment.
- Report the accident to your insurer. Do not give a signed or recorded statement to your insurer before talking with your lawyer.
- Do not discuss the accident with any representative of the other driver’s insurance company before talking with your lawyer.
A Law Firm That Listens
We have helped countless victims who have been harmed in motorcycle accidents and we understand the challenges you face. We realize that beyond the physical struggles, the emotional and financial impacts can be overwhelming.
Our lawyers and staff members take the time to listen to you, understand your concerns, and come up with solutions that can make your life better, including obtaining payment for or deferral of your debts until your case is resolved.
Get Peace of Mind
It never hurts to consult an attorney regardless of whether you decide to move forward.
Many states have strict deadlines for filing personal injury claims.
The other insurance company is likely already building their client’s case against you.
Witnesses may become unavailable and evidence may be lost or degraded with time.
You’ll need help navigating your medical care and dealing with financial pressures.
You need peace of mind to focus on your recovery.
Paralysis due to mismanagement of
Catastrophic injuries in a head-on car accident
Wrongful death case involving negligent
Plaintiff Rear Ended by
Delay in diagnosis and treatment of cancer
Significant Head Injury Car Accident
Should I hire a lawyer for a motorcycle accident?
We always recommend hiring a personal injury firm to help you with your motorcycle accident case. While you can technically file a claim on your own, a competent attorney can make all the difference throughout the legal process. Firms like ours do not take a fee unless your case succeeds, and we typically earn our clients far greater recoveries than unrepresented plaintiffs. We take the bulk of the burden off your shoulders, allowing you to focus on your healing.
Our firm offers a free consultation to discuss your case. We recommend bringing any medical records you have to your appointment, along with notes, so you don’t forget to mention important details like:
- A timeline of events;
- Names of facilities and physicians that provided treatments;
- Relevant symptoms and diagnoses;
- Dates of missed work;
- Details of other losses you may have suffered.
What is the most common type of collision between cars and motorcycles?
According to national accident statistics, approximately 42 percent of collisions between cars and motorcycles occur when cars make left-hand turns. These types of accidents are also extremely common between two cars, but a motorcycle’s smaller size makes them even more likely and dangerous.
What is the leading cause of motorcycle accidents?
There are several causes of motorcycle accidents. Distracted driving is a chief factor, as many people ride with cell phones or other GPS devices. Other causes include intoxicated riding, reckless riding, untrained driving, and speeding.
How common are motorcycle accidents?
Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents are quite common and tend to be deadly when they occur. Statistics show that motorcycle occupants are nearly 29 times more likely than car passengers to sustain fatal injuries.
Even when motorcyclists survive, their injuries can be catastrophic. Extensive medical visits, surgeries, permanent disabilities, and loss of ability to work are common.
When should I file a motorcycle accident claim?
We recommend filing a motorcycle accident claim as soon as possible. The statute of limitations for motorcycle accidents in Maine is six years, giving you a substantial amount of time to file a lawsuit. However, motorcycle accident claims can take a long time to resolve, particularly if the case goes to trial.
Many injured victims are forced to take time off from work to manage their injuries, and they are often forced to pay for many medical and other recovery-related expenses. The sooner your case starts, the sooner you can recover the compensation to manage those financial setbacks.
How much is my motorcycle accident injury claim worth?
It depends. Many factors influence the amount you’re entitled to recover, including the severity of your injury and its impact on your life. Specific factors that courts consider include:
- The impact of the injury on your life and livelihood;
- The amount of medical bills;
- The length of treatment required to repair your injuries;
- Invasiveness of treatment, including whether the injury required surgery;
- How the injury impacts your life expectancy;
- Whether you were at fault for the accident.
It is important to understand that your recovery amount may be reduced depending on the degree of fault attributed to you. In Maine, you can only recover damages if you are found to be less than 50 percent at fault for the accident. Your percentage of fault will reduce your damages. This means that if you are found to be 40 percent at fault and are awarded, as an example, $100,000 in damages, your recovery will be $60,000.