A broadside collision is also known as a right angle collision or a T-bone collision. It occurs when one side of a vehicle is impacted by the front of another vehicle forming a "T." These accidents are often caused by a motorist's failure to yield to another driver's right of way at an intersection. If a motorcyclist is hit at a right angle or T-boned by a car, a catastrophic injury or death is likely to result. An experienced Maine motorcycle accident attorney may be able to help you bring a personal injury action in the event that you are hurt or a loved on is killed in a broadside collision.Catastrophic Injuries Due to Broadside Collisions in Maine
Some common reasons people get into broadside collisions are failure to yield the right of way, following too close, failing to pay attention, and speeding. The state of Maine expects drivers to drive safely according to current conditions, including the weather and traffic. Those who fail to drive safely and who injure someone as a result may be found to have acted negligently. Maine requires all motorists to carry liability insurance in the amounts of $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident, and $25,000 in property damage, as well as uninsured motorist insurance and medical payments coverage. However, a broadside collision is likely to do very serious damage to a motorcyclist who has no padding or material to bear the force of a car hitting him or her at a right angle.
An accident victim can bring a lawsuit against a negligent driver. The victim can also sue the driver's employer in the event that the driver was working at the time of the accident. For example, if a pizza delivery driver T-bones your motorcyclist spouse while running a red light, your spouse can sue not only the individual delivery driver, but also the driver’s employer. A Maine employer can be held liable for an employee's negligent actions through a doctrine called "vicarious liability."
Sometimes more than one defendant is to blame for a broadside collision. For example, a motorcyclist may be trying to make a left at a busy intersection where there is no light or stop sign. If a construction company is doing work at the intersection, it may be particularly difficult to see oncoming traffic (and it may also be difficult for oncoming traffic to see a motorcycle.) If the area is poorly marked or the construction company fails to post signs about the potential hazard, the construction company or the city that hired the construction company may be liable for damages resulting from a broadside collision.
The motorcyclist in that case may be able to seek damages from multiple sources under a theory of "comparative fault." If there are multiple defendants responsible for an accident, they may each be held liable for the full sum of the plaintiff's damages under a theory of "joint and several liability." This doctrine allows a plaintiff to recover for his or her full losses from solvent defendants, even in the event that one of the defendants is bankrupt.
If someone dies in a broadside collision as a result of a defendant’s negligence, the decedent's family can seek up to $500,000 in emotional damages for loss of comfort, companionship, and society. Pecuniary damages for amounts such as lost income, as well as damages for conscious pan and suffering, are also available, and are not subject to this cap. Punitive damages in an amount of up to $250,000 may also be available where the plaintiffs can prove malice by clear and convincing evidence. A defendant's conduct must be outrageous in a broadside collision case for punitive damages to be available. If victims claim punitive damages, the jury will consider factors including the degree of reprehensibility of the defendant's actions, the disparity between the punitive award and the actual harm, and the amount of sanctions usually imposed for similar actions.Helping You Recover for Your Injuries
If you are a motorcyclist who was hurt in a broadside collision, you should retain a trustworthy Maine motorcycle accident lawyer to help you seek the damages you deserve for your injuries. An experienced attorney may be able to identify multiple sources of compensation, including the insurers for other drivers involved in the accident. Contact Peter Thompson & Associates at 800.804.2004 or via our online form to set up your no-cost initial consultation.