Motorcycle accidents are different from other vehicle accidents in part because of the severity of the injuries that tend to be involved. Often drivers of cars and trucks don't treat motorcycles the same way they treat other cars or trucks. For example, they may find it difficult to gauge a motorcyclist's speed or distance. Head-on collisions may lead to a motorcyclist's death even in situations when a motorcyclist is wearing a helmet. If your loved one sustains serious head trauma or dies due to a head-on collision, call the dedicated Maine motorcycle accident attorneys at Peter Thompson & Associates. We understand motorcycle injury law and can help you seek the compensation you need and deserve.Motorcycle Accident Statistics
The statistics related to motorcycle accidents are harrowing. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that there were 4,553 motorcycle rider fatalities in 2005. Single-vehicle crashes accounted for 44% of these deaths. The majority (56%) resulted from multivehicle motorcycle crashes. Of the 2,532 fatalities from multivehicle motorcycle crashes, 89% came from accidents in which two vehicles collided. During a 9-month period in 2012, there were 21 motorcyclist fatalities in Maine according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. While this number of fatalities may be lower than the numbers reported by other states, the impact to families and loved ones is huge and difficult to quantify.Determining Fault in Head-On Collision and Wrongful Death Cases
When a motorcyclist dies because of another's conduct, the victim’s survivors may be able to sue the responsible person, business entity, or governmental agency for wrongful death. A defendant driver may be held responsible in this context if he or she acted negligently, recklessly, or intentionally, and thereby "proximately caused" the motorcyclist's death.
After a death, the responsible party's insurer may try to blame the accident on the decedent. That is why it is so important to contact a knowledgeable attorney right away.
Our firm works with an experienced former law enforcement detective to evaluate physical evidence like skid marks, debris, and damage to the vehicle to assess such tricky matters as fault in motorcycle accidents.
Although there is a six-year statute of limitations period within which to bring a personal injury lawsuit and two years within which to bring a wrongful death lawsuit, it is important to investigate a motorcycle accident immediately after it happens. Even within a short period of time, such as a day or two, most evidence of a motorcycle accident can vanish. Usually your insurer will investigate immediately, but they don't necessarily have expertise in accident reconstruction. The other party's insurer has no incentive or reason to document evidence in your favor.
In Maine, wrongful death lawsuits must be brought in the name of a personal representative of a decedent's estate. The personal representative is appointed in a probate proceeding and may recover damages including medical expenses, reasonable funeral costs, loss of benefits such as pension or health insurance, mental anguish or pain to the survivors, loss of the decedent's financial support, and loss of companionship.
In rare instances, survivors may be able to request punitive damages after a wrongful death. Punitive damages are awarded to punish a defendant for intentional or malicious conduct, rather than to compensate a plaintiff.Experienced Injury Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a head-on collision, you should retain a trustworthy Maine motorcycle accident lawyer to help you obtain the compensation you deserve. We can work to figure out what caused the accident, and fight to hold the at-fault party responsible. Contact Peter Thompson & Associates at 800.804.2004 or via our online form for your consultation today.