Left Turn Collisions

The U.S. Secretary of Transportation has noted that over the last decade, automobile fatalities were reduced, but motorcycle fatalities have increased. Motorcycles have the same rights and privileges as any other vehicle on the road. Unfortunately, because of their size, motorcyclists are sometimes ignored, and many drivers are not as capable of gauging their distance from a motorcycle as they are with regard to another car or truck. In 2008, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has found that about 36% of vehicles were turning or crossing an intersection just before a crash. If you were hurt or a loved one has been killed on a motorcycle due to another driver's negligence, the experienced Maine motorcycle accident attorneys at Peter Thompson & Associates can help you seek the compensation you deserve.

Facts About Motorcycle Accident Injuries

Commissioned by NHTSA in 1976, the most comprehensive report of motorcycle injuries (known as the Hurt Report) found that the most common motorcycle accidents were those at intersections where a motorcyclist was driving straight and another vehicle was trying to make a left turn in front of the motorcycle. Another common scenario occurs when a driver is driving straight through an intersection or is speeding while trying to beat a traffic signal that is changing, and crashes into a motorcyclist that is making a left turn. A left turn collision can have grave impacts on a motorcyclist, causing catastrophic injuries and sometimes loss of life. While the driver of a car is protected to some extent by the front of the car, a motorcyclist is exposed to the full brunt of an impact.

Negligence and Vicarious Liability

To prevail in a claim of negligence, a plaintiff must show (1) that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of reasonable care, (2) the defendant breached that duty, (3) that the defendant's conduct was the "proximate cause" of the accident, and (4) that the plaintiff suffered actual damages. Generally, a driver has an obligation to all other drivers and pedestrians to drive as safely as a reasonable person would in the same situation, taking into account road rules and weather conditions.

In some situations, the at-fault driver was traveling for work when the accident occurred. In limited circumstances, Maine courts recognize the rules of vicarious liability and negligent hiring. These doctrines permit a plaintiff to hold the employer liable for its employee's negligent driving, though they typically don't apply to situations where an independent contractor is at fault for the accident.

With respect to vicarious liability, Maine follows the Restatement (Second) of Agency section 228, which states, among other things, that the conduct of an employee is within the scope of employment if it is the kind he is employed to perform, if it occurs substantially within the authorized hours and location, and if it is partly motivated by the intent to serve an employer.

This situation would arise, for example, if an employee of a grocery delivery service en route to deliver groceries to someone was not paying attention and made a quick left turn in front of a motorcyclist, causing the motorcycle to capsize and the motorcyclist to sustain a traumatic brain injury from the force of the impact. The motorcyclist in that case could sue not only the driver, but also the grocery delivery company for negligence.

Experience You Can Trust

If you have been injured in left turn collision while on a motorcycle, you should retain a knowledgeable Maine motorcycle accident lawyer to pursue the compensation you deserve. We work with an experienced former law enforcement detective in an effort to figure out what likely happened to cause your accident, and help you fight to hold the responsible parties accountable. Contact Peter Thompson & Associates at 800.804.2004 or via our online form today to schedule your free initial consultation.

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