Limited visibility motorcycle accidents
One of the biggest challenges for motorcyclists in Maine and elsewhere is limited visibility. Oftentimes, drivers are distracted or otherwise unable to recognize a motorcycle in dense traffic or poor weather conditions. They may fail to yield or take over the motorcyclist's lane, forcing the motorcyclist to swerve or otherwise face injury. If you are injured due to limited visibility, you should consult with a trustworthy Maine motorcycle accident attorney to determine how best to proceed.
In Maine, Title 29A section 2062 requires drivers to recognize that a motorcycle has fully occupied a lane of traffic, rather than try to squeeze past them within the same lane. In fact, a passenger car may not be driven such that it deprives a motorcycle of the full use of his or her lane. Some drivers may claim they couldn't see you. Two ways to ensure that you are seen are to wear reflective and Day-Glo orange clothing and to use an oscillating headlamp.Proximate Cause in Maine
On top of drivers' distractions like texting or simply not paying attention, weather and road conditions can also lead to limited visibility in motorcycle accidents. A critical aspect of Maine negligence cases is determining who was at fault. There may be a number of causes that combine to cause an accident in Maine. Only someone whose conduct was a proximate cause may be held liable.
Proximate cause is a cause that is both the actual and legal cause of an accident. A passenger vehicle whose driver fails to pay attention to a motorcyclist's right to occupy a full lane and forces him out of the lane by driving too close could be a proximate cause of an accident, if the motorcycle is forced to swerve onto a road surface with ridges and wipes out as a result. In this example, there is no interruption between the driver's conduct and the motorcycle's wipeout.
However, where a causal chain is interrupted, proximate cause can be harder to establish. For example, if the motorcyclist is forced out of his lane on a sunny day, safely switches lanes, drives a quarter of a mile and then hits a deer that walks out into his lane, he may have difficulty showing that the driver who inappropriately forced him to make the lane change was the proximate cause of the accident.
Evidence is sufficient to support a Maine jury's finding of proximate cause if the evidence and all reasonable inferences show that a defendant's negligence was a substantial part in causing an injury and the injury was the direct result or a reasonably foreseeable consequence of the defendant's negligence. The mere possibility of causing an accident — such as where a driver would have to speculate or the odds are evenly balanced — is not enough to show proximate cause. In the example above, if the driver forces a motorcyclist out of his lane on a rainy day where general visibility is very poor, and the motorcyclist soon after swerving hits the last car in a line of cars that are driving slowly due to the rain, it may be possible to establish proximate cause. The motorcyclist in that case can argue that it was foreseeable that he would hit the stopped vehicle or come to some other harm if forced to swerve out of his lane unexpectedly on a rainy day.Retain an Experienced Limited Visibility Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you are injured due to limited visibility, you should retain a trustworthy Maine motorcycle injury attorney to help obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries. We can investigate what caused the accident and join all responsible parties to your lawsuit. Contact Peter Thompson & Associates at 800.804.2004 or via our online form.