Types of Motorcycles and Engine Capacity
There is a high rate of motorcycle accidents in Maine and other states. Twenty-two motorcycle fatalities occurred in Maine in 2004. Although motorcyclist fatalities reached a historic low of 2,116 across the nation in 1997, the trend was reversed the following year and motorcyclist fatalities have increased every year since. Why are motorcyclists so vulnerable to fatal accidents? The characteristics of motorcycles, including their high power-to-weight ratio and their instability as a single-track vehicle, are partially responsible. Motorcyclists are also particularly vulnerable because they are less easily seen by drivers and because they are not surrounded by any sort of crash protection. The type of motorcycle and its engine capacity can also make a difference to your risk of getting into an accident. If you do suffer an accident due to someone else's negligence or a product defect, an experienced Maine motorcycle accident attorney can help you recover compensation for your loss.Types of Motorcycles in Maine
While there is no universal or standard system for classifying every type of motorcycle, there are a number of classification systems recognized by motorcycle sport sanctioning bodies and licensing bodies. There are six or seven separately recognized categories of motorcycle, including dirt bikes, dual-purpose, cruiser, sport, touring and sport-touring motorcycles. These have differences that are more than cosmetic.Motorcycle Engine Size
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has compiled data from 1995-2004 that showed an increased number of motorcycle rider fatalities involved a motorcycle with a larger engine size. NHTSA found that the overall increase in fatalities was due to an increase in fatalities within the group of people who ride motorcycles with 1001-1500 cc engines. Forty-one percent of motorcycle rider fatalities in 2004 were in the group of motorcyclists using 501-1,000 cc engines as compared to 38 percent in the 1001-1500 cc engine group and 6 percent in the 500 and below engine group. By another account, 500cc or above engines account for 40 percent of accidents, 50-125cc account for 20 percent of accidents, and everything in between makes up the rest.Wrongful Death in Maine
If a loved one is killed in a motorcycle accident in Maine, you may recover compensatory damages under the survival statute or wrongful death statute. A wrongful death claim may be brought if another driver acted negligently, causing the accident that led to a death. Negligence can be alleged if: (1) there was a duty on the part of a defendant towards the plaintiff, (2) the defendant breached that duty, (3) the breach was the proximate cause of a plaintiff's injuries and (4) damages were incurred by the plaintiff. A wrongful death suit can also be brought if the motorcycle did not perform properly and you believe there may have been a defect that caused the accident. To succeed on a defective product claim, you would need to prove a manufacturing defect or a negligent design. If a manufacturing defect is involved, a strict liability standard will apply. This means the manufacturer may be held responsible even if it acted reasonably, if there was a defect that caused the accident.Retain an Experienced Maine Wrongful Death Attorney
The death of a loved one due to a motorcycle accident is a tragic event that has both emotional and financial consequences. If you believe your loved one died as a result of negligence, recklessness or a defective motorcycle, you should retain a trustworthy Maine motorcycle injury attorney to help obtain compensation for your losses. We work with a team of skilled investigators with significant experience in accident reconstruction. We will work diligently to figure out what caused the motorcycle accident and join all responsible parties to your wrongful death or injury lawsuit. Contact Peter Thompson & Associates at 1.800.804.2004 or via our online form.