Motorcycle accidents often happen because other drivers are not looking out for motorcycles while entering traffic or making a lane change. Determining fault in these situations can be difficult. Although Maine has a longer statute of limitations for bringing a personal injury lawsuit than most states, it is critical to retain and attorney and start an investigation right after an accident. The other driver's insurer will send out an investigator to look for evidence that a motorcyclist was at fault in an accident; this early look at the accident scene can give insurers an edge. Our experienced Maine motorcycle accident attorneys begin work on these cases as quickly as possible so that no physical evidence is lost. Contact us as soon as possible after a motorcycle accident so that we can protect your rights.
Our firm has investigated hundreds of motorcycle accidents. We employ cutting edge technology and work with a very experienced former law enforcement detective to study the physical evidence at the accident scene (e.g. skid marks, debris, and road scrapes), sight distances, and other environmental conditions. We also examine all evidence of vehicle damage to assess vehicle speed immediately prior to a crash.
Negligence and Damages in Maine Motorcycle Accident Cases
To prevail in an injury lawsuit under Maine law after a motorcycle accident, a motorcyclist must be able to show that the other driver involved was negligent, reckless, or otherwise engaged in wrongful conduct. Negligence is the most common reason for motorcycle accidents. To show that a defendant was negligent, a motorcyclist must prove: (1) he was owed a duty by the defendant (usually a duty to exercise reasonable care), (2) the defendant breached that duty, (3) proximate cause, and (4) damages suffered as a result of the breach of duty.
The fourth element, relating to damages or injuries, can be particularly serious in motorcycle injury cases. Both pecuniary and nonpecuniary damages may be available to victims. Pecuniary damages are those losses that can be expressed in reasonably definite economic terms. This includes past and future medical expenses, past and future wage loss, the cost of hiring someone to do household work if a plaintiff is unable to do that work due to injuries, and earning capacity. It is not uncommon for those involved in a serious motorcycle accident to have to take on less responsibility at work, to find a new job, or to be unable to work at all.
Non-pecuniary damages are those losses that are intangible, and that may not be clearly or easily quantifiable. These include happiness, reputation,
and personal freedom. These may be wrapped up in the concept of pain and suffering. After a catastrophic injury, for example, you may be unable to bathe yourself or use the bathroom alone — this outcome can be hard to value in monetary terms. While a jury must be rational in awarding these damages, it also has a great deal of discretion in determining how much to award for pain and suffering. It can help your case greatly to have a persuasive attorney who can adequately convey to the jury how much you were harmed by an accident, and how any plans towards which you were previously making tangible efforts may have been altered by your injuries.
Motorcycle Accidents and Brain Injury
In spite of the use of a helmet, motorcyclists may suffer brain injuries after an accident. Brain injuries are particularly severe, as they can dramatically impact a survivor's ability to work and help support a family over his or her lifetime. Mr. Thompson has represented hundreds of accident victims who have suffered brain injuries, and frequently lectures on the legal issues that affect brain injury survivors. A former board member of the Brain Injury Association of Maine, Attorney Thompson is extremely familiar with the physical, emotional, and financial difficulties that face brain injury survivors, and he has fought for their rights for over 10 years. He recently represented someone who was badly injured in a motorcycle accident and successfully settled his case.
It is important to use knowledgeable experts to establish the extent of the damages you have suffered. Our firm works with the very best experts. We are confronted on a regular basis by the question of how catastrophic injuries will affect our clients in the future. Are they ever going to be able to work again? How is their home life limited? While treating physicians can offer information about future restrictions, they don't necessarily have the time or ability to provide a comprehensive analysis of just how impacted their patients will be by their injuries. Many other experts do offer this type of analysis, and we rely on their work to persuade insurance companies to settle cases without the expense of going to trial.
Experienced Motorcycle Accident Litigators
If you have been hurt in a motorcycle accident, consult the experienced Maine motorcycle accident lawyers at Peter Thompson & Associates. We will investigate the circumstances surrounding the crash, and help you seek the compensation you deserve. Contact us at 800.490.5218 or via our online form to set up your free initial consultation today.