Articles Posted in Pedestrian Accidents

Published on:

country-road-322990-m.jpgThe most common way to die is not through recreational risk like scuba diving or skydiving. As you may know, driving your car everyday on American roads is the activity that presents the greatest risk of getting killed. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has found that car or other vehicle accidents are the leading cause of the death in the U.S. for people between ages four and 27. You can reduce these risks by being aware of dangerous times and places to drive.

In the event that a loved one is killed in a traffic accident, you may be able to bring a claim for wrongful death. Someone suing for the wrongful death of a family member may be able to recover damages for medical expenses, funeral expenses, loss of earnings potential, loss of inheritance, loss of care and protection, pain and suffering and possibly punitive damages, depending on whether the conduct that caused the accident was egregious.

The Maryland Strategic Highway Safety Plan identifies six deadly factors that drivers should avoid to avoid a fatal traffic accident. These six are: distracted drivers, drunk drivers, aggressive drivers, road construction, failing to use seatbelts and walking.
Continue reading →

Published on:

hand-holding-mobile-smart-phone-1417191-m.jpgAdults in Maine and other states know that texting and driving is dangerous. Yet the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that in 2011, 387,000 people were injured and 3331 were killed in car accidents due to distracted drivers.

As discussed in other posts, there are a number of distractions that drivers need to avoid, but texting is especially dangerous, and it affects a vulnerable portion of the population that may not understand the consequences: teenagers. Teenagers often think it’s no big deal to send a quick text, even when they know talking on the phone is a bad idea.

NTSA has found teens to be six times more likely to crash while dialing a telephone. They are 23 times more likely to crash if they text while driving. Their reaction times start to approximate a 70-year-old driving without a cell phone, which is particularly dangerous because teens are also less likely to have a visceral understanding of the hazards of excessive speed and leaving enough space between cars.
Continue reading →

Published on:

skating-3-814220-m.jpgA recent case arose when a Maine thirteen-year-old boy was seriously hurt after skateboarding out of a driveway and getting hit by a car. The boy lived with his parents, but spent time at another couple’s house in the same town. He often hung out in the other couple’s garage and smoked cigarettes they gave him. His parents did not know about the couple.

In May of 2009, the boy went to hang out in the garage during the day with a friend. Although the young boys left, they returned to the couple’s home a little later, at a time when the couple had been consuming alcohol. The husband said the boys could come in to watch television. A little later, the boys asked for permission to sleep over. Later the wife agreed that, because of her drinking, she should have said no since she was not in a condition to supervise the boys.

The boy phoned his mother and claimed he wanted to spend the night at another friend’s house. The woman phoned the mother and lied that she was the other friend’s mother. The boy’s mother consequently agreed, not realizing the boy would be spending the night with the couple, essentially complete strangers. The couple subsequently fell asleep, and the boy left the house at 1:00 a.m., returning a few hours later.
Continue reading →

Published on:

crosswalk-sign-1431140-m.jpgA rise in pedestrian deaths in Maine and other states has prompted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to look more closely at ways to keep those traveling by foot safer. According to the NHTSA, there were 4,432 pedestrian fatalities in 2011. This was an 8% increase since 2009. The NHTSA has noted that pedestrian deaths made up 14% of all traffic fatalities in 2011. Most of them took place in urban environments at night. Many happened in connection with alcohol consumption — either the driver’s consumption or the pedestrian’s. The Federal Highway Administration has spent $3.8 billion in the pursuit of implementing 11,000 pedestrian safety projects.

As a consequence, NHTSA has created a pedestrian safety campaign that offers tips to all pedestrians so that pedestrian fatalities may be avoided. It has also offered $2 million grants to those cities with the highest rates of pedestrian fatalities.

Although we are all pedestrians at some point, we don’t all follow the rules of pedestrian safety. The NHTSA has put forth a detailed list of rules that will help different groups of pedestrians stay safe.
Continue reading →

Published on:

classic-camera-1427640-m.jpgInsurance companies in Maine and other states do conduct surveillance on personal injury claimants, especially those who claim large sums or a major disability. Is this spying legal? Yes, within limits. On the one hand, insurance companies have the right to ferret out fraud and therefore they conduct secret surveillance to make sure claimants aren’t bringing false claims. On the other, most claimants find surveillance creepy, disturbing and an invasion of privacy. Whether or not the surveillance is found to be appropriate depends in part upon where the spying takes place.

There aren’t a lot of Maine appellate cases deciding the extent to which an insurer may conduct surveillance. A 2001 appellate case, however, affirmed the right of an employee to sue for trespass to property, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress against a workers compensation insurance company, a private investigation business and a private investigator based on their surveillance activities while the employee received workers compensation benefits.

In one Pennsylvania Supreme Court case, two investigators conducted surveillance on a claimant when she left her house. The court found that because the woman exposed herself to public scrutiny every time she left the house and the surveillance did not extend into her home, the surveillance was not an invasion of her privacy.
Continue reading →

Published on:

hand-on-keyboard-1260787-m.jpgDue to the widespread use of Facebook and Twitter, courts all over the country are handling discovery motions related to social media now. At this point, many social media tools are used to “check in” to businesses, identify your location, or mark other information that might otherwise be private.

In Maine, Rule 26 permits parties to obtain discovery regarding a non-privileged matter that is relevant to the subject matter involved in the pending action to the extent that the request is reasonably calculated to lead to admissible evidence. This can present a problem for people who use social media without regard to the possibility that it might need to be produced in a lawsuit.

A common scenario happens when you get injured and you either accept a Facebook friend request from someone you do not know or are already Facebook friends with someone who knows the insurer or people that work for the entity responsible for your injury. The new “friend” might be monitoring Facebook posts to see whether you are legitimately hurt.
Continue reading →

Published on:

crosswalk-579029-m.jpgEveryone knows that drunk driving can kill you, but what about drunk walking in Maine and other states? The U.S. government recently released data compiled by all the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration from reports by state highway departments. It showed 1/3 of pedestrians killed in 2011 (1,547 out of 4,432 pedestrians) were drunk, up 3% from the prior year. The pedestrians had blood alcohol content measures that exceeded the legal driving limit. In contrast, only 13% of drivers involved in pedestrian fatalities were over the legal limit.

The data demonstrates that if you are going someplace where you intend to drink, you’re better off arranging a cab or getting a designated driver to drive you home, rather than walking, driving or biking home. While drivers have become more conscious of the hazards of drunk driving due to harsh drunk driving penalties, they have not necessarily realized that drunk walking can present many of the same hazards as driving.
Continue reading →

Published on:

photo_17193_20100314.jpgThe Maine Liquor Liability Act (MLLA) is the exclusive remedy against bartenders or other servers of alcohol who serve liquor to people who go on to cause injury to somebody else. The MLLA limits damages for persons injured or killed when a server of alcohol serves an obviously intoxicated person or a minor.

Anyone who sells or gives liquor to an individual, including those who simply give alcohol to someone at a party or social gathering, can be sued for being either negligent or reckless. Negligent serving of alcohol means that the server served liquor to someone he or she knew was a minor or intoxicated under the law. Reckless serving of alcohol means that the server intentionally serves liquor to a minor or obviously intoxicated person when he knows, but consciously disregards, the substantial risk that serving liquor to the person will cause physical harm to the drinker or others he encounters.

The MLLA limits damages to $350,000 plus medical expenses in the event of property damage, bodily injury or a death caused by the consumption of alcohol served by a defendant under this Act. In order to claim your rights under the MLLA, however, you must give notice within 180 days (six months) that you intend to hold the bar, restaurant, social host or other server of alcohol responsible for a personal injury or wrongful death. The notice must include the time, place and circumstances of the server’s conduct that creates MLLA liability.

In a 2011 case, a drunk driver injured one of his fellow passengers (the plaintiff) on a chartered bus after they finished up a business promotion trip. An employee of a company had organized a fishing and dinner trip to promote one of the company’s business relationships with a lumber company. The trip ended at the lumber company’s parking lot. The plaintiff was an employee of the lumber company.
Continue reading →

Published on:

1339523_pedestrian_pictogram sxchu username linder6580.jpgA Union man was hospitalized after he was struck by a vehicle while crossing a road in Friendship. According to Tim Carroll, Knox County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy, the 19-year-old was crossing Route 97 around 10 am when he was struck by a Toyota van driven by a 48-year-old Friendship woman. Although paramedics initially transported the injured but conscious man to Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport, he was reportedly taken by emergency helicopter to Eastern Maine Medical Center for further treatment. The driver of the van was purportedly uninjured in the collision.

The exact cause of the pedestrian accident is currently under investigation by local law enforcement officials. The injured man allegedly told officers he did not look before crossing the roadway. Knox County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Michael Sprague stated a nearby security camera showed the driver who struck the man was unable to avoid the crash as a result of poor roadway conditions.

Data from the Maine Department of Transportation states there were nearly 1,300 pedestrian accidents reported throughout our state between 2006 and 2010. Sadly, 56 of those collisions were fatal and 240 resulted in an incapacitating injury to a pedestrian. In almost all Maine pedestrian crashes reported, the individual who was walking was hurt. Despite the fact that most pedestrian accidents occurred in a town or city, more than half of the 56 fatalities took place in a rural setting.

Oftentimes, individuals who are hit by a motor vehicle suffer catastrophic or life-threatening harm. The victim of a pedestrian accident may sustain a spinal cord, neck, traumatic brain, or other debilitating injury. If you were hurt in a Maine pedestrian accident, you may be eligible to recover compensation for your medical expenses, physical therapy, lost wages, pain, suffering, and other damages. Because accident responsibility in the State of Maine is attributed based upon modified comparative fault, a pedestrian or other accident victim may not collect damages if he or she was more than 50 percent responsible. Additionally, any damages a victim may receive will be reduced based on his or her percentage of fault. If you were injured in an unexpected traffic wreck, you should contact a qualified car accident attorney to discuss your options for recovery.
Continue reading →

Published on:

Thumbnail image for yellowdot.jpgIn the moments after a serious car crash EMTs face a huge dilemma: Treat you without knowing anything about you, or waste precious time tracking down your medical history.

In the lingo of first responders, the “Golden Hour” is the time period lasting from a few minutes to several hours after a car crash when there is the greatest chance that prompt medical treatment will prevent death. During that time, the life of an unconscious, unresponsive or confused crash victim hangs in the balance. Now there is an easy and effective way to make the best use of the golden hour.

The Yellow Dot Program, which started in southern Maine in October 2012, is part of a nationwide push to help first responders get critical medical history information about crash victims on the scene. A bright yellow sticker (the Yellow Dot) placed on the rear window of a car alerts EMTs to look in the glove compartment for a yellow plastic sleeve that has a picture, identify, emergency contacts, life-saving medications, such as insulin or coumadin, and serious medical conditions an EMT would need to know to avoid making a bad situation worse.