The rural roads that crisscross through most of Maine are perfect for motorcycling. With little traffic, spectacular scenery, and a speed limit of 75 miles per hour in some spots, conditions are ideal for enjoying the thrill of a motorcycle. Unfortunately, as any experienced motorcyclist knows, not all drivers are attentive to motorcycles or respect a biker’s right to the road.
If another party’s negligence caused a motorcycling wreck that injured you, reach out to a Portland motorcycle accident lawyer. The law makes the negligent party liable for the losses you suffered due to your injuries, but you need capable civil attorney to get the compensation you deserve.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Collisions in Portland
Whenever someone’s failure to be reasonably cautious causes another person to become injured, the driver responsible for the crash is considered legally negligent. When an injured person is a plaintiff in a civil action, they must prove the defendant was negligent.
This requires the plaintiff to present evidence that the defendant was incautious, and that their lack of care directly caused the plaintiff’s otherwise avoidable injuries.
Situations that commonly result in motorcycle accidents include a driver:
- Making a left turn without yielding to an oncoming motorcycle
- Changing lanes into the path of a motorcycle
- Driving distracted or impaired
- Opening their door into the path of an oncoming motorcycle
Many passenger vehicle drivers, truckers, and bus drivers do not pay attention to motorcyclists on the road. Motorcyclists can be difficult to see, especially if a vehicle has large blind spots, as trucks and buses do. However, every driver must be attentive to other vehicles on the road and drive safely. An injured motorcyclist’s Portland lawyer could investigate the accident scene and other relevant evidence to determine whose negligence played a role in the wreck.
Can a Motorcyclist’s Actions Impact Their Recovery?
Although a negligent driver might have been at fault for a motorcycle accident, the opposing attorney will likely try to shift as much responsibility as possible onto the injured biker. The law allows a jury to reduce a plaintiff’s damages if they are partially to blame for their own injuries, and a plaintiff who bears more than half the blame cannot collect any damages. Therefore, injured motorcyclists should work with a Portland lawyer to help minimize their percentage of fault for the accident.
Keeping the motorcycle in good repair, riding only when conditions are safe, and obeying all vehicle and traffic laws are excellent ways for a biker to avoid being found partially negligent. Taking extra precautions to be safe could also be helpful if a motorcycle accident leads to a civil claim.
For example, Maine Revised Statute §2083 requires motorcyclists under the age of 18, bikers who received their drivers’ licenses within the past year, and their passengers, to wear helmets. Helmet use is voluntary for other bikers. However, if a motorcyclist was not wearing a helmet and suffered head injuries in a wreck, a negligent party might assert that their failure to wear a helmet was a contributor to the biker’s head injury.
Statute of Limitations in Portland
Maine law gives injured people six years to file a lawsuit for personal injury. This generous statute of limitations might encourage someone to put off deciding whether to take legal action.
Delay is never in a plaintiff’s best interest. Police reports come from information gathered at active accident scenes, and insurance investigators often visit the scene soon after. It is helpful if a Portland biker’s attorney could also review the evidence at the scene of an accident shortly after the incident occurred, rather than rely on evidence from other parties who may not have the injured motorcyclist’s best interest in mind.
Similarly, witnesses might pass away, move away, or forget important details over time. Retaining legal representation as soon as possible after an accident not only strengthens a motorcycle crash case, it means the injured party receives a settlement sooner.
Speak with a Portland Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today
A Portland motorcycle accident lawyer could defend you from others trying to blame you for the crash, protect your rights, and ensure you get the settlement you are entitled to receive. Schedule a consultation as soon as possible after a motorcycle accident to begin working on your case.