Motorcycles are popular throughout Maine, especially during the summer months, but motorcyclists are vulnerable on the road and have very little protection during a crash. It only takes one negligent driver to cause a motorcycle accident that can leave riders with serious injuries that sometimes can be fatal.
An accident in South Portland has served as a stark reminder of that fact and left the friends, family members, and former colleagues of a longtime Portland police officer in mourning.
A motorcycle operated by Robert Hawkins collided with a car near the exit 3 ramp to Interstate 295 on a Monday night in June. Both Hawkins and his wife, a passenger on the bike, were thrown to the ground. Hawkins was killed and his wife was hospitalized with serious injuries. Police said that both were wearing helmets.
The driver of the car was a 26-year-old man who was also hospitalized for injuries that were not life-threatening. Police said it did not appear that drugs or alcohol contributed to the accident, but the driver was cited for a moving traffic violation.
Hawkins retired from the Portland Police Department in 2018 after serving 18 years, and the department has since released a statement honoring their former colleague.
What causes motorcycle accidents?
Many motorcycle crashes are caused by negligent drivers. Some drivers don’t look for motorcycles or see them as little more than a nuisance. The risk of an accident goes up if the driver is:
- Distracted. These drivers take their eyes off the road to check their GPS, change the radio station or take a sip of coffee.
- Texting. Many drivers continue to text while driving despite a Maine law that bans the practice.
- Speeding. Drivers who exceed the speed limit are often unable to stop in time to prevent a collision with a motorcycle.
- Driving recklessly. Examples include tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, changing lanes without signaling, and running traffic lights.
- Driving drunk. Alcohol or drugs can impair a driver’s judgment and slow reaction time.
Our firm has been fighting for crash victims since 1979
If a negligent driver causes a motorcycle crash, victims and their families are entitled to compensation. The process of recovering compensation is complicated, though. For one thing, negligent drivers often deny doing anything wrong and refuse to accept responsibility for what happened.
Insurance companies are supposed to help, but they are always concerned about their profits. They may question the seriousness of someone’s injuries. They tend to stereotype motorcyclists as risky drivers and may blame them for causing the crash. Another way they save money is by offering a settlement that falls far short of covering all of the damages suffered by the victim.
If you’ve been injured or lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, it’s important to get trusted legal advice as soon as possible. Jabar LaLiberty, LLC has been fighting for the injured in Portland, Waterville, and throughout Maine for decades.
Our experienced lawyers know the impact a motorcycle crash can have on victims and their families. We investigate accidents to build strong cases that hold negligent drivers accountable. Our attorneys know how to handle insurance companies and get results, either through a negotiated settlement or a jury verdict. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.