Personal Injury Attorneys in Maine
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Personal injury claims can get messy and complicated quickly, especially when fault is in question. However, with the assistance of a personal injury attorney, you are likely to get through your claim with more ease and with a higher likelihood of a good settlement. Remember, if you plan to file a lawsuit, you must do so within the state's statute of limitations.
NOTE: The content of this website is intended solely for informational purposes. It is not a source of legal advice and should not be used as such.
In general, "personal injury" refers to any harm you suffer to your body that is caused by someone else. This can be physical harm as well as the emotional harm that the injury causes you. One of the most common causes of personal injury is auto accidents.
When you are injured in a car accident, usually your insurance company will offer you a settlement to cover your medical expenses; however, they might try to lowball you. You might be entitled to more money under the law, either from the insurer or from the person who injured you.
Consulting a personal injury attorney can ensure you get what you're entitled to.
When to Consult a ME Personal Injury Attorney
If you've been in a simple fender bender, you can probably let your insurance company handle everything. However, there are times when you need the advice of an attorney.
Personal injury attorneys can help sort out the complications that arise when:
- A serious injury has occurred that involved broken bones, hospitalization, or potential permanent damage.
- A death has resulted from the accident.
- Fault is clearly an issue.
- The accident occurred in a construction area.
- A police report does not accurately describe the accident and puts you at fault.
- The limits of your liability insurance are low.
- You have no insurance, or your insurance company suggests that you did not pay your premium.
- Your insurer drags its feet on getting you a settlement.
- Your insurer involves its own attorney.
In personal injury law more than almost any other specialty, lawyers often work on a contingency basis―meaning you don't pay them unless you receive a settlement (though you might pay them a hefty percentage of what you get). Also, many personal injury attorneys routinely give free initial consultations, and it never hurts to get free advice.
Statute of Limitations in Maine
In Maine, you only have 6 years to file a lawsuit against the person who injured you.
If your personal injury lawyer has not been able to come to an agreement with any involved insurance companies, you will definitely want to file a lawsuit before the 6 years runs out.
Personal Injury and Fault Laws
Maine follows a "modified comparative fault" rule, which says that you are not entitled to receive damages if you were 50 percent or more at fault in the accident. If you were 49 percent or less at fault, you may recover damages, though your recovery will be reduced by your degree of fault.
Example: if you were 25 percent at fault, your ability to recover is reduced by 25 percent.
In Maine, if more than one person is negligent toward you, each person who has been found negligent to you is responsible for a proportional amount of the total damages. Under Maine law, the person who injured you is responsible for:
- Past, current, and future estimated medical expenses.
- Time lost from work, including time spent going to medical appointments or therapy.
- Any property that was damaged, such as your vehicle.
- The cost of hiring someone to do household chores when you can not do them.
- Any permanent disfigurement or disability.
- Your emotional distress, including anxiety, depression, and interference with your family relationships.
- A change in your future earning ability due to the injury.
In order to collect on a personal injury claim in Maine, you must prove the person who caused the injury was "negligent"―that is, they failed to use reasonable care when driving.
Personal injury attorneys are well versed in fault laws and can help you prove negligence in order to recover your damages.