If you’ve been injured in the state of Maine due to someone else’s negligence, you may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. Dealing with legal proceedings is tough enough by itself, but recovering from injuries at the same time makes it even more difficult. When faced with increased medical costs, however, people often have no choice but to file a suit.
When filing your personal injury lawsuit, you need to keep quite a few things in mind in order to get the compensation owed to you. One of the main things to remember is deadlines. Personal injury lawsuits have a statute of limitations in Maine, and if you fail to file on time, there’s no way to fix it apart from inventing a time machine. Learn how long you have to file your lawsuit in Maine, and discover how a good personal injury lawyer can help.
Like all other states, Maine has a statute of limitations for how long you can wait to file a personal injury claim. Beginning from the date your injury occurs, you will usually have up to six years to file your claim, but keep in mind there are some exceptions to this rule. That is, by far, one of the most generous time limits in the country, but if you miss your deadline, you’ll likely be unable to bring the issue to court at all.
There are some special rules in Maine depending on the target of your lawsuit. If your personal injury was caused by a private party, you only have to abide by the typical six-year time limit with no extra rules.
Suing government entities like city, county or state offices for your personal injury, however, significantly reduces the time you have to file. Your initial claim has to be filed within one year, and then you will only have two years to file a full lawsuit.
It’s important to keep in mind that while these time limits apply to many situations, there are circumstances where the deadlines could be even shorter. For certain claim notices, the timeframe could be as short as 30 days, so that’s why it’s in your best interest to call a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
Comparative Fault in Maine
Once you know how long it takes to file your claim in Maine, it’s helpful to know what exactly goes into making your case. Maine deals with personal injury in terms of liability or fault. The person or entity at fault for the injury is the one who acted carelessly or with negligence that directly leads to the incident. While that seems pretty easy to understand, not all cases have a clear guilty party.
In many cases, both sides are partially at fault for the injury. Imagine you’re speeding down the road and cross over an intersection. The light is green, but the car on the other side of the road decides to turn left in front of you. You get into an accident and are injured. They turned left when they were supposed to be yielding to oncoming traffic, so they’re liable right? Well, since you were speeding, part of the blame falls on you.
In cases where the blame can be attributed to both sides, Maine uses a comparative fault system. With that, fault is represented in terms of a percentage. Referencing the previous example, if a driver turns left in front of you and you hit them while speeding, they may only be held 85 percent liable for the accident. The other 15 percent is on you since you were speeding. That means you can only get compensation for 85 percent of the damages in the accident.
Maine has some special rules for comparative fault that you need to know. Splitting the fault up in percentages only works if you’re not more than half responsible. If the court determines that you were 50 percent liable or more, you lose the case.
No matter how severe your personal injury is, there are still damage caps in Maine that you cannot exceed with your lawsuit. These caps only apply specifically to wrongful death cases, and they cannot exceed $750,000 for non-economic damages. This is to prevent people from demanding substantial sums for emotional damage and pain and suffering. More common personal injury cases like car accidents and slip and fall cases, however, have no damage caps, so you should definitely consult with a personal injury attorney to see how much your case is worth.
It’s important to note that in every case that involves insurance there will be a cap of insurance coverage. In situations where there is limited insurance, that can complicate how much money you are able to obtain for your case. If you have questions about damage caps after a wrongful death, get in touch with our team.
Call Lowry & Associates If You’ve Been Hurt
It’s absolutely essential that you file your lawsuit on time, but it can also be complicated trying to figure out exactly what you need to do each step of the way. To draft everything properly and fight for your compensation in court, you’ll need the help of a personal injury lawyer like those on our team at Lowry & Associates.
Navigating these kinds of cases is tough without expert help, and you need to remember that insurance companies don’t have your best interest in mind.
With help from our team, you’ll have an expert in your corner with all the personal injury case experience you’ll need. Don’t wait to get the help you deserve. Get started on your free case review today by giving us a call at 207-775-3819 or filling out our online form.