Suffering an injury is never easy, and the financial, physical, and emotional toll it can take on an individual can be overwhelming. When coupled with legal proceedings, the experience can be incredibly daunting.
Every state has unique laws and regulations that govern how personal injury claims are handled, and Maine is no different. Understanding the nuances of the law in this state and having an experienced legal professional by your side will give you an advantage as you work to recover what you’ve lost. In this blog post, we will explore what makes Maine’s personal injury laws unique and how they can impact your case.
How Long Do You Have To File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Maine?
Like all other states, Maine has a statute of limitations that dictates 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. 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.
Keep in mind there are some exceptions to this rule, 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.
On the other hand, suing government entities like city, county, or state offices for your personal injury 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 it’s in your best interest to call a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
How Is Fault Determined in Maine Personal Injury Claims?
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 led 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 crossing 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 yield 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. Under this system, the assigned 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% liable for the accident. The other 15% is on you since you were speeding. That means you can only get compensation for 85% of the damages in the accident.
Splitting the fault into percentages only works if you’re less than 50% liable for your injuries. If the court determines that you were equally responsible or held more responsibility than the other party, you will be denied damages.
Does Maine Put Damage Caps on Injury Claims?
In Maine, damage caps only apply to wrongful death cases. These caps put limits on the total damages you could receive with your lawsuit, barring a wrongful death claimant from exceeding $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 have no damage caps. Consult with a personal injury attorney to see how much your case is worth.
In every case that involves insurance companies, there will be a cap on 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 or would like your insurance policy reviewed by the experts, 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, defend yourself against any unfair claims of liability, and understand the full extent of damages you are entitled to by law. Dealing with a legal claim is tough enough by itself, but recovering from injuries at the same time makes it even more difficult 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.
Insurance companies don’t have your best interest in mind, but with help from our team, you’ll have an expert in your corner. Don’t wait to get the help you deserve. Get started on your free case review today by giving us a call or filling out our online form.