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 have up to six years to file your claim. That is, by far, one of the most generous time limits in the country, but the same consequences apply if you wait more than six years. 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 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 180 days, and you only have two years to file a full lawsuit.
Comparative Fault in Maine
You know how long it takes to file your claim in Maine, so 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 be only 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, however, 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 can’t sue the other party for anything, as your case is disqualified entirely.
No matter how severe your personal injury, there are still damage caps in Maine that you cannot exceed with your lawsuit. They only apply specifically to wrongful death cases, and they cannot exceed $500,000 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 consult with a personal injury lawyer to see how much your case is worth.
Maine Personal Injury Lawyer
It’s absolutely essential that you file your lawsuit on time, but it’s also important to make sure everything is in order with it. To draft everything properly and fight for your compensation in court, you’ll need the help of a personal injury lawyer. Navigating these kinds of cases is tough without expert help, and insurance companies don’t have your interests in mind.
With help from Lowry Law, you’ll have an expert in your corner with all the personal injury case experience you’ll need. We offer free consultations and you’ll never owe us anything unless we win your case. You can reach us at 207-775-3819 or by filling out our online case evaluation form.