Maine Personal Injury Lawsuits
If you have been seriously hurt because of the wrongful actions or negligence of another party in or around Portland, Maine, it may be in your best interest to seek recovery for your losses by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Your life can change dramatically when a serious accident results in devastating injuries that can cause physical, financial and emotional challenges now and into the future. It is essential that victims secure the very best legal representation available. Since 1976, we at Hardy, Wolf & Downing have been providing clients with an exceptional level of personalized service and we pledge to do everything possible to obtain the outcome and financial recovery to which you are entitled.
When the negligence of others has caused you to suffer injuries, mental and emotional distress, and untold disruption to your professional and home lives, you owe it to yourself to seek justice. Because the law does provide you with the ability to seek significant financial compensation, there is no reason for you to suffer in silence. Regardless of the type of accident in which you were involved, our team of lawyers stands prepared to conduct a comprehensive review of the facts, engage in aggressive lawsuit settlement negotiations and, when necessary, take your matter through to trial. Each one of us is a dedicated Maine personal injury lawyer who is committed to helping you make informed decisions about your case.
Common scenarios leading to personal injury lawsuits
The area of personal injury law encompasses a vast array of accident types and negligence scenarios. At Hardy, Wolf & Downing, we are well-versed in handling all types of personal injury lawsuits, and have built a track record of success for clients throughout the Lewiston and Portland, Maine areas.
Some common situations that give rise to personal injury litigation include:
- Automobile accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Motorcycle crashes
- Construction site mishaps
- Landlord/property management negligence
- Slip and fall hazards
- Medical malpractice
- Dangerous product recalls
The injuries that can result from these types of negligence range from relatively minor to utterly life-altering in nature. Sadly, many victims of personal injury stemming from the negligent acts or omissions of others suffer harm that is truly debilitating in nature and that results in substantial expenses that can last for decades. Spinal cord damage, traumatic brain injury and even paralysis are some of the most serious manifestations victims can experience, and each one necessitates costly medical treatment, therapy and ongoing care.
The personal injury attorneys at Hardy, Wolf & Downing stand prepared to do whatever is necessary to ensure that those responsible for your situation are held accountable and that you receive the financial resources necessary to begin the process of healing.
Key stages of a personal injury lawsuit
The time it takes for any given personal injury lawsuit to be resolved depends on multiple factors, but most cases will follow a similar pattern of progression.
Personal injury litigation includes the following steps:
- Injury victim seeks medical treatment
- Personal injury attorney is chosen
- Lawyer begins investigation of claims and reviews medical documentation
- Lawyer may make demand of opposing party and may engage in negotiations
- Lawsuit is filed if no resolution has been reached
- Formal discovery (fact-finding) process begins
- Mediation or negotiation processes ensue
- Case goes to trial if prior resolution has not occurred
The attorneys of Hardy, Wolf & Downing are skilled at handling each and every one of these stages of litigation, not merely the earliest ones, as is the case with many personal injury firms. We are not afraid to take your matter all the way through trial, should that be necessary to secure the compensation you seek and the justice you deserve.
Specifics of personal injury lawsuits in Maine
Anyone considering filing a personal injury lawsuit in the state of Maine should familiarize themselves with some important facts about the process.
First, in most personal injury and product liability matters, you have six years in which to file a lawsuit. For medical malpractice, lawsuits must be filed within three years. It should be noted, however, that if you claim that your injuries were caused by an employee of the state of Maine or by a local government employee, you must file a Notice of Claim within 180 days of the allegedly negligent act, and then you must file the lawsuit within two years. In the case of minors, injury cases must be filed within two years of their eighteenth birthday.
In Maine civil actions, you must be able to prove your case “by a preponderance of the evidence,” meaning that your version of what happened must be found to be more likely true than not. In some types of actions, you will need to meet a “clear and convincing evidence” standard, which is a bit higher, but still lower than the standard of proof in criminal matters.
Ultimately, in an action based on negligence law, you will need to establish the following elements:
- Existence of defendant’s duty to exercise reasonable care
- Failure of defendant to exercise that level of care
- That the negligent conduct led to the actual harm sustained
- Actual damages
- That the harm suffered is within the scope of the established liability
Compensation available in Maine personal injury lawsuits
If you have been injured due to the negligence of others, you are likely wondering what your financial recovery from a lawsuit could potentially be. Each personal injury case is different, and a number of factors will play a role in determining your ultimate outcome.
Some key considerations when it comes to the value of your personal injury claim include:
- Seriousness of the injuries sustained
- Size of current and future medical bills
- Facts underlying the injury event
- Insurance coverage limits
- Income loss
- Value of lost earning potential
- Pain and suffering determinations
- Need for ongoing treatment and therapy
While there is never a guarantee of success when initiating personal injury litigation, the success many plaintiffs have experienced in recent years does provide a source of optimism.
Some notable Maine personal injury settlements and verdicts include:
- A $4,500,000 settlement in the case of a young boy who was seriously injured by equipment during a paintball game
- A $753,541 verdict for a worker who was injured in a workplace accident at Portland Air Freight
- A $600,000 settlement in the case of an auto accident that resulted in extensive spine and neck injuries
- A $500,000 settlement in an injury matter stemming from a collision in Kennebunk
Because the circumstances of every serious accident are unique, fact-finding and investigation are essential elements of any personal injury lawsuit. Fortunately, we at Hardy, Wolf & Downing have fostered valuable working relationships with an extensive network of medical experts, case investigators, accident reconstruction professionals and legal support staff, all of whom function collaboratively to build the most effective case possible on your behalf.
Portland Maine personal injury lawyers who can make a difference
Having devoted over 38 years to asserting and protecting the rights of injury victims throughout Maine, we possess a deep understanding of the upheaval, despair and uncertainty serious accidents can cause. At Hardy, Wolf & Downing, we consider it our mission and our privilege to provide aggressive representation to those who have sustained serious harm due to the negligence of others. To schedule an initial consultation and begin exploring your legal options for seeking compensation, contact us at 1-800-INJURED.
- Cornell University Law School Legal Information Institute, Negligence, www.law.cornell.edu/wex/negligence
- Maine Legislature, Maine Revised Statutes, www.mainelegislature.org/legis/statutes/14/title14sec14sec752.html
- State of Maine Judicial Branch, Civil Actions, www.courts.maine.gov/maine_courts/district/civil.html