Losing a loved one is always hard. If you’ve lost someone to a senseless tragedy caused by the reckless behavior or negligent actions of another, it is even more traumatic. Given the circumstances, the enormity of pain and suffering can be immense. In the aftermath of such a senseless loss, the last thing on your mind is meeting with an attorney.

However, if your family member was killed at the hands of a negligent individual or corporation, there will come a time when a wrongful death action must be taken. As a surviving immediate family member, you have every legal right to hold that person or company responsible—and the Maine personal injury lawyers at Hardy, Wolf & Downing can help you pursue that legal right to the fullest application of the law. We will offer you and your loved ones compassionate and patient counsel while understanding that, even after achieving the successful outcome you deserve in a wrongful death lawsuit, the civil justice system offers only one small part of the healing process.

What is a Wrongful Death Case?

Wrongful death can occur in any number of ways and is always the result of negligent or reckless behavior. Car, motorcycle, or bicycle accidents, boating accidents, defective or dangerous products, fires, and explosions from unsafe equipment or machinery on the job are prime causes of wrongful deaths due to negligence.

Legally, a wrongful death action is similar to a personal injury claim, except the injury is death, and damages will go to the deceased person’s heirs after an estate is opened in the probate court. These legal actions were created to prevent a responsible party from avoiding liability merely because the victim of their negligence had died. A claim for wrongful death allows you and your family to hold the responsible party liable for their negligence.

Statute of Limitations for a Wrongful Death Case

Claims are usually made on behalf of the deceased by the deceased’s spouse, parent, child, or other immediate family member. A wrongful death claim in Maine must be filed within two years of a loved one’s death.

A wrongful death claim can be filed for recovery of expenses such as medical, surgical, hospital care, and funeral costs, and damages up to $750,000 for emotional distress and loss of the loved one’s “comfort, society, and companionship.” In addition, other categories of damages may benefit your family, including lost earnings and damages for any conscious pain and suffering suffered by the deceased during the period between the injury and death, which in some cases could be days, weeks, or months.

How Attorneys Experienced with Wrongful Death Cases Can Help

No family should accept an offer to settle a loved one’s wrongful death claim before consulting with an experienced wrongful death lawyer. In a time of need, the attorneys of Hardy, Wolf & Downing offer representation for you and your loved ones. If necessary, we will fight for you in court to ensure you receive the compensation you and your family deserve for a brighter future.

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