If you have been hurt in a motor vehicle accident in Maine, it may be in your best interest to file a car accident lawsuit to ensure you get full and fair compensation for the harm that was done to you. Negligent drivers and big insurance companies will do everything in their power to deny accountability, which is why you need car accident lawyers on your side with a consistent track record of success in this kind of personal injury litigation. At Hardy, Wolf & Downing, our Portland, Maine-based attorneys pledge to everything in our power to maximize compensation for our clients’ injuries and losses.
Car accident injury lawyers in Maine
Back in February 2014, a driver was killed on Route 1 in Woolwich when a Jeep Wrangler traveling north passed another vehicle on the right – in the breakdown lane – crossed the center line and struck a southbound vehicle. The local sheriff said there was “no apparent reason why the driver did what he did.”
In 2008, 60-year-old Vassalboro resident Mike Lyons was driving north to work on Route 201 in Winslow when a woman made a left-hand turn in front of him, forever changing his life. Lyons hit his head on the windshield, smashed his knee, broke his femur in five places, injured his internal organs, and caused permanent disability. The man underwent nine surgeries to repair the damage done. The uninsured motorist walked away with a few scratches and bruises.
Scenarios like these two imply auto negligence, which can result in compensation for victims in a court of law. Hardy, Wolf & Downing injury lawyers have nearly four decades of experience representing Maine car accident victims and pursuing maximum compensation. We’ve collected over $100 million for our clients. Call 1-800-INJURED for a free assessment of your case.
Maine car accident statistics
The Bureau of Highway Safety in Maine reports that for the year 2012 there were:
- 164 highway fatalities
- 981 serious injuries in highway motor vehicle crashes
- 76 deaths of unrestrained passengers
- 45 alcohol-impaired deaths
- 20 deaths involving people 20 years of age or younger
Common injuries sustained in accidents
Maine residents generally do not file lawsuits for minor injuries, which can be covered by one’s insurance company. Personal Injury Protection does not cover every type of car crash, however.
Portland ME car accident lawsuits are typically filed because of:
- Bone Fractures
- Severe Whiplash
- Permanent Scarring
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Permanent Disability
- Loss of Limbs
- Wrongful Death
- Joint Injuries
Hardy, Wolf & Downing helps victims of automobile accidents in Maine recover compensation for:
- Past, present and future medical bills
- Loss of income
- Lost future earning potential
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Funeral expenses
Maine car insurance laws
Maine is considered a traditional “fault” car insurance state, meaning that the at-fault driver is on the hook for covering all damages and injuries. Injured parties may seek financial compensation by filing a claim with their insurance provider, pursuing a claim with the other driver’s insurance company, or filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Did you know that Maine has some of the highest required minimum insurance coverage? By law, drivers must have at least $50,000 to cover personal liability, $100,000 for a single accident, $25,000 for property damage and $1,000 for medical payments. Motorists responsible for accidents that exceed these limits may be held personally liable for covering the difference.
While most drivers carry adequate insurance, The Portland Press Herald reports that 42,000 of the 930,000 licensed drivers do not have insurance. In the state, 225 people are injured by uninsured drivers each year. If you get into an accident with someone who is underinsured or uninsured, your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage should protect you.
Even in this situation, it is helpful to consult a Maine car accident attorney who can negotiate a larger settlement with your insurance company. In some cases, we may be able to recover money from the negligent motorist involved in your accident.
Meeting the burden of proof in Maine car accident lawsuits
To win a car accident personal injury case in Maine, your legal team must establish four key elements that meet the burden of proof.
To meet your burden of proof in a car accident case, 4 key elements must be established:
- The defendant had a duty to exercise reasonable care and caution in regard to the plaintiff’s safety.
- The duty of care was breached by speeding, intoxication, reckless driving, tailgating, or another infraction.
- There is medical evidence to suggest the plaintiff was, in fact, injured.
- The defendant’s negligence directly caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
Good car accident attorneys can establish these parameters using photo evidence, eyewitness reports, expert testimony, medical treatment records, and your own testimony.
Recent Maine car accident lawsuits
The following Maine car accident verdicts highlight the potential to receive large sums of money in a lawsuit:
- $9,250 – 21-year-old Tyler Hall was sentenced to six years in prison and four years of probation, in addition to being compelled to pay for the plaintiff’s medical expenses. Hall had been driving at a dangerously high speed when he rolled the car, and hit a chain-link fence – which killed one of his passengers and injured two others, including plaintiff James Philbrook.
- $750,000 – A Romanian college student who was knocked off her bicycle and run over by a bus received a large sum of money to cover her physical injuries, medical expenses, and suffering.
- $50,000 – In 2005, a Maine Superior Court judge ordered that a local driver pay the daughter of a Charleston woman killed in a car accident in Hermon. Jennifer A. Colbath Conway was a belt-less passenger driven by a drunk driver who side-swiped a tree. It wasn’t until he blew a tire a mile down the road that he noticed the passengers in his vehicle were unconscious.
How a lawyer at Hardy, Wolf & Downing can help
When your PIP benefits are exhausted and you need more money to cover the escalating expenses of an accident that wasn’t your fault, our experienced legal team can help you take action against the negligent driver responsible for your injuries.
Our Portland, Maine car accident attorneys can prepare your claims by:
- Collecting police testimony and accident reports
- Questioning witnesses
- Reconstructing the accident scene
- Taking photographs of your injuries, the accident scene, and all damages
- Combing through medical reports
- Tapping an arsenal of experts who can review the evidence
- Speaking with insurance providers on your behalf
We’ll keep you filled in every step of the way, so you know when to expect a resolution of your case. Hardy, Wolf & Downing’s car accident lawyers are uniquely positioned to help with your lawsuit with past experience in the Department of Justice, the Maine Attorney General’s office, the federal court system and personal liability research firms.
Call 1-800-INJURED to have your case heard by a compassionate professional. Initial case evaluations are free of charge, and you owe no fees unless we win your case.