Maine Car Accident Lawsuits, Settlements, Lawyer

An Overview of Maine Car Accident Lawsuits, Settlements and Lawyers

Located at the extreme northeastern tip of the United States, most Americans will associate Maine with lobsters and lighthouses. Maine has a thriving fishing industry, even if towns like Augusta and Portland do not have as large of populations as some other cities elsewhere in the United States might have. Maine is also a terminal point of the Appalachian Trail, a hiking route stretching from the southeastern United States all the way up to Maine.

With a population of 1.3 million as of 2013, Maine may seem like a quiet retreat for those looking to escape crowded cities and landscapes congested with people. Maine’s natural beauty and famous seafood, however, draws many tourists to the state each year. These tourists share the same roads that residents of Maine must use to get to work, drop their children off at school, and go about their daily routines. Those who live in or are traveling through Maine should not assume that the state’s low population means that they are immune from the risk of a car crash.

Maine Car Crash Statistics

According to the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety, which maintains statistics and data concerning car crashes, Maine experiences a troubling number of serious injuries and fatalities due to car crashes each year. For example:

  • In 2012, 164 fatalities were reported as a result of car crashes;
  • That same year, 981 individuals experienced serious injuries in car accidents;
  • Alcohol was a factor in 45 of the 164 fatalities (approximately 25 to 30 percent of all fatalities) and speed was a factor in another 78 fatalities (about 40 to 50 percent of all fatalities).
  • Of the 164 fatalities, 20 of them – one out of every 8 fatalities – was a driver who was 20 years of age or younger.

Maine experiences very few “accidents” but does have a significant number of crashes. An “accident” can be defined as an occurrence that comes to pass not by the fault of any person and without any prior warning. Many car collisions do not fit this definition because they are caused by the reckless behavior of one or more individuals. When a driver chooses to drink and drive, consume drugs (whether legal or not) and drive, text while he or she drives, speeds, disobeys traffic laws, or engages in other similar behavior, the chance that that particular driver will collide with another vehicle increases exponentially. Key to Maine’s efforts to reduce car crash injuries and deaths is making drivers aware that they have the power to affect how likely it is they would be the cause of a crash.

Maine is a “Fault Based” Insurance State

Maine drivers must have adequate car insurance in force in order to legally drive a vehicle in the state. There is no provision whereby drivers can avoid having an insurance policy in place. This insurance policy must provide minimum levels of compensation (as determined by the state) in the event of a car accident. When a car accident occurs, the injured party files a claim with the insurance company of the at-fault driver. That driver’s insurance carrier will decide whether the claim should be approved or denied, based upon the carrier’s review of the facts of the crash and the terms of the policy it has with its insured. Where the insurance company denies a victim’s claim, or does not provide the victim with sufficient compensation, the victim may wish to file a lawsuit to seek the compensation he or she needs.

Although fault is a prominent feature of any car accident lawsuit in Maine, the fact that the victim’s own carelessness played a role in the crash would not act to prevent the victim from recovering compensation. Instead, so long as the victim was less than 50 percent responsible for causing the crash, he or she may still recover some compensation (the actual amount received would reflect the role the victim’s own behaviors played in causing the crash).

The Statute of Limitations in Maine

An injury victim has six years from the date of the accident within which to file a lawsuit seeking damages. This gives most injury victims sufficient time to heal, to ascertain the nature and extent of their losses, to review their legal rights, and to prepare and file a car accident lawsuit. By employing a car crash accident attorney, victims can focus on their healing and recovery while their attorney ensures the victim’s legal rights are protected and advanced in a timely manner.

Stern Law, PLLC Assists Car Accident Injury Victims

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car crash, contact the experienced law firm of Stern Law, PLLC right away. We will evaluate your circumstances and help you understand your legal rights and options, allowing you to make the best decision for your future as possible. Call Stern Law, PLLC today at (844) 808-7529.

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