Bath is a small city of about 8,514 in Maine. Located in Sagadahoc County and known for its shipbuilding industry, Bath became America's fifth largest seaport in the 19th Century. Its harbor is created by Kennebec River estuary. Tourists are drawn by its beautiful historical architecture and several festival days. Scenes from the films The Man Without a Face and Message in a Bottle were filmed in Bath. If you are a tourist or resident of Bath who is injured in a car accident because of a negligent driver, contact a knowledgeable Bath car accident lawyer.What is Negligence?
Negligence is the failure to use due care as the situation warrants. It can arise because of distracted driving, texting while driving, drunk driving, speeding, or a failure to drive appropriately for the conditions. A negligent driver who causes an accident may be held accountable through a personal injury lawsuit. If the plaintiff is partially responsible for the accident, his recovery may be reduced by his percentage of fault. However, if a jury finds the plaintiff 50% or more at fault, his recovery will be barred.
In Maine, if more than one driver is negligent and causes the injury, the plaintiff can sue all of the negligent drivers in the same lawsuit. Unlike some other states that also follow modified comparative negligence, Maine follows the doctrine of joint and several liability. This means that the plaintiff can recover the full amount of damages from any one of the responsible parties so long as her own percentage of fault is less than 50%. There are instances in which the plaintiff may be able to reach an appropriate settlement with one of the parties and choose not to sue that party. The settlement amount will be deducted from the total judgment.
If the plaintiff believes only one party is at fault, she can sue that party, who may be liable for the full amount of damages. However that party can then seek contribution from any other potentially responsible parties. For example, in a collision where one rear-ending triggers multiple other rear-endings, the plaintiff at the front of the line may prefer to sue only the driver of the car that actually rear-ended her. This is equitable because it is expensive to bring a lawsuit and even more expensive to sue more than one party. However, the defendant can choose to seek contribution from the driver that rear-ended him as well as anyone else he believes is responsible, such as a manufacturer of defective brakes or the city if a dangerous condition on a public road caused him to lose control of his car.Contact a Maine Car Accident Attorney
Whether it is appropriate to sue multiple parties or to seek recovery against just one responsible party varies from case to case. Certain defendants may be judgment-proof because they lack assets and insurance. One reason it is important to retain experienced Bath car accident attorneys is to make sure that all feasible and legal avenues of relief are pursued. Peter Thompson & Associates uses its years of experience and knowledge about how a jury will respond to the facts to build a strong case and seek recovery from the party or parties that should be held responsible. Contact us at 1.800.804.2004 or via our online form for a free consultation.