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Car Accident Injuries

The Maine car accident attorneys at Peter Thompson & Associates understand how difficult it can be to suffer an injury in a car accident. Speeding, distracted, or drunk drivers are some of the most common culprits in car accidents. Even in instances where it seems clear that another driver was at fault, insurance companies tend to resist making full payments to compensate an injured person, unless they are pressed to do so through a lawsuit. If you were hurt in a car accident, at Peter Thompson & Associates we have the knowledge and experience to help you fight for the compensation you deserve.

Negligence in Maine

Unfortunately, many car accidents are preventable. The most common reason for car accident injuries is negligence by another driver. If you bring a lawsuit against a negligent driver, you and your attorney will have to prove these elements under Maine law: (1) the defendant's duty to you to exercise due care, (2) breach of that duty, (3) proximate cause, and (4) actual damages. In general, drivers have a duty to other drivers and pedestrians to safely operate their cars. They breach that duty, for example, if they do not drive safely for weather conditions, if they run a red light or stop sign, if they fail to yield when appropriate, if they text while driving, or if they drive drunk.

If any of the four elements of negligence are missing, a plaintiff will not be able to prove his or her case. For example, if another car rear-ends you because it is following too closely for traffic conditions, but you are not hurt and your vehicle escapes being damaged, you probably don't have a case. While the other driver may have been negligent and breached a duty to you, the lack of damages is fatal to a potential lawsuit.

It is also important to be aware that Maine is a comparative fault state. This means that your recovery as a plaintiff can be reduced if you are also at fault for your injuries. "Fault" in Maine means not only negligence, but also the breach of a statutory duty or another act or omission that gives rise to liability.

Unlike some other states, where the award must be reduced by the exact percentage in which a plaintiff is at fault, a jury in Maine can choose how much to reduce a plaintiff's award based on what is just and equitable. However, a Maine plaintiff who is found to be equally or more at fault than a defendant — 50% or more at fault — may not recover at all.

Wrongful Death in Maine

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 136 people died in car accidents in Maine in 2011. If your spouse, parent, or minor child was killed in a car accident, you may be able to bring a wrongful death action under Maine's Wrongful Death Act. These actions are brought in the name of the personal representative of the deceased person (appointed through probate) within two years of the date of death. The personal representative may recover pecuniary damages like lost earnings, medical and hospital expenses, funeral expenses, loss of comfort and companionship, and pain and suffering.

Retain a Knowledgeable Maine Car Accident Injury Attorney

If you are hurt in an auto collision, it is crucial to retain a trustworthy Maine car accident lawyer to obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact Peter Thompson & Associates at 800.804.2004 or via our online form to set up your initial consultation today.