Ellsworth is a small tourist-friendly city with historic buildings and a quaint atmosphere located in Hancock County, Maine. Like other cities around the country, car accidents occur in Maine and it is important to be aware of insurance coverage regulations in the event of an accident. If you are hurt or a loved one is killed in a car accident caused by someone else's negligence, you should retain an experienced Ellsworth car accident lawyer to recover compensation for any injuries you've suffered.Maine Auto Insurance Regulations
Maine is a "fault state." This means that whoever was legally at fault for an accident must pay damages and other compensation to anyone who was injured as a result. In certain "no fault" states, by contrast, someone who is injured must first exhaust his own policy limits or reach a damages threshold before filing a claim against the at fault driver. Whoever is injured in Maine may file a claim with his or her own insurer, file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver at fault or pursue a claim directly with the at fault driver's insurance company in a third party car insurance claim.
Maine drivers must maintain at least a certain amount of liability insurance on the vehicle in case of an accident. Maine has higher minimum coverage than most states. A driver must carry a policy providing coverage for at least $50,000 for the injury or death of a single person, $100,000 total for a single accident, $25,000 for property damage, and $1,000 for medical payments. In general, it is prudent for drivers to carry more insurance than the minimum required in case they are found liable for a serious accident, in order o avoid personal exposure for damages.
If your car is hit by a negligent driver in Ellsworth, one of the first things you must make sure to do is obtain his or her name and insurance information. In the event that the driver does not carry his or her own insurance or has insufficient insurance for the magnitude of your injuries, you may be able to recover some of your losses through the uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage on your own policy. This could protect you, for example, if you had surgical and medical costs of $75,000 and the other driver only had the minimum of $50,000 of coverage for injury or death.
However, insurers do not always pay when a claim is made. In many cases, liability is not clear and the insurer will contest the duty to pay. As a plaintiff you will need to prove (1) the defendant's duty to you, (2) breach of the duty, (3) actual and proximate causation and (4) damages. If there is any doubt as to one of these elements, an insurer may refuse to pay or offer you less than what you need. Similarly, if it seems like you might have been partially at fault for the accident, an insurer may refuse to pay citing "comparative fault."Hire an Ellsworth Car Accident Lawyer
Insurers for the other party are working to gather evidence that supports that person. It is important to retain your own attorney to collect evidence that supports your claims. There is a six-year statute of limitations for personal injuries in Maine, but you should consult an experienced Ellsworth car accident attorney as soon as you become aware that you have sustained injuries that are the other driver's fault. It is critical for your attorney to be able to get evidence to build your case and over time witnesses' memories and other evidence fade. Contact Peter Thompson & Associates at 1.800.804.2004 or via our online form for a free consultation.