Losing a loved one is a trying experience, but the blow may be even more devastating when it is caused by another person’s careless behavior. While nothing can ever replace the void left by your bereavement, the Maine wrongful death attorneys at Peter Thompson & Associates can help you seek compensation for a fatal accident. We have a strong track record of recovery against negligent parties in these complex types of injury cases. You can expect us to advocate for you and your family with the compassion and energy that you deserve.Pursuing Compensation in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
When a person or entity fails to act reasonably, they may be considered negligent and may be responsible for any harm they cause, even if by accident. If the careless conduct hurts someone, the victim can file a personal injury lawsuit. In the tragic event that a person dies as a result of the negligence, a representative of the victim can instead bring a claim for wrongful death. The representative is usually the victim’s spouse or another immediate family member. Wrongful death claims in Maine (other than medical malpractice claims) must be filed within two years of the victim’s death, or compensation likely will be barred. Wrongful death claims due to medical malpractice are subject to a three year statute of limitations.
To show that a defendant was negligent, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed the injured person a duty of care and breached that duty. This breach must have caused the injury or death of the victim, from which compensable damages must have arisen. Examples of a breach in situations ranging from car accidents to medical malpractice and premises liability include:
- Drunk driving
- Texting while driving
- Failing to yield at an intersection
- Failing to make a diagnosis that should be apparent to an ordinary physician
- Leaving surgical tools in a patient’s body after an operation
- Failing to keep a customer or guest reasonably safe from defective property conditions
A wrongful death action in Maine seeks compensation from the negligent party both for the victim’s family and for the victim, if he or she experienced any conscious pain and suffering before death. For the family, damages may include all reasonable expenses related to their loved one’s medical, surgical, and hospital care, as well as funeral costs. Families may also recover for intangible qualities of the victim such as their love, affection, and moral support, known as “the loss of comfort, society, and companionship.”
When the victim in a wrongful death action endured injuries before succumbing to them, the representative may also pursue compensation for their loved one’s conscious suffering. This is essentially a personal injury claim that the victim could have brought if he or she had survived. In some especially egregious cases, the victim’s representative may also seek punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages.Maine Accident Attorneys Ready to Protect Your Rights
With offices in Portland, Bangor, and Falmouth, the injury lawyers at Peter Thompson & Associates have served accident victims and their families throughout Maine. Nothing is harder than losing a loved one, but we want to make sure that the emotional process of recovery is not exacerbated by a heavy financial burden. We offer consultations and are committed to our clients. Please fill out our contact form or call us at 800.804.2004 to discuss your case.