There were 28,746 total vehicle crashes in Maine in 2020, the latest stats from Maine’s Department of Transportation reveals, resulting in over 10,000 injuries and 163 deaths. If you become involved in a car accident in Maine, it’s important to be aware of state laws that impact any legal claim you make. By knowing your rights, you can increase your chances of winning rightful compensation after an accident.
Maine: A Modified Comparative Fault State
Maine is a “modified comparative fault” state, which means compensation won in a vehicle accident lawsuit is decreased by the same percentage amount as your determined degree of fault in the crash. So, for example, if your injuries and losses amount to $100,000, yet you’re also 10% responsible for the crash, your damages are reduced by 10%, leaving $90,000 in total. If, on the other hand, you’re determined to be either of equal or more fault, you’re unable to recover any compensation from other at-fault parties.
Next Step After An Accident
If you’re involved in a car accident, report it to the police as soon as possible. In Maine, knowing failure to report an accident is illegal and can result in six months jail time and/or a $1,000 fine. An experienced lawyer can also help you file bodily injury and property damage claims against the at-fault driver. Minimum insurance requirements vary between states; at-fault motorists may be responsible for covering the difference of damages that exceed insurance. In Texas, for example, $30,000 bodily injury coverage is required per person (up to $60,000 per accident if multiple people are injured) and $25,000 property damage coverage. In comparison, Maine has a required minimum of $50,000 to cover personal liability, $100,000 for a single accident, and $25,000 for property damage.
Maine’s Statute Of Limitations
In Maine, you have a six-year deadline to file a personal injury or property damage lawsuit after a vehicle accident. If, however, a family (or representative) wants to file a wrongful death claim after a loved one died in an accident, they need to do so within two years of the death. It’s also important to note this deadline doesn’t apply to car insurance claims, which usually need to be filed within a few days or weeks of the accident.
Car accidents can result in serious physical, emotional, and financial damage. By being aware of Maine’s car accident laws and your rights, you can successfully win the compensation you deserve after an accident.