What Is Comparative Negligence? How Can It Impact My Auto Injury Claim?
Maine utilizes the comparative negligence approach in all claims brought for personal injury. This means that if an individual is found to be equally at fault, then they may not recover in a personal injury case. If, however, a jury finds that the injured person was less than 50 percent at fault, it would require that the damages available for the injury be reduced by a proportionate share of responsibility. If a person suffered an injury and would be entitled to one hundred thousand dollars of damages but the jury found that the injured person was 20 percent at fault, then the law requires the amount of damages be reduced from one hundred thousand down to eighty thousand dollars to factor comparative negligence.
What Are The Statute Of Limitations For Bringing An Auto Injury Claim In Maine?
In an auto accident case in Maine, the right to bring a claim against the responsible party will be extinguished six years after the date of the event that caused the accident.
What Steps Should I Take If I Have Been Injured In An Auto Wreck And Need To File A Lawsuit?
It would be very beneficial for an individual involved in an automobile accident to develop a record of what happened at the scene. If possible, photographs of the accident scene and the damage to the automobiles would be very important. Identifying any witnesses and their immediate reactions to the accident would also be very helpful. Recording any statements made by the parties involved in the accident for later use can be used to establish liability. Obtaining the appropriate medical treatment is very important, not only to ensure that the injuries are properly attended to but also to demonstrate the nature and extent of any injury. It is important to follow the physician’s recommendations. Keeping a personal diary of how the accident has affected the injured party’s life is also very important. Oftentimes, months go by and memories fade, so keeping a diary of events as they occur is very beneficial when attempting to recollect how the accident has impacted an individual’s life.
Should I Notify My Insurance Company About An Accident Even If I Am Not At Fault?
There are two aspects to every accident. One is property damage the other is personal injury. In the case of property damage, it is advisable to notify your insurance company of the accident to avoid claims of failing to provide proper notice. Your insurance company would be required to cover vehicle repairs and then seek contribution from the responsible party’s insurance carrier. Your insurance carrier can ensure that your automobile is repaired in a timely fashion and subsequently recover directly from the other insurance carrier. This will not affect your insurance premium rate.
For the personal injury claim, there is generally medical payment coverage under your policy, which can be utilized to pay medical bills and does not affect your insurance rate. Following payment, your insurance company would be entitled to recover from the responsible party for any of those payments. If the responsible party’s insurance company is denying liability, then it will be necessary for you to notify the responsible party’s insurance company that you are asserting a claim. Your insurance company will not be responsible for damages recoverable for lost wages, loss of earning power, pain, and suffering, or past and future medical expenses. Those damages would need to be recovered against the responsible party and the responsible party’s insurance company.
Why Should I Hire A Personal Injury Attorney To Handle An Auto Injury Claim?
It’s advisable to seek representation in a situation involving personal injury in an auto accident. Your insurance company will not cover damages beyond those to your vehicle and predetermined medical payment expenses. An insurance company’s role is to abide by the terms of an insurance contract which limits their exposure to the property damage and medical payment portions of the policy. They will not seek to recover for any pain and suffering or lost wages that you incur as a result of your injury. Although it’s possible to represent yourself against the responsible insurance carrier, it is not advisable. Most people do not have sufficient information to properly evaluate a claim and thus would find themselves negotiating with an insurance company that has infinitely superior knowledge.
Personal injury lawyers are aware of which cases typically settle and which jury verdict awards have been rendered from the court. An attorney is in a better position to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the case and determine the case value. This would give the injured person their best chance at resolving the case for a fair and reasonable amount.
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