It is a common misconception that personal injury law applies only to accidents such as auto accidents or slip and fall. In truth personal injury is a very broad area of law encompassing damages caused by wrongs such as , nursing home neglect, and much more.
Each state, including Maine, has its own personal injury laws, even though the basic concepts are the same across the U.S. Familiarity with the laws in your state will help you know what to expect in your case.
In Maine you may be entitled to compensation for the following:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages and lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Other expenses incurred as a direct result of your injuries
The state of Maine does not limit non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, nor does it limit punitive damages. Punitive damages serve as a punishment for the responsible party, rather than compensation for your losses.
Most personal injury cases require that you prove negligence on the part of the responsible party. Negligence involves the responsible party failing to use due care, thereby causing your injuries.
If you were injured by a defective product, you will need to prove strict liability on the part of the manufacturer. Under strict liability you must prove that the product was dangerous and caused your injuries, even though you used it as it was intended to be used.
Product liability can apply to a wide variety of cases including, but not limited to:
- Auto accidents caused by defective vehicles
- Pharmaceutical injury caused by a defective drug
- Choking injuries to children caused by toys marketed to children too young to safely use the product
When you share the blame for your injuries
In Maine you must be 49% at fault or less, in order to be entitled to compensation. So, even if you contributed to your accident you may still have a case. This is called modified comparative negligence.
When more than one responsible party is ordered to pay you compensation, Maine uses the rule of several liability. Under several liability, each party can only be held responsible for their share of the damages. If one fails to pay, you cannot collect their portion from the others.
Maine gives you more time to file your lawsuit than most states. In most types of personal injury cases, you have six years to file. However, certain types of cases, including medical malpractice and actions against ski areas, carry a much shorter time limit, so you need to talk to your attorney about the time limits which may apply to your individual case.
For more in depth information about time limits in Maine read our Maine Statute of Limitations page.
Personal injury laws vary from state to state. If you believe you have a personal injury claim and you live in Maine, please contact one of our Maine personal injury lawyers for a free claim evaluation.