Recovering Damages or Defending Against Suits
Whether a minor fender-bender or a fatal collision, auto accidents can result in legal liability issues with major consequences for personal injury or property damage. In Maine, you must exchange vehicle and license information with other parties in any accident. If property damage appears to be more than $1,000, or anyone is hurt, you must also call for law enforcement and remain at the scene.
If you have been involved in an auto accident, consult with an attorney before making statements, signing documents, or accepting an insurance offer.
Talk to a lawyer if:
Any party reports physical injury;
You fill out insurance claims forms;
You are offered insurance compensation;
Either party is charged with a criminal traffic violation;
Either insurance company denies your claim;
The status of your license may be affected; and/or
Your vehicle fails in some way (e.g., brakes or steering fail or airbags don’t deploy).
Depending upon the facts of your situation, you may need a criminal attorney, a personal injury attorney, a product liability lawyer, someone who regularly deals with the Department of Motor Vehicles or insurance companies – or any combination. Our intake worker will discuss your concerns with you and refer you to a member attorney registered with us in the relevant areas of law.
Related Legal Terms
Claim – a demand for money as compensation for damages by right of contract or tort law
Adjuster – a person who is paid by an insurance company to assess physical and property damages and protect the insurance company’s interests
Settlement – an agreement reached between parties in a lawsuit at some point before the court makes a ruling
Comparative Negligence – in Maine, the rule by which the court divides responsibility for an accident among involved parties and awards damages proportionately
Damages – money that the court orders the negligent party to pay another as compensation for bodily injury, property damage, lost wages, emotional distress, medical bills or other losses
No Contest – a response that allows the court to find a person “guilty” of the crime charged, but which can not be used against the person as admission of fault in any civil suit for damages
Contingency Fee – an agreement between an attorney and client by which the attorney collects fees for services as a percentage of the monetary award but only if the case is won for the client. Clients may still be required to pay for expenses of conducting a case, such as money for travel, filing fees, and expert witnesses, whether or not they ultimately win.
Personal Injury – physical, psychological and/or emotional injury with which may have short-term and/or long-term adverse consequences, such as impairment of abilities and loss of income
Wrongful Death – death resulting from wrongdoing or negligence of another, such as an auto accident caused by someone operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or failure of a safety mechanism
For a Maine Auto Accident Attorney
This is for general information only. It is not intended as legal advice.