Apportioning liability and recovering compensation in Maine hit and run accidents is typically challenging, and these lawsuits contain unique legal issues. The legal ramifications of Maine hit and run accidents are more serious than a typical traffic accident. Generally, all motorists must exhibit a standard of care when operating their vehicles. When they breach this duty and cause injuries, negligent drivers must take steps to ensure the other party’s safety and mitigate potential damages. When a negligent motorist fails to do this, they may face serious criminal and civil penalties under Maine’s hit and run statutes.
If a Maine driver is involved in an accident resulting in serious personal injury or significant property damage, at a minimum, they must contact law enforcement and emergency services. The driver must also provide the other driver or police with their identifying information, such as their name, contact information, and driver’s license information. Maine classifies leaving the scene of an accident as a “Class C” crime, and hit and run drivers may face driver’s license suspension on top of other fines and penalties.
In addition to potential criminal penalties, Maine hit and run drivers may face significant civil penalties as well. The victim or their loved one may be able to recover damages for their injuries and losses. Although, Maine courts rarely award punitive damages, some plaintiffs may be entitled to these damages in situations where the defendant engaged in intentional malice. Unfortunately, these cases often contain challenges because it may be difficult to locate the negligent motorist, and this can delay proper treatment and financial recovery. Victims of these accidents should contact an attorney to discuss their case and assist with an investigation to ensure that their rights and remedies are effectuated.