Driving under the influence (DUI) places the intoxicated driver and everyone else on the road at risk of injury or death. Intoxicated drivers lack the physical and mental capacity to control their vehicles, increasing the risk of a serious accident. When a DUI accident does occur, the victim or their loved ones may decide to hold the driver accountable by filing a negligence lawsuit.
According to a recent news article, four Maine Maritime students were killed, and three were injured in a DUI accident in Castine, Maine. The driver and six passengers were leaving from a night out around 2a.m. when he veered off Route 166. The driver hit a tree, and the vehicle burst into flames. Four passengers died in the crash. Three others, including the driver, were injured. Following an investigation, local police determined that the driver was speeding and driving under the influence. The driver faces several criminal charges, including four counts of manslaughter.
How Can You Sue for Wrongful Death After a Maine DUI Accident?
Maine allows negligence lawsuits for wrongful death after an accident. According to Maine law, the deceased’s personal representative or special administrator can bring a wrongful death action. However, the deceased’s dependents receive the ultimate damages award. A plaintiff can bring a wrongful death claim against a defendant so long as the deceased could have sued the defendant if they survived. Consequently, the plaintiff must prove the same elements of negligence against the defendant as if the deceased brought the claim. To find the defendant liable for damages, the jury or judge must find that the defendant’s negligence led to the victim’s harm by a preponderance of the evidence, meaning it is more likely than not.
What Damages Can You Recover After a Maine DUI Accident?
After a Maine DUI accident, a plaintiff can recover several forms of expenses when bringing a wrongful death lawsuit. First, the plaintiff can recover damages for the victim’s medical, surgical, and hospital treatment expenses. The plaintiff can also seek expenses flowing from funeral costs. Additionally, the deceased’s beneficiaries can seek compensation for emotional distress. The deceased’s spouse can also recover for the loss of the deceased’s companionship. The latter is commonly known as “loss of consortium.” In Maine, the jury can award a maximum of $750,000 for loss of consortium and emotional distress to the deceased’s beneficiaries.
Has Your Loved One Been Hurt in a Maine DUI Accident?
If your loved one has died in a Maine DUI accident, bringing a lawsuit may be the last thing on your mind. However, filing a wrongful death action can help compensate for your expenses resulting from the accident. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Peter Thompson & Associates can help you understand your options. Our attorneys provide compassionate and skilled representation to assist you at every stage of the legal process. To schedule a free initial consultation with a member of our team, call our office today at 800-804-2004.