Losing a loved one in any type of accident is a tragedy that words cannot adequately describe. While nothing can bring back a loved one who was senselessly lost as the result of a preventable accident, family members may be able to ease the financial burden associated with such a loss through a Maine wrongful death lawsuit.
A wrongful death claim is very similar to a traditional personal injury case in that the plaintiff, the deceased accident victim’s loved ones, must prove that the defendant was legally responsible for their loved one’s death. To prove a Maine wrongful death case, a plaintiff must show that the defendant owed their loved one a duty of care and that the defendant’s actions violated that duty. Additionally, a plaintiff must show that the defendant’s violation of this duty was the legal and proximate cause of death. Wrongful death cases in Maine must be filed within two years of the accident victim’s death.
If a plaintiff is successful in a wrongful death claim, they can recover economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include the out-of-pocket expenses associated with the plaintiff’s loss, including medical expenses and lost wages. Non-economic damages include “loss of comfort, society, and companionship of the deceased, including any damages for emotional distress.” Notably, non-economic damages are generally limited to $750,000. In some cases, punitive damages can be awarded. Punitive damages are intended to punish the exceptionally egregious behavior of the defendant and are capped at $250,000.
Teen Arrested Following Maine Car Accident that Killed Three
Earlier this month, a teenage driver was arrested following a car accident that claimed the lives of three of his friends. According to a recent news report, the car full of teenagers crashed into a tree after the driver lost control of the car on a patch of ice. After the accident, the driver allegedly spoke with the only other survivor in the car to “get their stories straight.” The driver, who did not have a driver’s license, also attempted to leave the scene of the accident.
Police arrested the teenage driver, and prosecutors charged him with three counts of vehicular manslaughter, in addition to other crimes. The juvenile was subsequently released to the custody of his mother. The case remains open, and there is no indication if the surviving family members of the accident victims will pursue wrongful death claims against the young driver.
Have You Lost a Loved One in a Maine Car Accident?
If you have recently lost a family member in a Maine car accident, contact the dedicated injury advocates at Peter Thompson & Associates. At our Maine personal injury law firm, we represent families in all types of wrongful death claims. Our team of attorneys has extensive experience, and understand the complexities of these tragic cases. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with an attorney today, call 800-804-2004. Calling is free, and because we work on a contingency basis, we will not bill you for our services unless we can help you obtain compensation for your losses.