Unfortunately, many car accidents can lead to severe injuries or fatalities. Too often, if a driver speeds or operates their vehicle carelessly, it is the passenger who suffers the consequences. When a passenger dies in a car accident, the deceased’s family may wish to seek justice for their loved one. While no amount of money will bring a loved one back, a wrongful death suit can provide a way to seek redress for your harm. It can also help you recover from the financial burdens that resulted from the fatal accident.
As a recent news article reported, a teenage passenger was killed, and two others were injured after a car accident in Saco, Maine. Shortly after midnight, police officers responded to a call from a nearby resident who heard a cry for help. When the officers arrived at the scene, they found that a car had veered off the road and crashed into a tree. Sadly, the front-seat passenger was found dead at the scene. The driver was transported to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. The passenger who made the initial cry for help was also taken to the hospital with minor injuries. A police investigation into the accident found the car had crashed after speeding and passing another vehicle.
Can a Grieving Family Recover Damages for a Passenger’s Death?
In Maine, a person can bring a wrongful death lawsuit to seek damages after a fatal accident. Under Maine’s wrongful death statute, the administrator of the deceased person’s estate can sue the driver responsible for the passenger’s death. The resulting damages award then goes to the beneficiaries of the victim’s estate. Maine law allows a person to bring a wrongful death claim as long as the deceased could have done so if they survived the accident. Finally, a person must bring a wrongful death suit within two years of the fatal accident.
Under Maine’s negligence rule, plaintiffs can recover as long as they are less than 50% at fault for the accident. In other words, plaintiffs can still recover damages even if they are partially at fault. This rule may arise less frequently in passenger fatalities, as the passenger was not operating the vehicle at the time of the accident. However, a jury may reduce the damages award if the passenger knew the driver was impaired in some way, whether driving under the influence or otherwise unable to exercise reasonable care when operating their vehicle.
Have You Lost a Loved One in a Maine Car Accident?
If you lost a family member in a Maine car accident, contact the personal injury attorneys at Peter Thompson & Associates to seek redress on behalf of your loved one. Our attorneys represent accident victims and their families in cases resulting from car accidents, motorcycle accidents, and other areas of personal injury law. Through our compassionate representation, you can be sure we will handle your case with dedication and skill from start to finish. To schedule a free initial consultation, call our office at 800-804-2004.