Earlier this month, three individuals were tragically killed in a car accident in Acadia National Park. According to a news report covering the accident, the driver had been drinking late into the evening on the night in question, yet mistakenly thought that he was able to drive. While specific details about the accident are not yet known, the report indicates that the driver, while traveling faster than the 25 miles per hour speed limit, lost control of his vehicle on a curve and then hit a tree.
The driver called 911 after the crash, and officials immediately responded. Three victims were identified, ages 27, 30, and 36. Law enforcement recently charged the driver with three counts of manslaughter, one for each victim.
Unfortunately, traffic deaths resulting from car or truck accidents are not uncommon and are a huge cause for concern in Maine. According to the Maine Department of Public Safety, traffic deaths in 2019 are up 24% from 2018. Before this tragic accident occurred, 105 people had been killed on Maine roads in 2019 so far. These deaths can result in criminal charges, potentially carrying fines and jail time for the driver, but the filing of criminal charges does little to help the accident victims, or their families, deal with the expenses incurred in the accident’s aftermath.
While nothing can bring a deceased loved one back, Maine law allows the surviving family members to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the party responsible for the accident. These suits can be brought after car accidents, like the tragic one discussed above, or after other accidents, such as workplace injuries or slip and falls. As of July 1, 2019, these claims are brought under Title 18-C section 2-807 of the state’s probate code. If successful, surviving family members pursuing these claims can receive up to $500,000 for the loss of comfort, society, and companionship, up to $250,000 in punitive damages depending on the nature of the wrongful conduct and accident, and additional monetary compensation for medical or funeral expenses, if appropriate.
Maine wrongful death plaintiffs must prove negligence on the part of the driver, and subsequently, prove that said negligence caused the victim’s death. While this may seem like a straightforward standard, the causal link can prove to be tricky, and thus this process can be difficult without the aid of an experienced attorney.
Have You Lost a Loved One in a Maine Car Accident?
If you lost a loved one in a Maine car accident within the last two years, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your loss of companionship, medical bills, and funeral expenses. Contact one of our dedicated wrongful death attorneys at Peter Thompson & Associates. Our compassionate attorneys handle cases across the state of Maine, and are experienced in helping injury victims and their family members obtain fair compensation for their losses. Our attorneys work on a contingent-fee basis, so we will not earn anything for our services on your case unless we help you obtain compensation. To learn more, call 800-804-2004 risk-free today to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help you pursue a claim based on the loss of your loved one.