Understanding Maine Car Accident Liability and Fault Rules

When a major car accident causes significant injury or property damage and was because of the at-fault party’s negligence or recklessness, you may have grounds to bring a personal injury claim against them. Sometimes, however, it is unclear whether the other party is entirely at fault or if you contributed to causing the accident also. Because establishing liability in a personal injury accident is crucial to any legal claim you are considering, it is important to understand how Maine allocates responsibility and liability in similar cases.

According to a recent local news report, a head-on car accident resulted in a temporary road closure for Route 1 in Hancock. Local authorities reported that a tractor-trailer was transporting a manufactured mobile home when the load shifted and caused the tractor-trailer to jackknife and crash into another car head-on. It is unclear whether there were injuries, and the accident remains under investigation.

When an accident takes place in Maine, because the state is an “at-fault” state, this means that the driver who caused the collision must use their insurance to pay for accident-related expenses such as property damage or medical bills.

Maine, like other states, has specific rules when it comes to allocating responsibility and liability in personal injury lawsuits. When it comes to assigning fault, Maine follows a modified comparative negligence framework. This means that if the court decides that you are more than 50 percent at fault for the accident, you will be barred from collecting damages from the other party. In the event that you are found to be less than 50 percent at fault, you will be eligible to collect compensation from the other party minus the percentage that you are determined to be at fault.

For example, if you are found to be 10 percent responsible for causing an accident you were involved in and the total compensation you would be receiving from the other party is $5,000, you would actually receive $4,500. This would be because you were found to be less than 50 percent at fault, so you were eligible to bring a claim against the other party, but you were still found to be 10 percent at fault, so your damages were reduced by 10 percent.

To determine fault, the court and insurance company will typically examine the police report compiled after the accident and any evidence that was collected, such as photos, videos, or eyewitness reports. If needed, insurance companies will also occasionally bring in accident reconstruction experts, who will investigate and attempt to piece the accident back together.

Do You Need a Maine Personal Injury Lawyer?

If you or someone you know was recently injured or killed in a Maine car accident, contact the lawyers at Peter Thompson & Associates today. Our attorneys have years of experience representing the injured and will work tirelessly to provide you with the support and expertise you need to proceed with your legal claim with ease. To schedule a free initial consultation today, contact us at 1-800-804-2004.

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