Portland, ME – There are a number of different consequences that may follow an accident in Maine. Each driver who is involved should take some time to ensure that they will be protected both at the scene and through financial help afterwards. It is beneficial for victims to also get legal help following the collision if there are any kind of injuries or other serious losses caused by the accident.
Getting help at the scene
When an accident happens, the drivers involved should exchange information and contact the local police or fire department if it appears there are injuries or property damage. This is required by law, as leaving the scene of an accident without making contact with the other drivers or notifying anyone is a crime.
The insurance process
Insurance companies require drivers who receive their coverage to notify them of any accidents. This can have consequences, including an increase in the rate that the driver pays, even if they were not at fault. The insurance company will also want to investigate the damage to the vehicle before they pay out a claim, which can require the policy holder to set time aside to meet with an adjuster and go over the details of the accident.
Lawsuits and legal remedies
When someone misses time from work, needs to go to hospital, receive medical treatment, and experiences other problems, a lawsuit against the person responsible may be necessary to receive compensation. Civil cases attempt to put a victim in the situation they were in before the defendant caused their problems.
When a personal injury attorney files a lawsuit on the victim’s behalf, they must prove that the defendant driver was negligent by not operating their vehicle with care. Maine has slightly different negligence laws than every other state. As a general rule, a driver who is less than 50% at fault for an accident can still collect from a defendant, but their recovered amount of damages will be reduced in proportion to their level of fault. This division of fault to equal one hundred percent can happen even if multiple drivers were involved in the crash. This is a modified form of the comparative negligence rules that are active in many other states around the country.
The lawsuit will either conclude with a settlement agreement or a jury trial. Many cases settle rather than go through the courts, which requires a greater investment of time and money in legal fees. The parties can usually determine who would be successful at trial based on information shared in the discovery process.
Finding the right lawyer
USAttorneys.com is a directory that simplifies the process of getting legal help. Accident victims in Portland, Maine or anywhere else in the country can select a state and practice area to find a lawyer to review their situation.