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Maine Car Accident Compensation Laws

Car accidents are, unfortunately, a very common occurrence. However, most car accidents do not involve personal injury, meaning that no one was hurt during the accident -- instead, these types of accidents usually result in property damage only. Victims of car accidents may be compensated for property damage and for their personal injury, if applicable. Each state has different car accident compensation laws.

This article provides a brief overview of car accident compensation laws in the state of Maine.

Maine Car Accident Compensation Laws: At a Glance

The table below lays out other important aspects of Maine's car accident compensation laws.

Statute of Limitations

Limits on Damages

Wrongful death damages limited (Maine Revised Statutes § 2-807)

Other Limits

Modified Comparative Fault System (Maine Revised Statutes § 156)

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

"Fault" and "Modified Comparative Fault" Rules Apply

To bring a successful claim in Maine, an injured party must first prove that another driver was at fault. This is because Maine employs the "fault" system of car accident liability. Not only must an injured party prove that another driver is at fault for their injuries, but in Maine, an injured party must prove that they were less than 50% at fault. This is known as the "modified comparative negligence" rule.

Courts use this rule to permit parties who are partially responsible for their own injuries to recover their damages in part, while at the same time protecting parties who were partially at fault from liability. For example, under the modified comparative negligence rule, a party who suffered $10,000 in damages but was 80% at fault would recover nothing, while a party who suffered $10,000 in damages but was only 20% at fault would recover $8,000.

Types of Damages Allowed in Maine

Car accident damages generally fall into one of two categories: economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages are money damages and include the cost to repair your vehicle, the cost to rent a replacement vehicle while your car is being repaired, any medical costs you might incur, and lost wages from time away from work.

Non-economic damages are the harder-to-calculate losses you or a loved one might suffer and include the loss of affection or companionship, emotional distress, and disfigurement.

Typical car accident damages include:

  • Hospital expenses
  • Lost income
  • Vehicle repair or replacement
  • Loss of affection or companionship
  • Pain and suffering

Limits on Damages in Maine

Parties injured in Maine will be relieved to hear that Maine has no state-imposed limits on the amount of damages you can receive in personal injury or car accident cases. Maine also has an especially long time limit on how long a driver may wait before filing suit to recover damages (the statute of limitations). For most personal injury and property damage cases, the limit in Maine is six years.

However, if the car accident resulted in a death, Maine does cap damages on wrongful death cases at $500,000 for compensatory damages and $250,000 for punitive damages. Additionally, the time limit is much shorter: wrongful death actions must be brought within two years of the person's death.

Have Specific Questions About Maine Car Accident Compensation Laws? Ask a Lawyer

While the long statute of limitations on personal injury and property damage lawsuits protects injured parties, the modified comparative negligence system can prevent you from recovering if you were equally liable in a car accident. Additionally, the caveat in the property damage time limit could cut short the time you have to file a lawsuit.

For these reasons, it's a good idea to contact a local car accident attorney today to find out the strength of your claim and get help with the process of filing your lawsuit.

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

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Can I Solve This on My Own or Do I Need an Attorney?

  • A lawyer can help seek fair compensation on your behalf
  • Car accident claims are complex and insurance carriers have lawyers on their side

Get tailored legal advice and ask a lawyer questions about your accident. Many attorneys offer free consultations.


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