Wrongful Death Attorney in Maine
Serving Families in Bangor, Portland, Biddeford, Augusta, and Saco
In Maine, a person who is injured in an accident due to another party's negligent is entitled to compensation for their expenses. When injuries are so severe that the victim loses their life, their family may also be eligible for compensation. This is called Wrongful Death.
Losing a loved one is never easy. But with the assistance of a Maine injury attorney, your family can get the compensation that they need for their expenses. If you have lost someone in an accident that was the product of negligence by a person or corporation, call The Law Offices of William T. Bly today.
Wrongful Death Laws in Maine
Under Maine Revised Statutes, Title 18-A, Section 2-804, the family of a deceased person that died due to "a wrongful act, neglect or default" of another party is entitled to seek compensation just as they would if the victim was simply injured instead of killed as a result of the accident. Neglect can be demonstrated in making a driving error that causes an accident, failing to provide a safe environment for guests or selling a defective product. Common accidents that result in wrongful death include:
- A car or auto collision
- A slip and fall accident
- Medical malpractice
- Injury due to a defective product
- Injury in a retail store
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) states that, in 2010, there were 120,859 deaths resulting from unintentional injuries including 26,009 deaths resulting from unintentional falls and 33,687 deaths from traffic accidents. When a family member is lost in any of these accidents, the person responsible can be held liable for compensation when negligence was involved. This even includes corporations in the event that a wrongful death was caused by injuries from a defective or recalled product.
Wrongful Death Compensation
It is almost impossible to put a price on the life of a loved one. In addition to funeral expenses and other bills related to a death, families will also suffer financial loss from the loss of earned income as well as emotional distress from the pain of losing a husband or father. Maine law allows the jury to determine the amount of damage compensation a family should receive in a wrongful death claim. Subsection (b) of the Actions of Wrongful Death law states the following:
“The jury may give damages as it determines a fair and just compensation with reference to the pecuniary injuries resulting from the death and in addition shall give such damages that will compensate the estate of the deceased person for reasonable expenses of medical, surgical and hospital care and treatment and for reasonable funeral expenses”
Additionally, the jury could award damages up to $500,000 for the loss of comfort, society, and companionship of the deceased as well as emotional distress. They can also award punitive damages up to $250,000. Maine law also allows a separate claim be filed for additional pain and suffering compensation if the deceased experienced a period of conscious suffering prior to their death due to injuries received in the accident.
Under Maine law, only certain family members are eligible for wrongful death compensation. If the victim has a surviving spouse and no children, the exclusive benefit goes to the spouse. If the victim has no surviving spouse but does have surviving children, the exclusive benefit is theirs. If the victim has a surviving spouse and children, the benefits will be divided evenly between the two. Finally, if the victim has no surviving children or spouse, the compensation will be divided to any surviving heir as per section 2-106 of Maine's succession and wills law.
Call a Maine Injury Attorney
A death in the family is always difficult. If a family member dies as the result of an accident where a party or corporation demonstrated negligence, call an injury attorney right away. The lawyers at WTB Law will listen to your case and help you determine whether or not a wrongful death has occurred. We will walk you through the process and handle all the paperwork and heavy lifting. Our Maine injury lawyers work hard to make sure tier clients get all the compensation that they deserve.
In addition to the grief that family experiences after a loss, there will also be financial expenses such as funeral costs and the loss of income of the deceased. An injury attorney can help you get the money you need to take care of these expenses and give your family a normal life. To find out more about Maine wrongful death laws, contact our office for a free consultation.