Wrongful Death Laws in Maine
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Losing a loved one can result in a myriad of difficulties. A wrongful death claim may not be able to soothe the emotional difficulties you are experiencing, but it may help with any financial woes you are experiencing.
What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Maine?
Wrongful death lawsuits allow surviving loved ones to recover for the loss they have experienced after their family member passed away due to the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another person or entity.
Essentially, wrongful death claims arise when an individual who passes away would have had a valid claim against another person had they survived. For example, if your loved one was killed in a car accident because of another person’s negligence, they would have had a cause of action if they had survived. Even though they passed away from their injuries, there is still a cause of action that their loved ones can then recover from this wrongful act.
Who May File a Wrongful Death Claim in Maine?
Only the personal representative of the decedent can bring a wrongful death action. However, whatever amount the personal representative is able to recover, minus certain expenses, is for the exclusive benefit of the surviving loved ones of the decedent.
Often, the personal representative and the surviving loved ones entitled to recover in a wrongful death claim are related, or are in agreement about filing a the claim. However, if this is not the case, it may be helpful to speak with a wrongful death attorney about what your remaining options are.
What Damages Are Available in a Maine Wrongful Death Claim?
The surviving spouse and children may recover for many different damages they have suffered due to their loss. A jury may award them for the financial loss they have suffered as a result of their loved one passing, and may award the estate of the decedent for any medical or funeral expenses it has paid.
Additionally, a jury may award to the spouse and children of the decedent up to $500,000 for the loss of companionship of their loved one, including any emotional distress suffered by the surviving family members. Further, if the other party’s actions were especially egregious, the spouse and children may be awarded punitive damages up to $250,000. If the decedent passed after experiencing some sort of conscious suffering, there may be even more damages that you could possibly recover.
How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Maine?
Maine requires wrongful death suits to be brought within two years from the decedent’s date of death. In cases of homicide, the statute of limitations is within six years from the date the personal representative discovers there is a just cause of action against the person who committed the homicide.
While two and six years may seem like a long time, much work needs to be done in order to prepare a strong wrongful death case. Contacting an attorney sooner rather than later may make a huge difference in the strength of your case.
How Can I Learn More?
At Zinda Law Group, our wrongful death attorneys have helped thousands nationwide get their lives back on track after losing a loved one. We have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you seek maximum compensation for your loss.
Our firm also believes that you should never have to worry about their ability to afford excellent legal representation while grieving. That is why we offer 100% free consultations, and why you will pay nothing unless we achieve a favorable settlement, judgment, or verdict for your personal injury case. That’s our No Fee Guarantee.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.