Wrongful Death Lawyer Maine
Wrongful Death Lawyer In Maine
A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil claim made by the survivors of the person who was killed due to another person or entity’s act of negligence or wrongful act. How do you prove that the defendant’s negligence was the cause of your loved one’s death and win a wrongful death case? Below is an overview of a wrongful death claim. For more detailed information, contact a Maine wrongful death lawyer from the David Bate Law Office.
The wrongful death statutes were created in the nineteenth century. Prior to these statutes, the heirs and loved ones of the victim who was killed either intentionally or by someone’s negligence could not receive any damages because the only person who could bring the legal claim was the injured party. If the person died, so did the opportunity to file for damages.
State legislatures created the survivor and wrongful death statutes to give family members and heirs financial compensation for their family member’s death. Damages include funeral costs, pain and suffering prior to their death, lost monetary support and any other damages depending on the details of the case.
The three elements that the plaintiff must prove to win a wrongful death case are:
- Duty of due care
- Damages and causation
- Breach of duty
The definition of the duty of ‘due care’ is that we all have a duty to do what is normally required to keep someone else safe, or hold back from doing something that could cause harm to someone else.
An example of this is if your loved one was killed by someone driving a car in what seemed like an unsafe manner, you could argue that the defendant did not exercise the due care when operating a car in the same way a responsible person would.
A judge decides in a wrongful case if the defendant was owed a duty of due care. Factors that are considered include:
- Was the act predictable (and therefore the resulting harm)?
- Were the defendant’s acts closely related to the victim’s injuries or harm?
- Are there similar cases where duty was found?
- Moral blame of the defendant.
Breach of Duty
If it was determined that duty existed, the plaintiff, through his or her wrongful death lawyer must show proof that the defendant was in breach of that duty. In the example of driving a car, if the plaintiff can prove that the defendant was driving distractedly and not paying attention to actually driving, which is what a normal person would be doing, then breach of duty of due care exists in that case. In any civil case, the jury needs to be convinced of the plaintiff’s presentation of facts are greater than fifty percent likely to be the truth.
The plaintiff has to prove that the decedent’s harm and injury were caused by the breach of duty. Using the car example, it has to be proven that the defendant’s car was, in fact, the car that caused the harm. There are many factors to be considered with issues of causation.
In addition to causation and breach of duty, the plaintiff has to show that the decedent did indeed suffer damages. If causation and breach of duty of already proved, damages are assumed (resulting in the death of the injured person).
A consultation with wrongful death lawyer Maine trusts who has extensive experience in wrongful death lawsuits can help discover whether or not you are able to prove fault in a wrongful death claim.
A Message from a Maine Wrongful Death Attorney
When faced with the death of a loved one through someone else’s fault, and the horrible loss of companionship, financial and familial support, you should call an experienced wrongful death lawyer Maine relies upon to take the legal burden from your shoulders. I will investigate and advocate on your behalf for the compensation, the justice, you and your family deserve. No recovery, no fee.
I am available at the office phone number or you can call my cell phone (207-478-1093) during evenings, weekends and holidays. If I am busy, I will return a text message as soon as possible. If you cannot come to me, I will come to you.
Contacting me quickly is key. There is a very short statute of limitations for wrongful death claims in Maine: 2 years. After that, your claim will be barred (except in medical malpractice actions). If the wrongful death claim is based on governmental conduct, a notice of claim must be served within 6 months of the incident and the claim filed within 2 years. These issues should be handled by a wrongful death lawyer in Maine. The sooner you call, the better you are protected.
Early consultation with a lawyer seems like a petty bother and distraction following the death of a loved one, but an early consult can start your investigation going and can save or significantly strengthen your case. Some evidence will simply disappear, such as witnesses, the accuracy of their memories, skid marks on the road, etc. My investigator will promptly look over and preserve your case so nothing will be lost to time. Witnesses will be interviewed while their memories are fresh. Police officers’ reports can be corrected, if necessary, before the officers’ memories fade.
There can be a flurry of essential work in the first days or weeks after an accident that can make or break a case. Knowing that, a wrongful death lawyer Maine trusts will set your mind at ease.
An insurance company representative will contact you not long after the accident in a subtle attempt to establish trust. Do not talk to them. They are not your friends. Their job is to undermine or destroy your case. The insurance will do what damage they can to your case until your lawyer calls them off. Once a representation letter is received from a wrongful death lawyer Maine trusts, the insurance company has to leave you alone.
Once contacted, I investigate and assemble your case at your pace. There is no monetary compensation that can make up for your loss, but it can ease the pain to know you received justice. Establishing family financial security in the name of a loved one can take many forms: college accounts for children and grandchildren, retirement security, debt retirement. Hard-fought legal compensation is not replacements for what was lost but a comforting legacy for the life you will so miss.
Delay in making the call to my office will not make you feel better (although it will make the insurance company feel better). Let’s get this business end started and done quickly and as painlessly as possible so you can attend to your family. As a trusted wrongful death lawyer Maine knows, I promise to doggedly advocate for you and your family.