Nobody gets in their car in the morning hoping to be involved in an accident unless they’re competing in a demolition derby. Vehicle collisions are terrifying, expensive, and disruptive, as victims must deal with vehicle repairs, liability concerns, and insurance claims on top of missing time at work and with family. Automobile accidents can result in death or life-altering injuries, including brain damage, chronic pain, and other debilitating conditions.
It’s a sad fact of life that if you drive, you’ll almost certainly get in at least one car accident during your lifetime. Statistics say that the typical driver has three or four accidents and makes a claim once every 18 years. This is hardly comforting! Even if you’re a very cautious driver and have a very safe automobile, you can’t avoid being involved in an accident due to the recklessness of other drivers or because of unexpectedly dangerous road conditions. Distracted driving, excessive speeding, disregarding traffic signals and stop signs, and driving on the wrong side of the road are all major contributors to traffic collisions.
Auto accidents are a sad and potentially deadly reality, as our Maine lawyers are well aware. We also think it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to vehicular mishaps. If an accident were to happen, you would be wise to know exactly what to do, especially if you were to get any sort of bodily harm. Here’s what to do after a vehicle accident in Portland, Maine.
Maine, like many other states, utilizes a “fault” system to decide who is financially responsible for an accident victim’s medical bills and other damages. Damages (financial compensation) for losses experienced in an accident, such as medical expenditures, lost earnings, property damage, and other costs, ultimately rest on the motorist who is found legally to blame for the accident.
The laws of Maine provide three different avenues via which a victim of an automobile accident can pursue financial restitution:
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Maine is one of just a handful of states that mandates drivers to have MedPay coverage. You can get this form of insurance coverage on your own policy to help pay for medical bills after an accident in which you were involved.
In the event of a collision involving your covered car, MedPay will typically pay for medical expenses incurred by you, your family members, and any passengers. When you are a passenger in another person’s car and that person’s insurance policy includes MedPay, you and your family members are protected from financial responsibility for medical bills.
While waiting for your claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to be handled, it is highly suggested that you carry enough MedPay coverage to pay your health insurance deductible, if you have one. Nevertheless, MedPay has significant coverage limitations, both in terms of the amount of coverage offered (the bare minimum in Maine is $2,000) and the kind of expenditures covered (medical expenses exclusively).
If your automobile is covered by collision insurance, your insurer will pay for any necessary repairs or provide you with a new car if yours is a total loss. Even if you have a deductible on your collision coverage, it will usually be waived if you are found to be not at fault in an accident.
In the event that they cause an accident, all motorists in Maine are obliged to have liability insurance. Maine has some of the highest required levels of liability insurance in the country:
Having a higher level of coverage is a popular choice among drivers.
It is the responsibility of the insurance company to pay damages up to the policy limit, regardless of whether you settle with the insurance company or go to court. Your damages may exceed the policy maximum, in which case the negligent driver may have to pay the difference out of pocket.
The statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits in Maine is among the longest in the country. The statute of limitations is the time limit on filing a lawsuit. Once the deadline for filing a lawsuit has passed, it is usually too late to pursue legal action.
You have up to 6 years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against the negligent motorist in Maine. Although the statute of limitations starts ticking when you file a lawsuit, not when you file a claim with your insurer, they will still consider the prospect of a lawsuit when considering whether or not to pay your claim. When a certain period of time has passed, it becomes extremely difficult, if not impossible, to file a claim with an insurance company for reimbursement.
Insurance is mandatory in the state of Maine, yet some motorists choose to flout the law and hit the road uninsured. Also, it is not uncommon for the total expense of an accident to surpass the liability insurance limits of the negligent motorist.
If you’re ever in an accident caused by a driver who doesn’t have adequate insurance or any insurance at all, uninsured/underinsured motorist protection (UIM) will help pay for the damages. Hit-and-run accidents are often covered by this type of insurance as well. UIM is said to “follow you about,” so if you’re hurt in a bicycle or pedestrian accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver, you’ll be covered even if you weren’t driving a car.
If the other motorist was insured, you can file a claim with their insurer to recover financial losses up to the policy’s maximum. Your UIM coverage will kick in for anything over that, up to your policy’s limit.
It is crucial that you file your case in a timely manner, but it can be difficult to go through each stage of the process. You’ll need the assistance of a personal injury lawyer, such as those we have here at Hunt & Associates, to correctly prepare everything and to fight for your reimbursement in court.
It can be difficult to find your way through such a case without the assistance of a professional, and it’s important to keep in mind that insurance companies do not have your best interests at heart.
When you enlist our service, you’ll have someone on your side who has dealt with all the complexities of personal injury cases much like yours. Get the assistance you need right away.
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