Pain and Suffering Damages in Maine
Maine offers some of the best New England skiing, world famous lobster, and picturesque coastal towns. But unfortunately, sometimes even a fairytale excursion can result in a devastating disaster. If your drive home from Sugarloaf ended in a fender bender or worse, or if you were injured after someone tampered with your boat, you may be entitled to loss of companionship, emotional distress, and other pain and suffering damages in Maine.
Economic damages are available to injured parties to compensate for monetary losses. But what about your non-monetary losses, like pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and emotional distress? In Maine a judge or jury may award you non-economic damages to compensate you for those injuries.
Types of Claims
Specifically, in wrongful death claims, the surviving heirs may bring a claim to recover for loss of comfort, society and companionship of the deceased, including any damages for emotional distress. Additionally, a married person may bring a claim for loss of consortium when their spouse is injured.
The table and accompanying explanations below lay out important details of pain and suffering damages in Maine.
Statute of Limitations
• 6 years for personal injury lawsuits (Maine Revised Statutes §752)
• 2 years for injury or wrongful death claims against a ski area (Maine Revised Statutes § 752-B)
• 2 years for wrongful death (Maine Revised Statutes §2-804)
Limits on Damages
• $500,000 limit on pain and suffering damages in wrongful death lawsuits (Maine Revised Statutes §2-804)
50% Modified Comparative Fault System(Maine Revised Statutes §156)
50% Bar Rule and Other Bars to Recovery
Unfortunately, if the Maine judge or jury finds that you were as much at fault for your injury as the party you sued, you will not be able to recover. This is known as the "50% Bar Rule" which is a form of modified comparative negligence.
Also significant, Maine employs the "inherent risks of skiing" rule. When proving fault in a negligence case, the first step is proving that the defendant acted below the standard of care. The inherent risks of skiing rule effectively lowers the standard of care by redefining several dangers and conditions as being "integral" to the sport, rather than being dangers and conditions which ski area operators have a duty to protect visitors from.
No matter where in Maine your loved one wrongfully met their maker, you will need to file a wrongful death claim within two years. This is known as a statute of limitations. Maine also specifically provides that if you or a loved one was injured at a ski area, you must file your claim within two years. For any other personal injury claim, such as a slip and fall, a car accident, a medical malpractice claim, or an intentional injury claim, you have a very generous six years to file your claim.
In an effort to make liability insurance affordable, Maine instituted a cap of $500,000 on pain and suffering damages in wrongful death cases.
Speak with an Attorney to Better Understand Pain and Suffering Damages in Maine
Maine may offer generous time limits for filing some claims, but if your calim is related to the death of a loved one, or if your injury occurred in a ski area, Maine's shortened statutes of limitations could leave you without legal recourse. Even worse, the ski area liability law shifts responsibility, making it difficult to determine the strength and value of your claim. But don't worry, help is available. Contact a local personal injury attorney today to discuss your claim and receive personalized legal advice on how to proceed.
Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney
Contact a qualified attorney.