Who Pays For Car Accidents In Maine?
Call the Portland car accident lawyers Mainers trust
If you’ve been hurt in a Maine car accident, recovering financial compensation can be complicated. At Jabar LaLiberty & Dubord, LLC, our lawyers are familiar with the laws and how insurance companies operate. We are committed to helping the injured get the best possible outcome in their cases.
When determining compensation for the injured after a car accident, Maine uses a “fault” system. The driver who is determined to be legally at fault for the crash is responsible for paying damages. These damages can include medical expenses, lost wage, property damage and other costs.
If you were hurt in a car accident in Maine, the law gives you three options for pursuing financial compensation:
- You can file a claim under your own insurance policy.
- You can file a third-party claim with the other driver’s insurance company.
- You can file a lawsuit in civil court against the at-fault driver.
Pursuing compensation from your own insurance company
Maine requires drivers to purchase medical payments coverage, known as MedPay. This coverage on your policy pays for medical expenses for treating injuries received in a car accident. It generally covers anyone who was riding in or driving your insured vehicle. This includes family members and other passengers, as well as yourself. It usually also covers you and your family members if you are hurt in an accident while you are passengers in someone else’s car.
It's often recommended to carry enough MedPay coverage to cover your health insurance deductible, if you have one, so that you will be able to get the care you need without out-of-pocket costs while waiting for your claim with the at-fault driver's insurance company to be resolved. However, MedPay is quite limited in terms of how much coverage is provided - the minimum in Maine is $2,000 - and in terms of the expenses it covers, since it only provides compensation for medical expenses.
If your policy has collision coverage, your insurance company will pay for repairs to your vehicle – or a replacement vehicle if yours is considered a total loss. Your policy may include a deductible, which is usually waived if the accident was not your fault.
Maine drivers are also required to purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) coverage. The minimum coverage amounts are $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident. This provides compensation if you were injured in an accident caused by a driver who was uninsured or who did not have enough insurance to pay your damages.
Pursuing a claim against an at-fault driver
All drivers in Maine are required to carry insurance in case they cause an accident. The minimum amount of coverage includes:
- $50,000 for injury or death of a single person
- $100,000 total for injuries or deaths caused by a single accident
- $25,000 for property damage
Many drivers choose to carry policies with higher amounts of coverage. If you file a claim with an at-fault driver’s insurance company or file a lawsuit against the driver, the insurance company is responsible for providing compensation up to the policy limit. If the damages suffered exceed those limits, the at-fault driver may be required to make up the difference.
In the state of Maine, the statute of limitations for taking legal action after a car accident is six years from the date of the crash. Once that time has expired, you lose your right to pursue legal action.