Personal Injury Lawyers • Portland and Waterville, ME

Can I file a wrongful death lawsuit?

A woman's hands holding a man's hand to offer comfort

In the midst of grieving the recent and devastating loss of a loved one, it is hard to focus on what happened, why, and what’s next. But not taking the time to consider these questions could compound the tragedy and leave a family suffering emotionally as well as financially.

Some deaths could have been prevented. Some deaths shouldn’t have happened. These are known as wrongful deaths, and for the loved ones of the victim, receiving justice isn't always as easy as it should be. The last thing a person in mourning may want to do is file a wrongful death claim, so it’s important to find a law firm experienced and compassionate enough to guide you through the process.

What qualifies as a wrongful death?

Wrongful death scenarios typically involve a degree of disregard and can include fatal motor vehicle crashes, medical malpractice, deadly injury on unsafe premises, workplace deaths, and traumatic brain injury, for example.

Who can be sued for wrongful death?

Wrongful death claims can be filed against whatever form the responsible party takes, including people, companies, and governments. Common defendants in wrongful death lawsuits include negligent drivers, trucking companies, builders, designers, contractors, manufacturers, people who serve alcohol, and bar owners.

Who should call a lawyer?

If a relative or spouse died in one of the above or similar circumstances, you should contact a lawyer immediately. An attorney can protect your rights and fight for the compensation you need to cover the cost of funeral and burial expenses, emotional distress, loss of a companion, lost wages the victim would have provided to the family while alive, and any other applicable damages (for instance, punitive damages in cases involving particularly egregious acts of negligence). People who can file claims include immediate family members like spouses, parents, and children, as well as life partners and, in some cases, distant relatives.

How do I file a wrongful death lawsuit?

The first step in getting appropriate compensation for the wrongful death of a loved one is to hire a trusted personal injury attorney with deep, local roots and a clear understanding of state and federal wrongful death law. In Maine, Jabar LaLiberty & Dubord, LLC has been representing the surviving victims of wrongful deaths in the Portland and Waterville area since 1979. A good legal firm/lawyer can help you file a claim with the negligent person’s insurance provider and then handle negotiations with the insurance company to reach a settlement or, if necessary, fight for you in court.

Why did Maine change its wrongful death law?

From its inception, Maine has had some of the most confusing wrongful death laws in the U.S. This is in part due to Maine having both wrongful death and survival claims options on the books with a host of exceptions. The state also has a two-year statute of limitations to file a claim and, since 2019, a compensation cap on non-economic damages.

What is the average settlement in a wrongful death claim?

Due to many outside factors including the cause of death, personal finances, as well as the age and occupation of the deceased, there is no recognized average wrongful death settlement amount. However, some of our law firm's notable wrongful death case results include:

  • $1.5 million from a vehicle manufacturer that did not comply with reasonable crashworthiness standards
  • $450,000 (the policy limit) from a fatal motor vehicle accident
  • $400,000 due to medical negligence

How much does it cost to start a wrongful death claim?

In the Portland and Waterville areas of Maine, you can start your claim without paying anything: Jabar LaLiberty & Dubord, LLC offers free and confidential consultations to victims seeking justice. There is no obligation or cost associated with the consultation, which will include a review of your case and legal options, as well as answers to any questions you may have. Contact us today to get started.

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