Maine Car Accident Settlement and Lawsuits
Key Maine laws related to car accidents, including time limits for filing a lawsuit, and how your claim might be affected if you’re found to be partially at fault for causing the accident.
After a car accident in Maine, a number of state laws could affect any insurance settlement or lawsuit resulting from the crash. This page provides a guide to all of the Maine-specific resources available on All-About-Car-Accidents.com, including car accident laws and car insurance rules in the state. We’ll also provide tips on when it may be time to contact a Maine lawyer for help with your car accident claim.
Maine Car Accident Laws
If you decide to file a third party insurance claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver after a car accident in Maine, there are a few state laws you need to be aware of, starting with the time limit for getting a car accident lawsuit started in civil court. This type of law is called a statute of limitations.
Maine’s personal injury statute of limitations is one of the most lenient in the country. It gives an injured person a whole six years after the occurrence of an injury (a car accident, for example) to get the lawsuit started -- that means filing the initial complaint and summons in court.
The six-year deadline is the same whether you are filing a lawsuit for injury, vehicle damage, or both. You can find Maine’s personal injury statute of limitations codified at Maine Revised Statutes Annotated Title 14, section 751.
If you don’t get your complaint filed before the six-year deadline passes, the court will refuse to hear your case altogether. So, it’s crucial to pay attention to the statute of limitations as it applies to your car accident case, even if you’re convinced it’s going to settle. You always want to leave open the option of filing a lawsuit.
Get details on other Maine laws that could impact your car accident settlement or lawsuit in our article Car Accident Laws in Maine.
Maine Car Insurance Requirements and Rules
If you’re filing a lawsuit or seeking a settlement for injury or vehicle damage after a car accident in Maine, car insurance coverage is sure to play a big role. Let’s take a quick look at some key Maine car insurance laws.
Maine’s car insurance coverage minimums are some of the highest in the country. Drivers are required to carry at least the following amounts of insurance on any vehicle they own and operate:
- $50,000 for the injury or death of a single person (yourself, a passenger, another driver, pedestrian, etc.)
- $100,000 total for a single accident
- $25,000 for any property damage, and
- $1,000 for medical payments.
Maine also requires car insurance policyholders to carry uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) protection.
For more details on car insurance in Maine, check out our companion article Maine Car Insurance Rules.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Maine
You don’t necessarily need a lawyer for every car accident claim. Let’s say the other driver’s insurance carrier isn’t disputing that its insured was at fault for the crash, and you didn’t suffer significant injuries. It’s probably fine to handle that kind of settlement yourself.
But if the other driver’s insurer is saying that you caused the accident, or if you suffered serious injuries, things can get complicated (not to mention contentious) very quickly, and it may be time to discuss your situation with a local car accident lawyer in Maine. Remember that most car accident lawyers represent their clients on a contingency basis, meaning that you don’t pay unless you receive a successful settlement or court award.
A good attorney knows how to handle the back-and-forth of settlement negotiations with car insurance adjusters, and will make sure your rights are protected at every stage in the claim process, including filing a lawsuit in the Maine civil court system if that is the right strategy.