How Much is My Maine Car Accident Worth?

An auto accident attorney explains how a claim’s value is calculated

After a bad car accident, a lot of injured victims are in the same position: in serious pain, out of work, and unsure of what to do next. People still reeling after being hit by another driver often need help recovering compensation for their losses, such as medical bills and lost wages.

Unfortunately, too many people don’t know how much their car accident injury claims are worth. They get “help” from the insurance companies and accept lowball settlements. If you take an insurance adjuster’s first offer, you will be lucky if that check covers past due bills and next month’s treatments. They do not open with their best offers, and insurance companies are financially motivated to pay you as little money as possible.

That’s why you should never accept a settlement from an insurance company before getting a free case evaluation with an experienced Maine car accident attorney at The Law Offices of Joe Bornstein.

Determining an injury claim’s value is tricky

Calculating how much money you deserve for your injuries and losses, today and in the future, can be incredibly difficult.

Our attorneys understand the high cost of rebuilding your life after a serious accident. You can be confident that, when we calculate your settlement demand, we are looking to maximize your compensation. There’s a lot more to it than we can fit onto a web page, but we can tell you about some factors that typically affect compensation amounts.

The information provided below is general and may not apply to your crash. If you were injured in an accident, learn more about how the law applies to your specific situation during a free case evaluation with The Law Offices of Joe Bornstein.

Crash compensation factors

Injury severity: The extent and ramifications of your injuries will be the biggest factor in determining compensation. Typically, the more serious the injury, the higher the compensation. Some of the largest settlements go to people who will need multiple surgeries or ongoing physical therapy. Some such injuries include:

Permanent damage: Injuries that are expected to last a lifetime — like decreased brain function, loss of a limb, paralysis, etc. — require more compensation than temporary injuries because the costs will continue to affect you for the rest of your life.

Mental health – Motor vehicle accidents are almost always traumatic. The loss of control, speed, violence, and pain of the incident causes depression and anxiety in many people. Left untreated, this pain can become entrenched and affect people’s daily lives and relationships. It is also possible to develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after a bad crash. Poor mental health can cause physical pain and limit a person’s life. In some cases, victims must be compensated for losing the ability to drive due to accident-related panic. Mental health damage can be difficult to prove, but our law office has a tested strategy to fight back.

Career: Your work history and career trajectory will be considered during compensation calculations. Money may be awarded if you miss time from work to heal, cannot return to full work duties, or cannot return to work at all. This figure must consider current earnings, likely promotions, work benefits, and raises that you would have achieved if not for the crash. We may need to retain an expert witness to quantify those future losses.

Fault: Maine is a “modified comparative negligence” state. That means if you were partially at fault but less than 50 percent at fault for a crash, you can file a claim. However, your compensation will be reduced proportionately by your percentage of fault. For example, you were in a crash, the incident was 10 percent your fault, and you were awarded $100,000 for your losses. Your compensation would be reduced by 10 percent ($10,000) for a final award of $90,000.

Insurance policy limits: Like most states, Maine sets minimum insurance requirements for drivers. Legally, you may be entitled to more than the available insurance, but as a practical matter, you usually can’t recover more than there is available coverage. That’s one of the reasons it’s so important to carry uninsured and underinsured motorist protection. Our attorneys can investigate, review the applicable insurance policies, and find all the available coverage.

Commercial trucks and delivery vans: When a commercial vehicle is involved in your accident, the compensation you receive may be greater because the owner of the vehicle or employer of the driver may be liable. Businesses usually carry more insurance than private motorists, so the available coverage may be higher – but that also gives the insurance companies an added incentive to reduce or deny your claim. You need an experienced attorney on your side to navigate this situation.

Death: No amount of money can make up for the loss of a loved one, but when someone else’s actions cause a fatality, surviving family members are often entitled to compensation for medical expenses, funeral costs, emotional damage, loss of financial support, and loss of companionship/guidance. However, in Maine, it’s not the family that files a wrongful death action; it’s the executor of the estate. This person is named in the will or chosen by the courts.

Attorneys who fight to maximize your compensation

After a car accident in Maine, crash victims are almost always owed compensation, but it doesn’t mean the insurance company will just cut a check that covers all your losses.

That’s why your attorney is often the biggest factor in whether you receive the compensation you’re entitled to. Experienced legal representation can make all the difference.

The Law Offices of Joe Bornstein makes the insurance company take your claim seriously. We demand the money you deserve and aggressively advocate for your best interests throughout the entire process. We will exhaust all legal options to move your case forward and fight for maximum compensation.

Our attorneys also take car accident cases on contingency, which means you pay nothing upfront or out of pocket for our services. If we do secure financial compensation on your behalf, our fee is a percentage of the final settlement or verdict. In other words: If we don’t win, we don’t get paid.

Get answers to your legal questions

If you were injured or lost a loved one in a crash, contact The Law Offices of Joe Bornstein for a free case evaluation with an experienced Maine car accident lawyer. At no cost to you, a member of our team will answer your questions, listen to the details of your accident, and explain your rights. We can go over what your claim might be worth along with your legal options.

Contact us today. You have nothing to lose and potentially a lot to gain. Do not accept a settlement before taking advantage of a free case evaluation. Since 1974, the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein has successfully represented over 25,000 injured and disabled Mainers. We are Maine lawyers working for Maine people.