Portland Personal Injury Lawyer
Injured in a Cumberland County accident? Get Portland’s trusted personal injury law firm in your corner
The Law Offices of Joe Bornstein represents serious accident victims and disabled people in Cumberland County and throughout Maine, from small towns like Freeport, Gorham, and Bridgton, to the bigger city of Portland.
If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of accident due to the negligence of someone else, don't hesitate to contact a Portland personal injury lawyer. The Law Offices of Joe Bornstein is dedicated to assisting clients, understanding their needs and providing them with personal attention.
If you or someone you know was injured and need an experienced Portland personal injury attorney, you probably have questions. Below are answers to some of the questions our attorneys answer most frequently about Maine personal injury claims. The information provided is general and may not apply to your specific case.
To learn more about how the law applies to your circumstances, please get in touch with the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein. Call us or contact us online for a free case evaluation. A Portland attorney can inform you about your rights.
Frequently Asked Personal Injury Claim Questions
What is a “personal injury” claim? Where do most personal injuries happen?
A personal injury claim, sometimes known as a “tort,” is a formal demand by an accident victim seeking compensation for accident-related damage and losses such as medical expenses, property repairs or replacement, lost wages, diminished future earning potential, and more.
This type of claim stems from injuries that arise from the negligent actions, or inactions, of an at-fault party, such as a motorist, a property owner or anyone else who owes a duty of care for someone else’s safety. Restaurants, hotels, amusement parks, entertainment venues, private homes, and retail shops are frequent sites of personal injury accidents. They may include something like a:
- Slip and fall at a restaurant
- Dog bite while walking on a nature trail
- Premises liability at a shop in downtown Portland
- Wrongful death due to electrocution, burns, falls or other hazards
How do you prove negligence in a premises liability claim like a slip and fall?
Property owners are required to maintain safe premises, and Maine has a legal definition of what constitutes a breach of that duty. In general, one of three criteria must be met:
- The owner or operator of the property created a hazardous condition on the premises.
- Owner or operator was aware of the hazardous condition but failed to appropriately address it.
- A responsible owner or owner or operator should have known about the hazard and addressed it.
Proving negligence can be tricky, but our attorneys know how to conduct investigations that turn up evidence that may have otherwise been missed.
What kind of evidence do you need in a personal injury case?
Every personal injury case is different, and we gather all the evidence we need so that you can focus on your recovery. Evidence that may be helpful to our attorneys includes:
- Medical records
- Accident reports
- Email and text communications
- Property histories
- Criminal background checks
- Financial records
- Educational records
- Licenses and certificates
- Maintenance and inspection records
What type of losses does a personal injury claim cover?
Most damages in personal injury cases are compensatory damages, meaning they are intended to compensate you for what you’ve lost because of the injury. These are further divided into economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are objectively verifiable losses tied to a specific dollar amount, such as:
- Past, current, and future medical treatment
- Loss of earnings
- Replacement services such as childcare or yard work
- Modifications to your home or vehicle to accommodate a disability
- Property damage
Non-economic damages are more subjective losses that you have sustained as a result of the injury, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of quality of life and loss of consortium. These are more difficult to tie to a specific dollar figure, but they still represent real losses that deserve meaningful compensation.
Punitive damages are additional compensation intended to punish the at-fault party for particularly reckless or intentional conduct. Punitive damages are rare in personal injury claims, but not unheard of.
How much is my personal injury claim worth?
Compensation for a personal injury claim is affected by many factors, but it comes down to the extent of your injuries and the effects on your life. You should be compensated for past and future medical bills, lost income and future earnings, property damage, and any other out-of-pocket costs. There are also subjective losses that are tougher to pin down, but no less real, such as permanent scarring and pain and suffering. An attorney can investigate to calculate the full value of your case.
An additional important factor is the available insurance. While it’s possible to pursue compensation from the at-fault party’s assets, this is often impractical. That’s another reason to hire a lawyer – we can investigate the available insurance, coordinate applicable coverage, and help you find your best route to full compensation.
Our experienced attorneys know how to maximize the value of a claim by compiling the necessary evidence, accentuating the strengths, and downplaying the weaknesses of each claim.
What if I was partially at fault for the accident?
In situations where the injured person is partially at fault, Maine uses the comparative fault rule with a 50% bar. This means that you can only file a claim if you are less than 50% responsible for an accident. Your percentage of fault reduces your final award by an equivalent percentage – for instance, if you are 30% at fault, your award would be reduced by 30%. However, if you are 60% at fault, you cannot recover at all.
Needless to say, this creates an incentive for the insurance company to put at least some of the blame for the accident on you. That’s one of the many reasons it’s important to have a personal injury lawyer on your side.
Why should I hire a Maine personal injury attorney for my case?
Studies show that people who hire attorneys receive more compensation compared to those who do not. That’s because an experienced personal injury attorney should do the following:
- Allow you to focus on healing while they handle the claims process and keep you up to date on the status of your case
- Protect you from getting blamed for the accident
- Investigate the accident seeking evidence to support your claim that may have otherwise gone unnoticed
- Handle the insurance company adjuster’s questions and requests for documents
- Files appropriate paperwork before statute of limitations or other deadlines expire
- Negotiate to get you the maximum compensation for your claim
- If necessary, file a lawsuit
Without a lawyer, the insurance company has no incentive to give you anything more than a lowball settlement. Never accept an insurance company’s settlement offer without first consulting an attorney.
Another of the most important things our expert attorneys do is negotiate the amount of the medical bills down or reduce the amount of the liens that need to be repaid. Our ability to do this puts more money in the client’s pocket.
How a Portland personal lawyer can work for you
The Portland personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein put experience and resources to work for clients in Maine who have been seriously injured in accidents. We also provide tough-minded legal representation for clients who need all types of legal assistance throughout Cumberland County: Portland Truck Accident Lawyer, Portland Car Accident Lawyer, and more.
We understand how an accident on I-295, the Maine Turnpike, US 1 or Route 302 can destroy your quality of your life in an instant. We know how debilitating a slip and fall at the mall or in a parking lot outside a restaurant can be. On top of the oftentimes unbearable pain and suffering experienced by victims, our clients in Portland typically face significant financial losses. With compassion and hard work, we fight for the compensation our Portland clients deserve.
Contact a Portland personal injury lawyer
For a free consultation, contact a Portland personal injury lawyer. Call Joe today at 866-275-4563 or reach us online. At the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein, we are ready to help Portland accident victims put their lives back together.