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What’s the first thing your Maine car accident lawyer will do to settle your case?

Once you hire a lawyer (and they determine that you do have a case) their first step is filing a demand letter with the insurance company of whoever hit you. This is a complex document that establishes the facts of your accident, and shows the insurer that you are a serious plaintiff with a real case.

Car accident lawyers are experienced in drafting these letters in an airtight fashion with all the right information to get you a settlement.

What are the next few steps your Maine car accident lawyer will take?

Most people who get into a car crash are confused about what comes next in terms of getting a settlement. There can be a lot of “moving pieces.” And it’s easy to lose your bearings if you’re new to this process. Below, we’ll try to demystify things for you.

First
You choose a lawyer to take your case

It all starts with hiring a lawyer to get the ball rolling. Most offer free initial consultations, so that you can share what happened to you, and feel out if they are the lawyer you want to work with.

During the consultation, the lawyer will ask you questions about your accident: what happened, where it happened, who saw it, what injuries you sustained, who your insurance provider is, and more. From there, the lawyer will break down how they charge for their services, and what legal fees you can expect.

A few things to expect during your initial consultation with a lawyer:

  • Signing a medical release form (so the lawyer can access your medical records).
  • Discussing all of your legal options (such as whether to pursue a settlement with whoever hurt you, or whether to file a lawsuit against them).
  • Asking all of the questions you have, in order to feel confident that this lawyer is right for you.
Second
Your lawyer investigates the details of your case

Once you officially hire a lawyer, they will kick off a process known as “discovery.” That’s when the lawyer asks you follow-up questions about your case. Gathers important documents from police, hospitals, and insurance companies. And collects sworn statements from you (called “depositions”) that, if a lawsuit is filed, will be submitted to the courts.

A few things to expect when your lawyer starts the discovery process:

  • Waiting for the process to unfold (every case differs, but it’s common for discovery to take some time!).
  • Responding promptly to your lawyer’s questions (the faster you supply key information, the faster they can resolve your case).
  • Being 100% truthful in sworn statements (lying or omitting information will reduce your chances of securing a settlement).
Third
You decide whether to settle your case or sue

Finally — after the lawyer you hire finishes the discovery process — you will decide whether to settle your injury case out of court. Or whether to file a lawsuit for a higher reward. Most cases end in settlement, but you’ll want to make this decision based on the details of your unique case. (Your lawyer, of course, will provide their professional opinion on which way to go.)

A few factors to consider when deciding whether to settle or sue:

  • How high are your chances of winning at trial?
  • How much will it cost to pursue a trial (and how long will it take)?
  • How much more money does your lawyer think you can win in court versus an out-of-court settlement?

What do Maine car accident lawyers charge?

A car accident lawyer charges for their services using a contingency model. What this means is that if you’ve been in an accident, a lawyer will take your case and pursue a settlement for you at no up-front cost.

In exchange, you promise that lawyer a percentage of the proceeds from your settlement. When your case settles, the lawyer takes their cut first, and you receive the remaining amount. If the lawyer fails to settle your case, you pay nothing.

Naturally, you want the best legal representation you can get, for the smallest bite out of your settlement.

To help you select the best lawyer for your case, we’ve provided a directory of car accident lawyers in Maine that you can consider, or call to receive more information.

What if I need treatment, but I don’t have medical insurance?

If you’ve been injured in a car accident but don’t have health insurance, what can you do to obtain the treatment you need? This is more common than a lot of folks think, and it’s important to know that you have two solid options.

Option 1
Medicaid

If you don’t have health insurance privately or through your employer, you may qualify for Medicaid. This is a federal program that gives health insurance to low income earners at the state level. Visit Maine’s Medicaid office to see if you qualify.

If you do, Medicaid will pay your medical bills from that point forward. They may even pay some of your past bills.

Option 2
Personal Injury Liens

Another option that not everyone knows about is to finance your medical treatment with a personal injury lien. (Also known as a Letter of Protection, or LOP.) This is when a doctor treats you for no up-front cost, in exchange for some of the proceeds of your future settlement. When your case settles, your doctor gets paid first, and you receive the remaining amount.

This same arrangement can also be used to obtain day-to-day spending money (for bills, food, rent, and so forth) while you are waiting for your case to settle. Your lawyer — once authorized by you — can issue the LOP on your behalf to the doctor or medical facility providing you treatment.

Most Maine auto accident lawyers are experienced with setting up personal injury liens for clients who need to finance medical care this way.

Auto Accident Statistics That Maine Car Accident Lawyers Consider

If you’ve been in a crash, rest assured that you are far from alone. Here are the most recent available statistics for auto accidents in Maine:

  • 157 people were killed in auto accidents in Maine during 2019, says the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety.
  • That equates to 11.7 people killed per every 100,000 people in the state’s population.
  • 106 of the total number of fatal crashes involved one vehicle, and the other 51 involved multiple.
  • 54 of the fatalities were driving in passenger cars.
  • 48 of the fallen travelers were riding in pickup trucks or SUVs.
  • 2 of the slain motorists were riding in a large truck.
  • 27 of the victims were riding motorcycles.
  • 16 of those who lost their lives were pedestrians
  • 2 of the casualties were riding bicycles.
  • On top of that, 689 people incurred a “serious injury” in a car accident according to the Federal Highway Administration.

Relevant Laws That Maine's Car Accident Lawyers Know

As a recent auto accident victim, you may be wondering about the legal requirements involved in pursuing a settlement. As well as the risks of driving without car insurance in Maine.

  • The deadline for filing a lawsuit related to injuries or property damage from an accident in Maine is six years according to Maine Revised Statutes Title 14, Section 752.
  • Maine follows a “modified comparative fault” rule, which means that you can only recover financial damages in an auto accident lawsuit when you were less responsible for causing the accident than the other driver (or drivers) involved.
  • You are legally required to report to police any auto accident that injures or kills someone. And you must also report any accident that causes property damage of $1,00 or more.
  • A first offense for driving without car insurance means $100 - $500 in fines, a $30 license fee, a $50 reinstatement fee, and 3 years of maintaining an SR-22 certificate.
  • A second offense means a $2,000 fine, and the same fees above, plus up to a year in jail.

Maine Car Accident Lawyer Prep: Fast Facts on Drivers & Vehicles

One factor that influences how safe (or dangerous) it is to drive in a given state are the number of drivers out on the road. Here are some key statistics for 2019, the most recent year for which these data were collected:

  • There are 1,046,129 licensed drivers in Maine.
  • There are 356,079 licensed vehicles in Maine.

If you're injured, there are Maine accident lawyers who can help

We know this isn’t a position you ever wanted to be in. It’s scary, confusing, and you would love nothing more than to just put it all behind you.

The good news is: you don’t need to call the first Maine auto accident lawyer you see on a billboard. (And hope they take good care of you.) And you don’t need to choose someone at random after aimlessly looking online. We’ve organized a list of Maine accident lawyers right here on this page, with full contact information in one tidy chart.

This way, you can pick one, call them up, and start getting justice.