If you recently lost a family member through someone else’s negligence or criminal actions, civil litigation may understandably be the last thing on your mind. However, if you let the window for a lawsuit or settlement demand pass you by, you may face substantial financial and personal burdens that should fall upon the person truly responsible for causing them.
When facing a loss of this magnitude, a capable personal injury attorney’s guidance can make a world of difference in proactively pursuing the compensation you deserve. From start to finish of your legal proceedings, an Auburn wrongful death lawyer from our firm can tenaciously defend your family’s rights and work to hold the negligent party accountable for what they have done. Contact Gideon Asen LLC today to schedule a consultation.
When Is Wrongful Death Litigation Possible?
In Maine, it is possible to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit in any situation where the deceased individual, had they survived, would have had grounds to sue the negligent party for causing their harm. Instead of the decedent or any of their family members, though, the exclusive right to actually file a claim in this kind of situation would fall to the decedent’s personal representative. This role is generally someone nominated in the decedent’s estate planning documents to manage their affairs after their death.
Notably, wrongful death litigation may proceed simultaneously with any criminal proceedings related to the defendant’s actions. The outcome of either case has no direct bearing on the outcome of the other. As an Auburn attorney can further explain, though, any personal representative intending to pursue a wrongful death claim generally must file suit within three years of when the decedent actually passed away, in accordance with Maine Revised Statutes Title 18-C §2-807. The only exception is if the cause of the wrongful death was homicide, in which case the applicable filing deadline is six years after the discovery that the homicide occurred.
Restrictions on Recoverable Damages in Auburn
A personal representative may seek restitution for both economic and non-economic consequences of a wrongful death, including past and future losses like:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Lost future financial support from the decedent
- Medical expenses accrued between when the decedent was hurt and when they passed away
- Lost love, companionship, and care
- Emotional suffering and anguish experienced by family members
The proceeds of a successful settlement demand or lawsuit may be distributed to immediate family members and/or the decedent’s beneficiaries. However, as an attorney serving Auburn can affirm, state law “caps”—or limits—recovery for non-economic forms of harm stemming from a wrongful death at $1,000,000 total per case.
An Auburn Wrongful Death Attorney Is Here to Help
There is no financial sum big enough or verdict strong enough to erase the pain that losing a loved one can cause, especially if they only lost their life because of someone else’s reckless, careless, or illegal acts. That said, civil restitution can still play a vital role in preserving your family’s financial security in the short term and helping you focus on grieving and moving on in the long term.
A compassionate Auburn wrongful death lawyer’s assistance can make a huge difference in how effectively and efficiently you can get through this challenging process. Call our team at Gideon Asen LLC today to get started.