Maine Injury Settlements and Verdicts

Ten years ago, I posted data showing the average personal injury verdict in Maine was approximately $27,000. These numbers do not tend to change much historically. So my guess is the average personal injury settlement in Maine is between $10,000 and $20,000.

But you have to understand how useless that is if you have a personal injury claim in Maine and you are trying to calculate or predict your settlement compensation payout.

Sample settlements and verdicts are not necessarily much better at projecting settlement amounts. But these are weapons you can use to better understand potential settlement compensation for an injury case in Maine.

Maine Injury Verdicts and Settlements

  • 2019, Maine: $1,200,000 Verdict. A woman’s leg was hit by a wooden plank. She suffered significant bleeding. An x-ray revealed internal bleeding and swelling. The woman received narcotic pain relievers. She was subsequently discharged. The following day, the woman suffered purpura. She underwent an emergency procedure with debridement. The woman eventually underwent a skin graft. She experienced permanent pain, swelling, and shin scars. The woman alleged negligence against the hospital. She claimed its staff prematurely discharged her and failed to consult a surgeon. The Aroostook County jury awarded the woman $1,200,000.
  • 2018, Maine: $25,000 Verdict. A woman was rear-ended in Portland. She injured her head, neck, and back. The woman alleged negligence against the at-fault driver. She claimed he drove while drunk, failed to timely brake, and failed to maintain an appropriate lookout. A Cumberland County jury awarded $25,000.
  • 2018, Maine: $4,850 Verdict. A woman was rear-ended. She suffered a traumatic brain injury. The woman also developed a psychosomatic disorder. She alleged negligence against the at-fault driver. The woman claimed he failed to properly control his vehicle, maintain an appropriate distance, and properly observe the road. A Cumberland County jury awarded $4,850.
  • 2018, Maine: $8,247 Verdict. A female passenger was sideswiped. She injured her back and neck. The woman alleged negligence against the at-fault driver. She received an $8,247 verdict.
  • 2018, Maine: $250,000 Verdict. A truck driver was struck while parked at a rest stop. He suffered severe injuries. The man alleged negligence against the at-fault driver. He claimed she unsafely sped and failed to maintain an appropriate lookout. The Penobscot County jury awarded a payout of $250,000.
  • 2017, Maine: $2,000,000 Verdict. A man broke his wrist after a kayak fell on his right hand. He underwent a repair procedure. The hand surgeon left a screw in his wrist. Following the procedure, the man suffered wrist arthrosis and articular cartilage fissure and fracture. He underwent additional procedures. The man alleged negligence against the hand surgeon. He claimed he failed to remove the screw and failed to examine post-operative films.  He further alleged that as the result of Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems’ negligent repair of his bone fracture,  he sustained a permanent injury that caused pain and suffering, lost income, and emotional distress. The Penobscot County jury unanimously awarded the man $2,000,000.
  • 2017, Maine: $131,000 Verdict. A 39-year-old man was rear-ended. He sustained a pinched nerve and neck strain. He developed worsening neck arthritis and hand numbness. The man alleged negligence against the at-fault driver. He claimed he tailgated him and failed to maintain an appropriate distance. The Kennebec County jury awarded $131,000.
  • 2017, Maine: $240,000 Verdict. A man suffered a finger laceration and numbness. He presented to the ER. The man received sutures. He was subsequently discharged. The man’s finger numbness failed to resolve. The man visited his primary care provider. However, he did not receive an orthopedic surgeon referral. The man’s finger numbness continued for another month. He visited his primary care physician again. The man received an orthopedic surgeon referral. He presented to the surgeon after a month. The man underwent a finger amputation. He alleged negligence against the ER and primary care physicians. The man claimed they discharged him too soon and failed to timely make a specialist referral. An Aroostook County jury awarded a compensation payout of $240,000.

What is striking is how few personal injury lawsuits there are in Maine that goes to trial.  The last wrongful death lawsuit that went to trial in Maine we have seen was in 2015.

Statute of Limitations in Maine

Maine has a very pro-victim statute of limitations in personal injury cases.  Personal injury plaintiffs in Maine generally must file their lawsuits within six years that it knows or has reason to know of the injury.

You always have to be careful when giving blank rules on statute of limitations which is why I qualify with “generally” when I discuss the six-year limitations period.  Because deadlines can be shorter. For instance, there are different notice and filing deadlines when suing the state of Maine or other municipalities.  So the answer is to call a Maine personal injury lawyer who can give you advice on the deadline to file a lawsuit.

This is, I believe, the longest statute of limitations in the United States.

Maine Damage Caps

Maine is the rare state that caps pain and suffering damages in wrongful death lawsuits – at $750,000, bumped from $250 in 2019 – but does not cap damages in other personal injury cases.

In addition to the wrongful death pain and suffering cap in Maine, §2-806 Title 18-C of the Probate Code also caps punitive damages at $250,000.

Expert Needed in Maine Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

For claims of medical malpractice in Maine, a plaintiff ordinarily can discharge his burden of proof for a claim of negligent medical care only by expert medical testimony establishing the appropriate standard of medical care, that the defendant departed from the standard, and that the negligent conduct proximately caused the plaintiffs injury.”  But Maine courts “commonly hold expert medical testimony unnecessary in cases involving egregious mistreatment where the malpractice is sufficiently apparent as to lie within the understanding of laymen.

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