Experience and Results When You Need us Most

Wrongful Death

For nearly 30 years of combined experience, the Maine wrongful death attorneys of Briggs & Wholey have established a reputation for hard work and excellence in wrongful death cases. We have successfully represented victims who died as a result of car crashes, medical malpractice, truck crashes, assaults and motorcycle accidents. We hold wrongdoers liable for the harm they cause to the deceased and their family. Our firm is dedicated to providing the highest quality legal representation to injured victims throughout Maine.

You can file a lawsuit in Maine against a person or company who caused the death of your family member through neglect or carelessness. A wrongful death action (sometimes called a "Survival Action") is simply a personal injury case where the injury to the person resulted in his or her death.

Maine Wrongful Death Law

Only certain people can recover money damages for the death of a loved one under Maine's wrongful death law:

  • The surviving husband or wife
  • Children under the age of 18
  • Heirs of the "estate" in situations where there is no widow/widower and no surviving children under the age of 18.
Wrongful Death Case 3 Step Process

The first step before a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed in Maine is to have someone designated as the deceased's "Personal Representative". Sometimes the deceased has a Will that names the person the deceased would want to act as Personal Representative. If there is no Will, the remaining spouse or other close family member can be appointed.

The second step in a wrongful death lawsuit is to prove (1) that the wrongdoer was careless and that the carelessness (called negligence) of the wrongdoer was more responsible for the death than anything that your loved one did, and (2) that your loved one's death was caused by the wrongdoer's act, and not some unrelated condition or mishap.

The approach to proving that the death was caused by someone's carelessness or reckless conduct depends on the manner of death, the people or products involved, and numerous other factors. At Briggs & Wholey we are experienced in proving the cause of death due to car accidents, trucking accidents, medical malpractice, faulty products, nursing home negligence, motorcycle accidents and careless property maintenance. Whether the case calls for accident reconstruction, analysis of government regulations or detailed medical research and hiring experts, our firm is willing to do what it takes to win.

Third, and finally, the Personal Representative has to prove:

  • The amount of income that the family will lose as a result of the death of their loved one.
  • The value of the lost comfort, companionship, advice and guidance that the family will lose as a result of their family member's death up to $500,000.
  • The conscious pain and suffering experienced by the decedent between the injury and the death.
  • The deceased's medical and funeral expenses.

Insurance companies for careless drivers, negligent medical care providers, and companies whose products kill, will place the lowest possible value on the life of your deceased family member.

These insurance companies will typically say that your loved one's health was so poor that he or she would never have lived a full life, or that their habits would have exposed them to an early death, or would have kept them from holding a well paying job. These insurance companies for wrongdoers will often say that your loved one's education, temperament and character were so deficient that the family's loss was minimal.

Briggs & Wholey, LLC Can Help

At Briggs & Wholey, we prove the true measure of your loved one's abilities and contributions to family life through detailed interviews with people who knew the deceased, the collection of health and employment records, the use of job performance appraisers, economists and other experts. We know that our ability to paint an accurate picture of your loved one will make or break your ability to win in settlement talks or at trial.

At Briggs & Wholey we are experienced in sorting out the different damages allowed under Maine law caused by the loss of a deceased family member. Our experience is a critical component to a full recovery in a wrongful death case.

Contact a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Maine

Some of the discussions that must take place touch on extremely sensitive subjects, such as the loss of a deceased father's advice, discipline and guidance, or a mother's special nurturing and parenting skill—valuable influences that children were relying on to guide them through childhood's challenges. The death of a husband that managed the finances, or a wife that managed the home and meals, or a spouse that took care of the family's property or provided the bulk of the children's care—these are losses that are a mixture of money damages and emotional damages. Our attorneys and staff are experienced in helping our clients through these intimate reflections on the family's loss that are a necessary part of the lawsuit process.

Except in medical malpractice cases, a family has only two years from the date of death to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. Many families still feel the death as a fresh injury after two years, yet action must be taken or there will never be a chance to recover compensation.

No lawsuit, no amount of money, can truly repay a family for the loss of a loved one. Money damages for a wrongful death are only meant to help minimize the devastating effects of the loss. Briggs & Wholey understands this, and will work to help your family recover all that the law allows.

If a family member has died due to the carelessness or reckless conduct of another, contact the experienced Maine wrongful death lawyers at Briggs & Wholey today. For nearly 30 years, we have been dedicated to helping surviving families members recover the compensation they deserve. Our attorneys are renowned leaders in Maine wrongful death law. We have successfully handled all types of cases involving wrongful death, recovering verdicts and settlements for clients throughout Maine. At Briggs & Wholey, we are not only top litigators; we treat every client with dignity and respect. Our experienced team of attorneys is devoted to helping you maximize your recovery and receive fair compensation to make up for the loss of a loved one. For a free, confidential consultation, call us at (888) 596-1099 or contact us online.

Copyright 2006 Briggs & Wholey, LLC

Donald Briggs C. Donald Briggs, III Feb. 7, 1954 - Sept. 7, 2014 Your dedication and hard work continue...