We are Maine attorneys fighting for the safety and dignity of those who have been injured by the dangerous behavior of others.
We represent our clients against insurance companies that refuse to provide fair benefits to injured people and families.
Our personal injury, accident, and wrongful death lawyers always personally meet with potential clients free of charge.
We handle the following cases:
- Wrongful Death
- Medical Malpractice
- Car Crashes
- Boat, Airplane, Train and Bus Accidents
- Products Liability
- Dangerous Conditions
- Premises Accidents and Explosions
- Construction Accidents
- Workplace Accidents
- Slip/Trip and Falls
- Civil Rights Violations
- Burn, Smoke and Carbon Monoxide
- Criminal Victim Rights
- Loss of Consortium
- Workers’ Compensation
- Pre-Suit Settlements
- Trials and Appeals
No Recovery, No Fee
We are paid a percentage of the compensation that we obtain, whether by a settlement or by a trial verdict.
That means you will not pay us for our time and do not need to worry about whether you can afford a Maine personal injury lawyer.
We Invest in Your Case
In most cases, Drummond & Drummond fronts the court costs so you don’t have to pay any expenses while you are already trying to make ends meet following an injury.
There is no getting around it: It costs money to properly prepare a case for trial. We believe that you should not need deep pockets to make up for the harms and losses that someone else negligently caused.
Whether you are rich or poor, employed or not, young or old, Drummond & Drummond will ensure your voice is heard by those who refuse to take responsibility for causing your injuries.
Our firm invests its time and money to obtain a full and fair result for our clients.
We have worked hard for many years to earn a strong reputation as aggressive advocates for every client.
Maine Statute of Limitations
Maine personal injury laws are complicated. It is often critical that an attorney become involved immediately after an injury to ensure you don’t lose your rights to be fairly and fully compensated
Frivolous Defense? Insurance Stonewall? We feel your pain.
If you have been injured, you know exactly how the insurance industry feels about you: they won’t pay a penny without a fight. Long gone are the days of good faith and fair play. Insurance companies no longer worry about protecting the people they insure and compensating the folks who get injured.
Over the last several decades, insurance companies have perfected deny and delay tactics to financial excess. They know that if you are injured, unable to work, and have enormous medical bills, you are desperate.
We represent folks who have been seriously injured by the negligence of others. Nobody wants to get injured. Nobody wants to file a lawsuit. Nobody wants to go to trial. But when someone injured you and won’t take responsibility, you have to take a stand.
How do I know if I have a personal injury case?
Generally, two things have to happen.
First, you must be hurt. While most cases involve injury to a person’s body or damage to a person’s property or possessions, the law also protects us from suffering some other types of damages. Examples of those injuries include:
- bodily injury
- wrongful death
- injury to reputation
- invasion of privacy
- infliction of emotional distress
- false imprisonment
- malicious prosecution
- trespass to land
- theft and fraud
- interference with contractual relationships
- wrongful termination
Second, your injury must be someone else’s fault. We all know that someone who runs a red light is responsible for the bodily injuries of the people they injure. But proving the light was red is often a problem, even if the police agree with you.
How can I afford to hire a good attorney?
The attorneys at Drummond & Drummond handle Maine personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that we are paid a percentage of any compensation that we help you obtain, whether through a settlement or a verdict. If we don’t obtain a recovery for you, we don’t get paid.
In addition, our firm generally fronts the court costs and other expenses. We believe that you should not need deep pockets to make up for the harm that someone else caused you to suffer. Because we invest money into your case, we are able to put our clients on equal financial footing with the insurance company.
How soon after I am injured do I have to file a lawsuit?
Every state has certain time limits, called statutes of limitation, that impose a deadline for starting a lawsuit (usually some number of years after an injury). Maine personal injury laws are complicated. Not only do we have statutes of limitation, but there are often additional earlier deadlines by which the defendants must be officially notified of your potential lawsuit. Therefore, it is critical that an attorney become involved immediately after an injury to ensure you don’t lose your rights to be fairly and fully compensated.
What should I bring with me for my meeting with a lawyer?
Everything. We have yet to meet a client who has brought too much stuff. Most people are surprised at the amount of paperwork that is generated when someone is hurt. You should bring any document that might be relevant.
- police reports (they often include witness statements and the impressions of the first responders)
- photographs of the accident, your vehicle, or your injuries
- medical records and bills (they demonstrate the extent and nature of your injuries)
- information about your insurance (health, auto, home, etc.)
- information about the insurance company of the person who caused your injuries
If you haven’t collected everything before you meet us, don’t worry. We can gather everything we need.
What if a person dies before bringing a personal injury lawsuit?
If the accident caused your loved one’s death, then that person’s family or heirs typically can bring a wrongful death action to seek some compensation.
If someone with a personal injury claim dies from unrelated causes, then a personal representative of the deceased person’s estate can bring the lawsuit on behalf of the estate.
What is negligence?
When judges and attorneys talk about negligence, we are usually talking about somebody who needlessly endangered the public, causing injuries to someone else. For hundreds of years, the United States (and much of the civilized world, for that matter) has relied on courts to enforce the rule that people and companies are not allowed to needlessly endanger others.
In order to create a world that is safe for all of us, we hold people who do dangerous things liable, even if they didn’t intentionally hurt anyone. For example, someone who is talking on their cell phone, ignores a red light, and kills a pedestrian may not have intended to kill him, but he is still responsible.
Remember, holding someone responsible for a death is different than finding that person guilty of murder. It is only fair that someone who causes an injury take responsibility for it, even if we don’t think they deserve to go to jail.
What if I can’t prove someone’s negligence caused my injury? Is there any other basis for personal injury liability besides negligence?
Maybe. There are some situations where we hold companies or people “strictly liable” for the harm they cause others, even in the absence of true negligence or wrongful intent. For example, a company that makes or sell defective or unexpectedly dangerous products is responsible for the injuries it causes.
Similarly, when people do very dangerous things such as use explosives, store dangerous substances, or keep dangerous exotic animals, we hold them strictly liable for any harm or loss that they caused to other people. No matter how carefully you take care of your pet lion, if he escapes and mauls your neighbor, you’ve got some explaining to do.
Will the person who caused my injury be punished?
Not in the traditional sense of the word. Defendants in civil actions for personal injury do not receive jail terms or criminal fines as punishment. In fact, most defendants are protected by insurance. By collecting premiums from their customers, insurance companies promise to pay for the injuries that their customers cause. Also, in the event that a person or company needlessly injures someone, the insurance company pays for an attorney to represent its customer.
However, court rules usually prevent juries from ever finding out that an insurance company is the one who has been denying payment and forcing a lawsuit. Instead, the jury is simply told that the negligent person – not his insurance company – is the defendant who will be responsible for a verdict. This is not the whole truth.
Finally, in some cases, juries and judges can award punitive damages, which are designed to punish defendants who have behaved recklessly or intentionally. Courts use punitive damages to discourage those defendants and others from being so incredibly dangerous.
Do I need an attorney or should I try to handle my claim on my own?
Unless your injuries are very small and the insurance company agrees to pay for everything, then you need a personal injury attorney. Remember, the insurance company who is defending the person who injured you cares about one thing: making money. The more premiums it collects from its customers and the less it pays to the people they injure, the more money the company makes.
Because of this, insurance companies almost never offer the value of a case to an unrepresented person. They know that to get any more, you must start a lawsuit and win at trial.
Therefore, if they don’t think you are actually going to even start a lawsuit – let alone beat them at trial, then it has no reason to offer you anything close to a fair amount. In fact, adjusters are often rewarded by their employers for resolving claims quickly for a minimal sum or no compensation at all to the injured claimant. But the more it looks like you will win at trial, the more money they will offer you to settle.
For years, we have focused on representing people like you in fights with insurance companies, both in and out of court. Ultimately, we often obtain more money for your claim than you could ever do on your own, all while taking the stress of negotiating, organizing, and strategizing off your back.
Meanwhile, the insurance industry has done a wonderful job over the last few decades of convincing the public that lawsuits – rather than an insatiable desire for corporate profits – are driving up premiums. Now that you have firsthand experience trying to work with an insurance adjuster, you are probably starting to see how things really are.
The insurance company wants to send someone to my house to write me a check and settle my case. Should I accept the money?
Unfortunately, many insurance companies send people directly to your home with a checkbook in hand within days or hours of your accident. People are most vulnerable when they are first injured. Even people who are badly injured often expect to heal quickly and need money immediately. If the insurance company didn’t think you had a potential claim for serious money, then it wouldn’t have bothered to track you down in person and offer you money. If people settle a claim before they talk to an attorney (and sometimes even a doctor), they may give up all their rights to be fairly compensated for their loss.
It costs nothing to call us before you accept any money.
The insurance company wants me to give them a recorded statement. Should I do that?
Not without your attorney present. If the only reason insurance companies took statements was to find out what happened and how you were injured, then they wouldn’t need to record them. They could just ask you those questions.
Insurance companies record statements in case they later want to use your words against you. If the case goes to trial and they have a recorded statement, they will try to misconstrue your words against you.
If we need to file a lawsuit, the attorney that the insurance company hires for the defendant will have an opportunity to take a recorded statement (called a deposition), but it will adhere to certain court-ordered ground rules and your attorney will be there.
What is my case worth?
Every case depends on a number of factors, and it is impossible to give a short answer. It is an inexact and uncomfortable science converting someone’s injuries, harm, and loss into dollars. How permanent and disabling your injuries are, how much medical care you needed, your lost earnings, what the defendant did to cause your injuries, and in what court you would file your case are all important considerations in valuing a case.
What is Tort Reform?
Tort Reform is a generic term for political platform that new laws are necessary to create a justice system that is fair to insurance companies and businesses. This is based on the false assumption that jury verdicts have risen in recent years.
Generally, advocates of tort reform have some of the following goals:
- To make it more difficult for an injured person to file a lawsuit
- To make it more difficult for juries to determine whether a defendant needlessly endangered the public
- To limit the amount of money injured people receive in a lawsuit
- Advocates generally don’t spend a lot of time talking about the safeguards that the court system already has in place.
First, the courts are already equipped with rules to ensure that there are good grounds for every lawsuit filed. Moreover, if a lawsuit is filed without any basis, the judge can sanction the party who filed it and order the payment of the other party’s attorney fees and costs.
Second, judges may award punitive damages in very rare circumstances, and do so in order to create a steep enough punishment to deter businesses from unnecessarily endangering the public. As we all know, businesses often sell needlessly dangerous products because it is less profitable to be safe. Lawsuits keep that kind of dangerous behavior in check by enforcing the true cost of engaging in dangerous business practices. Capping verdicts artificially limits costs, making it less expensive to put people in danger. Moreover, capping verdicts has no effect on low-value cases, but prevent compensation to the most injured victims.
Finally, we have a constitutional right to a jury trial in civil lawsuits under the Seventh Amendment of the US Constitution. The founders of the country have recognized this as an essential function of the courts.
What happens in a lawsuit?
The following is a general look at the life of common injury:
- Defendant causes Plaintiff’s Injury
- All cases start with some type of injury caused by somebody else. Most cases involve physical injury to a person’s body or damage to a person’s property, often from a car accident, a dangerous property, a dangerous product, etc.
- Plaintiff Tries in Vain to Work with Defendant’s Insurance Company
- Once someone has been injured, he or she generally is contacted by the insurance company of the person who caused the injury. The claims adjuster for the insurance company usually conducts some form of investigation to determine how much is at stake. They will want to take a recorded statement from the injured person and possibly from witnesses.
- The insurance company is in the business of settling cases for less than they should. It doesn’t want to pay you fairly. Every dollar the insurance company doesn’t pay someone who has been injured is a dollar more for them.
- Once people realize that the insurer won’t pay what is fair, they usually hire an attorney.
Injured Person Hires an Attorney
When we begin representing someone, we meet with you and carefully investigate every important detail of your case. We also gather the documents we need to win the case – medical records, bills, police reports, photos, etc. We may also speak with witnesses or any authorities involved.
In every case we make a good faith attempt to resolve the case without having to file a lawsuit. If we determine that we are unable to reach a fair resolution, then we move ahead with the lawsuit.
Starting a lawsuit: Serving the Summons and Complaint
To formally start a lawsuit, we must draft up a legal document that explains in detail what the defendants did wrong and what injuries they caused. We then must file that document with court and formally notify the defendant of the lawsuit. Once the lawsuit is started, the insurance company generally hires an attorney to represent the defendant.
Discovery is the term that lawyers use to describe a months-long process of exchanging records, pictures, and other information with the other parties. This takes place in almost every case.
Each party can require the others to answer written questions (called interrogatories), provide documents, and submit to a formal interview by the other side’s attorney (called a deposition). Parties often take depositions of witnesses and experts, too.
In many cases, an injured person is required to meet with a doctor that the insurance company hires. Those doctors usually charge thousands of dollars for each person they see. The insurance companies use the opinions of those doctors to argue that the defendant didn’t injure the plaintiff or that the plaintiff isn’t as injured as the person’s doctors or surgeons think.
A few weeks or months before trial, judges usually require the parties to sit down with a neutral mediator in an attempt to settle. Mediation usually starts in the morning and may last all day.
At any time during the course of a lawsuit, a party can ask the judge to rule on any number of issues. The topics of such motions range from what information a party has to disclose to the others, whether a certain expert witness will be allowed to testify, whether there is enough evidence against a defendant to prevent the judge from dismissing the case, and whether there is actually a dispute as that a defendant is responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries.
If the case does not settle before trial and is not decided by a pretrial motion, then the parties will have a trial. Depending on the number of witnesses and the complexity of the case, trials last somewhere between one day and many months. Most trials last less than a week.
While parties sometimes agree to try the case in front of a judge without a jury, most cases involve juries.
First, a jury is selected. This process is called voir dire. During voir dire, the attorneys for each party ask the potential jurors questions about their ability to serve on a jury. Jurors must be able to remain fair, listen carefully, and follow the judge’s instructions.
Once a jury is selected, each party gives an opening statement to the jury. This is an opportunity to tell the jury about the case and about what witnesses and evidence will be presented.
The plaintiff’s attorney then calls witnesses and offers any other evidence. The defendant/insurance company’s attorney has a chance to cross-examine each witness.
After the plaintiff’s attorney is done calling witnesses, the defendant/insurance company attorney can call additional witnesses, whom the plaintiff’s attorney can cross-examine.
Once both parties are done calling witnesses, then they make closing arguments to the jury.
The jury then meets alone to decide the verdict. To do this, the jury answers a series of written questions that the judge asks. Sometimes the jury is not told exactly how much of a verdict actually goes to the plaintiff. In Maine, for example, if a jury finds that a defendant is 75 percent responsible for $100,000 of damages, then the plaintiff can only recover $75,000 (75 percent of the $100,000).
In the event that either party believes that the judge violated Maine law when deciding any part of the case, then that party has the right to appeal the decision. In Maine, the Law Court hears all appeals from jury trials.