Civil Litigation

Maine Civil Litigation Attorneys

The Law Office of Richard S. Berne is uniquely qualified to effectively represent plaintiffs in civil litigation in State and Federal Courts in Maine, Massachusetts, and New York.

We seek to resolve cases without prosecution whenever possible, and we have the skills and experience required to determine the most effective strategies for your case. Whether your case is settled through negotiation or litigation, we’ll explain all the risks and benefits of each option so that you can make an informed decision.

We are equipped to handle a wide variety of cases, including personal injury, medical malpractice, and legal malpractice.

Personal Injury

At the Law Office of Richard S. Berne, we are experienced in all areas of personal injury. We also partner with the attorneys of Terry Garmey & Associates on certain personal injury and malpractice cases to ensure you get the dedicated and knowledgeable representation you deserve.

When you put your trust in the Law Office of Richard S. Berne, you can rest assured that we’ll represent your best interest to the fullest extent of the law. We have the resources and experience to maximize your claim, which means we’ll work hard to get you the most for your personal injury, even if that means taking your case all the way to trial. Our goal is to help you get a fair resolution to your claim, so you can get back to your life as quickly as possible. Personal injury cases can include:

  • Automobile accidents
  • Dog attacks/bites
  • Product liability cases
  • Hazardous conditions that result in fall-related injuries
  • Other personal injury cases

Personal Injury Laws in Maine

Personal injury laws vary by state and can have a significant impact on your case. Whether you’re looking to file a lawsuit in civil court or hoping to seek a quick insurance settlement, there are a few key factors you need to consider when it comes to Maine’s laws regarding personal injury cases.

  • Statute of Limitations – In Maine, there is a statute of limitations that puts a limit on the amount of time you have to file a personal injury lawsuit against another party.
  • Maine Uses Comparative Fault Rules – If you’re injured and it is determined that you are partially responsible for causing your own injuries, Maine’s comparative fault rule may be used to resolve your case.
  • Auto Insurance Laws – For insurance purposes, Maine is an “at-fault” state, which means as a driver, you have the power to choose whether to file an insurance claim or to go to court to prove fault.
  • Dog Bite/Attack Cases – In Maine, a strict statute entitled Me. Rev. Stat. Ann., tit. 7, § 3961, means that a dog owner is strictly liable for any injuries caused by their dog regardless of the animal’s past behavior.
  • Maine Personal Injury Damage Caps – In Maine, there is a damage cap of $500,000 on non-economic damages in wrongful death cases. However, this cap does not apply to other types of injury cases, and it does not affect economic damages like lost wages and medical bills.

Medical Malpractice

In Maine, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice is relatively short, which is why it’s important to consult with a lawyer who specializes in these lawsuits as quickly as possible after the malpractice occurred.

Although bad medical results occur every day, many of these results could have been avoided with proper care. Proving medical negligence is a difficult thing to do, but with the Law Office of Richard S. Berne on your side, you have a better chance of getting the results you deserve in a timely manner.

Medical malpractice lawsuits often include:

  • Doctor and hospital errors
  • Emergency room neglect and errors
  • Anesthesia malpractice
  • Dental malpractice
  • Birth injuries
  • Defective drugs
  • Delivery mishaps
  • Misdiagnosis of life-threatening and terminal disease
  • Operating room negligence
  • Negligent sterilization procedures
  • Psychiatric malpractice
  • Surgical errors
  • Recalled or defective prosthesis
  • Gynecologic surgery errors
  • Negligent administration of drugs
  • Wrong diagnosis or misdiagnosis

Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice in Maine

In Maine, medical malpractice statutes of limitations are complex and often require the expertise of an experienced lawyer to sort out. Here are some examples of the specific statutes of limitations that can impact your medical malpractice claim.

Standard Time Limit

Victims of medical malpractice in Maine typically have three years from the time the malpractice occurred to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. After the three-year deadline has passed, your right to sue for medical malpractice may be lost. However, there are three exceptions to these limitations, which are:

  • The Discovery Rule – An exception to the standard statute of limitations, the discovery rule applies when you could not have reasonably known that you had a medical malpractice case. In Maine, this rule only applies to cases wherein the malpractice claim is due to a foreign object being left inside the body. In these cases, you have three years from the date you first learned of the foreign object to file your case.
  • Minors – Children under the age of eighteen are not held to the three-year rule, but rather have a total of six years from the date of the alleged malpractice or by the age of 21, whichever occurs first. One exception to this is when a foreign object is left in the body. In that case, the minor has six years from the date the object was discovered to file their lawsuit, or by the age of 21, whichever occurs first.
  • Other Statute of Limitations Exceptions – In Maine, there are other exceptions to the standard statute of limitations that may include situations wherein the defendant concealed the malpractice or left the state after committing the malpractice. An experienced attorney can further explain any other exceptions that may apply in your particular medical malpractice case.

Legal Malpractice

When an attorney handles a case inappropriately due to negligence or with intent to harm, and as a result, they cause damages to a client, this is considered legal malpractice. At the Law Office of Richard S. Berne, we don’t want you to suffer in silence if you think you’re a victim of legal malpractice. We want to help you get the justice you deserve by helping you prove:

  • Your attorney-client relationship with the lawyer in question
  • Negligence on the part of the attorney
  • Ways in which the attorney caused harm to you
  • Any financial losses you suffered

Don’t Wait to File Your Civil Litigation Claim in Portland, Maine

In Maine, the time limits placed on civil litigation claims are much stricter than most other states, which is why it’s crucial to file your lawsuit as quickly as possible after you’ve been wronged no matter the specific situation. At the Law Office of Richard S. Berne, we know all the important rules and regulations when it comes to when, where, and how to file your civil litigation lawsuit. We also know the unique complexities of each type of case and can help you make informed decisions throughout the process.

As a fierce advocate for preserving your rights and helping you get the justice you deserve, Richard S. Berne will fight for you every step of the way. Don’t take the risk of running out of time to file your civil litigation claim in Portland, Maine. Contact us for your free initial consultation today.