Securing full compensation for car accident victims in Maine, New Hampshire, and beyond
On the morning of April 10, 2013, a teacher from York County, Maine, was driving to school with her two children. It was a commute she had made safely hundreds of times.
But on this day, a teenager was driving carelessly in the opposite direction. For reasons that are still unclear, he drifted across the centerline and crashed head-on into the teacher’s car. The teacher was killed and her children were seriously injured.
Sadly, car accidents like this happen far too often. They devastate families and leave entire communities searching for answers on how to avoid the next tragedy.
The trial lawyers at Berman & Simmons help car accident victims and families that have lost loved ones because of another driver’s negligence. We understand the physical, emotional, and financial challenges you face. Our mission is to help you recover, and to make sure you receive full compensation for your injuries and loss.
With more cars, trucks, and SUVs on the road, drivers are vulnerable
According to the Maine Transportation Safety Coalition, 63,836 vehicle occupants (drivers and passengers) were involved in traffic crashes between 2011 and 2015, with one personal injury crash occurring every 56 minutes. In 2016, 160 people were killed in traffic crashes. In New Hampshire, 114 traffic fatalities were reported in 2015.
What causes car accidents? Speeding, drunk driving, texting while driving, band failure to pay attention top the list. Common types of car crashes include:
In crashes involving more than one vehicle, people in cars are far more likely to be hurt than those in bigger, heavier vehicles such as trucks and SUVs.
Let us help you win! Call (207) 784-3576 for a free consultation. You pay nothing unless we win by settlement or jury verdict.
Common serious car accident injuries and wrongful death
Death caused by car accidents
Drivers who cause someone’s death in a car accident can be held responsible in our civil justice system in a wrongful death lawsuit.
The number of people killed in motor vehicle crashes has fallen since 1975, when the federal government began keeping records. But with more than 30,000 deaths annually, crashes remain among the leading causes of death, and the U.S. lags behind most other industrialized nations when it comes to motor vehicle fatality rates.
- Drunk or impaired driving contributes to approximately one-third of all fatal accidents.
- Speeding or driving too fast for conditions contributes to approximately one-third of all fatal accidents.
- Nearly half of all traffic fatalities occur on roadways with a speed limit of 55 mph or higher.
Wrongful Death Information/Resources
Spinal cord injuries caused by car accidents
The violent forces of a car accident can cause a wide range of injuries to the spine and spinal cord, from the neck all the way to the nerve roots in the lumbosacral region of the lower back, including herniated discs, vertebral fractures, and paralysis. Traffic accidents are the cause of about 40 percent of all spinal injuries in the U.S., according to the Mayo Clinic.
Damage to the spinal cord can result in permanent loss of strength, sensation and other body functions below the site of the injury. Your ability to control your limbs after spinal cord injury depends on the seriousness and location of the injury to your spinal cord.
Spinal cord injuries Information/Resources
Paralysis caused by auto accidents
Paralysis, the inability to move or feel sensation in one or more parts of the body, is one of the more catastrophic and life-altering injuries someone in a serious car accident can suffer. These injuries are caused by trauma to the spinal cord, interrupting the normal pathways between the brain and other areas of the body. The four main types of paralysis are:
- Monoplegia - affects one arm or leg.
- Hemiplegia - affects one arm and one leg.
- Paraplegia - affects both legs.
- Quadriplegia, or tetraplegia - affects both arms and both legs.
Amputation caused by car accidents
There are more than 2 million people in the U.S. living with limb loss, and each day about 500 (SDS questioned this stat) more people lose a limb, according to the non-profit Amputee Coalition. About half of those amputations are caused by trauma, including car accidents.
“Traumatic amputation,” or the loss of a limb or digit, caused by a car accident can result in a lifelong disability for survivors. According to Amputee Coalition, the long term care costs for amputation can range from $500,000 to more than $1 million. Money is needed for medical treatment and rehabilitation, prosthetics, a variety of therapies, and many other needs.
Bone fractures caused by auto accidents
Bone fractures are common injuries suffered in car accidents. Many fractures can lead to several medical complications, long term pain and disability.
Common fractures from car accidents are in the bones of the leg (femur, patella, tibia, fibula), feet and ankles, arms (humerus, radius, ulna), pelvis, ribs, collarbone, skull, and face and jaw.
The neck and back are also susceptible to fractures in a car accident, including compression fractures and fractured vertebra A stress fracture can cause a vertebra to move out of place, causing a condition called spondylolisthesis.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) caused by auto accidents
Traumatic brain injury, also known as TBI, is caused by an external force such as a violent blow to the head. These injuries can have a major impact on brain function, memory, and personality. In a recent study, motor vehicle crashes were the third overall leading cause of TBI-related visits to emergency departments, hospitalizations, and deaths.
Any time the head suffers a violent force or movement, the “floating brain” is susceptible to injury from impact with the skull, and from the movement itself. The brain may also rotate, creating friction that can damage nerve cells called axons. Depending on the forces involved, the impact on brain functioning can range from minor to debilitating. Even a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), or concussion, can result in debilitating and long-lasting effects.
Traumatic Brain Injury Information/ Resources
A law firm that actually listens to you
Berman & Simmons is widely recognized as the best personal injury lawyers in Maine and among the best in the U.S., having won many of the largest jury verdicts and settlements ever obtained for injured people in Maine.
Our trial lawyers have won thousands of claims on behalf of those injured in a car accident, and each year we build on that successful track record.
Our attorneys and staff members will take the time to listen to you, work to understand your concerns, and come up with solutions that can make your life better, including obtaining payment for or deferral of your debts until your case is resolved. We help you recover and make sure you receive full compensation for your injuries and loss.
Important car accident cases
Car accident resources
Car accident tips and tools: what to do after a car accident
Taking some basic steps after a car accident can make the difference between a legal claim that fails and one that provides fair compensation for you and your family. Here are some suggestions for first steps.
- First, be sure all parties involved are safe and out of danger. Then move your car if it is causing a hazard; otherwise leave it where it is and turn on hazard lights.
- Call 911 to immediately report the accident to police, even if you think the damage is minor. Stay close to your vehicle until police arrive.
- Remain calm and polite, but do not apologize or admit fault.
- Gather pertinent information from other driver and any witnesses.
- Photograph vehicle damage and any visible injuries. Write down your recollections about the event.
- Get the name and badge number of all responding officers, and ask for police report.
- Seek immediate medical attention for your injuries, even if you think they are minor.
- Contact an experienced personal injury trial lawyer who specializes in car accident cases and one who is prepared to win either by settlement or, if necessary, court judgment.
- Report the accident to your insurer. Do not give a signed or recorded statement to your insurer before talking with your lawyer.
- Do not discuss the accident with any representative of the other driver’s insurance company before talking with your lawyer.
What compensation am I entitled to as a car accident victim?
Under Maine law, victims of vehicle accidents have the right to recover financial damages for various categories of injuries and loss, including:
- Pain, suffering, and emotional distress, past and future
- Interference with your enjoyment of life
- Medical expenses, past and future
- Time lost from work
- Loss of future earnings
- Damage or total loss of your vehicle
Let us help you win. Call (207) 784-3576 for a free consultation. You pay nothing unless we win by settlement or jury verdict.
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Vehicle Accidents in Maine
Firefighter describes scene of multi-vehicle accident on Interstate 95
Attorney Jim O’Connell explains how his team’s work against an insurance company resulted in a large award for a woman who badly injured her back.