We believe that car accident victims should have access to as much information as possible after a collision. We know you have a lot of questions about what happens next and to get you familiar and comfortable with the process, we published a FREE ebook. Click here to download The Maine Car Accident Book.
- What to do after a car accident
- The consequences of car accidents
- Car accident statistics in Maine
- Common causes of car accidents
- When to consider hiring a car accident attorney
What To Do After a Car Accident
Understandably, accident scenes are often chaotic. However, specific things to try to do after an accident include:
- Remain on the scene unless you are transported to the hospital (St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center; Central Maine Medical Center; Mercy Hospital in Portland, Maine; Miles Memorial Hospital in Damariscotta; Redington – Fairview General Hospital in Skowhegan, Maine; Inland Hospital in Waterville Maine).
- Ensure that everyone in the accident is accounted for, including their degree of injury
- Immediately contact law enforcement officials
- Exchange names, addresses and insurance information with everyone involved
- Take notes and photographs whenever possible – this can be helpful as it is difficult to recall details about the accident circumstances later, especially if you are injured. Ask a friend to take pictures.
- If there are witnesses to the accident, speak to them and get their contact information and put it in a place you can find it later.
- Read our Car Accident Resources Guide for additional tips and information
The Consequences of Car Accidents
Even a minor accident can have serious consequences. The injuries that car accident victims suffer may include:
- Bone fractures and breaks
- Head and facial injuries and cuts
- Injuries to the spinal cord that could result in paralysis
- Traumatic brain injuries including concussions
- Internal injuries including organ damage and internal bleeding
- Financial losses, depending on the level of car insurance
See our interactive map showing the most dangerous intersections in 2015 in Lewiston, Maine.
Car Accident Statistics
According to the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety, 164 residents lost their lives and an additional 981 suffered serious injuries in car accidents during 2012.
Car accidents are the leading cause of accidental injury and death in the United States. Not surprisingly, injuries from car accidents represent the most common personal injury claims filed in court. Over the years, Fales & Fales (Maine Personal Injury Law Firm) has handled many thousands of car accident personal injury claims. We represent families who have lost loved ones in accidents all over Maine. We sue drunk drivers. The Lewiston personal injury attorneys file claims against dangerous commercial truck drivers.
What Are Common Causes of Car Accidents?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention some of the most common causes of auto accidents include distracted driving and impaired driving. By the CDC’s estimates, more than 3,200 people lost their lives in distracted driving incidents during 2012 and an additional 30 people die every day as a result of a collision involving alcohol. In Maine alone, 45 people lost their lives that year due to alcohol related crashes.
Common Car Accident Claims
If you have been injured in a car accident, it is important to hire a law firm to conduct a thorough investigation. Even if you are not sure exactly what happened, you may still be entitled to financial compensation. The following are all common examples of facts your lawyer may be able to uncover in order to establish a claim for damages.
The Other Driver was Distracted
Distracted drivers kill thousands of people and injure hundreds of thousands more every year. While teenage drivers are the primary culprits, drivers of all ages are prone to allowing distractions to take their eyes and minds off of the road. In busy traffic and at highway speeds, it only takes a momentary lapse in concentration to cause a serious or fatal accident. Some of the most common driving distractions that lead to accidents include:
- Texting, emailing and using social media
- Talking on the phone
- Eating and drinking
- Interacting with passengers
- Setting GPS directions and adjusting the stereo
The Other Driver was Drunk
Drunk drivers are responsible for roughly 30 percent of all traffic-related fatalities in Maine. While many drunk driving cases involve drivers who were driving above the legal limit, it is not necessary for a driver to blow above 0.08 in order to be responsible for the car accident results including your injuries, property damage, and other losses.
The Other Driver made a Driving Error
Of course, drivers who are distracted or drunk are not the only ones who cause vehicle collisions. Accidents occur every day as a result of aggressive driving, negligent driving, and other common driver mistakes. You may be entitled to compensation if your car accident involved:
- Merging without signaling
- Sudden braking
- Running a red light or stop sign
- Failure to yield a right of way
- Poor driving under dangerous road or weather conditions
This is just a small sampling of some possible causes. Under Maine law, the general rule is this: If someone else was at fault in causing the accident, you are entitled to just compensation.
The Other Driver’s Employer is Responsible for the Driver’s Actions
If the at-fault driver was on the clock at the time of the accident, his or her employer may be financially responsible for your injuries as well. Maine law recognizes a variety of theories under which an employer can be deemed liable for the negligent acts of its employees.
Truck accidents are some of the most common collisions in which employer claims are involved. However, employers can be held liable in numerous other situations as well. If the other driver was on the road as part of his or her job at the time of the truck accident, their employer is at risk of facing a personal injury claim.
When to Consider a Car Accident Attorney
Victims of an accident where someone else is at fault are entitled to compensation for their personal injuries as well as compensation for the damage to their vehicle. Fault may be easy to establish if an impaired driver causes the collision as a result of that impairment. Other cases may be more challenging to prove. Personal injury attorneys can use various investigation techniques to get appropriate information about the cause of an accident.
Compensation for car accident injuries can include:
- Pain and suffering – When your injuries cause physical pain
- Medical costs – Including costs of rehabilitation, physical therapy and future medical costs for the injuries sustained in an accident.
- Lost wages – Including not only wages that have already been lost due to hospitalization or disability but also future wages you are likely to lose because your earning capacity is diminished.
Additional compensation may be sought in a wrongful death claim in the event that you have lost a loved one.
Car accidents are frightening experiences. When you or a loved one is injured because someone acted negligently by driving while intoxicated or driving while distracted, you have the right to hold the person accountable. Contact the law office of Fales & Fales, P.A. and let us review your case. You can feel comfortable working with us. We do not charge a fee unless we recover compensation for you.
Car accident cases can present complex factual and legal issues. Fales & Fales has the expertise and the ability to investigate and to pursue complex car accident cases. When appropriate, we hire an accident reconstructionist to determine the cause of the accident. We may hire an economist to value the wages and benefits lost as a result of injuries sustained in the accident. In some cases, we will hire doctors and life care planners to access future medical needs and to ascertain the cost of those projected medical services.
Tips for using Facebook after an accident
Although Facebook is a great place to share our experiences, our postings can also be used against us. It is now standard practice for attorneys, insurance companies and opposing parties to check Facebook without the claimant’s knowledge or permission, so be aware of your social media presence.
1. Think about your security settings.
Set your security settings to the highest possible level. Never post anything publicly. Even with your settings as secure as possible, assume that anything you post could potentially become public knowledge. Even if you don’t intend for the information you post to be shown in a courtroom, it could fall into the insurance company’s hands and give them an opportunity to use your own postings to try to undermine the validity of your claim.
2. Don’t friend anyone you don’t know.
One of the tactics the opposing side may use to obtain information from your social media profiles involves connecting with you as a friend in order to see your private posts. Never accept a friend request from anyone unless you are sure of who they are. Even if the person appears to be someone you know, dig a little deeper. If in doubt, leave the friend request idle.
3. Do not discuss any pending legal action.
If you use social media, never post anything about your case. Don’t answer any questions about your case, your injuries or how you have been feeling. Don’t discuss your medical treatment. Don’t discuss your communications with your attorneys, because you might accidentally lose the protection of the attorney-client privilege.
4. Be careful with photos.
What types of photos do people post on Facebook? Photos showing Fun, Family, Friends. Nobody wants to be Debbie Downer on social media. A photo of one fun moment with your family or friends will not show your physical limitations, your pain, your discomfort. Insurance companies and defense attorneys will select your posting of a fun moment to argue that your injuries have not impacted your daily life. Even if you were in pain and felt exhausted after the social event shown in your posted photo, your post does not tell that part of the story. Resist the urge to post photos on social media.
5. Think Before you Post.
When posting status updates on Facebook or other sites, be very aware of what you are saying. People using social media often post status updates that don’t reflect their actual feelings or activities simply to “sound good.” Unfortunately, such updates are nearly impossible to explain away. If you post a status indicating that you participated in a physical activity that isn’t consistent with your injury claim, your case may suffer irreparable harm.
We represent our car accident clients on a contingency fee basis. We generally advance all expenses in pursuing car accident claims and do not expect repayment unless there is a recovery. If we recover nothing, you owe us nothing. Below is a review from one of our previous clients:
Stop shopping around and go with Tony and or Jennifer!
Our questions and concerns were always answered in a very timely manner, no matter if they were small or big. All of the staff were very professional, honest, and efficient and made it that much easier to work with Tony.
If you or a family member has been injured in a car accident, contact us online or call us at (888) 526-9408 (toll free) to set up a FREE consultation to discuss your legal options.