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Car Accident Injuries

Have you suffered serious injuries from a car accident in Maine? Call the law offices of Hardy, Wolf & Downing today. Conveniently located in Portland & Lewiston, Maine, we offer free consultations to accident victims from all over the state. Talk to our compassionate Maine personal injury attorneys to review the details of your case and advise you as to the best legal options for you and your family.

When you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a car accident, your life can take a devastating turn in just a few traumatic moments. From here on out you may find yourself overburdened with medical bills, missed work, and frustrating battles with insurance company representatives. In times like these, you need a trustworthy car accident lawyer to represent your interests and secure the compensation you need to get your life back on track. Hardy, Wolf & Downing have been doing just that for our clients in Portland, Lewiston and southern region of Maine for over 35 years.

Our team of medical and insurance experts can navigate the often complex, overwhelming legal system, always upholding your best interests throughout the process. Since 1976 when we first opened our doors, our personal injury attorneys have developed a reputation for successfully fighting on behalf of injured Mainers. Our track record boasts personal injury settlements of over $100 million on our clients’ behalf.

Car accidents in Maine

Car accidents are an all-too-common phenomenon in the United States. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 2.36 million people were hurt in motor vehicle accidents in 2012. About 421,000 people were injured due to distracted driving alone, representing a 9 percent increase from 2011. The NHTSA reported more than 33,500 fatal car accident injuries in 2012. By those stats, you can expect to be in a car accident at least once or twice in the course of an average span of life.

In the state of Maine, where Hardy, Wolf & Downing is working to hold negligent drivers accountable and secure generous compensation for victims of traffic accidents, NHTSA reports a steady rise in traffic fatalities in recent years (from 2008 to 2012).

Moose collisions and other animal-vehicle collisions are relatively unique to our state: between 2011 and 2013, more than 550 moose-car collisions occur each year, some resulting in death.

Types of car accident injuries

Injuries sustained in a car accident run the gamut from mild to serious to fatal.

Injuries sustained in a car accident may include:

  • Whiplash injuries
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Crushed larynx or trachea
  • Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Back injuries
  • Herniated or ruptured discs
  • Chest injuries (broken ribs; rupture of the diaphragm)
  • Damage to internal organs of the abdomen
  • Leg, knee, or foot injuries
  • Burns
  • Lacerations
  • Psychological trauma

Whiplash in car accidents—symptoms and treatments

Whiplash is one of the most common motor vehicle accident injuries. The Mayo Clinic describes whiplash as “a neck injury that can occur during rear-end automobile collisions, when your head suddenly moves backward and then forward — similar to the motion of someone cracking a whip. These extreme motions push your neck muscles and ligaments beyond their normal range of motion.”

Most symptoms of whiplash develop within 24 hours of an accident and can include any or all of the following:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Headaches, most commonly at the base of the skull
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Fatigue

Some whiplash victims also experience:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory problems
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Irritability

Women are more likely to experience whiplash than men, because their neck muscles tend to be weaker. A doctor can provide you with pain management, and in some cases regular physical therapy may be required.

Traumatic brain injury in car accidents—symptoms and treatment

Traumatic brain injury (TBI), caused by a bad bump, jolt or penetration to the head, is a serious public health problem in the United States, one also frequently occurring in serious car accidents. In 2010, 2.5 million TBIs occurred either as an isolated injury or along with other injuries.

The severity of a TBI may range from “mild,” i.e., a brief change in mental status or consciousness to “severe,” i.e., an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia after the injury.

The following symptoms may signal you are suffering from TBI and should see a doctor immediately:

  • Unconsciousness
  • Inability to remember the cause of the injury or events that occurred immediately before or up to 24 hours after
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Difficulty remembering new information
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Blurry vision
  • Nausea and vomiting

Other car accident injuries—spinal cord and back, burns and lacerations

Like other car accident injuries, spinal cord and back injuries, burns and lacerations can in some tragic cases be fatal. These, too, are common occurrences in serious car accidents and deserve immediate treatment from a doctor as well as documentation of injury for the purposes of pursuing compensation.

Determining liability in car accidents

Your or another’s liability in a car accident can depend on a number of factors, such as the date and time of the accident, weather and road conditions, and witness testimonies. When witnesses are not available, it can be your word against the word of the other driver(s) involved. That is why your documentation in the form of pictures taken by a cell phone in the immediate aftermath of the incident is critical. You will also benefit from a police report.

In some cases when there is clear-cut evidence and no liability on your part, the insurer for the other driver(s) may still insist you are partially to blame for the accident, with the result that you retrieve less compensation for your injuries. The car accident lawyers at Hardy, Wolf & Downing can help you avoid these legal loopholes.

Winning your personal injury claim in Maine

Maine operates under a “fault” rule by which a driver who causes a car accident can be legally held at fault, and in turn, may be held responsible for resulting financial damages.

This means that an injured driver seeking compensation can do so by:

  • Filing a claim under his or her own car insurance policy
  • Filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver
  • Pursuing a claim directly with the other driver’s car insurance company (through a third-party car insurance claim)

The lawyers at Hardy, Wolf & Downing can help you determine your best course of action for securing compensation for car accident injuries. Call us today at 1-800-INJURED for a no-charge, no-obligation consultation about your case.

  1. The Mayo Clinic, “Whiplash,” http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/whiplash/basics/definition/con-20033090
  2. CDC, “Traumatic Brain Injury,” http://www.cdc.gov/TraumaticBrainInjury/
  3. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, State Traffic Safety Information For Year 2012, http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/departments/nrd-30/ncsa/STSI/USA%20WEB%20REPORT.HTM
  4. The Portland Press Herald, “Plan hopes to curb Maine moose collisions,” http://www.pressherald.com/2013/06/15/new-lights-could-curb-moose-hits_2013-06-15/