Steven A. Bagen | August 31, 2022 | Car Accidents
Motor vehicle accidents happen countless times a day in every city and state in America. They can occur in a variety of ways for a variety of reasons. For example, some crashes are simple, leaving little to no injuries or property damage in their wake.
In contrast, others are catastrophic, life-changing, and even fatal. No matter what type of car accident you were involved in, you should seek the advice of a knowledgeable car accident lawyer as soon as possible. You deserve compensation for your injuries, and they can pursue it on your behalf.
Side Impact Accidents
Side-impact accidents, also known as T-bones or broadside collisions, occur when the front of one vehicle crashes into the side of another. Side-impact crashes are incredibly dangerous for those riding on the side of the vehicle that gets struck. A vehicle’s side has less mass to absorb the impact force than its front and back.
Side impact accidents are responsible for 25 percent of all motor vehicle deaths yearly. They commonly happen at intersections, where drivers ignore stop signs and blow right through red lights. A driver who is distracted, intoxicated, or driving recklessly is at risk of causing a side-impact collision. Even at low speeds, they can cause severe injuries.
Sideswipe accidents happen when two vehicles are moving parallel to one another, and one strikes the side of the other. These are frequently the result of drivers who don’t turn their heads to look in their blind spots before merging or switching lanes. Driver speeding, inattention, recklessness, distraction, and impairment can also cause these types of accidents.
While they might sound minor, sideswipe accidents are concerning as the initial impact can cause one or both cars to lose control and veer off the road or into other traffic lanes. When this happens, they may hit other vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians, or objects on the side of the road.
Injuries from sideswipe crashes are sometimes severe, especially when there is a secondary impact, such as hitting another vehicle or stationary object after the initial collision.
Common sideswipe crash injuries include:
- Soft tissue injuries
- Broken bones
- Internal organ damage
- Spinal cord injuries (SCI)
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
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Single-vehicle accidents are more common than most people realize. They usually result from a motorist hitting something in their travel path, such as dropped cargo, an animal, or debris in the road from another vehicle, such as a truck tire tread. Single-vehicle crashes frequently occur when a hazard makes a vehicle veer off the roadway, causing it to hit a light pole, guard rail, or another obstacle. The car may sometimes roll over or down into a ditch. Despite only involving a single vehicle, severe injuries can arise if the vehicle strikes a big or weighty object and when the car rolls over.
Frequent causes of single-vehicle accidents include drivers using alcohol or drugs, driving while drowsy, speeding, poor weather or road conditions, and animals on the road. Some single-vehicle accidents happen due to another party’s negligence, such as a poorly designed road, an improperly set up work zone, or reckless driving.
Rear-end collisions often happen when drivers fail to pay attention to the road or follow the vehicle in front of them too closely. Failing to keep enough space from the vehicle in front doesn’t give the rear driver enough time or distance to slow down and stop to prevent an accident if traffic ahead comes to a sudden stop.
Common contributors to rear-end collisions include:
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Drunk Driving
The driver of the rear vehicle typically causes the crash by driving too close to the front vehicle, but they aren’t always to blame. The forward driver can be at fault if they stopped suddenly in an active traffic lane for some reason or put their vehicle in reverse. Injuries in rear-end collisions can be anywhere from minor to catastrophic. Even when the accident occurs at low speeds, victims can suffer severe injuries such as fractures, neck injuries such as whiplash or worse, and damage to the spinal cord.
Rear-End Accidents Without Vehicle Damage
There may be no apparent or minor damage to your car if someone rear-ends you in slow-moving traffic or a parking lot. However, it’s still crucial to call local law enforcement officers to report every motor vehicle accident.
In busy jurisdictions, they probably won’t be dispatched for a rush-hour fender-bender, but creating a record of the call can help prove the accident occurred. Collect as much evidence as possible for low or no-damage rear-end accidents, even if you don’t think you will decide to file a claim. It’s better to have the information later and not need it than to determine that you need it and don’t have it.
Rear-end injuries caused by relatively low-impact collisions can be surprisingly significant. Still, symptoms might take a couple of days to develop. You must seek prompt medical attention if you were the driver or passenger in a rear-ended car.
You should also check your vehicle for damages. Simply looking at your bumper may appear as if your vehicle is unscathed. However, the rear-end impact might bend your car’s frame or throw it out of alignment.
Unfortunately, insurance adjusters nearly always fight injury claims arising from no damage or low-impact rear-end accidents. Having an experienced car accident attorney help you seek fair compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering can significantly improve your financial recovery.
Head-on collisions can happen anywhere, from rural two-lane country roads to busy multi-lane interstate highways. They are among the most dangerous kinds of accidents but less common than other types of crashes. With both vehicles moving toward each other, it magnifies the impact force, causing worse injuries and property damage. These collisions account for 11 percent of all fatal crashes but are responsible for 57 percent of all traffic deaths.
Sadly, many crashes result from negligent motorists who veer into oncoming traffic. Head-on crashes cause severe or even catastrophic injuries and often death. Reckless driving, speeding, drug or alcohol intoxication, drowsiness, and distraction can all lead to a head-on collision. Sometimes something as simple as being confused by construction zones or highway on and off ramps can lead to a head-on collision.
Traffic accidents typically only involve two cars, but injuries are also common in multi-car pileups with three or more vehicles. Multi-vehicle accidents can garner huge insurance payouts to compensate for severe injuries and fatalities.
Multiple victims may need to file claims with personal and commercial insurance companies. However, there’s only so much money to go around between all of the victims, which can be problematic. To get the compensation you deserve, you’ll want to have a qualified car accident attorney representing your claim.
If a motorist hits another vehicle, a pedestrian, or private property and leaves without identifying themselves or helping injured parties, it’s a hit-and-run accident. Hit-and-run incidents have increased for the past 15 years to over 737,000 annually, resulting in almost 400,000 injuries and 2,000 fatalities annually. Bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities have increased dramatically.
The sad nature of a hit-and-run crash is that the police fail to locate the fleeing motorists. Immediately after the accident, they run and hide and you might never identify them. Most of the time, the driver runs so quickly that the injured victim doesn’t get a good look at them or their vehicle before it’s gone. Without any identifying information for law enforcement to go on, the driver will likely get away.
If you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident, write down or type out everything you can recall about the vehicle and person who hit you as soon as possible. If you’re too shaky to write, dictate all the details, no matter how scattered into your cell phone. Be sure to include everything you can remember.
Law enforcement can use every piece of information, no matter how small or meaningless it might seem, to find the at-fault driver. If you had passengers in your car, they should do the same. It’s possible they saw or remembered details that you don’t. Document the direction the vehicle was going before hitting you, if it had just turned, and which way it headed right after the accident.
When possible, information about the vehicle should include:
- License plate state, logo, or vanity tag
- License plate number even if it’s just a few digits
- Vehicle types, such as sedan, SUV, van, pickup
- 4-door or 2-door
- Color, make, model, and estimated year
- Missing parts, cracks, dents, broken lights
- A cracked or broken windshield
- Paint markings, decals, bumper stickers
- Trailer hitches, luggage, or bike racks
- Colored or missing hubcaps
- Any noises, such as squealing brakes or belts or loud mufflers
With the license plate number, your attorney can help you find the owner through your state’s department of motor vehicles. Even if the owner isn’t the driver who hit you, you might still make an injury claim on the vehicle owner’s insurance.
Why Do Some Motorists Leave the Scene of an Accident?
Motorists leave the crash scene because they don’t want to get caught for one reason or another. Unfortunately, they are people who put their selfish interests above the interests of others. These drivers come from a cross-section of society. They can be students, doctors, soccer moms, lawyers, clerks, bankers, criminals, and others.
Their specific reasons for leaving the scene vary, but the most frequent ones include:
- Driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol
- Lack of mandatory insurance
- The driver already has too many traffic tickets and wants to avoid another
- The car is borrowed or stolen
- They have a suspended driver’s license or no license
- They have outstanding arrest warrants for their arrest
- They are in the country illegally
- They have drugs or stolen property
- The driver was using a company car and wanted to avoid their employer finding out about the accident
- They were street racing
Parking Lot Accidents
Thankfully, the vast majority of car accidents aren’t fatal. However, over 50,000 accidents happen in parking lots yearly, causing more than 500 deaths and 60,000 injuries. A minor fender-bender resulting from a driver backing out of a parking space might not seem like a big deal. If you or they are in a hurry, you may want to shake hands with the other driver, perhaps apologize, then go your separate ways.
However, what happens if you receive a lawsuit summons from the other driver a month or so later? What you do at the accident scene can help protect you from false injury claims and protect your right to fair compensation from the other driver’s insurer if you later find out you have injuries.
Did Motor Vehicle Accident Injure You?
Suppose you or someone you love recently suffered injuries in a motor vehicle accident. In that case, one of the most crucial steps you can take is to hire an experienced car accident attorney. An attorney can investigate your accident to determine how it happened and who caused it.
At the end of the day, the type of accident doesn’t matter as much as the injuries you sustained and who must pay for them. The accident type can help investigators nail down the cause of the crash and liability, which helps your claim.
Your attorney can determine all liable parties and hold them accountable, seeking compensation for your damages. Contact a car accident attorney today if a car crash injured you.