What are the Common Types of Car Accidents?
Cars are powerful machines, so their safe and legal operation is fundamental to reduce the probability that they will be involved in collisions. Even the most expert of drivers can make errors, encounter dangerous conditions or be negatively impacted by the decisions of other drivers on the road. Despite safety mechanisms built into cars and automobiles, the mishandling of a motor vehicle can result in significant injury or death. Accidents are classified by their causes and vary in terms of gravity and impact.
Some of the most common types of car accidents can be categorized into the following classifications:
High Speed Collisions
High speed collisions occur when cars in motion strike or hit another moving vehicle or object on the roadway while travelling at excessive speeds, which is usually acknowledged at any speed over 30 miles per hour.
Head-on collisions are an especially dangerous type of accident that occurs when the front ends of two vehicles collide, usually while moving in opposite directions, often resulting in extreme injury and even death. These types of accidents are common when a vehicle crosses into the lane of oncoming traffic.
Side-impact collisions occur when a car strikes the side of another vehicle on the road. This type of accident is most common in major junctions or intersections where vehicles are making turns in congested areas. One of the main formations of side-impact collisions occur when the front or rear of one vehicle crashes into the side of another, resulting in a perpendicular impact, generally referred to as a “T-bone” or “broadside.”
Rollover is a characteristic of an accident and occurs when a vehicle is turned over onto its side or onto its roof as a result of an impact or collision, often causing fatal or serious injury. Rollover accidents can be caused by forces from external objects, such as elevated surfaces or curves in the road or occur as the result of a dangerous combination of risky steering while operating at a high speed.
Drunk Driving Accidents
Drunk driving accidents occur when a driver operates a motor vehicle in an intoxicated state (and above the legal limit) that results in a serious accident. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs impairs judgement, slows reactions and constitutes a criminal offense and is subject to legal ramifications such as imprisonment, fines and the loss of driving privileges.
Common Reasons for Car Accidents
Driving is a learned skill and requires vigilance to ensure proper execution. Despite years of experience and advanced capabilities, accidents can occur at any time and involve any driver or passenger. While accidents can be the result of direct decision-making by their operator, they can also be caused by the activity of other motorists or conditions present on a roadway. The following list defines some of the most common causes of accidents involving motor vehicles:
As the most common cause for accidents and injuries on the road, speeding is the act of operating and handling a vehicle over the posted legal limit, directly endangering other motorists. Driving at high speeds significantly elevates the probability of an accident due to the increased time needed to brake to bring the vehicle to a complete stop. As speed increases, braking distance increases; the braking distance is the length a vehicle will advance from the time its brakes are fully applied to when it stops. Speeding can put even the most alert of drivers at risk of getting into a bad car accident.
Reckless driving is the risky operation of a motor vehicle, characterized by a blatant disregard of other motorists and traffic or road laws. Often occurring at high speeds and in direct contrast to posted signage on the roadway, reckless driving creates hazardous situations and driving conditions, drastically increasing the probability of being involved in a car accident.
Similar to reckless driving, aggressive driving (also known as “offensive driving”) is making rushed, dangerous decisions when maneuvering a motor vehicle, often as it relates to other cars on the road. Aggressive driving is characterized by deliberate unsafe driving conduct with either ill intent or a general disregard for safety.
- Making quick lane changes or changing lanes without signaling
- Passing other vehicles at excessive speeds
- Making wide turns in front of oncoming traffic
- Running red lights
- Weaving between lanes
- Blocking cars trying to change lanes or pass
When drivers are provoked and become angered by the actions and decisions of other motorists, they can engage in sudden, violent and aggressive behavior known as road rage. This is a common response as a way to retaliate against another vehicle who made a mistake, failed to signal or executed an altogether irritating driving maneuver. Road rage can also come in the form of severe impatience in light of heavily congested traffic, road obstacles or in certain zones where speed is reduced.
Fatigued Driving and Falling Asleep at the Wheel
Drivers who operate a motor vehicle while fatigued or under conditions that cause them to fall asleep while in motion can cause serious danger to other motorists and passengers on the road. Fatigued drivers lose the ability to control their car, which can cause it to veer off the road and collide with other vehicles, objects or even pedestrians. Fatigued driving can occur at any time of the day, but it is especially common at night or on long stretches of highway.
Texting and Using Electronic Devices While Driving
Texting or using mobile phones and other electronic devices in any capacity while operating a motor vehicle are an increasingly common and devastating cause of traffic accidents due to diversions of the driver’s attention and their inability to focus on the road. These types of accidents are caused by the use of a wide variety of devices including music apparatuses and GPS systems, in which the driver becomes distracted by the device and loses control of the car. In the majority of states, the use of such devices, especially texting on mobile phones, are strictly prohibited on public roadways by law and disobedience results in high penalties, such as traffic fines, points added to public driving records, possible jail time and/or insurance premium increases. If a driver causes a fatal accident because they were texting, they are subject to criminal charges as well. Punishment for getting into an accident caused by texting and using electronic devices while driving is determined at the state level and range from a $20 fine for a first offense in Virginia to a $10,000 fine and one year prison sentence for a first offense in Alaska.
If a loved one was killed by a driver who was texting, you should speak to a car accident lawyer who can help you recover the damages your family deserves. Nothing will make up for the loss you have suffered, but the person who is responsible for your loved one’s death should be brought to justice. Contact us by filling out the form below or calling 866-465-1419 to connect with a leading car accident attorney.
Poor Weather Conditions
Weather can often affect and influence driving on motorways.
- Excessive and heavy rain
- Sleet or hail
- High winds
- Extreme heat and cold
These conditions can often result in limited visibility, obstacles or imperfect surfaces on the road or reduced tire traction. They also can minimize the driver’s ability to control the vehicle, which presents a serious danger to other motorists nearby.
Hazardous Road Conditions
In addition to adverse weather conditions, roadways can be affected by construction and normal wear and tear from excessive use. This can result in uneven surfaces, obstacles in the roadway or other dangerous conditions that inhibit safe driving. While local municipalities are usually responsible for marking and providing sufficient warning of dangerous environments on the roadway, there is a high risk that they can still be unmarked. For this reason, drivers should pay close attention to road conditions and try to be aware of upcoming risks when operating a motor vehicle.
Vehicles are complex machines and they can often have mechanical defects—flaws caused by improper assembly or made during repair.
- Brake systems
- Acceleration chambers
- Fuel tanks
- Wheels and tires
These insufficiencies render a vehicle operationally dangerous to both the driver and other motorists alike. While accidents caused by defective vehicles are not explicitly attributed to driver error, malfunctions on the road can cause significant property damage and result in severe injuries.
Common Injuries in Car Accidents
Injuries caused by car accidents vary in type and severity. If you have suffered an injury from a car accident, including the common types of injuries listed below, we can help you get your life back on track. We will connect you with a leading car accident lawyer who will fight to get the compensation you deserve. Contact us at 866-465-1419 or fill out the form below to get started.
- Head Injuries and concussions
- Neck, chest and spinal cord injuries (whiplash, paralysis)
- Excessive loss of blood
- Scrapes and cuts (“road rash”)
- Fractured or broken bones—most commonly ribs, arms and legs
- Injuries resulting in the amputation of limbs
- Crush injuries—punctured lungs and internal bleeding
- Emotional distress or post traumatic stress
What are Damages I Can Get from a Car Accident Injury Lawsuit?
The devastating consequences of a car accident include severe injuries, medical complications, extensive repairs and/or impounding of damaged vehicles. Each of those scenarios result in the same outcome—significant financial obligations, many of which can be overwhelming and burdensome for affected parties. Financial losses can extend beyond immediate damage and injury, like in a case of foregone wages due to the inability to work and when medical expenses from complications arise at a later date. Hiring a car accident lawyer means these factors are more likely to be considered, covered and addressed through legal litigation in car accident injury lawsuits. Damages awarded from these suits can alleviate the financial burdens listed below.
Medical expenses include any costs incurred to patients admitted to hospitals or health facilities as a result of injuries caused by a car accident, including but not limited to:
- Insurance premiums
- Use of medical equipment
- Extended hospital stays
Future Medical Expenses
Future medical expenses include costs incurred at a later date due to injuries sustained in a bad car accident or wreck; this could be for long-term physical therapy or medical treatments due to complications or negligent care.
In a car accident case lost wages are the income the injured party loses out on due to the time necessary for them to be out of work to achieve a full recovery.
Property damage refers to the costs associated to repair personal or private property due to damages caused by a car accident.
Reduced Earning Capacity
Professional opportunities for people involved in car accidents can be limited or negatively affected due to resulting injuries of car accidents. This loss of earning capacity is considered in car accident lawsuits.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering is acknowledged as the physical and emotional stress endured through the incident, recovery and aftermath of a bad car accident, which resulted in major injury.
Punitive damages are most common in cases where the cause of the accident by the defendant is considered intentional or grossly negligent. For example, someone who badly injures another in a car crash because they were intoxicated at the wheel will most likely be obligated to pay punitive damages to the victim. These types of damages act as a punishment to the defendant for their unlawful and overly irresponsible actions and are usually in addition to the compensatory damages (like the ones listed above) they are also required to pay.
Loss of Enjoyment of Life
Damages that can be claimed due to negative changes in a victim’s lifestyle as a direct result of a car accident are referred to as loss of enjoyment of life damages. These include inabilities or incapacities for the injured person to participate in and take pleasure in their normal activities.
Wrongful Death Claim for Fatal Car Accident
When an accident results in fatalities or severe injuries that later turn into the loss of life, the families of victims can receive damages through claims of wrongful death.
If you believe you are entitled to any of the damages listed above from an auto accident injury, you’ll need a leading car accident lawyer to guide you through the legal process in an efficient and caring way. Our network of outstanding car accident lawyers are ready to help. Contact us by calling 866-465-1419 or fill out the form below to connect with an attorney.
Filing a Car Accident Injury Lawsuit
In a case where you or someone you know is involved in a motor vehicle accident that resulted in injury or excessive damage, it is necessary to understand the relevant legal framework for filing a claim, pursuing a lawsuit and facilitating settlement agreements. First and foremost, a claim should be made in the attempt to collect benefits guaranteed through insurance. Filing a lawsuit is a proceeding step, initiating a civil procedure in the event of personal injury that seeks to recover financial payments as a direct result of the accident and/or injury. Both processes involve the disclosure of all adequate documentation about the accident and resulting injuries to proceed and are best facilitated and accommodated by legal specialists, like the attorneys who are a part of The Law Center’s network of experienced car accident lawyers.
To be connected with a premier car accident law firm, contact us by filling out the form below or calling 866-465-1419.
How Do I Know if I Have a Car Accident Injury Claim?
Any injuries suffered as a direct or indirect result of an accident can justify hiring a car accident lawyer. This often first occurs through insurance providers. Types of damages can be material, such as replacing a broken window or side mirror, or physical to a person, such as paying medical fees incurred for internal bleeding or for rehabilitation after sustaining leg or back injuries. Any claim filed could provide the basis for further litigation, especially seeking damages that are outside the scope of insurance policies. Claims serve the purpose of legally verifying details of the accident through the itemization of injuries or damages requiring treatment and repair.
How Are Car Accident Damages Determined in a Car Accident Injury Lawsuit?
Each state has their own criteria for determining liability and damages in the event of a car accident. It is important to know about the different legislation and civil procedures in the state where the accident occurred. Below are a few examples of state specific claim requirements.
o Alabama – The state of Alabama requires that claims and lawsuits pertaining to injuries from car accidents must be filed within two years from the date of the accident. Physical vehicle damage can be claimed up to six years after. Alabama has a contributory negligence law (as opposed to comparative negligence where the two parties can share fault) that negates the provision of damages if the victim was found partially liable or over 1% at fault in causing the car accident. This means if the victim is found to have contributed to the accident, they are disqualified from receiving damages.
o Louisiana – Louisiana has a strict statute of limitations that requires any claim or lawsuit to be filed within one year of the accident. This puts extended pressure on victims to fast track the decision to file claims and pursue lawsuits. Additionally, the state of Louisiana utilizes a pure comparative negligence mechanism in facilitating claims, which is calculated based on each party’s determined level of liability for the collision. This means that the amount of damages the injured will receive is reduced by the percentage they are found to be at fault for the accident. If they are found to be 10% at fault, they will receive 90% of the total damages awarded to them.
o Texas – While Texas requires that all claims and lawsuits on traffic accidents and injuries be filed within two years after the fact, there are certain protections granted under state law to victims that experience future injury or even death from complications as a result of an accident or wreck. Victims or their families can seek damages for an extended period if complications lead to other serious conditions or turn fatal. Texas follows a modified comparative negligence law where the injured party can only recover damages if they are found to be less than 50% at fault for the accident. If the injured party is found to be 40% at fault, they will recover 60% of the total damages, while if they are found to be 51% to blame, they will receive zero damages.
o California – The California statute of limitations on car accidents stipulates that claims and lawsuits for damages as a result of motor vehicle accidents be filed within two years of the accident. However, if the accident eventually resulted in death at a later date, one may bring a wrongful death claim within two years of the date of the death. California is considered a pure comparative negligence state, where injured parties can still seek damages through a car accident lawyer even if they are somewhat at fault for the accident.
o Georgia – Georgia code requires all incidences, claims and lawsuits pertaining to traffic accidents be reported within two years of occurrence. Wrongful death claims from injuries sustained from the car accident may be brought two years from the date of the death. The statute of limitations is extended to four years for claims over physical vehicle damage sustained in the collision. Georgia is considered to be a modified comparative negligence state where the settlements awarded to those seeking damages are calculated and subtracted by the liability they are responsible for.
o Florida – Compared to the states listed above, the Florida statute of limitation in regard to traffic accidents and wrecks is the most lenient with victims having up to four years to submit a claim, file a lawsuit or pursue litigation against the responsible parties. Additionally, Florida follows a pure comparative negligence state, which limits damages based on the liability of each party.
Should I Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?
There are many potentially complicated legal steps to take in order to submit claims and file litigation in a car accident lawsuit. In the aftermath of an accident resulting in trauma, the affected parties are often burdened by injury or loss and are consequently incapable of filing or pursuing claims on their own. It’s important this process is therefore facilitated by hiring a specialized car accident lawyer.
Were You Involved in a Car Accident and Sustained Injuries?
In the case that you or someone you know was involved in a car accident that resulted in any type of serious or minor injury, it is important that you first notify the appropriate authorities and seek medical attention. It is then imperative to seek legal advice or consultation from an experienced car accident lawyer or specialized firm that fully understands the complicated processes involved in filing claims and pursuing car accident injury lawsuits, especially if the affected party or parties were in no way at fault.
Finding the Best Car Accident Lawyer
Finding the best car accident lawyer or legal team to help with a case is one of the most important steps in pursuing damages. The Law Center’s network of specialized and experienced attorneys are ready to take on your case, answer your questions and provide you with the help you need. Contact us at 866-465-1419 or fill out the form to begin the process of seeking justice and getting your life back to normal.
How The Law Center Can Help
The Law Center is committed to connecting people who are wrongfully injured by the negligence of others with the local attorneys who are best suited for their case. Partnering with some of the most outstanding attorneys in their fields, The Law Center is confident our clients are put in the best legal hands so they can obtain the top settlements feasible for their case.
Contact us by calling 866-465-1419 or fill out the form below to be connected with a top car accident attorney today.