Types of Car Accidents
Driving carelessly and negligently can cause many accidents, including rear-end collisions, T-bone (or broadside) accidents, sideswipes, rollovers, and head-on collisions. Debilitating injuries and property damage are often unfortunate results of these accidents.
To recover monetary compensation for personal injuries in a car accident, you must establish various legal elements of proof. If you can satisfy your legal burden, you may be eligible for monetary recovery through a car accident settlement or personal injury litigation.
The total compensation you ultimately receive will depend on the specific circumstances surrounding your accident and the nature and extent of your injuries.
One of the most critical actions you can take to expedite your case is to retain experienced legal counsel to represent you as early on in the process as possible.
Once you retain a car accident lawyer for representation, they can enter an appearance on your behalf and gather the documentation you need to prove your case. Your attorney will then assist you during all settlement negotiations with insurance company representatives and, if necessary, litigate your case in court.
How Do Local Car Crashes Happen?
Auto accidents typically result from another driver’s error or negligence. Driver negligence can take several different forms, but it usually occurs when a driver violates traffic laws, engages in distracted driving, drives while intoxicated, or engages in road rage.
Drivers have a duty to follow all traffic laws and regulations while they drive on area roads. When drivers violate traffic laws, they are more likely to cause an accident that leads to physical injuries and property damage.
Some of the most common traffic law violations that lead to traffic accidents include excessive speeding, failing to use turn signals at the proper times, and failing to yield the right-of-way at traffic intersections – and in parking lots and garages.
Distracted driving is another common cause of motor vehicle crashes. When drivers do not observe the road, they are more likely to miss seeing an approaching vehicle or pedestrian on the road.
Some of the most common types of distracted driving that lead to auto accidents include:
- Programming a GPS navigation system while driving
- Answering a telephone call without using a hands-free Bluetooth device
- Texting on a cellular phone or tablet while driving
- Roughhousing with other vehicle passengers
- Adjusting the volume on a car stereo system
- Listening to loud music in a vehicle
- Disciplining young children in the vehicle
Another common type of car accident is a drunk driving accident. When drivers are under the influence of alcohol, they are more likely to experience blurred vision, delayed reflexes, and delayed reaction time. Consequently, they may not step on their brakes in time to avoid hitting pedestrians or vehicles.
Drunk driving is dangerous because alcohol is a depressant that slows down the brain’s ability to function and react to roadway situations and emergencies.
A passenger vehicle driver with a blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, of at least 0.08 percent is legally intoxicated. However, specific drivers, such as those under the legal drinking age and commercial truck drivers, must abide by stricter standards.
If a drunk driver causes an accident due to their intoxication, and someone suffers physical injuries, then the accident victim or their lawyer can bring a personal injury claim with the at-fault driver’s motor vehicle insurance company.
Drunk drivers may also incur criminal and administrative penalties, including losing their driving privileges for some time.
Other common car accidents result from road rage or aggressive driving. When a driver wants to get to their final destination fast, they may resort to reckless driving maneuvers, including speeding, tailgating other vehicles, cutting other cars off in traffic, or weaving in and out of traffic without using a turn signal. These reckless driving maneuvers can lead to severe accidents, which cause ongoing and sometimes permanent injuries.
If you sustained injuries in a car crash resulting from one or more types of driver negligence, you should contact a car accident attorney in your area as quickly as possible.
Your lawyer can evaluate your case and file a claim quickly with the appropriate insurance company. Your lawyer can also handle all settlement negotiations and written correspondence with the insurance company on your behalf and pursue the settlement compensation you need in a timely manner.
Specific Types of Auto Accidents that Result from Driver Negligence
When drivers are careless, chances are good they will cause a severe accident that results in property damage and personal injuries.
Common accidents that may occur include:
- Overturn accidents, where a vehicle speeds around a curve or drives too fast for the traffic or weather conditions.
- Rear-end accidents, where one vehicle hits the back of another car, usually because the at-fault driver is speeding excessively and fails to slow down in time to avoid a crash.
- Head-on collisions, where the front of one vehicle strikes the front of another car in an opposing lane, usually because the at-fault driver is distracted or intoxicated
- T-bone or broadside accidents, where one vehicle hits the side of another car traveling on an intersecting road, usually because the at-fault driver is not observing the road or fails to yield the right-of-way at the appropriate time
- Sideswipe accidents, where the side of one vehicle strikes the side of another car, usually because the at-fault driver is not paying attention or is aggressively weaving in and out of highway traffic without using their turn signal
- Parking lot and parking garage accidents, where the at-fault driver is speeding, fails to use their mirrors and cameras, or fails to turn on their headlights.
You may recover money if you sustained injuries in any of these accidents, either as a driver or passenger. Your attorney can determine your eligibility to file a claim or lawsuit and can assist you with each step of the process.
Injuries in Car Accidents
The injuries that auto accident victims suffer are often debilitating and may cause significant medical complications well into the future. A car accident victim’s injuries and damages typically depend on the type of car accident, how the victim’s body moves in their vehicle during the car crash, and the amount of force in the collision.
Some car crashes are so severe that they cause a part of the accident victim’s body to strike something inside their vehicle.
For example, the forward and backward motion of a rear-end collision may cause an accident victim’s head to hit the driver’s side door, headrest, window, or steering wheel. As a result, the driver may sustain a concussion or other traumatic head injury.
In addition, the abrupt forward and backward motion may cause the accident victim to suffer a rib fracture or other bone fracture in their accident. A driver or passenger can also sustain a soft tissue whiplash injury to their neck and upper back.
Other potential injuries that car crash victims may suffer include:
- Internal bleeding and organ damage.
- Open lacerations.
- Bruises (often from airbag deployment).
- Spinal cord injuries (such as vertebrae fractures).
- Full or partial paralysis injuries.
After an auto accident, your top priority should be completing all recommended medical treatments. While you focus your attention on getting the medical care you need, your attorney can gather the necessary evidence to prove your personal injury claim or lawsuit.
Pursuing Timely Litigation in Court
In some car accident claims and lawsuits, insurance companies and their adjusters are simply unwilling to offer accident victims the fair damages they deserve for their injuries. In those situations, the accident victim may need to file a lawsuit in the court system and pursue a favorable litigation result.
During litigation, the parties may:
- Answer written questions, called Interrogatories.
- Exchange various documents
- Take part in discovery depositions, during which the defense attorney will typically ask the accident victim questions about how their accident occurred, the injuries they suffered, the medical treatment they had to undergo, and the effects of the accident on their overall well-being.
Sometimes following discovery, the defense attorney or insurance adjuster will increase the settlement claim offer in the case. However, if that does not happen, the parties may have to take their case to a jury trial for the jury to decide the issues of liability and damages.
Alternatively, the parties can pursue mediation or binding arbitration, allowing a third party to intervene and assist them with their case. For example, at a binding arbitration hearing, a neutral, third-party arbitrator listens to the parties’ evidence and renders a monetary award to the accident victim.
Recovering Monetary Damages after a Car Accident
When a car crash victim can prove the elements of their claim or lawsuit, they can recover various damages, either through settlement or litigation. The monetary compensation that an accident victim receives should be reasonable and make them feel whole again, to the greatest extent possible.
An auto accident may include compensation for:
- Past and future related medical bills
- Loss of earnings
- Loss of earning capacity
- Mental distress
- Loss of spousal consortium
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of the ability to use a body part
- Permanent disability or disfigurement
Speak With an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer as Quickly as Possible for the Legal Help You Need
One of the best ways to ensure a streamlined settlement or litigation result in your car accident case is to retain legal counsel to represent you immediately.
Your attorney can immediately set to work on recovering the compensation you deserve by filing a claim on your behalf, aggressively negotiating with insurance company adjusters, and pursuing the highest amount of settlement compensation available to you.
If that does not work, your personal injury attorney in Orange County will welcome the opportunity to pursue litigation and, if necessary, take your case to a binding arbitration hearing, mediation proceeding, or civil jury trial. Your attorney can do all this for you while you focus on what’s important, recovering from your injuries.
No matter what car accident injures you, you may face a chaotic and confusing aftermath. Always remember to take two critical steps to make it easier: Seek medical attention and consult a trusted car accident attorney. This is the best way to protect your rights.