Jan 3, 2023
Car accidents can occur in many different ways and under a variety of circumstances. They can also have numerous classifications, like hit-and-run, rollover, and multi-car crashes. In this blog we will review the different types of car accidents and identify the most common scenario that impacts thousands of drivers (and their insurance premiums) every year.
Driving California’s roads and highways can be an enjoyable experience, with majestic scenery including vast coastlines, mountains, and historic forests throughout. But inherent dangers exist regardless of where you’re driving and how experienced you may be behind the wheel. Here are the top nine types of car accidents:
1. Head-On Collision: This type of car accident often happens when a driver travels the wrong way down a one-way street (or exit ramp). Head-on collisions can also occur when a vehicle crosses the median on a highway, or the centerline on a road/street. Head-on collisions are some of the most severe and devastating types of car accidents. They commonly lead to catastrophic injuries and potentially fatalities. Fortunately, head-on collisions represent one of the least common types of car accidents. When a civil claim is filed with a car accident lawyer, fault in a head-on collision is usually clearly determined, as one of the drivers was more than likely traveling in the wrong direction.
2. Vehicle Rollover Accident: Cars can flip or rollover for any number of reasons. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the typical injuries that result through rollover accidents are often catastrophic, with fatalities also commonly occurring. Rollover accidents are actually only behind head-on collisions in terms of overall severity, with both representing the most serious among the nine we’ll review in this piece. Rollovers were responsible for approximately 29% of all light vehicle fatalities between 1992 and 1996. They accounted for nearly 35% of fatal passenger car crashes in 2010.
Certain vehicles are more prone to rollover accidents. Light passenger cars and sport utility vehicles are particularly well known for being involved in rollover accidents. One reason why rollover accident injuries to drivers and passengers are often so severe is because this particular type of collision can cause a passenger to be ejected from the car, or the car’s roof to collapse onto those inside the vehicle. The majority of rollover crash fatalities involve only one vehicle.
“Tripping” is a common cause of rollover accidents. Tripping happens when a vehicle’s tire hits another object – such as a curb, pothole, or soft soil. This tends to disrupt the forward motion of the car, causing it to roll either forward or sideways. The NHTSA estimates that 95% of all rollover accidents involving a single vehicle are caused by tripping.
Rollover accidents can also be a result of car design, dangerous and unrepaired roadways, or defective tires. As an example, SUVs and minivans have a higher center of gravity when compared to standard passenger cars. Both SUVs and minivans are therefore more likely to roll, particularly if a defective design is involved. Furthermore, rollover accidents can result from other drivers’ negligence or inclement weather conditions.
3. T-Bone Car Accident: Another very dangerous type of car crash is known as a T-Bone accident. A T-Bone car accident happens when one vehicle crashes head-on into the side of another vehicle (forming a “T” shape). In the majority of these accidents, this “T” effect occurs on the driver’s side of the impacted car. Severe and even catastrophic injuries can result from T-Bone car accidents – everything from broken bones to a brain concussion or a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Even fatalities are known to occur after T-Bone car accidents. As is the case with most car accidents, seatbelts can be your best defense in a T-Bone collision, as they are usually sudden and unavoidable. For more information on proving fault in a T-Bone car accident, take a look at our blog from a few months ago.
4. Multiple Vehicle Crashes: A multiple vehicle collision can be devastating for numerous drivers and passengers alike. This particular type of car accident usually involves three or more vehicles crashing in a chain of events that was initiated from a single event. Multi-car pileups can range in severity – from minimal to profound – and result in panic, confusion, hysteria, multiple injuries, and even fatalities. Maintaining a safe driving distance and constant vigilance when driving can help you avoid becoming the victim of a multiple vehicle car crash. If a multi-crash occurs, notify 911 dispatchers immediately, as serious injuries outside of your field of vision may have occurred.
5. Sideswipe Collision: When you’re driving – whether on an expressway, freeway, busy streets with intersections, or a country road – maintaining an appropriate distance between vehicles is critical to avoid sideswipes. Driving right next to another vehicle is always risky, as even the most insignificant distraction to the other driver could cause him or her to drift outside of their lane and into yours. The result of such an incident is a sideswipe collision. This can lead to a minor bump or scrape to your car with minimal cosmetic damage, or cause a substantial blow that sends you off the side of the road uncontrollably. Drivers are strongly encouraged to always keep a safe distance next to another vehicle, and make every effort to avoid these sideswipe crashes by remaining cognizant of any blind spots (both yours and the other driver’s). Moreover, take notice when other drivers are veering too close to the a driver’s lane.
6. Side-Impact Collision: Similar to a T-Bone collision, when one vehicle is broadsided (struck in the side by another driver’s front end), it is known as a side-impact collision. This type of car accident typically occurs at intersections. Accordingly, there are typically witnesses (and possibly traffic cameras) that can help corroborate your story in the event that you are involved in a side-impact collision. The best way to avoid this type of car crash is to always slow down when approaching an intersection, and view the surroundings carefully – maintaining alertness for reckless drivers. This rule applies even when you have the green light.
7. Single Car Accident: Just as it sounds, a single car accident is one involving no other vehicle or driver. However, although a single car accident involves only one vehicle, that doesn’t automatically mean its driver is at fault (completely or partially). Single car accidents are generally caused when a driver reacts suddenly by swerving to avoid hitting an object – perhaps a piece of debris or another swerving driver. As a result, the driver often ends up colliding with a guardrail, tree, or even an electrical pole. In many single car accidents, weather is often a factor that can present unavoidable hazards in a driver’s path. It is recommended that drivers slow down while rounding a curve or drawing near to a blind corner. This will allow for additional reaction time in the event an object is in your vehicle’s path.
8. Hit-and-Run Accident: A hit-and-run car accident involves, just like it sounds, a driver (typically the at-fault party) fleeing the scene of an accident. Fleeing the scene of any car accident is a crime, but if an injury occurs you have a duty to wait for emergency services to arrive. In most states, felony hit and run occurs when somebody flees an accident where an injury to another driver or passenger was sustained. The penalties for being caught fleeing a car accident scene can include fines and even incarceration. If you are caught fleeing a hit and run scene where someone was injured, you may also be sued in civil court by that injured person. In some states, anyone fleeing the scene of a hit-and-run may have to pay additional damages to the plaintiff (known as punitive damages). Punitive damages are typically not covered by a standard car insurance policy, meaning the at-fault party will likely have to pay that portion of any settlement or verdict from his or her own pocket.
At Dordulian Law Group (DLG), we constantly represent hit and run accident victims. Sadly, hit-and-runs are a common occurrence here in Southern California. If you were injured in a hit and run, make an effort to preserve any evidence of the accident that might help corroborate your case. Taking notes regarding any physical details of the car that hit you (and if you saw the driver before he or she left the scene) can be very helpful.
9. Rear-End Collision: Rear-end collisions are extremely common throughout the greater Los Angeles-area, given the extreme traffic Angelenos face at various times throughout the day. When one car strikes another vehicle from behind, a rear-end collision has occurred. Fortunately, this type of car accident is typically not as devastating as some of the other types listed above. However, serious injuries such as whiplash, broken bones, or a concussion can occur. If any type of injury was sustained during a rear-end collision, the injured victim is strongly encouraged to undergo a thorough medical examination immediately. This can be especially important when proceeding with filing a civil lawsuit to collect financial damages from the driver that hit you.
Rear-end collisions frequently occur at traffic lights or stop signs, or on congested highways. The common assumption (and a legal presumption in most states) is that the rear driver is always at fault for this type of car accident. However, this is not always true. In some circumstances, the rear driver may be able to prove that the accident involved shared fault by both drivers. California is a comparative fault state, and if you’ve been in a rear-end collision, contact the experienced team of car accident lawyers at DLG today. We will help ensure you aren’t hit with liability in cases where the other driver was at-fault. Additionally, we’ll help you recover the maximum financial damages award you deserve for any physical injuries or property damage.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rear-end collisions are the most frequent type of car accident occurring on U.S. roads. Among the various types of car crashes identified above, rear-end collisions make up 29% of the total number of accidents. These crashes often occur because one car follows another vehicle too closely (known as tailgating).
Rear-end collisions commonly occur during scenarios where a car has already stopped at the light and the flow of traffic slows unexpectedly. Distracted drivers who are following too closely often fail to notice the stopped or slowed traffic, and without enough time to react, the vehicle ends up rear-ending the car directly in front.
Preventing rear-end crashes can be done by keeping a safe distance between your car and the vehicle in front of you. Always make a concerted effort to avoid distractions when driving – particularly in high-traffic areas where multiple cars are traveling close to each other.
If you find yourself being tailgated while driving, attempt to safely change lanes whenever possible to reduce potential danger.
At DLG, we have been helping injured car accident victims recover the financial compensation they deserve for decades. We offer unique advantages to injured car accident victims through our premier Car Accident Division team.
Sam Dordulian, our founder and president, previously worked as a Deputy District Attorney for L.A. County. Dordulian has accumulated over 100 jury trial victories throughout his decorated legal career. This rare experience – the kind that can’t be found at other personal injury firms – is a unique advantage for our car accident clients.
If an auto insurance company or at-fault defendant tries to offer a lowball settlement for our client’s injuries, we reject it outright and take the case to trial where Sam Dordulian uses his courtroom experience to recover a maximum financial damages award. For clients who choose DLG, they never have to worry about having to settle for a paltry offer from the insurance company. But if they had chosen a different “mega firm,” their attorney might not have had the experience, skill, or desire to make that extra effort and take the claim to court. Sadly, many of the “mega firms” you see advertised on TV simply accep the first settlement offer made by the insurance company. To them, you’re just a number. But with DLG, you’re a member of our extended family, and we treat you and your case with the attention, discretion, care, and professionalism deserved.
Additionally, DLG’s car accident cases are investigated by a retired LAPD detective, Moses Castillo. Castillo spent nearly 30 years in the department, much of the time investigating and closing high-profile hit-and-runs and multi-car crashes in the elite Central Traffic Division. Now Castillo works for our clients as Chief Investigator, uncovering critical evidence that can be the difference between a thousand dollar settlement and a multi-million dollar settlement.
Not convinced? Take a look at our recent results. You might notice that we regularly turn paltry $5,000 offers from insurance companies into multi-million dollar settlements for our satisfied clients. If you’ve already spoken with a firm and they told you it’s not likely they’ll be able to recover a maximum damages award for you, bring your case to DLG and let the experts handle it properly. We never leave money on the table and accept a quick settlement. Instead, we fight for every dollar you deserve, only resting after a maximum damages award has been recovered for you.
Finally, two of our Car Accident Division attorneys previously worked as defense counsel for major auto insurance corporations. After learning all of the dirty tricks and methods insurance companies use to try to reduce payouts for deserving injury victims, now they work for us, fighting for our clients. We use that insurance industry insider knowledge and experience to your advantage, ensuring you get all the money you deserve after an unfortunate car accident.
With a 98% success record and history of recovering more than $100,000,000 for car accident victims, DLG is the clear and best choice for your claim. Contact us today online or by phone at 818-322-4056 to learn more about what it means for car accident victims to get the DLG Advantage.
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