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Common Types of Car Accidents

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July 19, 2023 Car Accidents

Car accidents are an unfortunate reality on our roads and lead to countless injuries, property damage, and even fatalities every year. The nuanced nature of collisions can lead to various potential consequences for those involved. A lawyer will understand the types of collisions and their causes as well as the complexities and nuances of these incidents. A car accident lawyer can also tell you when to pursue legal recourse and how to get the best possible compensation.

6 Common Causes of Car Accidents

Human error and other external circumstances contribute to car accidents. Understanding these causes allows you to shape the legal aspects of a car accident claim.

Some of the most common causes include:

  1. Driver negligence involves failing to obey traffic rules, not paying attention to the road, or disregarding the safety of others.
  2. Reckless driving includes aggressive behavior, such as tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, and excessive speeding.
  3. Speeding entails driving over the speed limit or faster than road and weather conditions allow.
  4. Driving under the influence describes drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs, and it caused more than 13,000 car-related deaths in one recent year.
  5. Distracted driving involves diverting a driver’s attention from the road, such as texting, eating, or adjusting the radio.
  6. Poor weather conditions, such as rain, snow, ice, and fog, create hazardous road conditions and increase the risk of accidents. Although weather conditions are outside a driver’s control, they are responsible for adjusting their driving accordingly.

You will need to know the car accident’s cause to pursue your personal injury claim. Your attorney will thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding the collision to identify the contributing factors and build a strong case on your behalf.

6 Common Types of Car Accidents

Car accidents can take many forms, and each type brings its own set of legal considerations.

Rear-End Collisions

Experience Lawyer for Car AccidentThese occur when a driver crashes into the back of the vehicle in front of it. These collisions account for approximately 28 percent of all car accidents, making this one of the most common incidents on the road. Typical causes include tailgating, distracted driving, and sudden stops. Injuries resulting from rear-end collisions include whiplash and other soft tissue injuries, while property damage commonly occurs to the rear bumper and trunk area.

The driver at fault in a rear-end collision is usually the one who hits the vehicle in front of them, but every state has different rules about who is at fault in injury cases. Your lawyer can help you determine your next legal steps. They may also collect evidence, such as dashcam footage, witness statements, and police reports, to help prove liability.

Head-On Collisions

Head-on collisions occur when the front ends of two vehicles collide. Drivers crossing the centerline, going the wrong way on a one-way street, or driving under the influence are often the cause. These types of accidents may be severe and result in significant injuries, such as head and spinal injuries, fractures, and even fatalities. Your car can also incur significant damage.

Head-on collisions usually involve complex determinations of liability. Your attorney can gather evidence and reconstruct the accident to establish fault.

Side-Impact Collisions or T-Bone Accidents

Million Dollar Advocates ForumSide-impact collisions, or T-bone accidents, happen when the front of one vehicle collides with the side of another. Common causes include failing to yield or running a red light. Side-impact collisions often cause severe injuries, especially to passengers seated on the side of the impact. The involved vehicles may also sustain significant damage on that side or from the resulting chain reaction.

While the driver whose vehicle front strikes another vehicle’s side bears the liability for the T-bone collision, this is not always the case. Lawyers can consider all factors to determine fault and build a strong case.

Sideswipe Collisions

A sideswipe collision typically occurs when two vehicles traveling in the same direction make contact. Drivers changing lanes without checking blind spots or drifting out of a lane are often responsible for this type of collision. Injuries and damage in sideswipe collisions may range in severity depending on the speed and angle of impact.

Your attorney will typically review traffic laws and damage patterns to establish fault in sideswipe collisions and use this information, along with witness statements and other evidence, to build your case.


Vehicles in rollover accidents tip over onto their side or roof. High-speed collisions, sharp turns, or hitting obstacles, such as curbs or guardrails, often lead to these types of accidents. Rollover accidents typically lead to serious injuries, including head and spinal traumas, and extensive vehicle damage.

Multiple factors may contribute to rollover accidents. Unsafe road conditions, for example, may play a role. An attorney investigates these crucial factors and builds your case.

Multi-Car Pile-Ups

Peer Rated For Ethical Standards and Legal Ability 2022Multi-car pile-ups involve several moving vehicles crashing into each other, and an initial collision often causes these chain reactions. Common causes include sudden traffic slowdowns, fog, or icy road conditions. This type of collision might lead to numerous injuries and extensive property damage for all cars and drivers involved.

You may find determining fault in multi-car pile-ups challenging with the number of involved parties. It requires thoroughly investigating the accident, all responsible parties, and the road and weather conditions on-site. In such a complex situation, it is important to hire an experienced personal injury attorney that can help sort out liability.

Typical Injuries From Car Accidents

Car collisions result in numerous injuries that vary in severity and impact.

Your injury type influences your personal injury claim and potential compensation entitlement.

  • Whiplash occurs when the neck abruptly jerks back and forth, causing strain to the ligaments and muscles. It frequently occurs during rear-end collisions.
  • Fractures, or broken bones, include minor hairline and severe compound fractures and often result from high-impact collisions.
  • Traumatic brain injuries occur when a strong blow to the head or a sudden jolt causes the brain to move within the skull. These injuries often have long-lasting effects on cognitive function, memory, and overall quality of life.
  • Spinal cord injuries may occur when a traumatic blow or sudden force damages the spinal cord. These injuries can result in temporary or permanent paralysis and other serious complications.
  • Soft tissue injuries include damage to muscles, ligaments, and tendons, such as strains, sprains, or contusions. While they may seem less severe than other injuries, they can still cause significant pain and impact your quality of life.

If you sustain an injury in a car accident, your injury’s type and severity influence your compensation entitlement. Your attorney can work closely with you, medical experts, and other specialists to accurately assess the extent of your injuries, any necessary ongoing care, and the overall impact on your well-being.

Property Damage

Car accidents often result in property damage and injuries. Property damage in a car accident includes harm to your vehicle or personal property.

  • Vehicle damage includes everything from minor dents and scratches to total loss. You will need to work with appraisers, mechanics, and other experts to determine the cost of repairs or the value of your vehicle if they deem it a total loss.
  • Personal property damage includes anything inside the vehicle, such as car seats, electronics, clothing, or personal belongings. Your attorney can help you inventory and document these items and assess their value to include in your overall claim.

Your property damage impacts your personal injury claim and the compensation you seek. An experienced attorney can account for the full extent of the damage in your claim to ensure you receive the compensation necessary to repair or replace your damaged property.

The Role of Insurance Coverage in Car Accident Claims

Auto insurance primarily compensates for injuries sustained in car accidents.

Your lawyer can explain the types of insurance coverage, how they apply to your claim, and maximize your compensation.

  • Liability coverage covers the driver’s financial obligations resulting from an accident in at-fault states. That includes compensation for other parties’ injuries and property damage.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage provides additional compensation if the driver at fault does not have insurance or has insufficient coverage for compensating your damages. This coverage is part of your insurance policy and protects you in this event.
  • Collision coverage pays for damage to your vehicle resulting from a collision, while comprehensive coverage covers damage from non-collision events, such as theft or natural disasters. These types of coverage are part of your insurance policy and may help cover vehicle damage costs in your claim.

In no-fault states, you may also come across personal injury protection coverage. You need to seek compensation from your own insurance company in these situations.

Navigating Insurance Claims

Insurance claims can be complex, and insurance companies often attempt to minimize payouts to protect their bottom line. Your attorney is a valuable ally in this process. They help you understand the intricacies of insurance coverage, negotiate with insurance adjusters on your behalf, and fight for the compensation you deserve.

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations establishes the time limit allowing you to bring your case before the court. It’s a law setting a deadline for filing a personal injury claim after an accident.

You must adhere to the statute of limitations. If you fail to meet the deadline, the court may dismiss your claim and prevent you from receiving any compensation for your injuries and damages.

The time limit for filing a personal injury claim varies by state. Most have a two- or three-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims. Most states give you two years. Some states, such as Louisiana, only allow one year, while others, such as Minnesota, extend it as far as six years. A state may give you different deadlines for different claims, such as those involving government entities or medical malpractice. Colorado, for example, gives you two years in most personal injury claims, but three years for motor vehicle accident cases.

An experienced attorney can ensure the prompt filing of your claim, protect your rights, and maximize your chances of receiving compensation. They can also explain any special rules and exceptions in your jurisdiction, such as deadline extensions or shorter deadlines when filing claims against government entities.

Legal Representation in Car Accident Claims

A personal injury attorney helps you navigate the complex legal process resulting from a car accident, investigates the accident and gathers evidence, negotiates with insurance companies, and represents you in court. They guide the value of your claim and identify potential sources of compensation.

An experienced attorney can also handle your claim in a way that levels the playing field against insurance companies and their legal teams. The right legal partner can ensure that your best interests remain a priority throughout the process and represent you in court if the case does not result in a favorable settlement.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Lawyer

When selecting a personal injury attorney to handle your car accident claim, look for:

  • Similar case experience: Lawyers with experience handling cases similar to yours are more familiar with the specific legal complexities and strategies required.
  • Jurisdiction experience: Lawyers experienced in the jurisdiction where the accident occurs are more familiar with the legal nuances involved in that jurisdiction.
  • Clear communication style: You must look for an attorney who can provide clear explanations, keep you informed, and address your questions and concerns throughout the process.

Evidence Collection and Preservation

An experienced attorney can collect and preserve evidence after a car accident to help you build a strong case for your personal injury claim. Evidence collection helps prove liability and establish the extent of your injuries and damages. A well-documented case with supporting evidence may significantly increase your chances of securing fair compensation from insurance companies or in court.

Your attorney can collect evidence, including:

  • Police reports.
  • Photographs or videos of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and injuries.
  • Witness statements.
  • Medical records and bills.
  • Expert reports, such as accident reconstruction or medical nuances.
  • Employment records and lost earnings documentation.

Your attorney can properly preserve the evidence in your car accident claim by:

  • Documenting the accident scene as soon as possible and capturing detailed photos and videos.
  • Obtaining a copy of the police report.
  • Keeping a journal of your injuries, pain levels, and the accident’s impact on your daily life.
  • Preserving any physical evidence, such as damaged clothing or vehicle parts.
  • Seeking prompt medical treatment.
  • Keeping detailed records of all medical consultations, diagnoses, treatment plans, and medical expenses.
  • Avoiding discussions about the accident on social media or with others, as this may affect your claim.

Evidence collection and preservation can lead to a successful outcome for your car accident claim. A skilled personal injury attorney gathers and maintains this evidence, making your case as strong as possible when seeking compensation.

Settlement vs. Litigation

In pursuit of your claim, you may have the option to settle your case out of court or proceed with litigation. An experienced attorney will typically help you weigh the pros and cons of each approach.

Settlement Negotiations

The parties in a car accident claim primarily negotiate a settlement. Your attorney and the insurance company will discuss potential compensation amounts during this process. Your attorney can present evidence supporting your claim and negotiate a fair settlement covering your medical expenses, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and property damage.

Settlements are faster and less costly than litigation. It offers greater control of the outcome and reduces your emotional and financial stress but may also result in lower compensation compared to a successful trial verdict. Settlement agreements typically prevent any additional compensation pursuits for the same accident.

When to Consider Litigation

Keith Fuicelli Attorney for Car Accident near Denver area

Keith Fuicelli Car Accident Lawyer in Denver

You may need to pursue litigation if you cannot reach a fair settlement or the insurance company denies your claim. Litigation might also be necessary if both parties can’t agree on the extent of your injuries and damages.

If you win your case, litigation can lead to higher compensation, a sense of justice, and closure after the accident. It can also establish a legal precedent in complex cases or those with unique circumstances from which future accident victims can benefit.

Litigation, however, is more time-consuming and expensive than settling out of court. Emotional stress can be high, and you may receive unwanted public exposure. The outcome also tends to be less predictable; you may even lose the case and receive no compensation.

The decision to settle or litigate your car accident claim ultimately depends on your specific circumstances and the advice of your personal injury attorney. Your personal injury attorney in Denver can help evaluate the potential risks and benefits of each approach and guide you toward the best course of action for your situation.

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