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Types of Car Accidents

Few things in life are as difficult as recovering from a major auto accident.

The physical, emotional, and financial setbacks can significantly complicate your life and future. Unfortunately, more than 2 million auto accidents occur annually in the United States. If one happens to you and someone else is at fault, don’t expect the at-fault party’s insurance company to offer you a fair injury settlement without a legal fight. You should retain a qualified car accident attorney to fight for your rights and fair compensation.

After reading about the most common types of car accidents below, be sure to speak to one of our experienced Nix Patterson car accident attorneys. Our attorneys have an impressive record in holding negligent parties accountable for their actions. Hiring an attorney is usually critical to receiving the most for your injuries. Your attorney knows how to negotiate the best settlements from insurance companies and has the courtroom experience to win at trial.

What Are The Most Common Types of Car Accidents?

Ours is a car-reliant society, and auto accidents of many types happen every day across the nation. Some of the most common are as follows:

Head-On Collisions

Head-on crashes are probably the most severe type of auto accident. These deadly accidents happen when two vehicles traveling in opposite directions collide. The resulting impact is usually double that of other accidents, so severe injury or death is almost inevitable. These accidents often happen because one driver enters a highway in the wrong direction. Most head-on collisions happen at night or with one driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Rollover Accidents

A rollover accident can occur when one vehicle hits another, and one driver loses control. The vehicle could roll multiple times or just once. These accidents are more common with vehicles having a higher center of gravity, such as SUVs and trucks. Rollovers can be especially dangerous and fatal if the occupants are not wearing their seat belts; the violence of the rollover can throw vehicle occupants out, usually causing severe and fatal injuries.

Reckless Driving

Reckless driving accidents can happen for many reasons – speeding, changing lanes without signaling, aggressive driving, failure to stop or yield, and more. Collecting compensation in a claim or lawsuit could be easier if one driver is cited for reckless driving.

For example, an unsafe lane change is often the cause of reckless driving. A responsible driver tells other motorists of their intentions and will signal and look carefully before changing lanes. Drivers who change lanes without signaling or looking can cause many serious car accidents. Even a relatively light impact in a sideswipe accident can cause a driver to lose control, run off the road, or hit another vehicle.

Multiple-Vehicle Collision

Multiple-vehicle collisions happen in many places but are common on highways. A multiple-vehicle crash on a highway can happen in stopped traffic, where one vehicle crashes into the rear of another, leading to a pile-up.

In other cases, a multi-vehicle crash can occur where more than one driver is at fault. Most states have comparative negligence laws that allow more than one party to be found negligent for the accident. When that happens, an injured person’s compensation can be reduced according to the degree of negligence for the accident.

For example, if someone hits you at a red light from behind and you hit someone else in front of you, the rear driver is typically at fault. But if your brake lights were out, you could be partially liable, which could reduce the compensation you receive in the claim.

Low-Speed Crashes

Low-speed or low-impact crashes often happen in traffic jams or parking lots. While the impact may not be significant, you still could sustain substantial injuries. That’s why a doctor should always check you out after any accident.

Hit-and-Run Accidents

Unfortunately, accidents happen when one driver hits another vehicle and flees the scene. Hit-and-run accidents are frustrating because it can be difficult to hold the other party liable for their actions. Hitting and running is a crime, and if the other driver is caught, they can face criminal charges, especially if someone was injured or killed.

What happens if you are hurt in a hit-and-run crash and the driver is never caught? All auto insurance policies can have uninsured and underinsured driver protection; this coverage is mandatory in some states. If there is a hit and run, you will tap your uninsured driver coverage to pay for your injuries and damages. Most minimum uninsured and underinsured policies pay for about $25,000 in damages, but it is often wise to buy additional coverage.

Rear-End Collisions

Rear-end collisions are also common. Rear-end auto accidents range from small fender benders to high-impact crashes that cause severe injuries. Rear-end accidents often occur at stop signs, red lights, and on the highway in stopped traffic.

These mishaps often cause severe neck and back injuries, including whiplash. This injury might not be taken as seriously as broken bones or head trauma, but whiplash injuries can be painful and debilitating. Be sure to hire an experienced attorney if you have whiplash; there is a good chance the at-fault party’s insurance company will downplay your injury and offer a small settlement at first.

Accidents Caused by Defective Products

Other drivers do not cause some auto accidents but defective vehicles or parts. If a key vehicle part fails, such as the tires, brakes, airbag, or steering system, there can be a severe or fatal injury. In this case, your attorney may file a product liability lawsuit if they can prove that a product defect contributed to the injury.

Construction Zone Accidents

Construction zones have many hazards that may make car accidents more likely, such as narrowed lanes, shifting lanes, merging traffic, heavy equipment near the road, and changes in speed limits. Drivers who ignore warnings of construction zones can endanger the safety and lives of workers and other drivers.

T-Bone Crashes

T-bone collisions occur when one vehicle slams into another’s side at a 90-degree angle. These crashes happen when one driver runs a red light or stop sign. T-bone crashes can be severe because the side of vehicles lacks the same impact protection as the front.

Faulty Road Design or Maintenance

The design of a highway or improper maintenance can also contribute to many auto accidents. For example, a road with too much curve or improper pavement maintenance can lead to a severe accident.

In this type of incident, you may need to file a claim against the local government, a contractor, or a subcontractor responsible for maintaining or building the road.

Common Car Accident Injuries

However your car accident occurs, the violence of the collision can cause severe injuries. Some injuries can require months or years of recovery, and some could be permanent. Common auto accident injuries include:

  • Concussions. A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury ranging from mild to severe. Even a mild brain injury needs immediate medical attention.
  • Spinal cord injuries. Injuries to the spinal cord are almost always severe and can result in short-term or permanent paralysis.
  • Broken or bruised ribs. Ribs are often injured in auto accidents from the seat belt or striking the dashboard or steering wheel. Broken ribs are painful, and while they may heal independently, they can puncture the lungs or other organs in an accident.
  • Whiplash. This is an injury to the soft connective tissues in the neck and can be very painful. This injury can be challenging to prove to insurance companies, so you can expect some pushback, but your attorney will do their best to prove you deserve full compensation.
  • Broken bones. High-impact auto accidents often cause broken arms, legs, hands, feet, hips, etc.
  • Dislocated joints. Dislocations in high-speed auto accidents are common with the knees and hips.
  • Amputations. Severe crashes can cause the loss of a limb, such as the arm or leg.
  • Organ damage. Blunt force trauma or a penetrating car accident wound can cause organ damage to the liver, spleen, small intestine, etc. Organ damage can also be caused by internal bleeding that starves vital tissues of blood.
  • PTSD. Many auto accident injuries are physical, but some can be mental and emotional. Some severe accidents can scar victims emotionally and compromise their ability to live a normal life. PTSD is common but hard to diagnose, so talk to your doctor if you are depressed or anxious after an auto accident.

Whatever injury you may suffer after your car accident, visiting the ER or doctor immediately is vital. The sooner your injury is treated, the better the outcome will be. Also, establishing your injuries on your medical record immediately improves the chances of a successful legal case.

Establishing Negligence is Critical to Successful Car Accident Lawsuits

To obtain a positive car accident case resolution, proving that another party was negligent is essential. Negligence is the idea that undergirds all personal injury claims. It means that another party did not exercise reasonable care and led to someone else being harmed.

If you were in a car accident caused by someone running a red light, they violated the standard of care, leading to injuries and damages. If your attorney can prove negligence, you could receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Also, a driver who speeds, tailgates, drives under the influence, fails to use their turn signal or merges unsafely may violate their standard of care. Any of these negligent actions could be the basis of a personal injury claim or lawsuit.

Your attorney may lean on many pieces of evidence to prove who was negligent in your accident. Some of them are:

  • Admissions from the drivers involved
  • Video evidence from red-light cameras and surveillance cameras
  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Photos of the crash scene
  • Police report
  • Ambulance driver notes

Also of critical importance is the evidence of your accident injuries. It isn’t enough to prove that another driver caused the accident; you must show that you have injuries and the incident caused them. Your lawyer will rely on doctors’ reports, ER notes, and other medical provider documentation to prove your accident injuries. After the accident, you must see a doctor so that your injuries are listed in your official medical record.

Contact Nix Patterson’s Car Accident Lawyers

Regardless of your car accident, recovering from serious injuries takes considerable time and money. Living an everyday life can virtually stop as you recover from a severe auto accident injury, and if another party caused the accident, you should be compensated for your injuries and related damages.

The car accident lawyers at Nix Patterson have years of experience holding people accountable for their negligence, and we have obtained millions in verdicts and settlements for our injured clients. Contact our car accident attorneys today for a free consultation, and remember — we do not get paid unless you do.


Nix Patterson only works on a contingency fee basis. Our clients pay us nothing unless we win. Schedule a free consultation today. Call 512.328.5333 or complete the form below. 

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