What Type of Car Accident Needs a Lawyer?
Different types of vehicle accidents result in varying injuries. If you or a loved one struggle with the aftermath of a vehicle accident involving a car, bicycle, motorcycle, or semi-truck, contact an experienced car accident lawyer. A knowledgeable car accident lawyer can help you evaluate your options, speak and negotiate with insurance companies, and navigate the complex legal system if a lawsuit becomes necessary to get you compensation for your injuries.
Types of Car Accidents
Head-on collisions happen when the front ends of two cars traveling in opposite directions collide. Also known as frontal collisions, this type of car accident causes serious structural damage to the front of both vehicles. The tremendous force in a head-on collision can also result in severe or fatal injuries to one or more of the cars’ occupants.
Many factors cause head-on collisions, such as one driver traveling in the wrong direction on a one-way street.
Other causes of head-on collisions include:
- A driver entering a highway by crossing a median;
- Distracted driving due to texting or eating;
- Driver impairment due to alcohol or drug use; and
- Cognitive lapse, which causes a driver to become confused while behind the wheel.
Head-on collisions occur at a lower rate than other accidents, but they’re the most dangerous because of the force of impact resulting from the crash. When the cars strike each other, one or both of them may slide, flip over, or collide with a third car or object.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), head-on collisions caused 57 percent of vehicle accident fatalities. This alarming statistic demonstrates the danger of head-on collisions and the need for proper case settlement or trial awards for accident survivors. An experienced vehicle accident attorney can help you gather the evidence required to recover the compensation you deserve.
Rear-end collisions happen when a car crashes into a vehicle that’s directly in front of it.
Common causes of rear-end collisions include:
- The rear-end driver engaging in distracting behavior, such as eating food or talking on the phone;
- The rear-end driver operating their vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, resulting in a lowered sense of direction and distance between cars;
- Speeding or reckless driving
- Sudden stopping or reversing of the front-end vehicle;
- The front-end vehicle failing to execute a turn; and
- Non-functioning brake lights on the front-end vehicle, making the rear-end driver unaware of the front-end driver’s intentions (like stopping or turning).
Rear-end collisions are one of the most common vehicle accidents. They generally result in less impact than head-on collisions, but still present dangers to accident victims. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that rear-end collisions consist of 7 percent of vehicle accident fatalities. Injuries, including serious harm to the head and spinal cord, are another concern of rear-end collisions that can leave lasting and debilitating consequences.
A side-impact collision occurs when one driver fails to yield to another vehicle, hitting it on its side. Often referred to as a T-bone collision, this vehicle accident usually happens at a four-way intersection where cars traveling in different directions turn onto various streets.
Causes of side-impact collisions include:
- Failure to stop at a red light or stop sign, usually due to a source of distraction;
- Improper or dangerous turns; and
- Miscalculating the necessary amount of time to cross an intersection safely.
Side-impact collisions are common and extremely dangerous. A car’s structural integrity is less on its sides than on its front or back. IIHS reported that side-impact collisions account for 19 percent of vehicle occupant fatalities. a side impact is different from a sideswipe accident too but you can file a claim regardless of your accident.
Bike accidents can occur in a bicycle lane, an intersection, or a stoplight.
Causes of bicycle accidents include:
- A car turning directly into the path of a bicyclist going in the opposite direction;
- A bicyclist losing control of their bike and colliding with a vehicle; and
- A driver failing to see a bicyclist because they’re in a blind spot.
Bicycle accidents commonly occur before a driver sees the bicyclist. According to the NHTSA, bicyclist fatalities result from 2 percent of all vehicle accidents. Nearly half of those accidents happen at intersections. Bicycle accidents pose a more significant danger to bicyclists because they lack the structural protection most vehicles offer.
An experienced lawyer can protect you by helping you gather evidence of your injuries and investigating your case to get you the compensation you deserve.
Motorcycle accidents happen when a motorcycle collides with another vehicle. Similar to bicycle accidents, motorcycle accidents typically present a greater risk of harm to motorcyclists than the other vehicle’s occupants because of both vehicles’ structural makeups. The speed, acceleration capabilities, and smaller size of a motorcycle also make its operator more vulnerable when an impact occurs.
Causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Motorcyclists switching lanes while in a car’s blind spot;
- Vehicle driver switching lanes while in a motorcyclist’s blind spot;
- Speeding while operating a motorcycle;
- Decreased visibility of motorcycles when driving in inclement weather or at night; and
According to NHTSA, 14 percent of all traffic fatalities involved a motorcyclist in some fashion. In one recent year, Texas reported that 412 motorcyclists died in vehicle accidents, and more than 1,800 suffered from serious injuries.
Motorcyclists are inherently at greater risk for injuries in an accident. Contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to review the facts of your case and help you receive the compensation you deserve for the injuries and damages you sustained.
A semi-truck accident happens when a commercial 18-wheel truck collides with a vehicle, highway median, or another stationary object. Semi-truck accidents weigh up to 80,000 pounds, increasing the impact sustained in an accident from one involving the average car, which only weighs 4,000 pounds.
The commercial nature of semi-trucks adds complexity to the accident. Employees of retail, manufacturing, and distribution companies often operate semi-trucks, which may add a third party to any resulting litigation.
Causes of semi-truck accidents include:
- Driver fatigue. Truck drivers often drive hundreds of miles per day, which increases the chance of burnout.
- Improper maintenance. Semi-trucks need regular maintenance to operate safely and effectively. A fault in the brake system or worn-out tires can make these massive vehicles extremely dangerous.
- Improper loading of cargo or other goods. Not properly loading or securing cargo can cause an uneven distribution of weight in a semi-truck or an accidental release of goods onto the roadway.
The federal government has imposed strict time restrictions to decrease fatigue on truck drivers, but fatigued semi-truck drivers still cause accidents. The NHTSA reported that approximately 10 percent of all motor vehicle accidents involve a semi-truck.
Semi-truck accident lawsuits are complicated. The truck driver, the trucking company, the cargo company, and the manufacturer might all have a part in settlement talks and the course of litigation. Call an experienced semi-truck accident lawyer to help you investigate the cause of the accident, gather evidence to support your claim, negotiate with all parties, and bring the case to trial if necessary.
Hiring a Lawyer After a Vehicle Accident
When faced with a vehicle accident’s hardships, contact a highly regarded and experienced car accident attorney to assist you with your case. You don’t have to navigate the legal processes alone as you recover from your physical and emotional injuries coupled with the stress of repairing or replacing your car.
When you bring a vehicle accident claim, you may need to fight the driver, the driver’s legal counsel, insurance companies, and potential major corporations familiar with this process. A car accident attorney can assertively negotiate with insurance companies and other parties. Your attorney should have a strong understanding of insurance companies’ inner workings and can best tailor and present your case to achieve desirable results.
Car accident attorneys know your legal rights, what alternatives you have to trial (e.g., arbitration or mediation), how to approach settlement offers, and how to otherwise increase the value of your case. They won’t just focus on the injury to your car, but also on the impact the vehicle accident has on you, such as the pain and suffering you’ve endured, and the income you lost during your recovery.
Skilled personal injury attorneys can help you pursue compensation after suffering injuries in a vehicle accident, whether you were a vehicle operator, a bicyclist, or a pedestrian. If you were in an accident you didn’t cause, see if a car accident lawyer can help you.