Types of Car Accidents
Each time a person drives, they are faced with countless variables. There are a variety of motor vehicles and routes, including back streets and major highways. Motorists encounter different weather conditions that can impact driving. These contributing factors are why there are many car accidents. Motor vehicle crashes happen within seconds and can lead to lifelong consequences, including permanent disabilities, fatalities, and debt. Most car accidents occur less than 25 miles from drivers’ homes.
When you are out on the road, there are common car accidents that can occur. Knowing what they are provides you with the background you require to avoid them while on the road. In most instances, they can be avoided by paying closer attention to the road and your surroundings or by driving in a manner to suit your surroundings. In other instances, accidents are just that: accidents.
Regardless of the circumstances that led to your accident, the result can have devastating consequences. The hours and days after an accident can be confusing, and you may not know what to do. Before speaking with your insurance or signing any agreements, speak with an experienced car accident lawyer who can provide you with sound legal advice on what your options are and how you should proceed.
What Are Different Types of Car Accidents?
There is always a certain level of danger when you are on the road. Road conditions or even the condition of other drivers can cause accidents. When on the road, be wary of these circumstances so that you can do your part to minimize your chances of being in a car accident. Among the more common types of car accidents include:
- Rear-end collisions: These are the most common type of car accident. These are often caused by tailgating but can also happen when the person in front suddenly slows down drastically or slams on their brakes. The driver who is hit from the back may end up with whiplash, back injuries, and other problems caused by the impact. In most of these accidents, the driver of the car that hit the other one is held liable.
- Side-impact collisions: Also referred to as T-bone accidents, side-impact collisions occur when one vehicle hits another one from the side. These happen most often in parking lots, when two cars pass on highways, and at intersections. The severity of these accidents varies and depends on how fast the cars were going and the part of the car that was hit. If one car was stopped and the other was speeding, the result could be devastating. If both cars were moving, it may be considered a sideswipe accident with less damage and injuries.
- Rollovers: These accidents are often seen on television and in movies, but when they happen in real life, they are frightening and can be fatal. In a rollover, one or more cars will flip onto the roof or sides. SUVs and other vehicles that have high centers of gravity are more prone to rollovers, especially when speeding. Many of the rollover accident cases can be traced to defective tires. When a tire blows out, it increases the chances of a rollover significantly. This can be especially true of SUVs and other high-profile vehicles.
- Head-on collisions: These are also traumatic and cause more damage if the two drivers are speeding. In some cases, they are caused by one vehicle encountering a road obstacle, such as an animal crossing the street, a pole, or large debris.
- Aggressive driving and road rage: Driving aggressively, including speeding and weaving in and out of traffic, forces other drivers to have to react quickly to your actions. It can result in other cars colliding into each other or the aggressive driver to slam into another because they do not have the time to stop.
- Distracted driving: This is a growing problem in society. Distracted driving occurs when motorists are preoccupied with something other than the road. The most common distraction is our phone, but it can also include changing the radio or adjusting the car’s temperature. When distracted, we fail to notice things going on in front of us and will not react in time.
- Driver fatigue: We need to have enough rest when we get behind the wheel. When we are well rested, our senses are more attuned and we react quicker. When we do not get enough sleep, our reaction times are diminished. There is also the risk of falling asleep behind the wheel, which can cause us to lose control of the vehicle.
- Driving the wrong way: This is a dangerous practice that can lead to head-on collisions or other devastating accidents. They can be caused by a driver unfamiliar with the area, a drunk driver not observing the signs, or in the case of HOV lanes the wrong gate being open.
- Drugged driving: Taking drugs, illegal and legal, then getting behind the wheel is a dangerous practice and one that can lead to fatal accidents. Drugs dull your senses and cause you to fail to react as quickly as you should.
- Drunk driving: This is another dangerous and illegal activity that can lead to horrific accidents and ruined lives. Drinking also minimizes your ability to react to other drivers and the road. If you have had too much to drink, it is safer and wiser to have someone else drive or get a rideshare service.
- Ejection from automobile: When you are traveling at a steady pace and your car forcibly stops, if you are not secured in your seat, the movement could cause you to be ejected from your vehicle. This can cause devastating injuries and even death.
- Reckless driving: When a person is driving recklessly, they are doing so with complete disregard to the rules of the road as well as their fellow drivers. These drivers may fail to yield to other drivers, cut other drivers off, or just not pay attention to road signs and traffic lights. These actions place other drivers in jeopardy.
- Ridesharing accidents: You could be involved in a car accident and not even be the driver. Rideshare services are growing in popularity; however, the number of vehicles on the road is not diminishing. These drivers tend to drive aggressively to maximize the number of fares they get. This aggressive driving can lead to accidents that can still cause harm to the passengers.
- Speed-related accidents: The faster you drive, the longer it will take to stop. In addition, higher speeds mean a harder impact, which can cause more severe injuries. In addition, a speeding vehicle can cause other, slower driver to react poorly, which could lead to accidents as well.
- Teen driving accidents: When teenagers get their license, they are excited to get out on the road and enjoy some freedom and independence. They tend to be overconfident in their driving ability and inexperienced, which can be a dangerous combination. They also tend to drive a bit recklessly and carelessly because of that overconfidence and inexperience.
- Texting while driving: People are constantly on their portable electronic devices, and the most common reason is to text their friends and family. Texting while driving is a growing problem and significantly dangerous, as it draws your attention away from the road.
- Uninsured/underinsured drivers: When involved in a car accident, most drivers anticipate that they can file a claim against the at-fault motorist’s insurance. Unfortunately, not all drivers, despite the law, have insurance or sufficient insurance. In those instances, you will have to file a claim on your own insurance to cover your expenses.
- Unsafe roads: There can be many ways that unsafe roads can contribute to an accident. Municipalities, counties, and the commonwealth all have specific rules that govern how roads are to be designed and marked, how construction zones are to be set up, and other issues. Any infraction of these rules can put the public at risk of serious personal injury.
- Unsecured cargo: Trucks haul an assortment of cargo across the country, and when that cargo is not properly secured, it can become loose and fall across the road. The ensuing debris will cause drivers to have to swerve to avoid a collision, which could result in further accidents in the wake of the truck, and the truck driver could be oblivious to the havoc taking place behind them.
- Weather-related car accidents: Ice, snow, and rainy roadways can leave them slick and slippery, making it difficult for a vehicle to stop resulting in potentially out-of-control cars. When dangerous conditions exist, it is wise to avoid driving, but if you must drive, proceed with caution.
Single-vehicle accidents can also happen if a driver sideswipes another car, hits a pedestrian, or runs off the road. Some contributing factors include reckless driving, inexperience, poor weather conditions, and driver distractions. When more than two vehicles are involved, it can be devastating for the parties involved and difficult for insurance companies to settle. These pileups happen more frequently on highways and other busy roads.
How Can I Recoup Losses after a Car Accident?
Pennsylvania is a choice no-fault insurance state, meaning when you initially purchase your auto insurance, you have the option to select a more expensive plan, but that option will allow you to file a claim against an at-fault driver.
If you do not obtain that version of insurance, you still have the option to file a claim against on your own insurance’s personal injury protection (PIP) plan to collect compensation for your economic losses. You can file for this option regardless of the level of fault you bear for the accident.
If you can file a claim against an at-fault driver, there are a few things that you should know ahead of time. Primarily, the commonwealth follows a modified comparative fault rule, which could impact the financial award you receive. This rule assigns a percentage of responsibility for an accident on all parties involved. They then must pay the percentage of the award based on the percentage assigned to them. If a person is assigned a percentage of more than 50 percent, they are ineligible to receive any compensation.
Therefore, you might anticipate receiving a certain amount of compensation and it could be diminished because if you are found to bear any responsibility for the accident, it will be your overall compensation will be reduced.
You should also know that the commonwealth has a two-year statute of limitations when you file a claim. That timeline starts from the day of your accident. Although it might seem like a long time, it can move quickly, which is why you should speak with a car accident lawyer as soon as you can.
What Losses Can I Recoup after My Car Accident?
The compensation you receive will depend on the legal options available to you. There is certain compensation you can obtain through your PIP, whereas there is other compensation that you can seek only if you file a claim against an at-fault driver. Regardless of how you file your claim, you can receive basic economic expenses including:
- Medical expenses: This includes all doctor visits, tests, treatments, and other medical procedures associated with your accident. This would also cover any surgeries or rehabilitation session you must go through.
- Lost wages: If you are forced to miss work because of your injuries or must take a reduced schedule, you can seek compensation to recoup the salary you were unable to collect while you were out of work.
- Vehicle repair: If your vehicle sustained any damage during the accident, you may seek compensation from your insurance to repair any damage or to total out your car.
If you sustained a major injury or if you have obtained the correct insurance, you can file a claim directly with the at-fault driver’s insurance. Along with the economic expenses listed above, you can seek non-economic expenses from this claim, including:
- Pain and suffering: You can seek a financial amount that will compensate you for the pain and suffering you experienced from the accident. This number will be based on the severity of the accident.
- Mental trauma: There could be a significant mental impact if you are involved in a car accident that could hinder your ability to drive or get in the car for years to come. Like your physical pain, you can seek compensation and the amount will depend on the level of trauma you sustained.
- Loss of companionship: You can receive financial support if you are unable to perform sexually with your partner or are emotionally distanced because of the accident.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me?
Even though you might only be able to file a claim through your PIP insurance, there are plenty of reasons to consult with a car accident lawyer after your accident. A lawyer will work with you to determine what actions are available to you in your case and explain your legal options.
The lawyer will represent you, negotiate with your insurance company, and provide a more accurate assessment of the severity of your injuries. If it is determined that you can file a claim against another driver, your lawyer will handle that aspect of the case for you. From there, they can explain the process and how long it will take and your likelihood of success.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC, Help Clients with a Variety of Car Accidents
Regardless of the type of car accident you experienced, if you sustained injuries or damage to your vehicle, you should seek compensation to recoup your losses. In these cases, the Philadelphia car accident lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC, can help. Our experienced team will work with you to ensure that you achieve the outcome that suits your situation. Call us today at 215-569-4888 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, Abington, and Media, Pennsylvania; and Wilmington, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the surrounding areas.