Car Accidents Overview - Attorneys and Law
Almost everyone will be involved in a car accident at some point in their lives. While hopefully your auto accident won’t cause serious car accident injuries, car accidents can have potentially serious and even fatal consequences. An auto accident can also give rise to liability – you may be able to sue the driver who caused the accident. As such, it is useful to learn more about motor vehicle accidents, vehicle accident lawsuits and how an accident attorney can help.
How Common Are Car Accidents?
The statistics governing car accidents are somewhat alarming:
- More than 6 million motor vehicle accidents occur in the U.S. every year.
- Car accidents kill one person every 12 minutes, and injure someone every 14 seconds in the U.S. – many of these cases give rise to car accident claims either for wrongful death or car accident injuries
- Motor vehicle accidents kill over 40,000 people every year in U.S., and they are the primary cause of death for people from ages 2 to 34
- About 2,000 children die as a result of car accidents every year, and over 250,000 are injured in accidents
Types of Car Accident Injuries
There are many different causes for car accidents, each of which are likely to lead to a variety of injuries. Some of the most common car accidents that occur include:
- Rear Impact: If you hit someone from behind, or are hit from behind, you have been involved in a rear impact accident. Most often this occurs because someone has failed to brake in time, resulting in either a tap or a more significant rear impact accident. Nearly 30 percent of all car accidents in the U.S. are rear-impact collisions. When a rear impact collision occurs, the driver in the back is usually responsible because laws mandate that you drive a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you.
- Side Impact: If you are hit in the side of your vehicle, you have experienced a side impact crash. Side impact accidents can happen when you “T-bone” another vehicle, meaning the front of your vehicle crashes into the side of another. You can also sideswipe another car by bumping into its side while changing lanes. Nearly 29 percent of all U.S. accidents are side-impact collisions. Proving fault often becomes an issue here- it can be hard to know which driver was in the wrong. A good car accident lawyer can help you collect photographic evidence of the scene or will hire an expert in accident reconstruction to act as your witness and to help you prove the fault of the other party.
- Head-on Collision: If you hit another car front first, or if you hit a non-moving object with the front of your car, you have been involved in a head-on collision. Head-on collisions happen often when a driver falls asleep and slips into oncoming traffic. Other ways head-on collisions occur are where the driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, gets onto a freeway or a one-way street in the wrong direction, or loses control of their vehicle and skids into an oncoming lane. These accidents account for 2 percent of all U.S. collisions. The driver who was going the wrong way or who was drunk or asleep is generally at fault.
- Rollover: If your car flips over in any way, or lands on its side, you have been involved in a rollover. Taller vehicles, like SUV’s and trucks, are more likely to experience rollovers than smaller cars. Nearly 2 percent of all accidents in the U.S. are rollovers. In some rollover accidents, you may be able to hold the manufacturer of the car responsible for a poor design or defects.
- Runoff: These accidents usually involve only one car running off the road. This can happen when a driver is not paying attention, or swerves to avoid another vehicle or animal in the road. Runoffs account for 16 percent of all U.S. accidents. If you run off the road, you usually have no one to blame but yourself – unless another vehicle illegally got in your way or there was a problem with the road itself.
How an Auto Accident Attorney Can Help
No matter what the specific cause of your car accident injuries, a car accident attorney can help you prove fault and collect the damages you deserve.
Attorneys can be particularly helpful when injuries like whiplash or injuries involving hospitalization are involved. Car insurance companies will try to pay as little as possible, and an attorney can help you gather evidence and protect your rights by dealing directly with your insurer or by helping you to file a car accident lawsuit.