No doubt about it, Americans love cars. What we don’t love in the slightest is getting into one of the following types of car accidents. Even minor fender-benders are nerve wracking experiences that can potentially ruin our day. Then there are some accidents so serious that they take a life, or cause debilitating injuries that make our lives seem like a never-ending struggle.
After the smell of asphalt, burning rubber, and fear subside, what’s left may be a totaled car, immeasurable pain and a mountain of medical bills. In these instances, the help of a skilled auto accident attorney is vital in getting the compensation you need to get your life back in order.
Most Common Types of Motor Vehicle Accidents
The law firm of Pittman Dutton & Hellums has successfully represented hundreds of injured accident victims in many types of motor vehicle collisions and accidents.
1. Rear-End Collisions
Evening rush hour is one of the worst times to be on the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), the majority of automobile accidents occur during the after work rush hour between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays.
Because most people are mentally or emotionally exhausted, they may forgo safe driving behaviors and do things like tailgate, cut off other drivers and switch lanes abruptly. Often the result is a rear-end collision.
Rear-end collisions are frequently caused by a combination of driver inattentiveness, speeding and tailgating. Car accident injuries such as soft tissue damage, whiplash, are commonly sustained because of the combination of angle and force of impact. The neck and upper back are likely to suffer injury, as are lower extremity injuries to the legs and feet.
Even rear-end collisions at lower speeds can be damaging and may result in symptoms that are slower to show themselves. Middle or lower back pain, headache, sleep difficulties or fatigue are common rear-end accident symptoms.
These injuries are not always readily apparent and may take several days or even weeks for symptoms to become painfully noticeable. For this reason, you should always see a doctor immediately after a car crash. A physician will be able to properly diagnosis you. Additionally, your medical records may be submitted as evidence in a personal injury claim.
While they make for an amazing shot in an action movie, rollover crashes are absolutely horrific events to experience in real life. Larger cars such as SUVs, large trucks and semis have a higher center of gravity and are more likely to have a rollover incident, but all vehicles have the potential to rollover.
Semis and tractor-trailer trucks are notorious for rollover incidents. However, the NTHSA found nearly 85% of deaths from rollover accidents involved a single car traveling their daily route. A good way to break up the monotony of the morning commute is to switch up your route. Try going the long way or including a stop at your favorite coffee or ice cream shop.
The height and weight of the vehicles involved determine the extent of injuries you may experience in a rollover crash. Your seatbelt can also cause significant damage to the torso and neck as the car turns over onto the roof and (hopefully) back onto its wheels. In worst case scenarios, you could suffer a traumatic brain injury as a result of your crash, or lose your life.
3. Side Impact Crashes
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, side impact crashes account for 25% of car accident fatalities. Often these accidents are caused by a negligent driver running a red light or making an improper turn. The severe back-and-forth and side-to-side movements of side impact crashes can lead to broken ribs, lacerations, internal organ rupture or bleeding and soft tissue injuries.
People of shorter stature, including children, tend to suffer severe brain injuries from side crashes. The impact can also cause a soft center disk of the spine to slip under the hard vertebrae or compress the entire spinal column, resulting in excruciating pain.
4. Head-On Collision
Ranked first among the deadliest types of car accidents, head on collisions are almost sure to cause great injury and completely annihilate the front end of your car. Even at low speeds, head-on collision accident injuries from head-on collisions can cause broken facial bones, soft tissue damage to the neck and upper back, and brain injury. Severe leg and foot injuries are also common in head-on crashes. At increased speeds, the results are even more gruesome – including decapitation and death.
5. Sideswipe Accidents
Most sideswipe accidents occur when two vehicles are approaching form opposite directions, do not hit each other directly head on and scape their metal sides against one another.
When one car is significantly larger than the other, or has weaker side-impact reinforcements, the driver or passenger (depending on which side of the car is impacted) may experience injuries to the upper body, head and neck.
Drowsy drivers and driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol are likely to cause sideswipe accidents, as both scenarios compromise the ability to gauge spatial awareness.
What to Do When You’re in a Car Accident
Should you have the misfortune of finding yourself in any type of car accident, please remember to:
• Stay calm. While it’s perfectly understandable you’d feel angry, frustrated or enraged that another driver hit you, it won’t help the situation any to lose your cool.
• Contact authorities. Of course, call 911 if anyone is in need of medical attention. Get police on the scene of a serious accident, or any involving injuries, so that a police report can be made.
• Document as much as possible at the scene. Take photos of any injuries or vehicle damage. This evidence may be very useful if you file a claim for compensation. While we will thoroughly investigate your accident if we represent you, it’s never possible to fully re-create the scene of a crash after the fact.
• Report the crash to your insurance company. Only give them the basics of the accident. Do not give any insurance company a statement without speaking to a car accident attorney first.
• Collect info from the other drivers. This includes name, address, insurer, policy number, vehicle make and model.
• Do not admit fault to anyone, and don’t sign anything. Don’t discuss the accident with anyone but your doctor and your lawyer.
Contact an Alabama Personal Injury Attorney
Those recovering from a serious car accident face numerous burdens. Hiring an attorney is probably the last thing on your mind when you’re dealing with the physical and emotional pain of a car crash. However, enlisting the help of an attorney is often the easiest way to ensure you get the compensation you need to get your life back in order.
Pittman Dutton & Hellums has secured numerous multimillion-dollar verdicts or settlements on behalf of Alabama car accident victims. We have the experience necessary to investigate your accident and build a strong case to secure a settlement that benefits you and your loved ones.
If you or a loved one was seriously injured in an auto accident, give us a call today at (866) 515-8880 for a free case evaluation.