The possibility of an accident is always imminent. That’s why it is advisable to be cautious whenever you are driving. Drivers can get involved in several different kinds of collisions. They differ based on the circumstances surrounding the accident. After an accident, it is necessary to seek professional legal intervention if you are seeking reimbursement from the faulty party. The San Diego Personal Injury Law Firm guarantees excellent legal services to people who intend to be compensated after an accident.
A rear-end collision happens once a car crashes on the other one from behind. This usually occurs when the cars are on the same lane or road and are traveling in the same direction. One of the vehicles usually decelerates while the other one is following from behind and hits it from behind. Alternatively, the rear car may accelerate rapidly compared with the leading vehicle resulting in a collision with the one from behind.
The typical consequences from a rear-end collision, even in a moderate one, would be a whiplash. However, severe cases might lead to severe injuries such as herniation. The passenger sitting at the rear seat in a vehicle has the highest likelihood to incur severe injuries than the rest.
In rear-end collisions, the rear driver is usually liable for the accident. However, this is not the case for most accidents since errors from the leading vehicle might also be responsible if he or she made a sudden stoppage without proper signage. A typical stoppage distance would be approximately 120 feet at regular speed. Therefore, if the leading vehicle makes an unannounced stoppage, there would be no time for the rear car to come to a stop hence the rear-end accident. This puts the leading vehicle liable for the accident.
A T-bone crash is depicted by one front of a car crash on the other on the side. This kind of accident is typical in an intersection where one driver fails to yield to the other driver or fails to stop at a stop sign. When determining your right of way, you should consider the following:
- Come to a complete halt at a stop sign or a red light. If you are in a place that does not have a traffic light, you must guarantee that the traffic is clear before entering the highway.
- Turn right only if it is permitted. This is common in an intersection where all the roads are dual carriage.
- If you are entering a road from a car park, you should allow the traffic to clear before you leave the intersection.
- Stop at an intersection and allow traffic to clear even if there are no traffic lights or malfunctioning.
Accidents in T-bone or broadside accidents can cause severe injuries since there is narrow protection between the passengers and the outside of the car. Also, the injuries can be more critical since the victims are usually trapped in the vehicle and can continue suffering until professional rescuers come to their rescue.
In a T-bone collision, either driver can be at fault, depending on their response to the traffic rules. As stated above, the vehicle that comes to a red stop should allow cars on the highway to clear before entering the road. In such a case, the car that failed to yield to the-right-of-way is responsible for the accident. This can also happen to the vehicle on the highway that fails to yield. In another situation, both cars involved in the accident might have observed the traffic rules only to cause an accident to distract one of the drivers. In such a case, the distracted driver should be held responsible for the accident.
A head-on collision is a type of crash where the front ends of two vehicles moving in the opposite direction are involved. This usually happens on a single-lane highway where cars moving in other directions can quickly come into contact. It often occurs when one of the vehicles moves from its lane and tries to overtake another without considering other cars in the opposite direction.
In such a situation, drivers are usually at the highest risk of injuring severe injuries at the front of the vehicle. In most cases, they suffer head injuries as they bang their heads to the steering wheel once the car comes to a sudden stop.
The at-fault driver in a head-on collision usually violates traffic rules by driving on the opposite lane. Such violations include careless overtaking, speeding, and distracted driving. In such a case, the driver will have to compensate the accident victims for the injuries that they sustain.
This sort of accident involves several vehicles and usually occurs in high-speed routes and high capacity highways. The accident can pile up depending on the speed, vehicles involved, and the accident’s nature.
A multiple-vehicle accident can cause several injuries and can be both minor and fatal. However, occupants in small vehicles are the highest risk of sustaining injuries. Also, if one of the cars involved is a gasoline tanker, most of the victims can sustain severe injuries if the truck catches fire.
It can be complicated to determine who is at fault in this sort of accident. However, if the police officer can establish the person who initiated the accident’s chain reaction, then the respective driver should be held responsible for the accident. Nevertheless, you should not disregard the fact that another driver would have initiated a driver to start multiple accidents due to a specific driving error.
Sideswipe collision is another type of accident that might occur in a high-speed highway or high capacity roads. It involves two vehicles that hit each other on the lateral side. This usually happens when one of the cars tries to enter into a lane without proper signaling. It also occurs in a road that merges to form a single lane.
Occupants in both vehicles are at high risk of injuries due to the small area between the point of contact and them. Common types of injuries that the occupants can sustain include fractures and whiplash.
In most cases, the driver changing the lane is usually at-fault in the accident. This conclusion is made if the driver:
- Fails to check whether there is enough room to change the lanes
- Drift to the other lane due to distraction
- Is speeding
- Intentionally cuts the other vehicle due to road rage.
- Tries to cut off the other vehicle
The other driver occupying the lane can also be held liable based on the following circumstances:
- Speeds up the vehicle when the other car is trying to change the lane
- Slows down when a car attempts to change lanes from behind
- Is distracted by texting or talking to the phone
- Purposely refuses to allow the other vehicle to enter his or her lane.
In the case of a merging highway, the merging driver ends up responsible for the accident in the following ways:
- If he or she merges too fast
- Cuts off the other vehicle
- Merges too slowly
- Hesitates while merging
- Fails to check when the other car is merging
The non-merging vehicle can end up liable for the accident in the following way:
- Failing to slow down
- Speeding up to avoid the merging vehicle enter into the lane
- Tailgating the vehicle in front of you to avoid creating room for the other car to merge
- Failure to adjust your speed to allow safe merging of the other vehicle
This is an accident that involves a vehicle leaving the road and hits a stationary object. It also occurs when a car incurs a rollover accident all by itself. The vehicle involved in this type of collision is usually at speed, and it is hard to control it to avoid hitting the stationary object.
In a rollover accident, the vehicle is usually at speed, and the driver tries to make a sudden brake. As a result, the car defies its weight ending up rolling over due to the low stability. Rollover accidents are common with sport-utility vehicles and four-wheel-drive pickup trucks due to their high clearance that is meant for their driving.
Such an accident can cause substantial injuries and damages to the vehicle. It also has a lot of risks to the other cars on the road and passengers.
Fault in a single accident collision is usually on the driver of the vehicle involved in the accident. The car manufacturer or maintenance company can be held liable if the accident resulted from a manufacturer or maintenance defect.
Low-speed collision usually happens in areas such as parking lots where people are driving at low speed, and there are lots of things to avoid when maneuvering. This sort of collision occurs when driving under 10mph and still poses a lot of danger to the people involved.
This type of accident might seem minor but might end up causing neck and back injuries to the vehicle occupants. The slightest jerk of a vehicle can end up causing a whiplash, which is the most common injury in this type of accident.
When it comes to fault, there are specific rules that one should follow when maneuvering a parking lot. For instance, a driver who is leaving a parking spot should check whether there is a vehicle on the free lane. If one fails to make such a consideration, there are chances of hitting the oncoming car. In such a case, the driver who fails to check for the approaching vehicle is responsible for the sustained injuries.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
For any accident to occur, there must be some sort of cause behind it. Every type has a specific reason for its happening. Here are the common causes of car accidents that you need to know.
This is the leading cause of car accidents over the years. Distracted driving can result from a conversation with a passenger, eating a snack, taking a drink, or something happening inside or outside the car. When one is distracted, it is hard to concentrate on the road. Therefore, it is hard to react to anything that might lead to an accident.
Driving under the influence is another leading cause of accidents in California and the United States at large. If one is under the influence, it is hard to make a reasonable driving decision hence the possibility of an accident. Drunk driving does not necessarily have to result from taking alcohol but can be as a result of drugs such as marijuana.
Speeding is the second most cause of accidents. Drivers are tempted to speed and ignore the limits indicated on the highway. As a result, they cannot manage to stop a vehicle within the required timeline, which results in an accident. Also, there is less time to react to any impromptu movement made by other cars on the highway, which leads to an accident. Speeding is responsible for almost every type of accident.
Reckless driving is a collective term that describes various ways that drivers break different traffic rules. This includes driving beyond the speed limit, overtaking dangerously, and ignoring traffic signals. Such behaviors can lead to kinds of accidents, such as multiple vehicle collisions, sideswipe, broadside, and single-vehicle accidents.
Failing to Stop at a Traffic Light
Traffic lights are meant to control traffic. Therefore, if you fail to yield to a stop sign, there are chances of incurring an accident. Drivers who fail to stop at a traffic light can lead to collisions such as T-bone, head-on collision, and rear-end accidents depending on the nature of the intersection.
Failing to Yield
When a car is approaching an intersection, it should yield to the cars on the highway. That’s why you will find traffic signals in such areas that will control the traffic and avoid any accidents. However, if a vehicle does not yield, it will end up colliding with another one. T-bone accident is the most common type of accident that failing to yield might cause.
Poor Weather Conditions
Driving in poor weather conditions such as rain might be dangerous. Conditions such as rain and snow make the road slippery, making it easy to control a vehicle. The visibility is also too low, which obstructs the driver from other cars on the highway. As a result, such a situation might lead to accidents such as sideswipe and rear-end collisions.
Visibility is usually low during the night. Therefore, it is challenging to take note of what is happening on the highway if you are not careful enough. The possible type of accidents that might result from night driving includes rear-ending collision and sideswipe.
If a vehicle has a defective part, it means that its driver cannot manage it accordingly. Some faulty components, such as tires, can lead to a blowout, which is quite dangerous. In the case of a tire blowout, it is hard to take control of the vehicle resulting in accidents such as multiple vehicle collisions, rear-end, and sideswipe.
Other than a defective part, a faulty design might cause an accident. The difference between the two is that a design defect comes from the manufacturer, while the defective part results from the lack of proper maintenance. In most design defects, manufacturers usually put out a recall to correct the error. For instance, in a design defect that involved car latches, vehicles would open without notice and would probably lead to an accident. Design defects can lead to any kind of accident, depending on the type.
Tailgating is another term that describes a situation where a driver follows another one too closely. Drivers are required to keep a distance of about 120 feet to avoid colliding with the vehicle at the front. However, if the car is following too closely, it might hit the other at the back, which typically explains a rear-end collision.
Poor Road Conditions
When a car is moving on a road with poor conditions such as potholes, it will try as much as possible to avoid them. As a result, the car might end up causing a sideswipe or single-vehicle accident.
In a situation where an animal or vehicle crosses a road, a driver might swerve the car to the opposite lane to avoid hitting them. This will lead to a collision with the car on the other lane. The primary type of accident that occurs in such a situation is the sideswipe collision.
It is usual to make mistakes, but judgment lapses can lead to a horrible accident. If one is driving on an unfamiliar road, there is a possibility of losing track of direction, resulting in a wrong turn. In such a situation, one might end up causing an accident, such as a T-bone collision.
Teenagers are not familiar with complex driving routines due to their inexperience. Therefore, if they come across a situation that needs a sudden reaction, they might fail to react as expected. They also portray distracting behaviors such as texting, as well as reckless driving. As a result, this leads to different types of accidents.
Recoverable Damages in a Car Accident
Once you are involved in an accident, there are possibilities of incurring some injuries. Those injuries will incur some expenses in the quest to treat and rehabilitate them. These kinds of costs are referred to as damages. Your attorney should help you recover these damages as the at-fault party compensate for your injuries.
Recoverable damages can either be economical, non-economic, or punitive. With economic costs, these are the kinds of expenses that one can manage to calculate or have a monetary value. These expenses are as follows:
These are the treatment and medication bills that arise from your injuries. The court will take a total of your medical expenses to determine how much you will be compensated. The court can also permit a plaintiff to seek compensation for future medical expenses if you need further treatment or rehabilitation due to your injuries.
Lost Earning Capacity
If an accident victim suffers from catastrophic injuries, one might lose the capacity to earn. In this case, experts will consider your past earning capacity, health, age, and life expectancy to determine how much you should be compensated. The court will also consider acquiring new training that will help you get a job that you can handle with your current capacity.
These are the expenses incurred when somebody chips in handling household services around the house while recuperating. These would be the services that one would not have incurred if he or she was not hurt. This includes additional housekeeper’s wages that were not part of the household budget.
When it comes to non-economical expenses, there is no monetary value that one can place on them. This is based on how they are calculated and determining their value. These kinds of expenses are as follows:
Pain and Suffering
These represent the physical pain and emotional burden that result from injuries. They also include the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder ( PTSD) that is caused by most catastrophic injuries.
Loss of Enjoyment
If you are left paralyzed or disfigured by accident, you might not enjoy life as before. Some of the fun activities that you are denied include participating in hobbies and doing things by yourself.
Loss of Consortium
The court also provides compensation for your partner’s loss of companionship, guidance, and sexual relationship. This consideration is common in catastrophic injuries.
These are damages that are awarded as a way of punishing someone for acting with gross negligence. These costs are rarely granted, but when the court decides on granting them, the plaintiff can recover more than three times the average amount. In a car accident, punitive damages are awarded when the at-fault party was voluntarily intoxicated or was driving recklessly.
Find a San Diego Personal Injury Law Firm Near Me
Handling a car accident case can be demanding. It requires sound legal knowledge to make sure that the at-fault party ends up compensating for the injuries sustained. If you are in this predicament, hiring a personal injury attorney would be the best thing to do. San Diego Personal Injury Law Firm has the best attorneys within San Diego, CA, who can help you in seeking compensation for your injuries. For more information about us, contact us at 619-478-4059, and schedule a consultation.