Types of Car Accidents That Lead to Personal Injury Claims
February 18, 2022 | Uncategorized
Most Common Types of Car Accidents
Every year, thousands of people are injured or killed in car accidents throughout the United States. While traffic-related fatalities are declining in Missouri, according to data from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the state is still a far way off from zero traffic deaths. In 2018, there were 921 crash-related deaths in Missouri; in 2019, that number dropped to 876 deaths. While the general trend of declining fatalities is encouraging, these numbers are still alarmingly high. And they do not even take into account the number of motorists who sustained injuries due to traffic accidents.
In Missouri, as in other states, people are severely injured or even lose their lives in all types of motor vehicle collisions. While some types of accidents tend to be more dangerous than others, any accident can result in devastating or even fatal injuries. Typically, the severity of the crash based on factors like speed, braking, and the sizes and number of vehicles involved determines the severity of the resulting injuries, though there are exceptions to this rule.
Below, we’ve outlined some of the most common types of car accidents that we see here at The Dixon Injury Firm, as well as their common causes and the types of damages they can lead to. If you were involved in any type of car accident, or if your loved one was killed in a motor vehicle crash in Missouri, turn to our St. Louis car accident lawyers for reliable legal representation. Our firm has a proven record of success, having secured more than $50 million for our clients. We understand the many unique challenges you face, and we are prepared to help you fight to hold the negligent party accountable for your losses.
A knowledgeable and skilled St. Louis car accident attorney can meet with you to discuss the factual circumstances of your car accident and the way that it occurred. While you finish treating for your injuries, your attorney can begin gathering up all of your medical records and bills, photographs, witness statements, and other related documents.
After your treatment is complete, your St. Louis car accident attorney can assemble all of this information into a settlement demand package and work to negotiate a favorable settlement offer on your behalf with the other driver’s insurance company. Finally, if the insurance company fails to compensate you fairly, your attorney can file a lawsuit and litigate the case in the Missouri court system to a conclusion.
Types of Car Accidents in St. Louis
Not all St. Louis car crashes happen in the same way. However, any of these crashes can lead to personal injury claims. These claims seek to collect compensation for a wide range of losses, including medical treatment, missed work time, and other out-of-pocket damages.
Some of the most common types of car crashes in the St. Louis area include the following:
Rear-end collisions are some of the most common of all car accidents. They occur when one vehicle hits the back of another vehicle. Rear-end collisions can be relatively mild or very serious, depending largely on the speed at which they occur. Failing to stop in time and tapping someone’s bumper in a parking lot while going less than 10 mph is far less serious than slamming into the back of a suddenly stopping vehicle at highway speeds.
A rear-end collision happens when the front of one motor vehicle collides with the back of another motor vehicle. In some instances, these collisions happen with such force that the impacted vehicle strikes another one, causing a chain-reaction crash.
The force of these impacts can cause drivers and passengers to suffer very severe injuries. For example, the driver or passenger’s body can move forward and backward in the vehicle very quickly, resulting in a whiplash-type sprain/strain. The impact force might also cause a part of the accident victim’s body to strike something in the vehicle. For example, the accident victim’s head might strike the steering wheel, headrest, window, or door frame, resulting in a traumatic head or brain injury. These injuries can lead to numerous complications, including memory losses, and at worst, a coma or permanent vegetative state.
Rear-end collisions are commonly caused by:
- Distracted driving
- Texting while driving
- Drunk driving
- Fatigued driving/falling asleep at the wheel
- Failure to check behind when reversing
- Defective or broken taillights
- Sudden slowdowns and stops
- Using a cell phone or hand-held device while driving
Rear-end crashes can lead to serious injuries, including whiplash, herniated discs, facial injuries, and brain damage.
While it may seem as though the rear driver is always to blame for a rear-end collision, this may not always be the case. While motorists are required to keep a safe distance between themselves and those in front of them, they may be unable to stop in time when the car in front of them doesn’t have working brake lights or when the front vehicle stops very suddenly when traveling at high speeds. Additionally, when multiple cars are involved in an accident, a vehicle may be pushed into the car in front of it by another motorist who hits the back of the first vehicle. It’s important to work with an experienced rear-end accident attorney who can evaluate the facts of your case in order to determine liability.
Head-on collisions when two vehicles traveling in opposite directions collide front to front are extremely dangerous. Head-on crashes are some of the most deadly of all auto accidents, as the force of two vehicles moving in opposing directions colliding is immense.
A head-on motor vehicle collision happens when the front of one vehicle collides with the front of another vehicle. Frequently, these accidents occur on two-lane roadways or highways, where there is one travel lane in each direction. One driver usually veers over into opposing traffic in a head-on collision and strikes an oncoming vehicle. In addition to extremely serious property damage to both vehicles, a head-on collision can result in severe injuries, and in some cases, fatalities. The force might even cause fatalities.
Victims of head-on collisions often sustain the following injuries:
- Multiple fractures
- Severe soft tissue damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Accidental amputation
Sadly, many victims of head-on collisions die due to their injuries. If you were catastrophically injured or if your loved one died as a result of a head-on collision caused by a distracted, reckless, or intoxicated driver, our head-on collision lawyers can help you fight for fair compensation for your damages. This might include things like current and future medical bills, current and future lost wages, pain and suffering, funeral expenses, and more.
Side-impact crashes often happen when people are not paying attention or make critical mistakes. Depending on the speed at which side-impact crashes happen, the effects can be catastrophic.
Generally speaking, there are two types of side-impact crashes:
- Side-Swipes: When a vehicle comes too close to another car traveling in the same direction and hits it or merges into a car in another lane, this is known as a side-swipe. Side-swipe collisions can result in the impacted vehicle swerving into other lanes of traffic or off the road. It can also cause the driver who was hit to overcorrect in an attempt to avoid hitting anyone or anything else, leading to a rollover accident, T-bone accident, or head-on collision.
- T-Bones: When a car hits another vehicle on the side at a right angle (or at nearly a right angle), this is known as a T-bone collision. These types of crashes often occur when a driver attempts to make an unprotected left turn across oncoming lanes of traffic. They can also occur when someone runs a red light or stop sign, ramming into someone else who was crossing the intersection on a green light/after stopping.
The Dixon Injury Firm can help you after a side-impact crash. Our attorneys often work with accident reconstructionists, medical experts, and others in order to conduct exhaustive investigations and determine exactly what happened, as well as who is liable.
Rollover Car Accidents
A rollover happens when a car, pickup truck, or sport utility vehicle (SUV) flips over, either landing on its roof or rolling over completely one or more times to land upright. Rollovers tend to affect vehicles with a high center of gravity, meaning vehicles that are taller than average passenger cars. However, any type of car can flip if it is hit at a high speed or at a certain angle.
Rollovers often occur when the vehicle is struck on the side by another car, especially when this happens at high speeds. Rollovers can also happen when a motorist is traveling too fast around a curve, overcorrects, or when weather conditions are poor (e.g. slick, icy roads). Another common cause of rollover accidents is defective vehicle design. If the vehicle is designed in such a way that it is extremely prone to rolling over, making it inherently unsafe, the designer of the vehicle could be held legally liable.
Rollover accidents often lead to:
- Roof crushes/collapses
- Broken windshields/car windows
- Crushed sidewalls and doors
- Passengers being thrown from the vehicle
- Objects moving around inside the vehicle
This can lead to serious, catastrophic injuries and, in the most tragic cases, fatalities. At The Dixon Injury Firm, we can help you seek justice and fair compensation for your damages by fighting to hold the liable party accountable.
Other Common Types of Car Accidents
- Autonomous Car Accidents
- Bad Weather Car Accidents
- Brake Malfunction
- Chain Reaction Car Accidents
- Distracted Driving Accidents
- Driving Under the Influence of Drugs Accidents
- Drunk Driving Accidents
- Elderly Driver Accidents
- Failure To Yield Accidents
- Fender Bender Claims
- Fatal Car Accidents
- Head On Collision Accidents
- Hit And Run Accidents
- Parking Lot Accident
- Rear End Accidents
- Rental Car Accidents
- Ridesharing Accidents
- Road Construction Accidents
- Rollover Accidents
- Side Impact Collisions
- Sideswipe Accidents
- Speeding Accidents
- Texting And Driving Accident Claims
- Tire Blowout Accidents
- Underinsured Motorist Accident
Causes of Car Crashes in the St. Louis Area
There are many reasons why car accidents frequently happen in the St. Louis area. One of the most common causes of these accidents is driver error and negligence. Motor vehicle operators are responsible for driving in a careful, prudent, and safe manner at all times while they are behind the wheel of a car. When they fail to operate their vehicle safely, they increase the chances of causing an accident with any other vehicles on the road at that time.
Motor vehicle operators must also abide by the rules of the road and follow all traffic signs, control devices, and speed limits. When motor vehicle operators speed, fail to yield the right-of-way to other vehicles at the appropriate times, weave in and out of traffic, tailgate, and break other road rules, they increase their chances of causing a serious accident.
Another common cause of car accidents in the St. Louis area is distracted driving. Distracted driving occurs when a motor vehicle operator fails to pay attention to the road. For example, the car operator might be disciplining young children in the back seat, listening to loud music while driving, or trying to text on a cellular device that is not hands-free. When a distracted driver fails to pay attention to the road, he/she may not react in time to avoid a collision. Car accidents can occur in a split second, and a driver who is off his/her guard can collide with another motor vehicle in a fraction of a second.
Car accidents also often happen when motor vehicle drivers are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In Missouri, a motor vehicle operator who has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher is per se intoxicated by alcohol under the law. However, a lower blood alcohol concentration does not necessarily mean that it is safe for that driver to be operating a vehicle on the road. In fact, an impaired driver can also bring about a serious motor vehicle collision.
If you have suffered injuries in a car accident that happened because another driver behaved recklessly, you might be entitled to recover various damages. A St. Louis car accident attorney in your area can analyze the facts and circumstances of your case and determine your eligibility for filing a claim or lawsuit. Your attorney will do everything possible to maximize your monetary recovery in the case and get you the damages that you deserve for your injuries.
The Burden of Proof in Car Accident Cases
Missouri is an at-fault, or tort, state when it comes to car accidents and auto insurance. This means that the accident victim has the burden of proving fault on the part of another driver, as well as entitlement to damages. To prove that another driver caused their car accident, the accident victim needs to show that the driver acted unreasonably under the circumstances.
For example, he/she might have violated a road rule or engaged in distracted driving leading up to the collision. In cases of clear liability, such as where an intoxicated driver caused an accident, the driver’s insurance company might stipulate, or agree, to fault in the personal injury case.
In addition to fault, the accident victim is responsible for demonstrating that he or she suffered at least one physical injury and that the injury or injuries occurred because of the accident. In other words, the accident must have been at least one cause of the injury or injuries that the accident victim suffered.
When it comes to proving the legal elements of a car accident claim, the accident victim’s lawyer will need to rely upon various pieces of evidence. That evidence may include copies of the police report and witness statements, the accident victim’s testimony at trial, the accident victim’s medical records and medical bills, and all loss wage documentation. In addition, the accident victim’s lawyer might need to call upon a medical provider to demonstrate, to a reasonable degree of medical probability, that specific injuries arose because of the accident.
A knowledgeable car accident attorney in the St. Louis area can help you satisfy the legal elements of proof in your case. He or she can also negotiate with the insurance company adjuster on your behalf to get you a full and fair settlement that fully compensates you for your injuries.
Litigating a Car Accident Case in St Louis, Missouri
The accident victim’s lawyer will file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company following most car accidents. This is because the State of Missouri operates on a fault-based system of recovery in car accident cases. If the at-fault driver did not have insurance at the time of the accident, or if the driver fled the scene of the accident, then the accident victim’s uninsured motorist coverage provider may supply the necessary insurance coverage.
The accident victim’s lawyer will typically file a claim with the insurance company. The demand typically includes a settlement demand letter and other vital documentation pieces, such as the accident victim’s medical records and bills. The insurance company adjuster will review this documentation and decide whether or not to make an offer on the case. Even if the insurance company accepts fault for the accident and makes an initial offer, that offer will typically be far less than the case is actually worth.
At that point, the accident victim has two choices. Either the accident victim’s lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company in an attempt to reach a favorable settlement offer, or the lawyer can file a lawsuit on the accident victim’s behalf in court. Once the lawyer has filed the lawsuit, settlement negotiations can continue, but the parties will engage in various forms of oral and written discovery. For example, the at-fault driver’s lawyer will probably want to take the accident victim’s oral deposition to learn more about the case.
Even when the parties pursue litigation, the case does not always go to court. Most car accident claims settle at some point during the process. A trial is typically the method of last resort. Instead of a trial, the parties might take the case before a mediator or arbitrator. In binding arbitration, for example, the arbitrator will listen to all of the evidence that the parties present at the hearing and then determine a damage award.
Compensable damages in car accident claims will depend upon the severity of the injuries, the length of medical treatment that the accident victim underwent, and the cost of that treatment. Generally speaking, when accident victims suffer significant and permanent injuries, they collect more damages than if they needed minimal medical treatment.
Victims of car accidents can recover monetary compensation for their medical bills, out-of-pocket losses, and lost wages. They can also claim loss of earning capacity, inconvenience, pain and suffering, loss of the ability to use a specific body part, and loss of life enjoyment.
A skilled car accident attorney can let you know which of these types of damages you might be eligible to pursue in your car accident claim. Your lawyer can zealously advocate on your behalf and work to get you as much compensation as possible in your case.
Contact The Dixon Injury Firm Today
Whether you were injured in a rear-end collision, a head-on crash, a side-impact wreck, a rollover, or some other type of car accident, The Dixon Injury Firm is ready to help you in your recovery. Our St. Louis car accident lawyers understand the many complexities involved in these types of claims and are prepared to help you navigate the legal process from start to finish. Because no two cases are the same, we provide personalized counsel and attentive representation every step of the way.
Our firm offers free initial consultations to all new and prospective clients, as well as contingency fees. This means that if we do not recover a settlement or verdict in your case, you do not pay us a dime. There is no risk in speaking to a member of our team to learn more about how we can help you with your car accident claim and fight for the justice you deserve. We are available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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The Dixon Injury Firm
9666 Olive Blvd #202,
St. Louis, MO 63132