Most Common Types of Car Accidents and How to Get Compensated

Heading out for a routine errand or drive to work seems perfectly ordinary – until an auto accident turns lives upside down in an instant. According to the state transportation authorities, there were 45,295 total police-reported traffic crashes in Oregon in 2021.

In our firm’s decade representing car accident injury victims, we’ve seen firsthand the devastating physical, emotional, and financial impacts crashes inflict on innocent drivers and passengers. We’ve also noticed common contributing factors in the most frequent accident types our clients face.

Behind the statistics are real people who suffer greatly through no fault of their own. Auto injuries take lasting tolls on victims and their families. Let’s walk through the most common accident types we see, what tends to cause them, and practical steps victims can take afterward.

Single-Vehicle Car Accidents

In single-vehicle crashes, one party loses control or leaves the road without colliding with others. Intoxication, distraction, speeding, or hazardous conditions often cause these events. Despite drivers bearing more presumed fault in single-vehicle crashes, exceptions exist.

Rollover Injuries

Rollovers are severe single-vehicle wrecks. Top-heavy SUVs are prone to rollover crashes when their center of gravity shifts. Victims may sustain spinal or traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) if violently tossed about unrestrained. However, flawed vehicle design or negligent maintenance could indicate shared liability.

Hazardous Road Conditions

Skidding into roadside objects also leads to single-vehicle accidents. Icy surfaces, worn tires, poorly lit curves, or untrimmed vegetation could show negligence by maintainers. Seek experienced legal counsel to investigate the infrastructure conditions surrounding your type of accident.

New Drivers

Overcorrection and oversteering also cause single-vehicle crashes. New drivers may panic and turn too sharply to regain control. However, manufacturers can share the blame if handling issues sparked the incident.

In all cases, contact an Oregon personal injury lawyer to evaluate options. These advocates handle claims involving government or private property liability, product defects, and negligence suits against insured motorists.

Two-Vehicle Accidents: Side-Impact and Head-On Collisions

While single-vehicle wrecks carry assumptions, two-car accidents spark debates over shared or disputed faults.

Rear-End Collisions

Getting hit from behind almost always provokes two-vehicle crashes. Distracted, tailgating or impaired drivers often react slowly and strike cars ahead. Whiplash and back injuries typically result as victims lurch forward and rebound.

Not Paying Attention

Inattentive driving also spurs two-car collisions. On undivided roads, negligent passing or left turn maneuvers put drivers in oncoming lanes. High-speed head-on collisions can cause disfiguring, disabling, or fatal injuries.

Failure To Yield

Failure to yield at intersections or obey traffic devices is another top cause. The police report may indicate one party ignored signals or signs. However, sightline obstructions could also impede judgment, meaning potential shared liability.

T-Bone Crashes

T-bone angle crashes spark debates over right-of-way confusion. These dangerous side-impact wrecks can cause spinal, internal, and head trauma. Police may presume fault against the broadsided driver, but intersection design factors may also contribute.

Aggressive Driving

Aggressive driving behaviors such as unsafe lane changes or speed differentials between lanes also lead to two-car sideswipe accidents or merging collisions. Complex intersections with short acceleration or deceleration lanes also pose vehicle crash risks.

Multiple-Vehicle Chain Reaction Crashes

While one and two-vehicle crash types differ, they often blend in with chain reaction accidents. These collisions begin with one party losing control, veering, and striking another vehicle, which then careens into others.

Determining liability grows complicated as overlaps between causes exist. However, Oregon car accident lawyers recreate scenes using telematics, skid mark analysis, time and distance calculations, and sightline studies. Legal counsel leverages expert testimony to show where primary negligence began the causation elements.

In wide multiple-vehicle pile-ups, auto collision attorneys also assess infrastructure conditions more broadly. The law obligates state transportation departments to guide drivers with well-placed warnings of trouble ahead. These agencies must also maintain roadway safety through proper lighting, signage, vegetation trimming, and hazard removal. Your personal injury attorney can demonstrate liability where the government fails in such duties.

Key Reasons Drivers Lose Control

While auto accident dynamics differ, most crashes share root causes:

  • Speeding and Aggression: Many deadly crashes in Oregon involve vehicles traveling at excessive speeds. Impatient driving also increases passing and merging risks.
  • Distraction: Cell phone use while driving gives motorists less time to react. But other activities like eating, grooming, or attending to children also divert focus.
  • Impairment: Intoxicants like alcohol or drugs slow reflexes critical to avoid collisions. Drowsiness similarly impairs abilities.
  • Road Hazards: Rain, fog, ice, debris, uneven surfaces, or sightline obstructions also challenge drivers. However, agencies must work to mitigate risks.

In injury claims, determining all contributing factors is essential. Auto collision lawyers handle extensive crash investigations and consult top experts to demonstrate where the negligence occurred.

What To Do Immediately After a Car Accident

Being in a vehicle collision elicits shock, confusion, and often injuries. Despite feeling overwhelmed post-crash, follow these steps:

  1. Seek Medical Care — Adrenaline after accidents temporarily mask harm. Don’t refuse treatment, believing you “feel fine.” Ambulance transport prevents worsening.
  2. Call Police – Report all collisions immediately, even minor ones without major damage. Official reports document vital details supporting insurance negotiations and legal claims if challenges arise regarding fault/injuries later.
  3. Exchange Information – Share contact details, insurance, and vehicle information with everyone involved, including witnesses. Ask for photos of damage/injuries from other parties as well (if comfortable).
  4. Record Your Recollections – While the sequence of events stays fresh in your mind, draft notes capturing how the accident occurred factually, without speculating on causes/blame. Detail environmental conditions and damage sustained.
  5. Compile Evidence – Photograph skid marks, dents, debris fields, and location signs/signals demonstrating what transpired clearly. Leverage this visual proof later when asserting your rights.
  6. Contact An Injury Lawyer – Experienced auto accident attorneys guide clients through insurance negotiations, dealings with auto body shops, and litigation processes as necessary following collisions. They advocate for fair compensation.

Taking prudent actions rapidly after auto accidents strengthens injury victims’ recovery, legal standing, and any claims needed to recoup damages inflicted through no fault of their own. Don’t handle this alone – consult auto accident lawyers offering ethical counsel.

Pursuing Fair Compensation for Auto Injury Sufferers

After auto collisions, crash victims require medical care and lost wages that negligent parties should rightly cover. However, insurers quickly pressure unrepresented victims into quick, low-ball settlements.

Consult with our attorneys at the Hess Injury Law, who offer candid case assessments. We handle Oregon motor vehicle claims on a contingency fee basis, charging no fees unless we collect compensation for you. For a free case review, contact us online or call today.

Author Bio

Peter J. Hess grew up in Walla Walla, Washington. He is a 1996 graduate of Walla Walla High School and a 2000 graduate of the University of Washington, with a B.A. in Business Administration/Information Systems.

Peter graduated from Willamette University College of Law, with honors, in 2007. While at Willamette, he was an Associate Editor of the Willamette Law Review, he was a Teacher’s Assistant for a Legal Research and Writing professor, and he worked as a Personal Injury Law Clerk at Swanson, Lathen, Alexander & McCann in Salem, Oregon. After graduation from Willamette, Peter began working here at Hess Injury Law. In 2012, he became a partner in the firm. He is licensed to practice law in both Washington and Oregon.

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