Brian White | November 12, 2020 | Auto Accidents
There were 560,952 traffic crashes in Texas during 2019, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. Each day, thousands of people are involved in motor vehicle crashes throughout the state. Many of these crashes involve fatalities and traumatic injuries.
Sadly, most car crashes can be avoided. The cause of the vast majority of accidents is human error and negligence. Traffic conditions, weather, and road conditions play a factor in some accidents. Defective automobile parts might also play a role in some car accidents.
There are many different types of car crashes, including crashes involving multiple vehicles and crashes involving hitting an animal. However, five types of car accidents tend to occur at a greater rate than other types of car crashes.
Five Types of Car Crashes in Texas
Five common types of car accidents that occur on Texas roads are:
According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rear-end accidents are the most common car accident type. During 2018, there were over 2.1 million rear-end accidents in the United States, which included 2,439 fatal accidents and 594,000 injury accidents.
One of the most common injuries sustained in a rear-end crash is whiplash. Whiplash is a painful neck injury that can cause chronic pain and long-term problems in some cases. Back, neck, and head injuries are also common in rear-end collisions.
A head-on crash occurs when two vehicles slam into each other in a frontal collision. For example, a vehicle drifts into the lane of oncoming traffic and strikes a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction.
Side-impact or T-bone accidents also have a high risk for traumatic injuries. These crashes occur when the front end of one vehicle collides with the side of another vehicle. Side-impact crashes are common at intersections when drivers fail to yield the right of way and when vehicles are entering traffic lanes.
Because the driver or passenger is sitting right next to the point of impact, there is very little protection from injuries. Broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, internal organ damage, spinal cord injuries, and crushing injuries are common in side-impact crashes.
Blind Spot Accidents
Blind spot accidents occur when vehicles are merging into traffic, passing, or changing lanes. The driver fails to check the blind spots to ensure there is not a vehicle in the way.
All vehicles have blind spots, but commercial trucks have the largest blind spots. Blind spot accidents are common with large trucks. Improvements in vehicle safety technology can help drivers avoid blind spot accidents.
Sideswipe crashes are another common type of crash that occurs when drivers are changing lanes, passing, or merging into traffic. The sides of the two vehicles make contact briefly as they travel in the same direction.
Most sideswipe crashes are not dangerous or severe. However, depending on the vehicles’ speed and how the drivers react, a sideswipe accident could turn into a head-on crash, side-impact accident, or rollover accident.
What Causes Car Accidents in Houston?
Most Houston car accidents occur because the driver made a mistake or was negligent. Common factors that contribute to the cause of a car crash include:
- Road rage
- Following too closely or tailgating
- Reckless or aggressive driving
- Fatigued driving
- Diving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Failure to obey traffic laws
Regardless of the type of car crash, if another driver caused the car accident, you could recover compensation for your damages and injuries. But first, you must have evidence that proves the other driver was at-fault. It can be challenging to prove fault in some car accident cases.
Do I Need to Hire an Attorney After a Car Crash?
It depends on the circumstances of the car accident. It cannot hurt to talk with a car accident lawyer after a car crash. The lawyer analyzes the accident, explains your legal rights, and discusses options for recovering compensation for injuries.
Because you must prove fault before receiving any money for your claim, hiring an attorney can be helpful. While you are focused on recovering from your injuries, your lawyer spends time gathering evidence to prove fault.
Evidence that can be used in your car accident case to prove fault might include:
- Copies of accident reports and police reports
- Statements from eyewitnesses
- Physical evidence from the accident scene
- Videos of the accident from traffic cameras and surveillance cameras
- Photographs of the accident scene
- Damage to the vehicles
- Vehicle data recorders
- Cell phone records for the driver
Additionally, your attorney might retain an accident reconstructionist to assist in the investigation. Attorneys have the resources, skills, and time to conduct accident investigations. Without a lawyer, it might be difficult for you to gather the evidence necessary to hold the other driver liable for your damages.
Protection From Aggressive Insurance Company Tactics
Your attorney also protects you from the insurance company for the other driver. Insurance companies try to limit their liability for car accident claims.
Some companies use aggressive and sneaky tactics to cheat accident victims out of the compensation they deserve. Other insurance companies cross the line and act in bad faith.
Your personal injury lawyer handles all communications with the insurance company. He protects your best interests and fights to get you the most money possible for your car accident claim.
How Much is My Car Accident Claim Worth?
The value of your personal injury claim depends on the circumstances of your case. Your injuries, degree of liability, financial losses, and availability of insurance coverage are some of the factors that can impact how much money you can receive for your car accident claim.
Even though each accident claim is unique, some damages are common in most car accident cases:
- The cost of treating your injuries
- Loss of income and benefits
- Pain and suffering caused by physical injuries
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Scarring, disability, permanent impairment, and disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Decreases in earning capacity because of a permanent impairment
- Reasonable out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident
You will not receive any money until your car accident case is settled. Beware of offers from the insurance company before you complete medical treatment. The insurance company might be rushing to settle your claim to avoid additional damages.
If you settle your claim, you cannot demand more money for additional damages. You need to complete your medical treatment to determine the extent of your injuries and your total financial damages before you settle your claim. Talk to a car accident lawyer before you agree to a settlement amount to ensure you receive a fair offer to resolve your car accident claim.