Millions of drivers find themselves involved in auto accidents every year in the United States and these collisions cost drivers billions of dollars in property damage, medical bills and lost financial opportunity. Regardless of whether your accident resulted in serious injuries or was a common fender bender, you are entitled to recover compensation for any losses you suffered. The Chicago car accident attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers have the knowledge and experience required to not only ensure you have the best chances of recovering compensation, but also to ensure that you recover the maximum amount of compensation the law allows.
The Most Common Types of Auto Accidents
There are many unique types of auto accidents— all of which occur under a special set of circumstances. Most of these accidents can be grouped into six categories that have their own set of causes and consequences. Our Chicago auto injury lawyers believe that every person who is in an accident has a right to recover the compensation needed to cover the cost of their medical expenses and damaged property, and understanding the type of accident they’ve been involved in is important in determining fault and the potential value of the case. The most common types of car accidents include the following.
- Single Vehicle Crashes
- Accidents at Intersections
- Rear-End Collisions
- Low Speed Impacts
- Commercial Vehicle Accidents
- Side Swipe Accidents
Single Vehicle Crashes
Accidents do not always involve multiple drivers, but they may involve numerous passengers even if only one car was involved. Examples of single vehicle accidents include when drivers lose control of their vehicles and exit the road due to inclement weather or when drivers collide with a building or object while trying to avoid an accident with another vehicle. If passengers are involved in the accident, they may suffer injuries that the driver is liable for, and the owners of property that has been damaged in the incident are entitled to compensation for their losses as well.
Accidents at Intersections
Misjudging distance and approach speed of oncoming traffic is one of the most common causes of auto accidents. Other accidents occurring at intersections can be the result of drivers running red lights, failing to yield to others or operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The injuries suffered in these accidents can be extreme, due to the following factors.
- Many accidents at intersections are T-bone collisions, which place the driver or passenger at greater risk due to an impact from the side. Modern vehicles are designed to distribute the force from a front or rear impact away from the driver or passenger, but a collision from the side can cause severe trauma.
- Accidents at intersections have the potential to become multi-accident events. The force from the first collision can send one vehicle into another and create a chain event of collisions that place more drivers and passengers at risk.
- Speed is often a factor in these accidents. Drivers may misjudge the speed of oncoming traffic, or the offending driver may be speeding up in order to make it through the intersection during a yellow light. High speeds are linked to more severe injuries.
There are many causes for rear-end collisions, such as tailgating, not braking quickly enough or loss of vehicle control due to inclement weather. Regardless of the cause, our Chicago auto injury lawyers recommend seeking a comprehensive medical evaluation following any rear-end collision due to the possibility you’ve suffered an injury to the brain, neck or spine. What makes rear-end collisions unique is that the force of impact often throws the victims’ bodies forward and then back.
It is not uncommon for victims to strike their heads or to experience whiplash during these accidents. The symptoms for these injuries may not present themselves immediately after the accident, however, and many victims refuse medical treatment because they feel fine. Several weeks later, they may show symptoms of a traumatic brain injury or whiplash, both of which can become debilitating and impact the victim’s quality of life forever. Symptoms of an injury to the brain or neck can include the following.
- Memory loss during the accident or at a later date during physical recovery.
- The inability to focus or concentrate. This often feels like a haze or cloudy feeling.
- Migraines occurring shortly after the accident and progressing in severity.
- Severe stiffness in the back of the neck or back accompanied with the loss of motor function in the arms.
- Shooting pains in the arms, neck or shoulders.
- Ringing in the ears, sudden changes in vision or dizziness.
- Blackouts following the accident or at a later date.
- Sudden changes in mood or mental state.
Low Speed Impacts
Accidents occurring in parking lots, side streets or as vehicles back out of their driveways may involve speeds under ten miles per hour. These impacts can still be jarring enough to cause injury and damage vehicles, however. It is tempting to just trade insurance information and go on your way, but you should really make sure that you document the accident, take pictures and undergo a precautionary medical evaluation just in case.
Commercial Vehicle Accidents
Some of the most devastating and catastrophic car accidents involve commercial vehicles. These large vehicles can include: charter buses, delivery vehicles and large semi-tractors. Negligent drivers can cause incredible damage to property and serious injuries when their actions result in an accident. Their employers’ actions may also be a factor in the accident, which makes the process of determining liability more involved. The following must be considered if you’ve been involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle.
- If the commercial driver was in violation of traffic or work laws, he or she can be held liable for his or her actions. It is the responsibility of employers' to screen their employees, however, so if the driver has a reckless driving history or repeated violations, the employer may share responsibility.
- Many commercial vehicles are in poor condition. Bus and truck companies are notorious for cutting corners and trying to force their drivers to shoulder the responsibility for maintenance concerns. If mechanical failures or poorly maintained equipment is a factor, the party responsible for maintaining the vehicle can share liability.
- The manufacturer is often considered liable in the event that commercial vehicle equipment failure or defects cause the driver to lose control of his or her vehicle. This provides an additional avenue of recovering compensation if it is needed.
Side Swipe Accidents
Side swipes often occur when drivers merge into traffic or change lanes without checking their blind spots. Speed plays a large role in these accidents— especially when drivers occupy merging lanes while others are attempting to enter a highway. The damage can vary in degree depending on the speed and angle of impact. These accidents can cause a chain of events if one vehicle is pushed into another and the vehicles spin out of control at high speeds.
Understanding the type of accident you’ve been involved in can help when evaluating your symptoms and determining what types of tests are required to ensure that you receive the right treatment. Each accident has unique circumstances and mechanics which may influence the type and severity of injuries suffered. Even if you haven’t suffered severe physical injury, you may have experienced the loss of a vehicle that you depend on to maintain your independence.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers can help you recover the full amount of compensation you require to move forward with life following an accident. Our award-winning attorneys have the experience and success you can count on to ensure the greatest chance that your case will succeed.
If you have been in an auto accident, contact us today to arrange a free consultation with a Chicago car accident attorney so that we can collect all of the information we need to get to work on your behalf. We will answer any questions you have about your legal rights and options and evaluate the details of your case thoroughly before letting you know how best to proceed. If for any reason we are unable to recover the compensation you are entitled to on your behalf, you are assured that our services will be free of charge.