What Are The Types Of Motor Vehicle Accidents?
If an accident happens, it can cause serious personal injuries or wrongful death. Navigating California streets and freeways carries risks of getting hit as a driver or a passenger a car, a bus, train, or truck, walking, riding your bicycle, or riding your motorcycle. All bicyclists, buses, cars, bicyclists, motorcycle riders, pedestrians, and big trucks have to share the same road. Crashes can happen in a split second, take you by surprise and turn your life upside down. I'm Gardner Law's personal injury attorney Renée Yvonne Gardner. Reach me at (408) 214-5555 or message me here.
Here are some car accidents that I handle:
Dangerous road condition accidents
Here are examples of dangerous road conditions: broken traffic signals, cracks in the pavement, eroded pavement, eroded shoulders, faded lane markers, incorrectly timed traffic signals, and potholes.
When a dangerous road condition causes an accident, you have to proceed against the government. California governmental claims have an extremely short statute of limitations - - just 6 months. Fail to meet the governmental claim deadline and your case is lost, with very limited exceptions.
Defective vehicle accidents
Manufacturers of motor vehicles have a duty to ensure that their vehicles are reasonably safe for their intended use. But this doesn't always happen - - think about the number of "recall notices" that car manufacturers regularly issue. Unfortunately, even features that claim to protect a driver and their passengers can cause serious personal injuries when they end up being defective.
You may have heard about the millions of vehicles with defective Takata air bags. These airbags exploded when they deployed, causing serious personal injuries and even death. If a defective vehicle causes you to lose control of it, the manufacturer may be liable. These are complex cases in which you should never represent yourself.
Distracted driver accidents
California law says we're not supposed to have a cell phone in our hand, yet we daily see people with their cell phones pressed firmly against their cheek as they're speeding down the freeway. Other times drivers text while driving. These are two common forms of distracted driving.
Drugged driver accidents
Some people have such disregard for the safety of others that they get behind the wheel while under the influence of illegal drugs or certain prescription drugs that impact their ability to drive. If you get hit by someone who is under the influence of drugs, you can demand punitive damages to punish them for their wrongdoing.
Drunk driver accidents
Other people get behind the wheel after having too much to drink. Instead of calling an Uber, they take the chance with their life - and yours! Just like drugged drivers, drunk drivers are liable for punitive damages (also called exemplary damages). These damages are to punish and make an example of people who drive drunk and injure or kill other people.
Following too close accidents
Following too closely happens when a driver follows another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicle and the traffic upon, and the condition of, the roadway.
head-on accidents law says a vehicle should not be driven to the left-center of a dividing line on a two-lane highway unless there is free oncoming traffic and sufficient distance to overtake a slow-moving vehicle without interfering with vehicles from the opposite direction. A head-on collision happens when one driver's front end slams right into the front of another motor vehicle. This can happen when one driver crosses the double yellow lines. Although airbags are always supposed to deploy in these types of accidents, these crashes can still cause serious personal injuries and the airbag can inflict injuries too.
Hit and run accidents
All drivers must stop and exchange information after an accident. If one driver flees the scene, they can be charged with hit and run causing property damage. If injuries are involved, the charge is more serious. It can either be charged as a felony hit and run with injuries or a misdemeanor hit and run with injuries.
Left-hand turn accidents
When making a left hand turn, a driver must yield the right of way to oncoming traffic. The turning driver can only make the left turn when it can be made with reasonable safety. When a left-hand turn is made when it's not safe to do so, it can cause a crash, often causing t-bone (broadside) accidents.
These crashes involve more than two vehicles that collide at once or one after the other. These crashes are sometimes called pile-ups, often caused by speeding. Pile-ups can also result in roll-overs when one vehicle crashes into an existing pile-up.
Rear-end accidents happen when one car follows too close and crashes into the back of another driver's vehicle. Some rear-end accidents can be extremely serious, way beyond of what we think of as a "fender-bender." It's not always the fault of the person who rear-ends another person.
Rear-end accidents are especially dangerous and severe when a vehicle crashes into a bicyclist. This impact can catapult the bicyclist airborne, slamming them onto the ground or into another vehicle, killing them, even if they are wearing a helmet.
Something different about rear-end accidents is even if there's not a lot of damage to your car, your body can still sustain significant injuries.
Reckless driver accidents
Reckless driving is when you drive in a way that shows "willful or wanton disregard" for the safety of persons or property. What does this really mean? Here are some examples of reckless driving:
- Driving on the wrong side of the road
- Driving on a sidewalk
- Inching your car to get people to cross a crosswalk faster
- Intentionally running traffic lights
- Intentionally running stop signs
- Passing other vehicles illegally
- Repeatedly swerving across lanes
- Speeding in a school zone
- Street racing
When the light cycles to yellow, some drivers gun it to quickly cross the intersection. But, a yellow traffic signal light means you should only proceed if it's safe to do so. If the other person jumps their green light without pausing a second or two to make sure the intersection is clear, a red-light accident can happen.
Rollovers aren't usually just one impact, like a simple rear-end crash would be. Instead, the vehicle rolls over one or more times. Some vehicles, like SUVs, are more prone to rolling over. But, any motor vehicle can roll over whenever its driver loses control. Speeding on curvy roads can cause a rollover. Dangerous roads, like some poorly paved roads in Central California, can cause a rollover crash.
All drivers must enter or exit a clearly marked lane on a roadway with reasonable safety. When a driver merges into another lane and hits another car, this is a sideswipe accident.
Single-vehicle accidents (solo crashes)
A solo crash does not mean the driver was fault. Sometimes a car will malfunction, which causes the driver to lose control, like with a tire blowout. Other times, another car's unsafe lane change runs the crashing driver off the road.
Sleepy driver accidents
Some drivers who know they're too tired to drive and do it anyway. When this happens, they may fall asleep at the wheel, which turns their motor vehicle into a deadly weapon. The safe speed to drive while sleepy is zero miles per hour. Falling asleep at the wheel is as dangerous as someone who is drunk or on drugs. Sleepy drivers can ram into other cars or cross over into the opposing lane of traffic, causing serious personal injuries and even death.
The speed limit is just that - the limit. It's actually safer to drive at a speed below the posted speed limit if the conditions require it. Yet, some people think that driving faster than the posted speed limit is okay because they're running late. Speeding is a common cause of injury accidents.
T-bone accidents (broadside collisions)
A t-bone collision is a common accident type when the front of one driver's vehicle broadsides (crashes) into the side of another person's vehicle. The number one cause of t-bone crashes is when the at-fault person runs the red light. These accidents can cause serious personal injuries because the front of the offending vehicle can crash right into where a driver or passenger is sitting, causing brain injuries, fractures, and even death. Around 1 in 4 t-bone crashes result in death.
18 wheel truck driver error accidents
Big trucks and tractor-trailers can weigh around 80,000 pounds. A car weighs around 4,000 pounds. So when a big truck driver crashes into a car, it's no wonder that serious personal injuries can result. Two major causes of big truck accidents are speeding and big truck driver unsafe lane changes.
Unsafe lane change accidents
It's only safe to change from one lane to another lane under certain conditions. When a driver changes from their lane into another one when it's not safe to do so, serious injuries can result. Sometimes the passenger side of the unsafe lane change vehicle moves to its right, crashing into the driver's door of another car.
My name is Renée Yvonne Gardner, the accident attorney at Gardner Law. I'm experienced with personal injury and wrongful death accident. If you got hurt in an accident, call me at (408) 214-5555 or message me: message me here.
In more than 15 years as an attorney practicing California personal injury and wrongful death law, I've handled different types of traffic crashes and injuries, from minor cases to wrongful death involving multiple deaths in one crash.