Types of Car Accidents and How They Affect Claims

As leading car accident attorneys in Orange County, California, we helped countless injury victims find justice after devastating car wrecks. We're here for you no matter what accident you’ve been involved in. Contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. 

No one gets in their car expecting to be in an accident that day. 

Regardless, countless Californians and Orange County residents are injured in motor vehicle accidents every day. In fact, data from the California Office of Traffic Safety indicates nearly 12,800 crashes in 2020 resulted in injury or death—in Orange County aloneOrange County California Car Accident

Although some injury victims can recover relatively quickly, others aren’t so lucky. Countless accidents result in debilitating or life-altering injuries that don’t just take a bodily toll but also a financial one. As a result, many injury victims need compensation to cover their medical bills and recoup their financial losses

However, if you’ve ever tried to secure compensation from an individual or an insurance company, you know it’s easier said than done. And that’s especially true for cases involving certain types of car accidents. Fortunately, working with an experienced Orange County car accident attorney is much easier. 

If you’re wondering how different types of car accidents affect claims and whether or not you’ll be able to find the compensation you’re owed, don’t worry—this article will explain everything you need to know. 

At Case Barnett Law, we know that navigating the legal complexities of your case when you’re still suffering from serious injuries is daunting. The good news is you don’t have to do it alone. Call our law office at (949) 409-0055 to schedule a free case evaluation. 

Types of Car Accidents in California

Car accidents can happen in virtually any situation, in any form. Understanding the root cause of your auto wreck is crucial in pinpointing the at-fault party and establishing liability—which will be a critical part of securing compensation. 

Whereas some accidents are straightforward, others are complex enough to make determining fault a significant challenge. For example, when someone runs a red light and t-bones your car, it’s pretty clear the other driver was at fault for the accident; however, when you’re rear-ended in a massive pile-up on the freeway, figuring out who owes you compensation takes extra work. 

Regarding your claim, the type of accident you were involved in matters for several reasons. Not only does it affect the scope and nature of injuries (which will help determine how much your claim is worth), but the type of accident also leads to certain assumptions about the fault. 

Types of Impacts in Car Accidents

Accidents can be classified in various ways, but two of the most important are by impact and driver type. In terms of impact, accidents are typically divided into head-on collisions, rear-end collisions, and side-impact accidents

Head-on collisions can happen when one driver travels in the wrong direction down a one-way street or exit ramp. They can also occur when a driver crosses a highway median and continues driving in the opposing lane. Head-on collisions are some of the most devastating and potentially fatal of all the accident types, and the fault is typically easy to pinpoint. 

Compared to head-on collisions, rear-end accidents are much more common and typically less disastrous as they tend to occur at lower speeds. Although the rear driver is often assumed to be at fault for not leaving adequate distance, that’s not always the case—especially in cases involving multiple vehicles. 

Side-impact (T-bone) accidents commonly result from one driver’s failure to stop at a traffic light or stop sign. They also occur when a driver fails to yield to another driver with the right of way. With less structural protection to shield passengers in the car, side-impact accidents often cause serious—and sometimes fatal—injuries. 

It’s important to note that accidents involving multiple vehicles can cause a domino effect, especially on the highway, pushing one car into the next and next, and so on. These chain reaction events generally require a thorough investigation to determine who was at fault, one of the many crucial tasks a motor vehicle accident lawyer can provide. 

Types of Drivers in Car Accidents

Research indicates that certain drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents than others. The following groups of people are considered high-risk

  • Teens aged 16-19 are more likely to be involved in a car accident than any other age group. Many accidents involving teens are preventable and caused by inexperience, distracted driving, alcohol, speeding, and nighttime driving. 
  • Older adult drivers are more likely to be involved in car accidents than middle-aged drivers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They may no longer have the alertness and reaction time to drive safely, even if they’ve maintained a license for decades. 
  • Impaired drivers represent a major public health crisis in the U.S. and account for a disproportionately high number of accident-related injuries and deaths. Despite this fact, approximately 1 million arrests are made every year in the U.S. for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, according to the CDC. 

In addition to these three groups, male drivers, new parents, young drivers with passengers, and drowsy drivers are at increased risk of being involved in a car accident. 

What does all this have to do with your claim? Here’s why it matters: Besides risk, these drivers carry certain stigmas. Insurers and traffic officers tend to make assumptions about fault based on the type of accident and type of drivers involved. And if you’re in a high-risk category, that could make getting the compensation you deserve more difficult. 

However, partnering with a knowledgeable Costa Mesa car accident attorney is entirely doable. 

Case C. Barnett
Costa Mesa Personal Injury Attorney practicing in child injury law, car accident injuries and elder abuse law
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