Car accidents, whether major collisions or minor scrapes, are always unsettling experiences. In Michigan, the year 2019 alone saw a staggering 314,377 crashes, resulting in 54,539 injuries. Across the United States, the average number of accidents each year reaches around 6 million. Among these, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported approximately 36,096 fatalities in 2019, marking only a slight 2% decrease from the prior year.
In this article, our knowledgeable Muskegon car accident attorney will discuss the most common types of car accidents, how they can harm you, and the appropriate steps to take afterwards, helping you prepare for the unexpected and equipping you with the necessary information to navigate the aftermath of an accident.
Common Types of Car Accidents
Car accidents come in various forms, each with its unique risks and consequences. Understanding these common types can help you stay alert and prepared on the road.
Rear-end collisions are the most common type of car accident, which occur when one vehicle hits the back of another. These often happen due to sudden stops or reduced attention from the driver behind. The easiest way to avoid a rear-end collision is to increase your following distance and not stop abruptly. Be predictable for your and other drivers’ safety
Single-vehicle accidents happen when only one car is involved, often due to unexpected circumstances or driver distractions. These incidents can arise from a variety of situations, such as a driver swerving to avoid an animal on the road, encountering sudden obstacles like a fallen tree, or navigating through rockslides. Often, single-vehicle crashes lead to rollovers, where the car tips and rolls onto its roof, posing a high risk of muscle and ligament injuries, among other potential harm.
In a side-impact collision, also known as a T-bone accident, one car crashes into the side of another, forming a ‘T’ shape at the point of impact. Due to the angle of impact, the collision can cause not only whiplash and concussions but also more severe injuries such as broken ribs and arm bones.
When two vehicles traveling in the same or opposite directions brush against each other’s sides, it’s called a sideswipe collision. These can occur when changing lanes without proper signaling or checking blind spots, potentially causing broken bones in arms, hands, and feet, depending on how fast the cars are moving.
Among the most dangerous, head-on collisions happen when the front ends of two cars driving in opposite directions hit each other. These accidents often result from wrong-way driving or losing control of the vehicle, which can lead to critical or even fatal injuries.
What to Do In A Car Accident
Being involved in a car accident can be overwhelming, but taking the right steps can help you manage the situation more effectively. Here’s a guide on what to do if you find yourself in a car accident:
- Check for Injuries. Check yourself and others for injuries. If anyone is hurt, call 911 immediately. Move to a safe area away from traffic if possible, but do not leave the scene of the accident.
- Call the Police. Even for minor accidents, a police report can be invaluable when dealing with your car insurance company and other drivers. Cooperate fully, but avoid admitting fault or blaming others.
- Document the Accident. Take pictures of your vehicle from different angles, showing the damage done to both cars. Also, photograph any skid marks, road signs, and the accident scene. These photos can help your insurer understand how the accident happened.
- Exchange Information. Get the names, numbers, addresses, driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers, and basic insurance information from all drivers involved. If there are witnesses, their accounts can be crucial, so collect their contact information as well.
- Notify the Insurance Company. Inform your insurance company about the accident immediately to speed up the claim process. Provide them with the information you’ve gathered, and be honest about the incident and the extent of your injuries.
- Protect Your Rights. Consult with a local personal injury attorney to ensure your rights are protected and to help you navigate the often complex legal and insurance issues. These legal professionals ensure you get the full compensation you’re entitled to, especially if the accident involved significant injuries or other losses.
How you react after a car accident can significantly impact the legal and insurance aspects later. Stay calm, be courteous, and follow these steps to protect yourself and your interests.
Secure Your Rights with Shafer Swartz PLC
When you’re facing the aftermath of a car accident, you’re not just dealing with vehicle damage. You may encounter physical injuries, emotional stress, and confusing legal and insurance issues. During these challenging times, having a reliable and experienced ally can make all the difference.
Shafer Swartz PLC is committed to standing by your side, offering the support, guidance, and expertise you need. Our experienced Muskegon car accident attorneys are prepared to advocate for your rights, ensuring you receive the compensation and justice you deserve. If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, don’t hesitate to reach us at (231) 722-2444 or here for a consultation.