Car Accidents: Everything You Need to Know If You Think You Have a Potential Case
In the blink of an eye, an ordinary commute can turn into a life-changing event. If a negligent driver causes a collision, you could face not only significant physical suffering but also emotional trauma and long-term financial problems. There’s no reversing this pain, but legal proceedings can at least produce a sense of justice and, eventually, closure.
McCoy & McCoy is one if the only board-certified trial attorneys in CT. In fact, only .5% of all CT injury lawyers are board certified in trial law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. This mean we are uniquely positioned to help you secure the maximum amount of compensation you deserve for pain and suffering after a car accident. We handle all aspects of your case; from working with insurance companies and getting your medical bills paid, to preparing the case for trial or negotiating a settlement that provides you the best possible outcome for your case.
When working with a car accident lawyer in Hartford, it helps to understand the nature of your crash and how you’ve suffered as a result. Keep reading for an overview of the most common types of car accidents in CT, as well as contributing circumstances and related injuries.
Types of Car Accidents
Car crashes can take many forms. All are dangerous, but some types pose even greater risks of injury. The following accidents are especially common in Connecticut:
- Head-On Collisions – A head-on collision is arguably the worst kind of crash to suffer through; you see it coming but are powerless to stop it. These crashes can arise due to wrong-way drivers, illegal U-turns, parking lot mishaps, and a variety of other issues.
- Sideswipe Accidents – Lines are painted on the road for a reason – to keep drivers in their own lane. Unfortunately, these lines don’t stop some motorists from getting into sideswipe accidents, in which the sides of two cars come into contact. These commonly occur due to texting and other forms of inattention.
- Rear-End Accidents – Stop-and-go driving is never enjoyable, but this is especially true when one driver stops and the other continues to move forward. Although often thought of as less severe than head-on collisions, rear-end crashes can lead to whiplash and a whole host of other injuries.
- T-Bone Collisions – Sometimes referred to as broadside crashes, T-bone accidents occur when one car smashes into the side of another. These often happen at intersections, where one driver may wrongly assume that the other will yield.
- Rollovers – While most of the accidents outlined above involve multiple vehicles, rollovers can be limited to a single car or SUV. Typically, this type of crash occurs when something disrupts the vehicle’s forward motion and causes it to roll to the side. Rollovers are common in icy weather and may also result from speeding.
- Stoplight or Stop Sign Crashes – Inattention and rushing cause many drivers to power through stoplights as the light turns yellow or roll through stop signs. This can lead to multiple types of accidents, including head-on and T-bone collisions.
- Multi-Vehicle Pileups – Crashes are bad enough when they involve one or two vehicles. Some, however, prompt a domino effect, in which other cars are drawn into the chaos.
- Pedestrian or Bike Accidents – Sometimes, the deadliest accidents involve pedestrians or bicyclists, who are even more vulnerable than other drivers. Inattention is often to blame – especially at crosswalks or around bike lanes. In some cases, however, pedestrians are actually the negligent parties. In jaywalking accidents, the pedestrian may prompt the collision by traversing outside of the crosswalk, potentially causing cars to swerve.
- Dooring accidents – Dooring refers to a specific type of bicycle accident that happens when vehicle occupants neglect to check the surrounding area when opening car doors. As a result, bicyclists may be taken by surprise and crash due to swerving. Some even collide with car doors.
- Hit and Run Accidents If you are hit by another car and they drive off without stopping, it’s important to stay calm and make sure you and any passengers are okay and assess any injuries. If you were hit while driving, pull over to the side of the road in a safe area and call the police right away. If safe to do so, get out of your car and take pictures of any and all damage done to your vehicle and the surrounding area. If anyone stops to check if you are ok or to tell you they witnessed the accident, get their contact information as you may want to contact them in the future. When the police arrive give them as much detail as possible about the accident, they should also talk to your passengers and any witnesses to the accident for additional details. Next, you can look around the area for any buildings or houses with security cameras that may have captured the accident and potentially the other vehicles license plate. Even if you are not in much pain, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible as sometimes injuries do not show right away. After that, make sure to call your insurance company as well as an experienced car accident lawyer right away to discuss next steps towards a possible claim.
Other mitigating factors can be present within the types of accidents cited above. For example, hit-and-runs are unfortunately common with pedestrian and bike accidents, in which the victim’s suffering becomes even greater due to the driver’s abysmal behavior after the crash.
Causes of Car Accidents
A variety of factors can contribute to car accidents. While some – such as black ice and other dangerous road conditions – may be out of the driver’s control, many come down to sheer negligence. Top causes include:
- Distraction – Today’s drivers are increasingly distracted behind the wheel. Many text or use social media while driving. This behavior is exceedingly dangerous, as it takes the driver’s gaze away from the road for long periods of time. Texting is by no means the only form of distraction, however. Other common varieties include talking on cell phones, applying makeup, fixing hair, and even eating. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data suggests that distracted driving prompted approximately 23,000 traffic fatalities between 2012 and 2018.
- Speeding – When drivers fail to follow posted speed limits, they place themselves and others at considerable risk. These limits exist for a reason – to ensure that all vehicles can maintain full control based on the layout, typical traffic, and other conditions related to a specific roadway. Drivers who speed are more likely to be involved in rear-end collisions or rollover accidents.
- Driving Under the Influence – From alcohol to illicit drugs, a variety of substances can compromise judgment and reaction time. Additionally, these substances increase the likelihood of drivers engaging in several of the problematic behaviors outlined above, often leading to drunk driving accidents.
- Uber and Lyft Accidents – Ridesharing apps can make life more convenient, but not all drivers are trustworthy. Distraction is common, especially as drivers interact with prospective passengers. These are among the most complicated car accident cases due to issues with insurance coverage.
Common Car Accident Injuries
Car accident injuries can vary significantly in terms of severity and recovery time. Some victims emerge with a few scratches or bruises. Others experience traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord issues, and other concerns that leave them completely incapable of resuming their previous way of life. Even a seemingly minor car wreck injury can become a big problem over time, so it’s important to pay attention to any new sources of suffering after an accident.
- Some of the most common car accident injuries in CT include:
- Whiplash, which is most common in rear-end accidents.
- Spinal cord injuries resulting in paraplegia, quadriplegia, and other forms of paralysis.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI), including concussions.
- Broken bones, such as the tibia, fibula, or collarbone.
- Burns, including severe second and third-degree burns.
- Nerve damage and scarring.
Unfortunately, many car accidents prove deadly. Fatalities can occur at the scene of the accident or following extensive suffering in the hospital. Sometimes, victims die years later, as previous accidents increase the severity of other incidents. Those with crash-related TBI are especially vulnerable.
McCoy & McCoy: A Trusted New Haven & Hartford Car Accident Law Firm
Wondering what to do after a car accident? Look to McCoy & McCoy for support during this difficult time. One of the Hartford area’s most respected personal injury law firms, McCoy & McCoy handles a variety of complex car accident cases. Our commitment to excellence can be seen in our board certification – a distinction that a mere 0.5 percent of CT car accident lawyers hold.
As a client-centered law firm, we are prepared to advocate aggressively for your best interests. We will take your case to court if necessary, fighting every step of the way to ensure that you receive justice – and you won’t pay a cent unless you win your case. Convenience is a big deal for us, so we’re willing to provide both virtual and in-person consultations. Contact us today to get started.