Types Of Collisions

At Klest Injury Law Firm, we are all too familiar with the damage that auto accidents inflict on innocent motorists and passengers.

For more than 30 years, we have helped injury victims in the Chicago area and throughout Illinois pursue compensation in car accident cases. We are familiar with all of the legal tactics that insurance companies will use and have developed time-tested investigation techniques that will put your case in the strongest position possible. We know that this is a difficult time in your life, so we will give you the personal attention and responsive communication that you need to feel confident in the representation you receive.

Below, we provide an overview of some of the most common types of vehicle collisions that affect Illinois families every day.

Rear-End Collisions

A rear-end collision is always or nearly always the fault of the driver behind: true or false?

Traditionally, this has been the assumption, based on the idea that a driver should maintain a sufficient following distance to allow for any necessary stop without crashing. The reality, however, is that the driver at the rear may or may not be responsible for the crash.

All traffic accidents, including rear-end collisions, involve unique factors that can complicate the situation. Questions of liability may be more complex than the average person realizes. Other questions related to proving this liability can quickly spiral out of control. For example, a multicar chain-reaction series of rear-end accidents may have to be resolved through claims filed with many different insurers - each with its own theories of fault.

As you can see, the old idea that rear-end accidents are straightforward and always the fault of the driver in the back are outdated. If you have been involved in a rear-end accident, it is vital that you do not assume anything. You should contact an experienced attorney who can help you assess your situation.

T-Bone Accidents

A T-bone vehicle accident, also called a broadside collision, occurs when one vehicle strikes the side of another vehicle, often at a perpendicular or slightly diagonal angle. This makes a "T" shape - one car is the top of the T and the other is the body of the T - which is where the term "T-bone accident" comes from.

The driver or passenger whose side is struck in a T-bone accident is likely to suffer serious injuries. There is just the door between the oncoming car and the driver or passenger, meaning that these accidents have a high likelihood of causing more severe injuries than other types of collisions. Speed will compound the severity of a T-bone crash.

T-bone motor vehicle accidents often occur in parking lots and intersections (both those with traffic lights and those that are unmarked). Common T-bone accident scenarios include:

  • Someone ran a red light or stop sign and hit the side of another vehicle.
  • Neither driver yielded at an unmarked intersection.
  • A driver was drinking and then drove through an intersection or hit someone in a parking lot.
  • A driver was distracted by talking on a cellphone or texting and failed to slow down or stop.

Rollover Accidents

Rollover car accidents are nothing new - in fact, they grabbed multiple headlines nationwide over the past decade. This was hardly sensationalism on the part of the press, as good science and statistics bear out the very real dangers associated with rollover accidents. It is estimated that over 50,000 people are injured each year in rollover, and approximately 3,000 die as a result of their injuries.

What causes rollover accidents? The short answer is physics: When a vehicle moves quickly over its own center of gravity and the wheel base can no longer sustain proper positioning, the car goes into a roll. The difficult part of talking about the causes of rollover accidents is parsing out what causes this imbalance to happen.

In sport utility vehicles (SUVs), which are especially prone to rollovers, instability is typically caused by a combination of factors such as:

  • Poor design
  • Defective tires and other car parts
  • Inclement weather
  • Traffic obstacles
  • Excessive speed
  • Abrupt turns and other driving maneuvers

SUVs are three times more likely than other vehicles to roll because of their high center of gravity. This increased likelihood of a rollover has been noted in cases across the country in which individuals have sued car companies and received substantial settlements and verdicts.

Semi-truck rollovers - also referred to as tractor-trailer rollovers, tanker truck rollovers, and even pickup truck rollovers (depending on the situation) - have also become increasingly common. In addition to the reasons listed above for SUV rollovers, improper loading can be a factor in a truck rollover.

Rollovers can affect ordinary passenger cars as well, particularly if they are designed with defective brakes, tires or weight distribution. Rollover auto accidents such as these are among the deadliest on America's roads, injuring and killing thousands of people each year. These traumatic accidents often result in the loss of a loved one or injuries such as:

  • Brain injury
  • Neck injury
  • Spinal injury
  • Paralysis
  • Broken bones
  • Amputation

Because insurance companies famously hate paying the huge medical fees associated with injuries such as these, it is important to work with an attorney who will fight for you and your family.

Head-On Collisions

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) once published a study stating that "one of the most severe types of vehicle crashes occurs when a vehicle shifts into an opposing traffic lane and crashes head-on with an oncoming vehicle." It also stated that many or most head-on collisions happen on rural two-lane highways and freeways with narrow medians.

Hit-And-Run Accidents

Hit-and-run car accidents include far more than the typical scenario you see on the news, in which a motorist strikes a pedestrian and then speeds off. Here in Illinois, a hit-and-run can include any collision in which there is damage to another vehicle, person or property - and then no notice is left of the perpetrator's involvement. Sadly, hit-and-run auto accidents such as these are all too common nowadays, but the law puts the advantage squarely on the side of the victim.

How can you seek compensation for a hit-and-run accident if the driver has fled the scene? Forensic evidence is the surest way to identify the driver and secure a settlement, and today's top attorneys take advantage of all the latest tools: security cameras, roadside debris, eyewitness accounts and chemical testing on the collision site. Couple this with a good account of local drivers and relevant criminal records, and police are often able to finger the proper person and bring him or her to justice. Even with all of this technology, however, there is simply no substitute for being aware of your surroundings immediately following a hit-and-run and contacting an attorney to help you as soon as possible.

Who Is Liable For My Accident? Get Answers Now!

From the point of view of a driver who was injured in an accident, the question of liability (the legal term for who is responsible for something) might seem clear-cut. The car or truck driver who was speeding, in the wrong lane or otherwise driving recklessly must have been completely at fault, right?

Unfortunately, even in situations where liability appears to be obvious, many insurance companies will try to avoid paying out full benefits. They may allege that you should have been more vigilant and taken action to avert the disaster or make other accusations in an attempt to blame you for the accident. Because of this strong resistance on the part of insurance companies, you should never try to determine liability without the help of an accomplished injury lawyer.

Always seek legal advice before discussing your accident at length with anyone other than police officers at the scene. Do not talk to insurance adjusters, accept any money, or sign any documents or waivers without consulting an attorney. Otherwise, you may accidentally say something that harms your case and prevents you from recovering all of the compensation you are eligible for. Do not count on your insurance company or the insurer of another driver to compensate you fairly, sufficiently or in a timely manner, regardless of the circumstances of the crash.

Get A Free Consultation And The Answers You Deserve

Our experienced personal injury lawyers can help maximize your chances of getting a complete analysis of the facts behind your accident. Whatever the causes, whatever the injuries, a speedy investigation by our experienced car accident attorney can make all the difference.

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