Car Crash Types Determine Injuries

Car Crash Types Determine Injuries

Car crash types vary according to severity and the injuries they cause. Negligent motorists have been shown to be responsible for 95 percent of all traffic collisions. This results in lost time at work, major medical bills and additional expenses. However, it is possible to recover damages. Even when both parties to the accident are partly at fault, California, as a comparative fault state, allows each driver to claim fair compensation, minus their percentage of blame. Let’s explore the most common car crash types and the injuries associated with them.

Top Five Car Crash Types

There are five types of motor vehicle collisions that are most common and result in specific injuries depending on the force of impact associated with the crash. The way a vehicle is hit in an accident lends itself to specific injuries due to many factors such as the presence or absence of airbags. For instance, a side-impact collision can result in horrific head injuries due to the lack of side airbags in many vehicles. Upper extremity fractures are also frequently seen when the driver or passenger is thrown into the door.

Rear End Crashes

Rear end collisions are one of the most common car crash types. Rear end crashes are common during inclement weather because a driver has not factored the slippery road surfaces into the distance needed to stop. Hit from behind accidents on highways can be particularly problematic since they can result in a chain reaction where multiple vehicles are involved. In all car crash types due to a rear-end accident, injury to the neck often occurs. This frequently takes the form of cervical sprain, often referred to as whiplash.

Single Vehicle Accidents

Single vehicle crashes are often caused by driver error such as texting or speeding. Most occur on straight stretches of roadway that the driver is accustomed to taking on a regular basis. However, other single vehicle crashes can be caused by poor road maintenance, potholes, and other road damage. A government entity such as the state, county or city can be held responsible for this type of collision. An auto defect that affects steering, acceleration, tires or brakes can also contribute to a single vehicle accident. In the event of an auto defect, the manufacturer and other entities may be held responsible under products liability. Injuries in a single-vehicle crash range from broken bones to a head injury as well as chest trauma due to seat belt compression or the absence of restraints.

T-Bone or Broadside Collisions

Because the side of a motor vehicle offers less protection than the front or rear, a broadside collision can cause severe injuries and accounts for a high number of fatalities. T-bone accidents often happen at intersections and in parking areas. When another driver fails to cede the right of way, runs a red light or disobeys other traffic laws, they may be held responsible. Since this is a serious car crash type, injuries may be traumatic and usually involve back injuries, such as herniated discs and spinal cord trauma.

Head-On Collisions

Among one of the most dangerous types of accidents, head-on collisions can occur when someone passes unsafely along a divided highway, is a wrong-way driver or attempts an unsafe turn. While such collisions are not common, they account for a large percentage of fatalities. Head-on collisions are a car crash type that often results in fatalities and traumatic injuries. Some of the more common are:


Rollovers can occur due to speeding when a vehicle drifts onto a soft shoulder or gravel. However, it can also occur in a traffic collision, especially if the vehicle is hit broadside, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It has been shown that certain types of vehicles such as light trucks, vans, and SUVs have more of a tendency to roll in an accident. This is because the added height can make the center of gravity of a vehicle higher. A crushed roof can occur in some vehicles, causing a high number of fatalities and serious injuries. Since automobile manufacturers have standards for roof strength in a vehicle, compensation for injuries due to a crushed roof may be sought. Some injuries seen with rollover collisions are traumatic brain injuries and lacerations, particularly when a person is thrown from the vehicle.

Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento car accident lawyer. Facing mounting bills caused by a negligent driver means that those monies may be recovered with the assistance of a lawyer experienced in handling car accident cases. If this has happened to you or a loved one, I may be able to help. Call me for free and friendly advice at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400. In addition, there is a contact form on my website,, for your convenience.

As a member of, I join with other trial attorneys who have garnered a verdict or settlement of more than one million dollars for a client.

I’ve worked to obtain fair compensation for my clients for 36 years in areas such as all types of car accidents, cases involving wrongful death and traumatic brain injuries.

Find out more about my law practice and how I have helped others by looking over my client and peer reviews as well as a list of some of our previous cases and how they concluded at:

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