There are several types of auto crashes happening on our roads more often than others. Understanding more of these collisions helps you to know the steps you can take to lower the risk of getting in them. In this article, attorneys at The LA Personal Injury Law Firm explain in detail the various forms of car crashes and provide different ways that can help to prevent them from taking place.

Unfortunately, understanding these types of accidents doesn’t guarantee that you won’t get into any of them and possibly sustain injuries.  If you are involved in a collision, it can be due to another motorist’s negligent acts, which may warrant you to claim compensation. If this happens to you in Los Angeles, do not hesitate to contact us as soon as possible. We will review your situation and determine whether or not you got a valid case. And if so, we will do all we can to pursue the damages you deserve. 

Head-On Collisions

A head-on collision accident will most definitely have a negative outcome due to the speeds of the cars when the crash occurs. It is one of the most dangerous accidents since the crash becomes double because of the opposing speeds of the involved vehicles. Consequently, even a slow head-on auto crash with both cars going at slower speeds may result in severe injuries.

Often, a typical head-on collision accident occurs when one automobile deviates from its path into the pathway of an approaching vehicle. This may happen when a driver swerves to evade an object on the roadway, or when a motorist is driving while distracted, for example, texting when driving, falling asleep behind the wheel, or driving while intoxicated with drugs or alcohol. It can also happen when a motorist attempts to turn left without paying attention to an oncoming car.  A head-on collision risk increases in icy and snowy weather. With a head-on collision crash, the risk of severe injuries or death and property damage is relative. If the vehicles were at higher speeds, the risk of catastrophic injuries and mortality is higher.

Severe injuries occurring because of head-on collisions include broken bones, head injuries, scarring, or burns. Fractures that commonly arise in these types of accidents include pelvic, leg, ankle, and foot fractures. Also, wrist and elbow injuries may occur based on the position of the motorist’s arms on the steering wheel.

Compared to a rear-end collision where passengers can be protected from severe injuries due to the headrest and backseat, the passengers in a head-on crash can be thrown forward to the airbag, windshield, or seatbelt. This is if they are not wearing seatbelts. Also, in these accidents, airbags can deploy, leading to further injuries on the face, ears, and eyes. 

Side-Impact Collisions

A side-impact collision is also called a T-bone accident or a broadside crash. It commonly takes place when the front or rear of a car or otherwise any fixed object hits another automobile on the side. Passengers seated on the struck side of the auto are most likely to suffer severe injuries compared to what they would sustain in a front or rear-end crash.

Broadside accidents are widespread in Los Angeles. They can take place on streets with more than two stop signs. Intersection collisions may happen when:

  • A negligent motorist doesn’t stop at a red light.
  • A driver doesn’t stop at a stop sign or traffic light to give way to an approaching vehicle.
  • A motorist makes a left turn in front of an oncoming car

Side-impact accidents are common in urban settings since there are many junctions in cities. Unfortunately, these types of collisions can be dangerous and may sometimes lead to death. This is due to the passenger’s sitting position (very close to the car door), which doesn’t offer any protection compared to a rear-end collision. With rear-end accidents, the trunk of the vehicle separates passengers at the back of the auto. The injuries that the passengers and even the driver are likely to suffer include spinal fractures, brain injuries, or broken limbs.

Another reason why a T-bone collision may lead to severe injuries or death is that often, cars are knocked off the course leading to a second crash. The broadsided vehicle may be pushed to the side towards the roadside or towards oncoming traffic. Also, the impact of the collision might lead to the striking auto spinning in the direction the other vehicle was moving.

If the automobile is pushed off course, the danger of additional collisions like crashing into guardrails, telephone poles, or other autos increases. It also increases the danger of having additional trauma. Based on the collision’s impact, the broadsided vehicle could roll over completely, mainly if it is pushed down a slope or onto a slanting roadway.

The closeness between the passenger or driver of the side-impacted automobile and the place of impact might not make a significant difference in a T-bone collision. This fact elevates the likelihood of sustaining severe injuries. This is contrary to head-on or rear-end collisions, which allow a reasonable distance between the front and rear fenders of the auto and the vehicle occupants. This distance provides more protection compared to the case of a T-bone collision.

Most new autos are now made with crumple zones to absorb the force of a crash. Other vehicles may also include side-torso airbags. However, when a speedy-moving car hits closer enough to the place the side-impacted vehicle’s passengers are sitting, the chances of these passengers sustaining severe injuries are still high. 

Rear-End Collisions

A rear-end accident is a form of car crash whereby the front part of one automobile crashes into the rear part of a vehicle that’s in front. This type of accident typically occurs when the following motorist is not keeping a safe distance. This could happen because the driver was tailgating, due to panic stops, or driver distraction or inattention. The accident could also happen because of deceleration or sudden braking of the front vehicle, or faster acceleration of the behind car.

Passengers in the impacted auto will generally suffer severe injuries. These types of crashes are most common in cities and towns with stop & go traffic. However, sometimes they may also take place on freeways and highways.

A common injury resulting from rear-end collisions is whiplash. This injury may happen even if the crash happens at moderate speeds. In severe cases, a herniation may also occur.  Other injuries include neck and back pain, injuries of the spinal disc, rotator cuff tears. In some situations, death may even occur.

The most hazardous form of a rear-end collision involves minivans. This is because minivans benefit very little from the small rear crumple area. This may be frightening since those passengers sitting at the back of the involved van will most likely be severely injured or even killed when this type of accident occurs.

In most rear-end crashes, the motorist of the rear car is mostly to blame for the incident. However, there is an exception where the motorist of the front car can be blamed. For instance, when the front driver engages the reverse gear, then plows the back of his/her into the front part of the car at the back, but this isn’t a common occurrence. Another scenario could be in case the driver of the front car suddenly swerves into the rear driver’s lane, cutting him/her off. Likewise, if the tail lights or brake lights of the front car aren’t functioning properly, it may make it difficult for the rear-end driver to understand its intention or operation. In this case, the driver of the front vehicle may be held liable for the accident.

Sideswipe Collisions

A sideswipe accident may occur when the sides of two vehicles moving parallel to each other touch or swipe each other. If both automobiles are heading in a similar direction, when both motorists manage to have control of their cars during a sideswipe, the autos may only register cosmetic damage.

A sideswipe crash could generally take place when a motorist changes lanes without first making sure that there’s no other car already in that lane to which he/she is changing. In other cases, a driver may mindlessly shift to another path due to not paying enough attention. The mindless motorist could be on the phone, conversing with a passenger, handling a minor at the backseat, under the influence, or merely too tired to be operating the vehicle.

 A sideswipe collision might also take place at a spot where two lanes merge. If the motorist fails to make sure that there’s adequate space for merging safely, or in case another driver abruptly changes the vehicle’s speed and takes up that space, a crash may occur.

Sideswipe accidents may lead to severe injuries. Usually, vehicles ensure maximum protection when it comes to head-on or rear-on collisions. However, for sideswipe crashes, the distance between the car’s passengers and the vehicle’s side where the crash occurs is too short. Additionally, a sideswipe collision could cause a second accident with a tree, concrete barrier, light post, road sign, guardrail, or another car.

Vehicle Rollovers

A car rollover accident happens when an auto flips over and lands on its side or roof. Usually, rollovers occur when a car makes a sharp turn when moving at a higher speed. While this type of accident could happen to any kind of vehicle, SUVs are generally at an increased risk due to their higher center of gravity and greater height. When these two combine with speeding, the risk of vehicle rollover crash increases. The death rate in these types of accidents is higher compared to other forms of car collisions.

Vehicle rollover accidents are classified as untripped and tripped. Tripped rollovers take place because of the impact of external objects, for instance, a force with a curb or another vehicle. On the other hand, an untripped crash may happen due to steering input, ground friction, and speeding. In this kind of rollover, the car destabilizes because of cornering forces. That moment a vehicle is rounding a corner, the cornering forces of the tires push it toward the center of the curve.

Compared to front, side-impact, or rear car collisions, vehicle rollover crashes are more hazardous for the passengers in the auto. This is because, for average PSVs, it is most likely that the roof will collapse in toward the occupants of the car, causing severe head injuries. Autos would be safer if they were installed with roll cages. However, the challenge is that if the roll cages are used in many kinds of passenger vehicles, they will cut cargo and passenger space to a level that using them would be impractical.

Multi-Vehicle Pile-Ups

Multi-vehicle pile-ups or otherwise known as multi-vehicle collisions, are those accidents that involve several vehicles. These crashes generally occur on freeways or highways. The autos involved may be struck several times, elevating the risk of injury for the passengers. Cars may spin during a pile-up and get struck from all sides. Multi-vehicle collisions are particularly hazardous due to the larger mass of crumpled automobiles, which makes it hard for survivors to come out of the vehicles.

Sometimes, the victims might manage to come out of the cars but get hit by other autos. The vehicles involved in this type of accident may be struck a second time at higher speeds. This raises the risk of injury for passengers who may have pulled through the first crash. Second crashes after the initial one may occur from the sides where the passengers are vulnerable.

In case a fire breaks out in one section of the multi-vehicle accident, it could rapidly spread to the entire collision site because of leaked gasoline. Significant accidents like this one may overwhelm rescue services like ambulance, firefighters, and police, which makes quick rescue quite challenging. In case the multi-vehicle collision happens in an isolated area, it won’t be easy to get emergency medical assistance to the location.

The enormous heat coming from the fire in accidents like this can damage the concrete road surface or burn the asphalt roadway. Also, the fire could weaken the steel structure of a bridge or an overpass. A flaming multi-vehicle accident that takes place in a tunnel may be the most hazardous since there’s little room for escaping the poisonous fumes and the heat.

Often, multi-vehicle pile-up accidents take place in low visibility conditions on highways since the motorists may get dangerously near the car in front and fail to get an opportunity of adjusting to the state of the road. These collisions may even happen when there’s better visibility, but the motorists encounter unexpected dangers on the roadway.

If two autos hit one another, the high density of road traffic might force the rear vehicles to brake & skid. Consequently, the automobiles could drift to other lanes and against approaching traffic. A chain reaction of accidents is triggered since more vehicles become involved.

Hit & Run Accidents

Generally, a hit & run accident is when a driver is involved in a crash (with a pedestrian, fixed object, or another car) and flees the scene immediately after the incident without identifying themselves or assisting the victims that may need help. When the responsible driver opts to leave the accident scene without informing law enforcement, it’s considered a hit & run crash.

An example of hit & run is a vehicle striking another, then speeding off or when a motorist hits a parked auto and drives away without leaving contact information. The reasons a driver may flee an accident scene may include:

  • He/she may be intoxicated
  • He/she might be uninsured
  • The driver could be driving a stolen vehicle
  • The motorist may simply panic and escape the scene

If caught in this kind of accident, you can take these steps in case you’re feeling mentally and physically capable of doing so: contact the police to inform them of the facts surrounding the crash without speculating. Also, provide any possible information details of the other involved car/cars and their drivers that you can recall.

These identifying details may include the color, model, make of the vehicle, and the license plate number. If possible, you can also take photos of the accident scene and find eyewitnesses who may be capable of corroborating your account of events about the accident. Also, get yourself checked up by a physician and contact a skilled automobile accident lawyer.

In hit & run crashes, the best that can happen is for law enforcement to manage to locate the responsible driver. If the motorist is found, you might proceed to file a personal injury lawsuit just like in any other car accident claim. But, if the police can’t find the liable driver after the accident, you could still bring a personal injury claim through the uninsured driver coverage (in case your insurance policy has this coverage).


When you are driving through still water, tires have to push this water to make way and have direct contact with the roadway. The tire’s tread makes this possible. However, in case the car exceeds a particular speed, the water may not be pushed out of the way faster enough. When this happens, a little water might remain between the road and the tires. This leads to a vehicle hydroplaning, possibly causing the motorist to lose the vehicle’s control because it will not be in direct contact with the roadway anymore.

When an automobile hydroplanes, a motorist can’t control the auto’s direction since turning its steering wheel doesn’t have any effect, and it is most likely that braking will worsen the situation. To prevent a hydroplaning accident, motorists should drive slowly when there’s water on the road or when it’s raining. This measure helps the tires to stay in direct contact with the roadway because they will have adequate time to make their way through the water by pushing it away. If a driver feels like they are hydroplaning, they may merely stop accelerating. Slow pressure application on the brakes could also help.

Wrong-Way Accidents

Wrong-way auto accidents are almost always severe. It isn’t challenging to see the reason. Any two cars being driven at moderate to high speeds will generally have a little reaction period before the crash. The resulting accident will cause a significant impact force, causing substantial intrusion into the involved vehicles. Wrong-way crashes often lead to catastrophic injuries and even death.

The most known reason why wrong way vehicle accidents occur is motorists who drive under the influence. However, this isn’t the sole cause. Other causes are:

  • Missing or improper signage
  • Poor lighting
  • Thick vegetation which obscures signage
  • Distracted drivers, road construction which changes the usual flow of traffic
  • Motorists that aren’t familiar with a particular road

Sometimes, these causes might combine to cause a fatal wrong-way crash.

Accidents with Animals

Crashes that involve colliding with animals may be extensive and severe. Drivers can help to prevent these accidents by being aware and understanding their surroundings, mainly if they see animal crossing signs around. Adhering to the lawful speed limit could also help motorists brake on time. Our personal injury lawyers may help victims of these types of accidents by bringing an insurance lawsuit against their insurance company.

Accidents with Parked Vehicles

A collision with a parked vehicle takes place at a parking lot. You may sustain an injury if you were in the parked vehicle or suffer property damage when your car is hit, and you were away from it when the crash occurred. This form of collision is almost always preventable. Drivers that are aware of their acts are most likely capable of avoiding a crash of this type. For instance, you have to always look behind you when you are reversing then move slowly into & out of a parking space. Also, when parking your vehicle, you should allow adequate space so the cars around yours can get out of their parking spot easily.

Find a Car Accident Personal Injury Attorney Near Me

The injuries you sustain from the various car accidents we have discussed above can be long-lasting and severe. They create medical bills and also make you lose income because of missing work. Also, they may lead to emotional suffering and physical pain, making it difficult for you to return to your original life. If you believe the collision occurred due to another motorist’s negligent behavior, you may qualify for compensation for your losses. You need to talk to a lawyer and discuss the events of the accident so he/she can determine whether you can file a lawsuit. Attorneys at The LA Personal Injury Law Firm have helped thousands of victims involved in any type of car accident in Los Angeles recover their fair compensation. This is all due to our experience in the California legal process; the knowledge in how to investigate an accident, build a solid case, and negotiate for just compensation. If you have a claim, call us at 310-935-0089 for a free consultation.