Common Types of Car Accidents in San Antonio
Car accidents happen in a variety of ways, and can cause injury to vehicle passengers under many different circumstances. Some of the most common types of automobile collisions our legal team handles include:
A Rear Impact or Rear-End Collision
Rear-end collisions can be caused by a sudden deceleration of the first car, or a rapid acceleration of the following car. In the eyes of the insurance companies, the majority of the time, the car behind is usually considered to be the cause of the accident; either:
- The car behind did not keep a “safe braking distance”
- The automobile driver just did not pay enough attention
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports over 40 percent of all car accidents are rear-ended collisions.
This collision occurs when two vehicles are going in the same direction, and the sides touch and swipe each other; generally, if both drivers remain in control of their vehicles, very little cosmetic damage is done to either car.
Side-Impact Accidents or T-Bone Collisions
When one vehicle hits the other broadside, in a perpendicular direction, passenger and vehicle damage are likely to be severe. This type of accident often involves more than two vehicles when cars spin out of control.
Those occupants sitting on the side of the vehicle struck usually sustain more complex injuries than they would in a front or rear-end crash. The car that suffers the most damage is typically the car whose side was impacted. The severity of the damages depends on:
- Where the car was struck
- If the airbags deployed
- The strength of built-in crumple protection
- The weight of the vehicle
- The speed of each vehicle
Common causes of this type of accident include:
- Failing to come to a complete stop at a four-way intersection
- Failing to yield
- Running a red light
- Turning across traffic lanes
- Making an unsafe right turn at an intersection
Any vehicle making a sharp turn while driving at high speed is apt to have a rollover accident, however taller, narrower vehicles such as SUVs, pickups, and vans are more susceptible because they have a higher center of gravity and are more top-heavy.
This is one of the most devastating types of car accidents, with one of the highest rates of fatalities. Common causes of head-on collisions are:
- Passing vehicles on two-lane roadways
- Driving the wrong way
- Driver fatigue
- Impaired drivers
- Errors in judgment
- Distracted driving
Although head-on collisions represent only a small percentage of auto accidents, a head-on collision can result in catastrophic injuries.
Chain-reaction pile-ups usually occur on highways and freeways and they are one of the most devastating and deadliest of all traffic accidents. Typically they result in a multitude of mangled vehicles, with multiple injured victims. The logistics of this type of accident make it difficult for emergency responders to reach the scene. Conditions leading to chain-reaction accidents include:
- Hazardous roads conditions
- Poor visibility
- High traffic volume
- Tailgating or following too closely
- Distracted driver
- Impaired driver
Single Car Accidents
Sometimes, even only a single driver and vehicle can be involved in a serious collision. A single car accident typically involves hitting an object, like a fence, wall, tree, or telephone pole. These accidents often result in property damage as well as personal injury. Are you always at fault? Not necessarily. You may be able to claim damages if you can prove the collision was the result of:
- A manufacturing defect in the car
- Poor road design
- Inadequate road maintenance
- Someone else’s negligence
Low-speed impacts, a.k.a. “fender-benders,” usually happen while driving under 10 miles per hour. These little “bumps” can occur in parking lots and on neighborhood streets, and are often the result of inattentive drivers following too closely.
Collisions With Animals
Animal-related collisions happen frequently in San Antonio. In addition to harming our wildlife, these accidents can cause serious damage to your vehicle, and in some cases, can be fatal. There are some things you can do to reduce your chances of being involved in an animal-related collision:
- Be aware of your surroundings. It is more likely to encounter wildlife when driving in heavily wooded areas, near water, or when driving at dusk or dawn.
- Use your high-beam headlights when traveling through poorly lit areas
- Watch for glowing eyes. Many animals’ eyes glow brightly in headlights.
- Do not assume that an animal will cross the road before you approach it. If an animal does cross the road, be on the lookout for a second one.
Hit and Run Accidents
A hit and run accident happens when a motorist collides into another vehicle, pedestrian or bicyclist and leaves the scene. This is a criminal charge in Texas. Whether or not there is personal injury or property damage, the law requires drivers to stop to give information or stop to render aid when they are involved in an accident. Leaving the scene of an accident can be considered a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the amount of damage or the severity of the injury the driver causes. Penalties for committing a hit-and-run may include:
- A fine of up to $500 if the accident was minor
- Six months in jail if the estimated damage was more than $200
- Two to 10 years in prison for leaving the scene of an accident that results in serious injury or death
Timing Is Everything
A statute of limitations is simply a law that determines the length of time a person has to file a lawsuit following an injury. In Texas, the statute of limitations for personal injury, property damage. or wrongful death is two years from the date of injury. Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 16.003(a)(b)(c).
Call The Law Offices of George Salinas if a Car Accident Injured You in San Antonio
Focus on healing and let a skilled personal injury attorney advocate for you and navigate the legal complexities of your case. Contact the legal team at The Law Offices of George Salinas online or call our office in San Antonio at (210) 225-0909 for a free consultation to determine the best path forward for your case.
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