Charlottesville Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney
Over the years, Kendall Law Firm has investigated many different types of car accidents on behalf of our clients in Winchester, Harrisonburg, Charlottesville and surrounding areas in Virginia. Here, we provide a summary of the most common types of accidents that we encounter when working with clients. We break them into three categories:
- Cause of the Accident
- Type of Impact
- Parties Involved
If you or a loved one recently suffered harm in any type of car accident, our personal injury attorneys can put our experience and our knowledge of different accident types to work for you. At Kendall Law Firm, we always focus on the person behind the injury and give each client the personal attention they deserve. Contact us today and allow us to learn more about your case. We will provide a free, no-obligation consultation.
Cause of the Accident
When we investigate a case, we focus on determining the factors that caused the collision and whether another party’s fault is to blame. The most common causes of car crashes that we see are:
- Speeding – Drivers cause accidents when they go significantly faster than the posted speed limit or when they go too fast for road, traffic and weather conditions. Speeding drivers can easily lose control of their vehicles. They also lack sufficient reaction time and braking distance in order to avoid crashes.
- Aggressive driving – In a rush to get to their destinations, many drivers act aggressively on the road. Tailgating, refusing to yield, weaving through traffic and running red lights and stop signs are examples of this dangerous behavior.
- Distracted driving – All too often, drivers in Virginia allow distractions to get in the way of driving safely. Texting, talking on cell phones, eating, drinking, smoking, playing with the radio, checking out a map, putting on makeup, tending to pets or interacting with passengers while trying to drive can readily lead to an accident. To get a good idea of how distracted driving causes crashes, please see our Reckless Racer
- Drunk driving – Virginia law prohibits drivers from being on the road if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher (0.04 if the driver has a commercial driver’s license). The reality is that driving after consuming any amount of alcohol impairs a driver’s physical and mental faculties and increases the likelihood of causing an accident.
- Drowsy driving – Numerous studies indicate that drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Drowsiness due to a lack of sufficient rest or due to the side effects of medication causes a driver to lack the motor skills and judgment that is necessary to drive safely.
- Vehicle defects – In addition to driver error, defectively designed or manufactured cars or car parts cause a high number of accidents in Virginia. Common vehicle defects involve tires, brakes and steering columns. In some crashes, safety features such as air bags, seat belts and child safety seats fail to operate properly, which worsens the injuries that victims suffer.
If you suffered injuries in a crash or lost a loved one due to any of these causes, you may be eligible to pursue compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, pain, suffering and other damages. Kendall Law Firm will investigate and analyze your crash, and we will help you to explore all of your legal options.
Type of Impact
The type of impact often indicates who is at fault for a crash. It also serves as a major factor in the nature and severity of injuries that people suffer in a car accident. The most common types of impact that the lawyers of Kendall Law Firm see in auto accidents are:
- Rear-end collisions – When a driver crashes into the back of another vehicle. In most cases, the driver in the rear vehicle is at fault. The driver may have been speeding, tailgating or simply failing to pay attention at the time of the collision. Whiplash is an injury that many people suffer in these types of accidents.
- Side-impact collisions – When a driver smashes directly into the side of another car. Many people call these “T-bone” or “broadside” accidents. Drivers cause these accidents when they run through red lights or stop signs or make left turns into oncoming traffic. Drivers and passengers on the side of the impact can suffer severe injuries.
- Sideswipe collisions – When a driver scrapes the side of another vehicle or slams or pushes into it. These accidents often occur when drivers merge into traffic or change lanes without checking their mirrors or blind spots. The initial impact may not cause severe injuries. However, these accidents can be deadly if they cause a vehicle to leave the road or hit other vehicles.
- Head-on collisions – When a car goes the wrong way on a road or crosses the center of a highway and goes into the path of oncoming cars. These crashes tend to occur when speeding, distracted, drunk or drowsy drivers lose control of their vehicles. These crashes cause the most severe injuries that our law firm encounters and frequently result in driver and passenger deaths.
- Rollovers – When a car rolls onto its side either before or after impact. These crashes often occur when SUVs, jeeps, passenger vans and tractor-trailers are involved. A defective design may cause the rollover.
- Jackknife and underride accidents – These types of accidents are unique to crashes that involve tractor-trailers. A jackknife happens when the trailer swings out from behind the tractor, while an underride occurs when a passenger car goes under the trailer.
Even a minor “fender bender” can cause a person to suffer serious injuries. For this reason, Kendall Law Firm suggests that a person involved in any type of accident seek medical attention as soon as possible. It is important to get checked for injuries and to ensure those injuries are documented.
Your ability to collect compensation after an accident often depends on the parties involved in the crash. Examples are:
- Single-car accidents – In these accidents, drivers may leave the road or hit a stationary object such as a sign or guardrail. Driver negligence can cause these crashes. Other common causes include defective auto parts, poorly maintained roads or the presence of objects or animals in the road. Typically, a driver’s only option is to file a claim through his or her own insurance coverage such as a medical payments (medpay) claim or a collision claim. However, in some cases, an accident victim may be able to file a claim against an auto or auto parts manufacturer or a government agency that is in charge of maintaining a road.
- Multiple-car accidents – These are the most common crashes. They can involve two cars or several cars in a chain-reaction or pile-up. Your options may include filing claims with the at-fault driver’s (or drivers’) liability insurer. You may also need to file a claim through your own uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) policy.
- Hit-and-run accidents – These crashes involve drivers who flee the scene of the crash (often due to the fact that they are either intoxicated or lack insurance). If you are injured by a hit-and-run driver, you may be able to seek compensation through your UM policy.
- Motorcycle accidents – These accidents tend to occur when car drivers fail to see motorcyclists or simply refuse to share the road in a safe manner. For example, a driver may follow the motorcycle too closely, share a lane with the bike or turn in front of it. An injured motorcyclist can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company and, in some cases, their own insurer.
- Bicycle /pedestrian accidents – Drivers who fail to notice or yield the right of way to a cyclist or walker causes these accidents. In addition to filing a claim against the at-fault vehicle driver, an injured bicyclist or pedestrian may be covered through their own UM/UIM insurance policy.
Get Help from Our Virginia Car Accident Attorneys Today
If you or a loved one has been harmed in a car accident in Winchester, Harrisonburg, Charlottesville or elsewhere in Virginia, make Kendall Law Firm your first call. We will get to work immediately on investigating your crash and exploring all sources of compensation available to you and your family. Contact us to learn more in a free consultation.