Most car accidents occur within 25 miles of a person’s home. That’s not surprising given that most of us stay relatively close to our homes: Driving to work, to school, to a doctor’s appointment, or running errands in our neighborhoods. However, with familiarity often comes complacency, and with complacency comes carelessness.
An estimated six million car accidents take place each year in the United States, which results in nearly 33,000 deaths—that’s 90 people per day! Over three million people are injured each year, and two-million of them experience permanent injuries as a result of their accidents.
Different Types of Car Accidents
Although car accidents can happen in a variety of strange ways, some types are more common than others. Consider the following:
Head-on collisions occur when the front ends of two vehicles collide. Because this usually involves one car crossing the center line, these accidents often happen at higher speeds than other types of crashes. Because of the speed of the vehicles and the unexpected nature of seeing an oncoming car barreling at them, drivers do not have much time to react to the oncoming vehicle or avoid the accident.
Even without dangerous road conditions, such as Wisconsin snow and ice—which increase the chances of a head-on collision, head-on collisions are the most deadly types of car crashes and result in the most severe injuries.
Also knows as T-bone accidents, side-impact crashes occur when one vehicle impacts the side of another. They most often occur because one driver failed to obey a stop sign or stoplight, and the driver of the approaching vehicle did not have time to stop or otherwise avoid the collision. Passengers in both vehicles can experience serious injuries, but those in the front of the oncoming vehicle may suffer the most.
Rear-end collisions—those caused when one vehicle runs into the back of another—are often caused by inattention. Drivers who are not fully engaged with their driving may not see a car stopped in front of them. Ice, rain, and snow on roads can make it difficult to stop and avoid a rear-end crash, which makes it imperative that drivers exercise special caution when driving in those road conditions.
Accidents involving more than one vehicle, including pile-ups, occur most frequently on busy highways and freeways during periods of high traffic. As the name indicates, these types of wrecks involve one car being pushed from behind into the car in front, and so on. Because of the number of vehicles involved, the cars may collide at different and odd angles, making it difficult for occupants to exit the vehicles or for emergency personnel to access those trapped inside. Unfortunately, pile-ups involve the worst of both head-on and rear-end collisions, and the resulting injuries can be serious or fatal and result in severe property damage.
Collisions With Big Trucks
Big rig trucks are common on our roads. They transport the vast majority of goods moved on our roads and between the U.S. and its North American neighbors. Thus it should come as no surprise that passenger vehicles and trucks end up in accidents with each other. Unfortunately for those in cars, the occupants of the car usually fare much worse than the driver of the truck in these collisions. Cars can become lodged underneath the rear or side of the truck’s trailer, resulting in catastrophic injury for the car’s front occupants, and head-on collisions with trucks are often fatal.
After Your Accident
Car accident injuries can leave you with overwhelming medical bills that far exceed the benefits that your insurance will provide and major financial insecurity. Many survivors of car accidents also suffer from mental health issues, like anxiety, depression, fear of being in a car, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Depending on the severity of the injuries that you sustain, you may be unable to work, either for a finite period of time or the remainder of your life, depriving you of wages that you should be earning.
Wisconsin law recognizes the damage inflicted upon you when you are in a car accident due to another person’s negligence. The law allows you to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault individual in your accident and recover a monetary sum intended to compensate you for your losses. However, you generally must file your lawsuit within the statute of limitations. Accordingly, you should contact a Wisconsin personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
If you choose to proceed with a lawsuit, the court will expect you to prove your monetary damages for things like medical bills for your initial hospital stay and follow-up care, physical or occupational therapy, rehabilitation, medication, and lost wages. Keep all of the bills that you receive from medical providers and receipts for purchases that you make to treat your injuries. Also, make sure you track all of the time you miss from work and include any tips, commissions, bonuses, or retirement contributions that you miss out on by not working.
The law also allows you to recover for damages to which it’s difficult to attach a dollar amount, such as physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment, disfigurement, or disability. If your case goes to trial, a jury will determine the amount of these damages that your case warrants.
In rare cases, a court may award you punitive damages if the party responsible for your accident acted in a particularly egregious manner. These are intended to punish the negligent party and discourage them from acting that way in the future.
Ask a Wisconsin Car Accident Attorney for More Information
Don’t face the aftermath of a car accident alone. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you recover damages and get your life back on track.