The statistics regarding car accidents are alarming: there are as many as six million car accidents in the United States each year, resulting in 90 deaths per day and three million injuries over the course of a year. Despite the fact that using a seat belt reduces the risk of death in a car accident by 45 percent, one in seven people do not buckle up when they drive. Impairment, exceeding the speed limit, and driving carelessly or recklessly are the primary causes of car accidents.
Most Common Types of Car Accidents
Rear-end collisions are one of the most common types of car accidents. Americans are avid tailgaters—and also happen to be chronically distracted, whether from using a phone, eating, changing radio stations or fiddling with car controls or the GPS, turning around to see what the children are doing, talking to a passenger or simply daydreaming. Rear-end collisions are not typically fatal, and generally, occur in heavy start and stop traffic situations. That being said, rear-end collisions can result in significant, long-lasting injuries.
A side-impact collision is also known as a T-bone accident. Side-impact collisions occur when one car hits another on one side or the other. Side-impact accidents often occur in intersections and can not only cause significant damage to the vehicle which is hit but can also result in significant injuries to the passengers, particularly those on the side which is struck. Head-on collisions are among the deadliest type of auto accident and can occur when two vehicles collide, front-to-front, or when one car strikes a tree, animal or another stationary object. When snow, rain, ice, fog or other inclement weather exists, or in cases where one driver is impaired, a head-on collision can occur. Head-on collisions are more likely to cause death or severe injury than any other type of car accident.
Multi-vehicle collisions are those which involve at least three cars and often occur on busy freeways and highways. Multi-vehicle car accidents are extremely dangerous, and, like head-on collisions, are more likely to cause death or serious injury. Multi-vehicle accidents are becoming more common across the United States—probably the result of increased traffic and congested highways.
Typical Injuries Sustained in a Car Accident
Some car accident injuries can resolve within a matter of days, with no medical treatment at all, while more severe injuries can cause long-term or permanent results, including partial or total disability. Some of the factors which will impact the severity of the injuries include whether the person was wearing a seat belt, where the car was struck (front, rear or side), the speed the car or cars were traveling at the time of the impact, whether the car had airbags, and which direction the victim was facing (straight ahead, or the body and/or head turned in another direction).
Impact injuries are those resulting when a body part hits a car part—such as the knee striking the dashboard. Penetrating injuries are cuts and abrasions caused by shattering glass or loose objects which fly through the air at the time of impact. A whiplash injury is most likely to occur when a person is struck from the rear, while more serious head, chest and spinal cord injuries can occur in high-speed, side-collision or head-on collision.
Dealing with Insurance Following a Car Accident
Insurance companies are well-known for being difficult to deal with following a car accident. After all, despite the warm, fuzzy car insurance commercials we commonly see, the goal of insurance companies is to pay out as little as possible, thereby increasing their annual financial bottom line. While the right decision you can make following your St. Louis car accident, is to contact an experienced Finney Injury Law car accident attorney, in the interim, it is important that you not give your insurance company a recorded statement (these statements are often used later to minimize your recovery), and that you not accept the first offer from the insurance company.
Often insurance companies will offer a low settlement amount very soon after the accident, and just as often, victims of a car accident accept this offer, thinking they will not get a better one. Unfortunately, the injuries from the accident turn out to be considerably worse than initially thought, leaving the victim to pay medical expenses related to the accident out of their own pocket. A knowledgeable Finney Injury Law car accident attorney will ensure this does not happen to you.
Intersections in St. Louis Where Car Accidents Commonly Occur
According to a Fox2Now St. Louis news story published in 2017, a busy intersection in Maryland Heights topped the list as one of the most dangerous intersections in the state of Missouri. One hundred and forty-nine accidents occurred on Dorsett Road and Interstate 270 from 2010 to 2015. The Hazelwood intersection of McDonnell Blvd. and I-270 was the scene of 80 accidents during that time period and the Jefferson Avenue and I-44 intersection was the scene of 74 fatal auto accidents during those five years.
Steps to Take Immediately Following a Car Accident
It is understandable that those involved in a car accident are shaken up, and perhaps not thinking clearly, however, if certain steps are taken following a car accident, it is more likely that the aftermath of the accident will go smoothly. After an auto accident, do the following:
- Stay at the scene—unless you are in a deserted area and are fearful of the other driver, or if your car is in a dangerous place, and likely to be hit again.
- Check on the status of all drivers and passengers, then seek immediate medical attention for those injured in the crash.
- Call the police, and make sure you have the necessary information to obtain a police report.
- Exchange information with the other driver, including name, phone number, address, drivers’ license number, license plate number, and insurance information.
- If you are physically able, obtain witness statements, as well as the names, telephone numbers, and addresses of those witnesses.
- Call your insurance company to report the accident, however, offer only the basic facts of the accident until you have spoken to a St. Louis car accident attorney from Finney Injury Law.
How Finney Injury Law Can Help Victims of a Car Accident
The aftermath of a car accident can be difficult, particularly if you suffered serious injury from the accident. If your car accident was the result of the negligence of another driver, having an experienced St. Louis auto accident injury lawyer from Finney Injury Law on your side can make a huge difference in the outcome of your eventual claim. The attorneys at Finney Injury Law really care about our clients and will fight for the compensation deserved following a car accident. Although some car accident claims do settle out of court, if the settlement offer is simply not what you need to move on with your life, we will argue your case in front of a judge and jury. If you are looking for experience, knowledge, and compassion in your St. Louis car accident attorney, contact Finney Injury Law today.
Co-Counsel Relationships for with Finney Injury Law
Finney Injury Law is also open to referrals from other attorneys in the area who need to hand their car accident claim over to an experienced trial attorney. If you are an attorney seeking a co-counsel relationship for trial, contact Finney Injury Law.