Marietta Car Accident Attorneys
Auto accidents are a major cause of death, physical injury and property damage in our state. In 2013, motor vehicle crashes claimed the lives of 1,179 people in Georgia. Another 116,458 people were injured, many of them very seriously and permanently. Over 1,500 injuries occurred in Paulding County alone in 2014, the result of more than 3,700 crashes. With the high prevalence of auto accidents in George, it’s important to have a skilled attorney you can call. Our Marietta car accident attorneys are experienced, dedicated, and aggressive when it comes to getting our clients what they need after a catastrophic injury accident.
As long as we have this many vehicles sharing the roads, often at high speeds, there will be accidents. We all have moments when our attention lapses, we all have moments when our judgment fails us. And these moments can be infinitely magnified by voluntary behaviors like speeding, driving after drinking or taking drugs, driving while suffering from fatigue, and many other behaviors.
Types of Car Accidents
Each motor-vehicle accident whether is a car or truck accident is unique in its details, but experience has shown that accidents occur in identifiable patterns, or types. The type of accident plays a major role in the type and even severity of the injuries that occur, and can often indicate something about how the accident occurred and who and what might have caused it.
These occur when two vehicles travelling in opposite directions smash into each other. Head-ons produce tremendous impact forces, since the speeds of the two vehicles essentially add together; two cars each travelling 50 mph meet head on at the equivalent of 100 mph. As a result, head-ons often involve the most serious injuries and frequently cause one or more deaths. In 2006, head-on collisions resulted in the death of all people involved in such accidents, far higher than any other type.
Head-ons most commonly occur when one of the vehicles is travelling in the wrong lane, travelling the wrong way down a one-way street, or when one vehicle attempts to enter a driveway or structure at the same time that a vehicle is exiting on the same path.
After investigation, it’s usually possible to determine which vehicle had the right to be where it was. That’s not always possible, though, since the impact usually causes the vehicles to move from the path they were following at impact. And, of course, there are some situations in which both drivers can be considered to be at fault. Hiring a car accident attorney with years of experience handling car crash cases can greatly increase your chances of determining fault.
These accidents involve vehicles colliding with one perpendicular to the other. Usually the front of one crashes into the side of the other, but on occasion one vehicle backs into the side of the other. Other names for these collisions are “T-bone” crashes and “broadsides.”
The forces that are generated on the vehicle struck in the side depend to a large degree on the interplay of these factors:
- Where on the side the impact occurs; hitting the very rear of the side spins the vehicle but doesn’t impact the driver directly, for example, while impact directly on the front door sends all the force directly toward the driver
- The exact angle of the vehicles at impact (rarely is it exactly 90 degrees)
- The speed of both vehicles
- How well equipped each vehicle is to absorb the impact through airbags, reinforced passenger compartments, etc.
Serious injury and death are relatively common, especially in the vehicle that is struck in the side. Impact is greater, and severity of injury likely to be worse, for occupants on the side of the vehicle that receives the impact.
These accidents involve a vehicle rolling off its wheel base, to roll either sideways (usually) or front to rear (less likely). These accidents are renowned for the fact that more than one factor tends to cause the roll. As the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says, “Rollovers, more so than other types of crashes, reflect the interaction of the driver, road, vehicle, and environmental factors.”
Anything that causes the vehicle’s center of balance to be outside the wheel base produces a roll. Typical reasons for that imbalance include:
- Travelling too fast around a curve
- Colliding with other vehicles or objects
- Swerving to avoid a collision
- Shifts of cargo
- Vehicle equipment failure
Injury severity depends on several factors, notably speed, the sturdiness of the vehicle’s construction (especially the roof), and the driver’s use of a seatbelt.
These collisions, in which one vehicle crashes into the rear of another vehicle travelling in the same direction, are the most common car accidents. For various reasons, especially the likelihood that the vehicles are not traveling at high speed, they tend to produce fewer deaths and serious injuries than other accident types, though the neck injury known as “whiplash” is associated with these accidents, most often affecting the driver of the front vehicle. Whiplash can result in long term medical needs that can be expensive. Don’t take a rear-end collision lightly, contact our Marietta car accident lawyers for help.
The rear vehicle is assumed to be at fault for travelling too close to the front vehicle and/or not paying sufficient attention to allow the driver to come to a stop before hitting the front vehicle.
These occur when two vehicles are travelling almost parallel to each other, and the sides of the cars come in contact. The vehicles may be travelling in the same direction or opposite directions, and the angle at which contact is made can vary. The most serious consequence is that one or both drivers loses control and ends up crashing into something else.
The closer the vehicles are to parallel when they touch, the less likely that there will be serious damage and injury. Injury is also less likely when the vehicles are travelling in the same direction.
The contact could be caused by either or both drivers, and in some cases by a third party who causes one of the vehicles to swerve out of harm’s way.
Single versus Multiple Vehicle Accidents
Car accidents can involve any number of different vehicles (not to mention pedestrians, fixed objects, etc.). One and two-car accidents are by far the most common, but accidents involving more than two vehicles are far from rare.
Single Vehicle Accidents
When only one car is involved, the accident usually involves running off the road, rolling over, striking an object in the roadway. Many of these accidents are ultimately traced to one or more of the following:
- Excessive speed
- Falling asleep
- Distraction of the driver (cell phones, eating, etc)
Because each of these causes involves driver behavior, there is a tendency to assume that single vehicle accidents are the driver’s own fault. But, there are several other causes that are not the driver’s fault, such as:
- Poor road conditions, such as loose stone, various liquid, etc. causing slippery conditions, major potholes, unmarked ridges and bumps, etc.
- People, animals or objects in the road that cause the driver to swerve and lose control
- Poor lighting or signage which confuses drivers as to where the road goes
Two Car Accidents
Two car accidents can involve any of the types described earlier. The cause can be wrongdoing by either driver, both drivers, and a third party responsible some condition that a driver was trying to avoid. The causes and injuries depend on the type of accident; see above.
Multiple Vehicle Accidents
Accidents involving three or more vehicles tend to be of two types:
- Accordion-style rear-end collisions; the sudden stop of the trailing car in the first rear end collision causes the next car to run into its rear end, and the process is repeated
- “Pile-ups” that usually occur on major highways, in which multiple vehicles smash into each other at a variety of angles, with each collision potentially causing one of the vehicles to stray into another lane and cause even more collisions
Accordion style rear end accidents usually take place at fairly low speeds and produce minor injuries, but there is nothing to prevent them from happening at higher speeds and causing major injuries. Note that the neck injury commonly called “whiplash” is associated with rear end collisions.
Pile-ups often resemble war ones—vehicle scattered facing every direction, some upright, some on their side, some on their roof, and some on top of other vehicles. Especially when these accidents occur on interstates and other high-speed roads, as they usually do, death and extremely serious injury are common.
Because of the chaos, pile-ups are rarely restricted to just one type of accident; there are rear-ends, side impacts, rollovers, even head-ons. Unraveling the sequence of events to identify causes and persons who should be responsible for the injuries is usually a challenge. That’s even harder when fog, smoke, snow, etc. played a major role in precipitating the mayhem.
Quality Legal Representation | Marietta Car Accident Lawyers
An automobile accident is, in many respects, the beginning of a long and usually very complex process that ends when the person who caused the accident is finally determined to be liable for the harm that flowed from the accident. That process can head in any number of directions and turn up complications without warning. In the course of successfully pursuing compensation for the victims, a car accident lawyer may have to deal with an overwhelming number of problems and questions, such as (in no particular order):
- Identifying a hit-and-run driver
- Proving that a driver was distracted by anything from a cell phone to a sandwich
- Determining the speed a vehicle was going
- Evaluating whether a roadway was improperly maintained
- Hiring and working with an accident reconstruction expert
- Hiring and working with medical experts to establish the extent of a victim’s injuries
- Refuting the numerous claims from the defendant and insurance companies that the victims were the cause of their own injuries
- Determining whether one or more pieces of equipment from the vehicle was defective
- Delaying tactics from the defendant company and insurers to put financial pressure on victims to settle
And that is a very incomplete list.
Handling these cases successfully takes experience, dedication and a true understanding of the needs of the victims. Clay | Starrett Injury Lawyers, LLC in Marietta, GA, is a top-rated firm with a long history of success in obtaining the compensation that victims of auto accidents are due from the people who caused their injuries. Attorney Jack Clay has received numerous awards, has the highest possible Martindale-Hubbell and Avvo ratings, and serves as an officer in several organizations devoted to personal injury practice.
If you have been involved in an automobile accident in or around Cobb or Paulding Counties, or if you are concerned about someone else who has, give us a call today to set a time for a free consultation. There are no upfront costs and no fee until you recover. We handle auto accident cases of all types, against all possible defendants, in the way that is best for you, whether that be a fair settlement or a trial.
Georgia law limits the amount of time you have to file a law suit, so it is important not to wait. Make that call now to safeguard your right to a recovery of money for your damages.