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3 Examples of Common Car Accident Scenarios 

Nearly 400 people died in Minnesota motor vehicle wrecks in 2020. Even a momentary lapse of focus can have horrible consequences. These include not only tragic fatalities but also catastrophic, life-altering injuries.

The following is a look at three of the most common car wreck scenarios. You’ll learn why they happen, the potential injuries that result, the types of compensation you can pursue, and evidence that can prove you weren’t to blame.

The attorneys with Sand Law have years of experience representing clients injured in automobile accidents through no fault of their own. If you want to learn how we can help, please call us at 651-291-7263 or use our online contact form for a free case review.

Car Accident Scenario #1: A Driver is Rear-Ended at a Stop Light

There’s probably no more helpless feeling than being behind the wheel of a stopped car and seeing another vehicle bearing down on you. You can do nothing except brace for impact the best way you can.

This kind of accident is incredibly dangerous. According to an analysis of car wrecks in Minneapolis in 2019, drivers who ran red lights caused the most accidents leading to fatalities and severe injuries.

Who’s to Blame?

In this scenario, the driver who rear-ends another vehicle is typically considered at fault. Following a safe distance and being prepared to stop are fundamental rules of the road. Failing to do so demonstrates negligence on the part of the rear-ending driver.

Possible Injuries

Although rear-end collisions may seem less severe, they can cause significant injuries due to the sudden impact. Whiplash is a common injury where the impact force causes the neck to jerk forward and backward, leading to neck and back injuries. The severity of injuries can escalate if the impact is substantial, possibly resulting in head injuries, concussions, debilitating back pain, brain trauma, and more.


The injured driver is entitled to compensation for various damages. Medical expenses can be recovered, including hospital bills, doctor visits, medication, and therapy. Pain and suffering from physical and emotional distress can also be claimed, along with lost wages if the injuries lead to missed workdays. These costs can also be part of the compensation claim if severe injuries require long-term medical care.

Proving You Weren’t at Fault

Collecting and preserving evidence is crucial in establishing fault and determining the extent of injuries. Photographs of the accident scene and the vehicles involved can visually record the damage. If there are visible injuries, documenting them with photos is essential.

Eyewitness testimonies from individuals who witnessed the collision can also provide valuable perspectives. Police reports contain official documentation of the accident, including vehicle and driver details. Medical records substantiate the injuries and treatments, contributing to the overall assessment of damages.

Car Accident Scenario #2: A Driver Runs a Red Light and T-Bones Another Vehicle

You did what you were supposed to do. You stopped at a red light and went through the intersection when the light turned green. But a negligent driver plowed into the side of your car after running their red light. The results of this accident, known as a “T-bone” accident because the vehicles form the shape of a “T,” can be devastating.

Who’s to Blame?

The driver who runs a red light and collides with another vehicle is generally considered at fault. Traffic signals ensure safe traffic flow. Disregarding a red light is a clear violation of traffic rules.

Possible Injuries

T-bone accidents can lead to severe injuries resulting in permanent disability. The force of impact is often focused on the side of the struck vehicle, resulting in broken bones, fractures, spinal injuries, head trauma, and even fatalities.


Injured parties can seek compensation for a wide range of damages. Medical bills, including immediate treatment, surgeries, and ongoing medical care, can be claimed. Victims can also seek rehabilitation costs for physical therapy or other treatments.

If the injuries result in long-term disabilities or disfigurement, compensation can cover the emotional and financial impact. Lost wages due to missed workdays and pain and suffering are also eligible for compensation.

Proving You Weren’t at Fault

Establishing fault is crucial in these cases; your lawyer can do this in several ways. These are just a few.

  • Traffic light camera footage can provide visual evidence of the driver running the red light. Witnesses can corroborate the sequence of events. Traffic signal data can provide additional insights into the timing of the light changes.
  • The police report documents the accident scene and includes the officer’s assessment of fault.
  • Medical records detailing injuries, treatment, and prognosis play a significant role in evaluating damages.

Car Accident Scenario #3: A Distracted Driver Sideswipes Another Vehicle While Texting

Far too many people simply can’t live without constantly checking their smartphones. Even though they know texting and driving are unsafe, they do it daily. It’s one of the most common forms of distracted driving, which, according to the Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety, caused nearly 40,000 car wrecks in our state between 2016-2020. Tragically, 29 people died in accidents caused by distractions in 2020, and 2,612 others suffered injuries.

Who’s to Blame?

The driver texting and subsequently sideswiping another vehicle is typically considered at fault. Distracted driving, including texting, diverts attention from the road and constitutes negligence.

Possible Injuries

The severity of injuries in this scenario can vary widely. They may range from minor cuts, bruises, and soft tissue injuries to more serious conditions such as broken bones and whiplash.


Injured parties can seek compensation for medical expenses, property damage, pain and suffering, and more. Like other types of car accidents, if the injuries lead to long-term medical care or therapy, victims can include these expenses in their compensation claims.

Proving You Weren’t at Fault

Proving distracted driving can be challenging. But skilled attorneys have several tools at their disposal, such as the following:

  • Cell phone records can demonstrate the driver’s texting activity during the accident.
  • Eyewitnesses who saw the driver engage in distracting behavior can provide critical testimony.
  • Photos of the accident scene and the vehicle damage can help reconstruct the events.
  • Any available surveillance footage that captures the driver’s distracted behavior can further substantiate the claim.

No Matter the Scenario, Sand Law Can Help You Recover Damages for Your Car Accident Injuries

Whether you’re a victim of a rear-end collision, a T-bone accident, or a sideswipe collision, Sand Law is dedicated to helping you recover the compensation you deserve. Our experienced car accident attorneys understand the nuances of each scenario and can provide expert legal guidance throughout the process. We’ll work diligently to gather evidence, assess damages, negotiate with insurance companies, and build a strong case on your behalf.

Your well-being is our priority, and we’re here to ensure that you receive the compensation needed to recover from your car accident injuries. Contact us online or call 651-291-7263 for a free consultation and let us advocate for your rights and recovery.