Being involved in a car accident can alter your life in many ways. Car accident victims can often be left with a permanent physical injury that affects their everyday life, their relationships with family and friends, their ability to work, as well as the basic enjoyment of their life. In Minnesota, we see a variety of types of car accidents. This can often be attributed to Minnesota’s unique climate.
The four seasons we enjoy in Minnesota make for a constant change in driving conditions. We also experience all forms of precipitation, snow, slush, rain, and hail, that can drastically affect road conditions. When you throw variations in twilight hours due to daylight savings time that makes for late sundowns in the summer and early sundowns in the winter, it becomes clear that driving conditions in Minnesota are fairly unique in comparison to the rest of the country.
Because of these constant changing circumstances, car accidents in Minnesota occur for an assortment of reasons. The following are a good sample size of the types of car accidents that occur in our state:
Rear-End Car Accidents
Have you ever been surprised at how long it takes your car to come to a complete stop? This generally is not an issue on a nice, dry summer afternoon. But if you are driving in rainy weather or in a snowstorm in Minnesota, chances are that the answer to this question is Yes. Rear-End accidents can cause head, neck, and back injuries.
Whiplash is a common injury for victims of Rear-End car accidents. Muscle and tissue damages are also common injuries that can come about from being struck by a vehicle from the rear. The best way to avoid these types of accidents is to be aware of your surroundings and respect the drivers around you.
Sideswipe or “T-Bone” Car Accidents
Whether the cause of this type of collision is because of a driver running a red light or the consequences of speeding during icy conditions, sideswipe car accidents pose a danger to drivers and their passengers. The reason being is because, in a sideswipe or “T-Bone” car accident, the vehicle being struck does not have the supportive infrastructure on its side panel’s that the front or rear of the vehicle provides. In the front – there is the engine block that can help absorb some of the blow. In the rear – there is often a trunk, or at least a bumper, that help with impact. Also, most vehicles do not have side airbags. This can result in a passenger or driver’s head to come into contact with a door or window because of the nature that the force is being applied by the sideswiping car.
These types of car accidents can be avoided by attentive driving and adherence to stoplight protocols.
Head-On Car Accidents
Among the deadliest of car accident circumstances, Head-On collisions are particularly dangerous because they often involve two vehicles moving toward each other. As opposed to instances where one vehicle is at rest or where both vehicles are traveling in the same directions, Head-On car accidents often happen when vehicles are heading in opposite directions.
Single Car Accidents
This particular type of car accident can occur because of a number of reasons. One may be because the driver was drowsy and fell asleep. Another reason could because of dangerous road conditions. Other reasons can be attributed to accidents involving animals, accidents involving alcohol, or accidents involving distracted driving.
Often single car accidents result in the vehicle going into the ditch, into an obstruction such as a telephone pole, or into other fixed objects like electrical boxes.
Multiple Car Accidents
Multi-car accidents are among the most hazardous of all. They make for more complicated accidents in terms of damage, injury, and fault. These sorts of accidents often occur in the form of a multi-vehicle pileup. When they happen on highways and interstates the damage is amplified because of the high speeds that can be involved.
It is very important, in these circumstances, to make sure you are aware of sudden brake lights, turn signals, or lane changes. These steps may help you avoid being a victim of a multi-car accident.
Accidents with Parked Vehicles
Many times a result of distracted driving, these types of accidents can cause both physical injuries as well as property damage. It is important to know as a driver that reaching for something in your car or answering a text message can wait.
There are, however, a circumstance where the door of a parked car is negligently opened into a traffic lane – thus causing a collision with a moving vehicle. The scary thing about these situations is that people’s bodies are exposed to moving vehicles without protection.
Drunk or Drug Impaired Driving Car Accidents
Drinking and driving create an inherent risk for both the driver of the impaired vehicle, but for everyone else on the road as well. To the same extent, impaired driving due to the use of narcotics or drugs is equally dangerous.
Injuring yourself or others in a car accident is always a heightened risk when driving under the influence. Taking a cab, Lyft, Uber, or calling a friend for a ride is always a better option than driving if you are under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.
Distracted Driving Car Accidents
Emails, social media, text messaging, phone calls, conversations with other passengers, eating, etc. The point is when you are driving a vehicle your responsibility is to your passengers and the other drivers on the road. Distracted driving is an increasing reason for vehicle accidents throughout Minnesota and the country. Focus on the road and drive defensively, because you may not be the only distracted driver out there.
Drowsy Driving Car Accidents
Drowsy driving is impaired driving. Driving drowsy can be as dangerous as driving under the influences because your reaction time is slowed, not to mention the risk of nodding off to sleep and losing control of the vehicle. This too is a great example of when it is better to take a cab or call a friend for a ride rather than risk getting into an accident.
Texting & Driving Car Accidents
Texting and driving takes the drivers focus off the road. This can cause the driver to miss traffic signs or lights, less aware of pedestrians, or swerve into other lanes – endangering those around them. Texting can wait. Either pull over of the side of the road or wait until you have reached your destination to respond to a text.
What Legal Rights Do I Have?
Minnesota law provides victims of car accidents to hold the negligent or “at fault” party responsible. Generally, this is the person that caused the accident. You may be entitled to recover what we call “damages.” Damage is a legal term for injuries and losses you have incurred as a result of the accident. Although there is a wide range of potential damages – the common types of damages we see are:
- >> Physical Injury (such as broken bones, open wounds, or strained ligaments)
- >> Loss of Income
- >> Damage to Property
- >> Emotional Distress (including embarrassment, loss of reputation, of humiliation)
- >> Physical Disfigurement
- >> Loss of Time with Friends/Family
Under the law, you may be entitled to compensation or reimbursement for these losses and/or injuries. The best way to find out how is by contacting a car accident lawyer and find out what your case may be worth.
About Sand Law
The car accident attorneys at Sand Law offer free consultations for all car accident and personal injury matters. With locations in White Bear Lake and St. Paul, we handle cases throughout Minnesota. Click on one of the following links to learn more about our firm or how we have been able to help our clients by reviewing our recent case results.