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Types of Car Crashes

Car accidents can happen to even the safest of drivers. One moment you are driving along and the next you could find yourself involved in a crash or collision resulting in serious injuries. Even a minor accident can result in lingering and long term physical impairments, as well as lost wages that can impair your ability to work and to provide for your family. While you cannot always prevent car accidents and injuries from occurring, you can be prepared in terms of knowing how the majority of car crashes happen and how you can do to get compensation for the injuries you suffer.

Types of Car Accidents and Causes

The Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) provides guidelines that must be followed in the event an accident occurs by all drivers. Driver responsibilities include stopping at the scene, rendering aid to drivers who may be injured, and exchanging insurance and personal information with other drivers involved. While these guidelines hold true regardless of who is to blame, car crashes and collisions occur due to any number of factors, and the type of accident that occurs is often a key indicator in who or what is to blame. The following are the most common types of car accidents that occur both in Portland and across the country, as well as the legal ramifications for each.  

Fender Benders

These types of accidents are generally minor, with little to no damage to other vehicles. DMV accident reporting guidelines require Portland drivers to file an Oregon Traffic Accident and Injury Report and to notify law enforcement if anyone is injured as the result of a fender bender, or if damages to either vehicle total more than $1,500.

Side Impact

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), side impact accidents, commonly referred to as T-boning, are responsible for a quarter of fatal car accidents that occur. These accidents are generally caused by drivers running red lights or stop signs and speeding through intersections, and the at-fault driver’s negligent behavior makes them legally liable for any injuries that result.

Rear End Crash

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 28 percent of all accidents are rear-end collisions. One of the most common causes for these types of accidents is driver inattention. While stalled or backed up traffic and road conditions may be partially responsible for the accident occurring, drivers are responsible for maintaining control of their vehicles at all times and would likely be liable for any damages that result.   

Head On Collision

Head on collisions are one of the most potentially deadly types of accidents. The NHTSA reports that these accidents occur when one driver swerves or enters into opposing lanes of traffic, colliding with other drivers. Common causes of head on collisions include engaging in dangerous driving behaviors such as distracted driving, drowsy driving, and driving while impaired. Drivers responsible for head on collisions will likely face criminal charges as well as civil penalties, such as having to pay punitive damages meant to punish reckless and negligent behavior.

Let Us Assist You Today

If you or someone you care about has been injured in an automobile accident, contact our experienced Portland car crash attorneys today. At the Johnston Law Firm, we provide aggressive legal representation to hold responsible parties accountable for the damages they have caused, and can assist you in getting the compensation you need to recover. Contact our Portland personal injury law firm today for a free review of your case.


Marc Johnston

Lead Attorney at Johnston Law Firm, P.C.

Based in downtown Portland, Marc A. Johnston is the owner and managing attorney of the award-winning, internationally-known personal injury law firm, Johnston Law Firm, P.C. Marc's career has been dedicated to representing the injured and individuals who have been treated unfairly by an insurance company. His focus on trial law creates the backbone of the Johnston Law Firm — a firm that is ready to go the distance in seeking justice for its clients.