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Types of Auto Accidents

March 08, 2021

While decades of engineering breakthroughs like anti-lock brakes and airbags have helped reduce incidents of fatal driving, an element of danger still exists every time you climb into a car. This is especially true if you live in Alabama or Mississippi.

According to the Alabama Department of Transportation, drivers in Alabama have more than a one in three chance of being injured or killed in a crash while operating a vehicle over their lifetimes. It’s not much better in Mississippi. In 2019, the state had a fatality rate of 22.2 deaths per 100,000 people, which was the highest in the nation according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Auto accidents can be extremely traumatic events with life-altering repercussions. Accident victims may experience property damage, endure financial losses, suffer physical injuries, or worse – death.

In this blog, we examine the most common types of car accidents in Alabama and Mississippi, injuries that may be sustained, and why working with an experienced and dependable law firm can help you recover after a crash.

The Different Kinds of Auto Accidents

No one wants to be in a car accident, and hopefully it will be something you never have to experience. Unfortunately, wrecks can happen at any time, and there are many ways they can cause serious injuries, property damage and even death.

Typical car crashes that occur in Alabama and Mississippi include the following:

  • Head-On Collisions: The most likely type of accident to be fatal, these happen when either two vehicles hit each other directly from the front, or when one vehicle hits a fixed object from the front, like a tree or streetlight.
  • Multi-Vehicle Collisions: These frequently occur on a highway when several cars are involved in a collision. Cars are often hit more than once, causing enormous amounts of property damage and physical injuries.
  • Rear-End Collisions: These happen when one vehicle hits another from behind, often because one vehicle is traveling slowly or hitting the brakes and the driver behind them is distracted or slow to react.
  • Side-Impact Collisions: Also known as getting “broadsided” or in a T-bone collision, these occur when one vehicle is hit on the side by either the front or rear of another vehicle.
  • Sideswipe Collisions: These happen when the sides of two vehicles traveling in the same or opposite direction make impact.
  • Single Car Wrecks: Typically, these occur when there is only one car, which may hit a tree, pole, wall, or even a pedestrian.
  • Rollover Accidents: These generally happen when a vehicle, like an SUV, is traveling at high speeds around a sharp turn, causing it to roll onto its side or roof.

Even the best driver may have a difficult time avoiding these types of accidents, regardless of whether you are at fault. While some crashes simply can’t be avoided, it can be helpful to know how and when they frequently occur so that they can be prevented to best of your abilities.

Common Causes of Car Wrecks

Driving a vehicle in a variety of circumstances carries a mix in the kinds of collisions that may occur. For instance, driving conditions such as weather, escalated traffic, and increased speed on highways can all lead to different kinds of accidents. This variance relates back to the vast array of injuries that may result from an auto accident.


There are a lot of examples of ways drivers can get distracted on the roads creating a potentially unsafe situation:

  • Texting or otherwise using a mobile device
  • Rubbernecking to see something and taking eyes off the road
  • Passengers or loud music drawing attention
  • Reflection or glare from sunlight or the headlights of other vehicles
  • Trying to eat a meal, apply makeup, read a map, or reach for something, and taking one or both hands off the steering wheel

Drowsiness or Fatigue

It is not uncommon for tired motorists to fall asleep behind the wheel, especially semi-truck drivers who are subjected to unreasonable work schedules. According to NHTSA, drowsy driving was reportedly involved in approximately 2.5% of all fatal crashes nationwide from 2011 through 2015.

Alcohol or Drug Impairment

In 2019, there were 210 deaths in 5,524 crashes with suspected alcohol or drug impairment in Alabama. You would be hard-pressed to find a driver today that isn’t aware of the dangers of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but DUI and DWI accidents remain some of the most devastating despite the fact that drunk driving is illegal.


Speeding exponentially increases the odds of injuries or fatalities in an accident. ALDOT reported that speeding is the top contributing factor in fatal crashes in the state. According to NHTSA, approximately 27 percent of all fatal motor vehicle crashes are related to speeding, and the cost of is estimated to be $52 billion.

Bad Weather

Flooding, severe wind, and rain are uncommon in large areas of Alabama and Mississippi, especially when a hurricane strikes. In those situations, road conditions can turn dangerous in an instant.

Mechanical Malfunctions or Poor Maintenance

If regular maintenance isn’t performed on important parts like brakes, steering, or suspension systems, it can be extremely dangerous. Due attention should be paid to broken or malfunctioning parts to reduce the potential for wreck.

Most Frequent Injuries Caused by Car Accidents

Your mind may race if you are involved in a car crash. You may feel scared or confused. As hard as it may be to collect your thoughts, you first instinct should be to check on the physical status of everyone inside of your vehicle. There are wide variety of injuries that can be sustained in an accident and not all of them may be immediately obvious.

The following injuries are commonly sustained after being involved in a car accident:

  • Bone Fractures: Broken bones are usually treatable depending on the severity of the fracture.
  • Whiplash: This is caused by the sudden jerking of the head and neck, which can damage ligaments, muscles, and other soft tissues.
  • Traumatic brain injuries: Concussions are a common form of a TBI and can be quite serious. Symptoms include disorientation, losing consciousness, headaches, nausea, and blurry vision.
  • Lacerations and burns: These intense and deep injuries can take a long time to heal and often leave scars.
  • Paralysis: This can come in three forms: paraplegia, paraparesis, and quadriplegia. When an accident victim is paralyzed from the waist down, this is referred to as paraplegia. In cases where the victim suffers from paraparesis, spinal cord damage limits mobility and sensory ability below the waist. Quadriplegia is paralysis to the legs, arms, and torso.
  • Spinal Cord Injury: Spinal cord injuries are tricky and may not surface for several days following the crash. Common forms of back injuries are ruptured or herniated discs, fractures, sprains, thoracic spine injuries, and lumbar spine injuries.
  • Shoulder injuries: Seat belts can injure your chest or shoulder by tearing the muscles and soft tissue in your shoulder.
  • Emotional or psychological injuries: If you experience anxiety or panic at the thought of being inside a vehicle, or you keep reliving the crash (a common symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder), you may want to seek mental health treatment.
  • Wrongful Death: When a collision results in a death, family members of the deceased may be eligible to recover financial recourse for medical bills, funeral expenses, and lost wages.

Internal injuries frequently occur in car accidents and it is wise for all occupants involved in a collision to seek professional medical care as soon as possible whenever the symptoms arise.

Related: Watch Out for These Hidden Injuries After a Car Crash

If You Are Hurt, Seek Medical Help

Getting medical help is crucial for developing a personal injury claim. If you wait to get medical help and issues develop later, insurance companies may try to deny you financial compensation by saying that because you would have gone to the doctor right away if your injuries were truly serious. Don’t let insurance adjustors get away with those excuses. If your injuries were slow to appear, you should still seek medical treatment as soon as you can.

If you are filing a personal injury claim in Mississippi, the statute of limitations is three years. In Alabama, you have two years to file a personal injury claim after a car accident.

Be sure to file your claim before these deadlines. If you miss the deadline, your car accident case likely will be dismissed in court. If you have any questions about the statute of limitations in your state, your injuries, or filing a claim on time, contact experienced auto accident attorneys.

If you are filing a personal injury claim in Mississippi, the statute of limitations is three years. In Alabama, you have two years to file a personal injury claim after a car accident.

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney

Auto accidents can change your life in an instant. If you or a loved one has been injured in motor vehicle accident in Alabama or Mississippi, the experienced attorneys at Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys are dedicated to fighting for the fair compensation in which you may be entitled to.

Our track record of testimonials speaks for itself. When a company driver was using a cell phone and caused a horrific crash, we reached an $8.5 million settlement for the victim. In another, we settled on $3.5 million for the victim of a truck driving incident.

Our team strongly believes that irresponsible drivers need to be held accountable for their actions. With this in mind, we are dedicated to fighting for your compensation benefits, including:

  • Medical expenses
  • Outpatient care
  • Loss of wages
  • Stress/mental fatigue
  • Pain and suffering

Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys fights for car accident victims in Mobile, Daphne, Foley, and throughout Alabama and Mississippi. To find out how we can help, please call 251-888-8888. Or you can schedule a no-obligation, free consultation with a member of our legal team by completing the free case evaluation form.


Alabama Department of Transportation. (n.d.) Drive Safe Alabama. Retrieved from

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (n.d.) State Traffic Safety Info. Retrieved from

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (2017, October). Drowsy Driving 2015. Retrieved from

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (2018, March). National Traffic Speeds Survey III: 2015. Retrieved from

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.



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