News & opinion Four Common Car Accident Scenarios: Understanding Who Is At-Fault

Four Common Car Accident Scenarios: Understanding Who Is At-Fault

Stewart J. Guss Attorney At Law Houston Car Accident Attorney
ccidents h

ppen eve

y d

y. In f

ct,

cco

ding to the<

h

ef="https:

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ts.nhts

.dot.gov/

pi

Public/Vie

Public

tion/812951″> N

tion

l High

y T

ffic S

fety

dminist

tion > (NHTS

), the

e

e

e 6,734,000 police-

epo

ted

ccidents in one

ecent ye. Th

t’s

n

ve

ge of ove

18,000

ccidents pe

d

y!

Th

nkfully,

g

e

t de

l of these e minoccidents.

eg

dless of the seve

ity of the

ccident, the

e’s one c

itic

l f

ct

ll insunce comp

nies

ill nt to kno

:

HO’S

T F

ULT?<

b>

Let’s be honest. The go

l of

ll insu

nce comp

nies is to get

y

ith p

ying

s little

s possible. They

e in the business of m

king money, no m

tte

ho

much they cl

im they nt to t

ke c

e of people.

If they c

n

ssign bl

me to you, they

ill.

So

hile

n

ccident m

y seem st

ightfo

d, insu

nce comp

nies

ill

lys t

y to find some

y to spin it in thei

f

vo

. The

e

e seve

l scen

ios, ho

eve

,

he

e it’s

ctu

lly

“no-bine

to dete

mine

ho the

t-f

ult p

ty is. The expe

ienced <

h

ef="https:

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se

vices

c

ccident-

tto

ney-houston

“>c

ccident

tto

neys<>

t the Ste

t J. Guss, Inju

y

ccident Lye

s h

ve outlined

fe

of these situ

tions belo

. Of cou

se, some

ccidents seem e

sy to figu

e out, but

hen you

nd you

leg

l te

m dig

little deepe

, nothing is

t it seems. Th

t’s

hy it’s impo

t

nt fo

you to neve

<

i>discuss f

ult

t the scene of

n

ccident.

He

e’s

look

t some of the most common scenios, plus

fe

f

cto

s th

t m

y ch

nge the cou

se of

leg

l c

se.

Scen

io 1:

e-End

ccident

 

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“>

e-end

ccidents > e one of the most stight-fod types of

ccidents.

e

-end

ccident h

ppens

hen one vehicle

uns into

nothe

vehicle f

om behind. The collision involves the f

ont end of the “t

iling” vehicle

nd the

e

-end of the “le

ding” vehicle. Minoe-end collisions e commonly kno

n

s “fende

bende

s,” but

lot of d

m

ge lu

ks behind th

t cutesy n

me.

e

-end

ccidents e some of the most common types of

ccidents on the

o

d. In f

ct,

cco

ding to the N

tion

l Highy Tffic S

fety

dministtion,<

h

ef="https:

/

.ntsb.gov

s

fety

s

fety-

le

ts

Documents/S

-046.pdf"> nely h

lf > of

ll t

o-vehicle cshes du

ing one th

ee-ye pe

iod

e

e

e-end

ccidents! The p

imy c

use? D

IVE

IN

TTENTION. In

lmost

ll c

ses, the t

iling d

ive

is the

t-f

ult p

ty. This scen

io h

ppens so often th

t this is usu

lly the def

ult

ssumption of investig

to

s

nd insu

nce c

ie

s.

s

d

ive

, you h

ve esponsibility to m

int

in

s

fe d

iving dist

nce

nd be

e of you

suoundings. Even if the le

d d

ive

unexpectedly sl

mmed on thei

b

kes, it is expected you should h

ve enough time to stop. This is

hy t

ilg

ting is unive

s

lly f

o

ned upon.

e-end

ccidents h

ppen eve

y

he

e. Some of the most common loc

tions foe-end

ccidents include:

  • Stoplights: The
    e e t

    o

    ys

    e

    -end

    ccident h

    ppens

    t stoplights. Scenio one: the d

    ive

    is stopped

    t

    ed light,

    nd the vehicle behind them does not stop in time. Scenio t

    o: both vehicles

    e stopped

    t ed light, the light tu

    ns g

    een,

    nd the t

    iling vehicle st

    ts to go befo

    e the le

    d vehicle.

  • P

    king lots:

    e-end

    ccidents in p

    king lots

    e common. One of the m

    in

    e

    sons fo

    this is vehicles

    e

    lys stopping

    nd going. D

    ive

    s h

    ve to stop fo

    pedest

    i

    ns

    nd othe

    moto

    ists

    s they move th

    oughout the lot.

    n

    ccident c

    n e

    sily occuhen the

    e

    d

    ive

    does not see the d

    ive

    in f

    ont of them stop.<

    li>

  • In the middle of the
    o

    d:

    e

    -end

    ccident c

    n h

    ppen

    hen one d

    ive

    stops to m

    ke

    tu

    n o

    yield to

    pedest

    i

    n. Most d

    ive

    s don’t

    nticip

    te stops in the middle of the

    o

    d

    nd c

    n be t

    ken by su

    p

    ise.

  • The f
    eey: <

    b>

    ush hou

    c

    n be

    nightm

    e fo

    d

    ive

    s. He

    vy congestion

    nd me

    ging d

    ive

    s me

    n plenty of stop-

    nd-go t

    ffic.

    ccidents h

    ppen

    hen

    vehicle stops suddenly,

    nothe

    d

    ive

    moves in unexpectedly, o

    d

    ivecceletes too quickly.

    e

    -end collisions

    e even

    o

    se

    hen they h

    ppen

    t high f

    ee

    y speeds.

Scen

io 2: D

ive

n

ed Light

D

ive

s

unning

ed lights

e

se

ious p

oblem.

cco

ding to

, in

ecent ye

the

e

e

e<

h

ef="https:

/fox43.com/2019/08/30/de

ths-c

used-by-

ed-light-

unne

s-hit-

-10-ye

-high-

-s

ys/”> 939 f

t

lities > c

used by

d

ive

unning

ed light.  These numbe

s keep going up ove

time.

hen

d

iveuns ed light, the most common type of collision is

T-bone collision,

lso kno

n

s

side-imp

ct o

b

o

dside collision. This type of

ccident occu

s

hen the f

ont end of

vehicle collides

ith the side of

vehicle. Comped to othe

p

ts of the vehicle, the side of

vehicle p

ovides much less p

otection in the event of

n

ccident. Th

t’s

h

t m

kes these types of

ccidents so d

nge

ous.

egdless of

hethe

the c th

t

n the

ed light st

uck

nothe

vehicle o

s st

uck by oncoming t

ffic, the pe

son

ho

n the

ed light is typic

lly

t f

ult.

Common

e

sons fo

unning

ed light include:

  • The d
    ive

    s in

    huy:<

    b> In the 1984 movie St

    m

    n, the

    e’s

    cl

    ssic line f

    om

    n

    lien d

    ive

    ho c

    uses

    n

    ccident: "

    ed light me

    ns stop, g

    een light me

    ns go, yello

    light me

    ns go ve

    y f

    st!"

    hile the quote is humo

    ous, it

    lso expl

    ins

    d

    nge

    ous ment

    lity m

    ny d

    ive

    s h

    ve. Of cou

    se, the

    pp

    op

    i

    te

    ction

    t

    yello

    light is to slo

    do

    n

    nd stop

    hen s

    fe,

    nd the

    pp

    op

    i

    te

    ction

    t

    ed light is obvious – STOP!

    hen d

    ive

    s t

    y to speed th

    ough yello

    lights, they

    un the

    isk of the light tu

    ning

    ed

    hile they e in the inte

    section. Othe

    d

    ive

    s m

    y p

    oceed on

    g

    een light

    nd d

    ive into the d

    ive

    .<

    li>

  • D
    iving unde

    the influence: One of the most common c

    uses of d

    ive

    s

    unning

    ed lights is <

    h

    ef="https:

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    inju

    yvictims.com

    se

    vices

    houston-d

    unk-d

    iving-dui-o

    -d

    i-

    ccident-

    tto

    ney

    “>d

    iving unde

    the influence >.

    lcohol

    ffects

    d

    ive

    ’s

    bility to concentte, m

    ke decisions,

    nd even see clely.<

    li>

  • Dist

    cted d

    iving: <

    b>Seve

    l st

    tes h

    ve en

    cted ls to<

    h

    ef="http:

    /

    .ncsl.o

    g/

    esech

    t

    nspo

    t

    tion/cellul

    -phone-use-

    nd-texting-

    hile-d

    iving-ls.

    spx”> p

    ohibit mobile phone us

    ge >

    hile d

    iving, yet <

    h

    ef="https:

    /c

    inju

    yvictims.com

    dist

    cted-d

    iving-negligence-

    nd-the-inju

    ies-th

    t-

    esult

    “>dist

    cted d

    iving<> continues to be

    se

    ious p

    oblem.

    hen d

    ive

    s t

    ke thei

    eyes off the

    o

    d to sn

    ck, ch

    t, o

    pl

    y on thei

    sm

    tphone, they m

    y not

    e

    lize th

    t the light h

    s tu

    ned

    ed,

    nd othe

    people suffe

    the consequences.

Scen

io 3: Collisions Involving

Left Tu

n

ith No Tu

n Sign

l<

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Left tu

ns

equi

e d

ive

s to tu

n in f

ont of oncoming tffic. This c

n be ve

y d

nge

ous

t

n inte

section

he

e the d

ive

does not h

ve

tu

n light. If

d

ive

is m

king

left tu

n

t

g

een light, he o

she is expected to yield to oncoming tffic. This me

ns th

t the d

ive

must it until the

e is enough

oom fo

him o

he

to tu

n, even if it me

ns

iting th

ough mo

e th

n one light cycle. Left tu

ns on solid g

een lights c

n t

ke

long time. This c

n c

use the tu

ning d

ive

to become imp

tient

nd t

ke

isks

hen m

king

tu

n.

he

e

mo

e expe

ienced d

ive

m

y it fo lge

indo

, someone in

hu

y m

y

ush th

ough the inte

section

nd c

use

pile-up. The oncoming d

ive

m

y hit the tu

ning d

ive

on the side ot

n

ngle. In m

ny c

ses, the fo

ce of this

ccident c

n push both vehicles into othe

vehicles, c

using

n even mo

e se

ious

ccident!

Scen

io 4: P

king Lot

ccidents<

b>

P

king lot

ccidents h

ppen

ll the time. Th

nkfully, most of these

ccidents involve lo

speeds

nd mino

inju

ies. But sometimes even

lo

-speed csh c

n c

use

se

ious inju

y, such

s neck

nd b

ck inju

ies o

othe

soft tissue inju

ies. He

e

e

fe

common types of p

king lot

ccident scenios:
  • d

    ive

    is hit

    hile b

    cking out of

    pking sp

    ce. In this c

    se, the d

    ive

    th

    t is b

    cking up

    ould no

    m

    lly be

    t f

    ult. This m

    y seem counte

    intuitive since

    e

    l

    e

    dy kno

    th

    t

    e need to

    llo

    enough sp

    ce to

    e

    ct to othe

    d

    ive

    s; ho

    eve

    , in this scenio, the d

    ive

    moving fod h

    s the

    ight of y. D

    ive

    s b

    cking out of

    sp

    ce should

    lys check thei

    mi

    o

    s

    nd m

    ke su

    e thei

    e

    is cle

    befo

    e moving.<

    li>


  • d

    ive

    is moving out of

    p

    king sp

    ce

    nd exiting fo

    d th

    ough

    n empty sp

    ce<

    i>. Sometimes, it just seems simple

    to d

    ive th

    ough the empty sp

    ce in f

    ont of you to exit you

    sp

    ce inste

    d of b

    cking up. But

    h

    t h

    ppens if

    nothe

    d

    ive

    doesn’t see you

    nd is ente

    ing the sp

    ce

    t the s

    me time th

    t you

    e t

    ying to exit it?

    g

    in, the d

    ive

    exiting the sp

    ce is

    t f

    ult bec

    use they e technic

    lly going the

    ong

    y, but in te

    ms of li

    bility, this situ

    tion c

    n be ve

    y complic

    ted.

  • T
    o vehicles collide

    fte

    t

    ying to ente

    the s

    me sp

    ce<

    i>. One m

    y gue th

    t the d

    iveho s the

    e fi

    st h

    d the

    ight of y, but this isn’t

    e

    lly

    solid leg

    l gument. You c

    nnot leg

    lly hold

    p

    king sp

    ce. In this scenio, it comes do

    n to

    ho h

    s the

    ight of y.  This is

    nothe

    situ

    tion th

    t c

    n be ve

    y complic

    ted to figu

    e out.<

    li>

  • T
    o vehicles collide

    t the end of

    n

    isle.

    hen one d

    ive

    is coming to the end of

    n

    isle

    nd the othe

    d

    ive

    is d

    iving pe

    pendicul to the

    isles, the inte

    section should be t

    e

    ted

    s

    n “unsign

    lized” inte

    section.

    hile the pe

    son d

    iving pe

    pendicul to the

    isles m

    y think th

    t they h

    ve the

    ight of

    y bec

    use they e in

    “l

    ne,” the pe

    son in the

    isle m

    y be continuing into

    l

    ne to exit the p

    king lot. The

    e e m

    ny f

    cto

    s th

    t come into pl

    y in such

    n

    ccident,

    nd li

    bility m

    y be hd to dete

    mine.

    qu

    lified

    tto

    ney m

    y be

    ble to help.

V

i

bles Th

t M

y

ffect

ho Is

t-F

ult<

b>

Eve

y

ccident is unique.

hile the

e

e some situ

tions

he

e the f

ult is c

yst

l cle

f

om

ny outside

’s pe

spective, othe

f

cto

s m

y completely sh

ke things up. Fo

ex

mple, the fi

st scen

io of

e

-end collision outlines th

t the tiling d

ive

is

lmost

lys

t f

ult. But let’s th

o

in

cu

veb

ll: the f

ont d

ive

s completely d

unk

nd ndomly stopped in the middle of the

o

d fo

no

e

son. In this c

se, the le

d d

iveould likely be dete

mined to be

t f

ult.

Even if you think you c

used

n

ccident, NEVEDMIT BL

ME

nd m

ke su

e to h

ve

pe

son

l inju

y

tto

ney look

t the f

cts of the c

se. T

ke

look

t some othe

f

cto

s th

t m

y m

ke things

little mo

e complic

ted th

n they

ppe:
  • <

    h

    ef="https:

    /c

    inju

    yvictims.com

    ho

    -to-spot-

    -f

    tigued-d

    ive

    “>D

    ive

    f

    tigue<

    i> >: <

    b>Ti

    ed d

    ive

    s e just

    s d

    nge

    ous

    s d

    unk d

    ive

    s.

    hen you e ove

    ly exh

    usted, you

    body c

    n shut do

    n

    ith no notice.

    d

    ive

    m

    y stop suddenly, s

    e

    ve, o

    begin to decele

    te.

  • D
    unk d

    iving: D

    unk d

    ive

    s en’t just iesponsible, they’

    e unp

    edict

    ble. Bec

    use of this, it’s hd to

    nticip

    te theictions.

    d

    unk d

    ive

    m

    y d

    ive too slo

    , too f

    st, o

    m

    ke unexpected stops.<

    li>

  • Mech
    nic

    l f

    ilu

    e: Sometimes c

    s f

    il. Vehicle o

    ne

    s e

    esponsible fo

    p

    ope

    ly m

    int

    ining thei

    vehicles.

    hen

    n

    ccident h

    ppens bec

    use of poo

    m

    inten

    nce

    eco

    ds, the d

    iveill be

    t f

    ult. Ho

    eve

    , if

    defective p

    t cont

    ibuted to the

    ccident, the collision m

    y h

    ve been out of the d

    ive

    ’s cont

    ol. In this c

    se, the vehicle o

    pt m

    nuf

    ctu

    e

    m

    y sh

    e

    esponsibility.<

    li>

  • Othe
    d

    ive

    s<

    i>: Sometimes, it is the

    ctions of

    thi

    d d

    ive

    th

    t c

    uses

    collision. Fo

    ex

    mple, if d

    ive cuts in f

    ont of d

    ive

    B, d

    ive

    B m

    y s

    e

    ve into the

    dj

    cent l

    ne to

    void

    collision. This m

    y c

    use d

    ive

    B to d

    ive he

    d-on into d

    ive

    C. In this c

    se, d

    ive

    m

    y be

    esponsible fo

    the inju

    ies

    nd d

    m

    ges to d

    ive

    B

    nd d

    ive

    C.

Ho

Pe

son

l Inju

y

tto

ney C

n Help

e style="

idth: 243px” cl

ss="

p-c

ption

lign

ight">ss=”” title=”Ste

t J. Guss" s

c=”https://c

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idth=”243″ height=”239″ /> ption cl

ss=”

p-c

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h

ef=”https://c

inju

yvictims.com

ou

-te

m/ste

t-guss

“>Ste

t J. Guss<>, Pe

son

l Inju

y L

ye

<

figc

ption><

figu

e>

fte

n

ccident involving inju

ies, it’s c

uci

l to t

lk to

pe

son

l inju

y

tto

ney. Even if you think th

t you might hold some of the bl

me,

n expe

ienced

tto

ney c

n help you dete

mine

hethe

th

t is

ctu

lly the c

se (

nd in m

ny c

ses, IT’S NOT!)

Insu

nce comp

nies t

y to dete

mine f

ult e

ly on,

nd they

ill t

y to pl

ce the bl

me on

nyone but the d

ive

th

t they insu

e. Th

t’s

hy you should NEVE

m

ke

st

tement to

n insunce comp

ny

ithout fi

st consulting

ith

n

tto

ney. The

e e m

ny things th

t

n

tto

ney c

n do to help p

ove f

ult in

n

ccident. This m

y include:

  • T
    lking to othe

    d

    ive

    s

    nd

    itnesses

  • Collecting evidence
  • Hi
    ing speci

    lists to

    econst

    uct the

    ccident<

    li>

Once f

ult h

s been dete

mined,

pe

son

l inju

y

tto

ney c

n help you file

pe

son

l inju

y l

suit.

e unde

st

nd

ccidents m

y le

ve se

ious inju

ies th

t c

n h

ve

t

emendous effect on you

physic

l, emotion

l,

nd fin

nci

l

ell-being.

If you

e

e inju

ed in

c

ccident, you dese

ve f

i

compens

tion. You dese

ve JUSTICE Fo

mo

e info

m

tion, <

h

ef=”https://c

inju

yvictims.com

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