Types of Car Accidents

Types of Car Accidents
Calendar icon December 4, 2023
Types of Car Accidents


  • Car accidents can be described by what behavior caused the collision, how many people were killed, and the way that the vehicles crashed.
  • Distracted driving, driving under the influence, and speeding are common causes across various types of car accidents.
  • Like head-on collisions, rollover accidents are uncommon but are more likely to be life-threatening.
  • Side-swipe collisions, though underestimated, can cause serious injuries and property damage.
  • Rear-end collisions are the most common type of car accidents and are often caused by distracted drivers.
  • Head-on collisions, while rare, almost always result in devastating injuries and represent a significant portion of fatal car accidents.
  • T-bone accidents at intersections can cause severe injuries, especially to the occupants who were on the same side as the impact.
  • Multi-vehicle pile-ups involving more than two cars can lead to catastrophic injuries and complicate medical response.

A New York car accident can be categorized by factors like cause, location, and whether or not it resulted in fatalities. One of the most helpful ways to define a type of car accident is to describe how the vehicles collided. This can offer insight into the likelihood of severe injuries, the logistics of the collision, and which party is liable for causing the car accident.

The auto accident lawyers of Cellino Law are equipped with decades of experience in negotiating a variety of car accident lawsuits, making us a leading voice for injured clients in New York. You can reach out to us at (888) 888-8888 or through our online contact form to schedule a free consultation to explore your options for legal recourse with a qualified auto accident attorney.

Rollovers Are Considered One of the Deadliest Types of Car Accidents

According to research conducted by the NHTSA, rollover car accidents are more likely to be fatal as compared to other types of car accidents. Drivers who speed or operate under the influence are at a greater risk of being involved in a rollover car accident, as these behaviors can cause them to lose control of the vehicle before it is knocked off-balance.

Occupants are typically injured from being violently thrown against the hard surfaces of the car as it overturns, sustaining traumatic brain injuries, compound fractures, organ damage, and other life-threatening injuries. As an occupant is lashed back and forth in a rollover accident, they often experience non-penetrating trauma to organs and soft tissue from the force of the crash alone.

The Dangers of Side Swipe Car Accidents Are Underestimated

While side-swipe collisions are often characterized as relatively harmless as compared to other types of car accidents, they are capable of inflicting serious injuries in addition to property damage. When the side of one vehicle collides with the side of another vehicle as it travels past, it can cause the other car to spin out of control into other cars or fixed objects like guardrails.

Side-swipe accidents tend to cause the most harm when one vehicle is speeding, or the road is slick due to weather conditions, as these circumstances are not conducive to creating traction for the vehicles. Drivers may cause a side-swipe collision by misjudging their proximity to an adjacent vehicle, swerving away from debris, or overcorrecting after drifting from their lane.

Rear End Collisions Are the Most Common Type of Car Accidents

Over 40% of auto accidents are rear-end collisions, which is unsurprising considering how little it takes to cause one. Rear-end car accidents are usually attributed to the driver of the following car who is momentarily distracted, tailgating another vehicle, speeding, misjudging the amount of distance between their car and the vehicle in front of them, or failing to anticipate the lead car slowing down.

Speed is often a determining factor in the severity of rear-end car accident injuries, as is the size of the vehicles involved. A rear-end collision may be a low-impact crash that dents your fender and leaves you with a mild whiplash injury. It can also be a violent incident that results in trauma like coup-contrecoup brain injuries or paralyzing spinal cord injuries.

Head On Collisions Are Responsible For Thousands of Fatalities Each Year

In a head-on collision, the conflicting momentum of two vehicles subjects car occupants to the full force of thousands of pounds. Passengers and drivers are at risk of catastrophic injuries from the harsh jolting motion caused by the crash, striking hard interior surfaces like the dashboard, and even being ejected from the vehicle altogether.

Fortunately, head-on car accidents are rare. The National Safety Council estimates that head-on collisions only account for about 3.9% of all car accidents involving more than one vehicle, but they represent more than a quarter of all fatal car accidents involving more than one car. About 5,900 people were killed in head-on collisions in 2021 alone.

Damage May Be Concentrated in Side Impact or T-Bone Car Accidents 

Car accidents where the front of one vehicle collides with the side of another vehicle tend to be more common at intersections. A driver may fail to yield the right of way, running a red light or stop sign as a result. Common causes of T-bone car accidents include speeding, distracted driving, drunk driving, and ignoring traffic laws.

The occupants on the same side of the vehicle as the point of impact may have more extensive injuries. The impact may cause one or both cars to spin out of control, causing further injury. T-bone car accidents have the potential to become multi-car pile-ups, especially if they block intersections because it is more difficult for other vehicles to navigate around the debris.

Multi Vehicle Pile Ups Have the Capacity to Be Catastrophic

41% of fatal New York car accidents involved multiple vehicles in 2021. When more than two cars are entangled in a collision, that can increase the risk of debilitating injuries for car occupants. Occupants may sustain more than one impact as additional vehicles are unable to avoid the accident scene, compounding their original injuries.

In mass casualty events like a multi-car pile-up, medical resources may be spread thin as first responders attempt to navigate the wreckage to reach trapped car accident victims. This delay in treatment can negatively impact an injured car occupant’s prognosis. For example, if pressure is not relieved on a crush injury, the prolonged lack of blood flow to the limb may require it to be amputated.  

The Benefits of Choosing Cellino Law to Negotiate Your Car Accident Claim

At Cellino Law, we take a results-driven, proactive approach to negotiating car accident claims, which has proven highly effective in maximizing compensation for our clients. We have been one of New York’s leading personal injury law firms for more than six decades because we are adept at helping clients in crisis secure fair settlements and hold negligent parties accountable.

Contact Cellino Law For Help With Your New York Car Accident Lawsuit

At Cellino Law, our team of car accident lawyers will vocally protect your right to seek compensation for your damages in a New York personal injury lawsuit. We understand the amount of compensation you recover can have profound implications for your family’s financial stability and well-being, and our team is prepared to go to trial to obtain a settlement that meets your needs.

If you are considering filing a car accident claim in New York after another driver’s negligence injured you, we encourage you to take advantage of a free consultation with one of our accomplished personal injury lawyers. You can schedule a free case evaluation with our team by calling us at (888) 888-8888 or by filling out our online contact form.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I lower my risk of being injured in a car accident?

While you cannot control the actions of other drivers, there are preventative measures you can take to decrease the likelihood that you or your passengers will sustain serious injuries in a collision. This starts with choosing a safe car, maintaining it properly, and utilizing its safety features to your benefit.

While you’re driving, make an effort to reduce distractions within the vehicle. Make sure to observe all New York traffic laws, yield the right of way to pedestrians and cyclists, and move in visible and predictable ways. Refrain from speeding and other forms of aggressive driving.

When should I hire a New York car accident attorney to represent me?

If you have been seriously injured in a car accident that was caused by another driver’s negligence, the smart move is to involve a qualified personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. They will take on the responsibility of communicating with the insurance company, which not only allows you to focus on your health but it also protects you from making mistakes that could jeopardize your claim.

What does it cost to hire a New York personal injury lawyer to negotiate my car accident lawsuit?

When you hire a personal injury lawyer, you should expect that they will recover a contingency fee for their services, which is about 33% of your final settlement or court awards. If they do not resolve your car accident claim, there is no settlement to draw from, and therefore, you do not owe them anything for representing your case.

Zoom Screenshot_16.png

Content checked by the personal injury attorney Ross Cellino. As a family man and a trial attorney, I pride myself on winning cases and serving the community. With over 35 years of experience, I understand the function of a jury, how juries arrive at conclusions, and the role that the jury plays in administering justice. I know how to win cases. You can find us in Manhattan, Buffalo, Melville, Rochester, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens and other locations throughout New York.



Free Case Review




  • Thank you for your help in settling the case of my father's accident. I could always count on you to answer my questions honestly and in terms I could understand. If all lawyers at Cellino Law are like you, I understand why they are an A-1 law firm.


  • We'd like to thank you for all the assistance and time you spent on our case. Your professionalism and honesty will always be appreciated. The staff was always courteous and we were always impressed with your accountability. Your passion and dedication will never be forgotten, nor will you.


  • Cellino Law and more specifically my attorney, Gregory V. Pajak, Managing Attorney, and as a whole the Cellino Law Firm and its organization. This is by far one of the most professional law firms and attorney I have ever engaged with and retained in my 35 years. The level of professionalism goes beyond words, the care and constant engagement with me as the client was touching. I was never ever just treated as simply a CASE with potentially a significant dollar number attached to my file. I was engaged regularly, Tracey (Ass’t) and Greg always made sure to remain constant, as well as consistent in overseeing that my case was handled properly and that it did matter in many ways - ensuring that the end result(s) would be fair and reasonable to my case/injury. The regular follow-up calls were very satisfying, knowing that you’re involved in your case matters significantly AND always. One of my main items to recognize Cellino Law and Gregory is that whenever I called, I was able to get through to speak directly to my Lawyer and he would answer any if not all of my questions in a very professional and genuinely caring manner. I always felt cared for and protected legally and more importantly, I was made feel as a human being that was being cared for and always keeping me abreast of all matters connected to the case. There was never a point I felt let down, on the contrary -the level of service was “STELLAR”. Greg is the consummate professional, a ‘role model’, if you will, for what other attorneys should strive to become when dealing with their clients.


  • Thank you for your efforts on my behalf. I am very pleased (and surprised) at the amount of the settlement. We will use the funds to help pay down the debt on the truck we had to purchase after ours was totaled. Thank you again.


  • I am so grateful for your expertise, patience, and perseverance which resulted with such a successful settlement regarding my car accident. I also want to let you know how impressed I was with you and your firm and I won't hesitate to recommend you to anyone who needs assistance from an accident. I truly appreciated your care and professionalism. Thank you again for your kindness and support


  • Cellino Law is an amazing firm with a great team. I worked with Greg Pajak and his assistant, Tracey Falconer. I cannot express enough how dedicated they are. The personal attention I received was excellent; they were always available to help with questions and concerns and put me at ease in the unknown territory I found myself in. I highly recommend them to anyone needing representation. A huge thank you to them for all they accomplished for me!