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Types of Car Accidents


Unfortunately, car accidents are extremely common occurrences — nearly everyone could experience at least one car crash in their lifetimes. According to statistics released by the New York City Police Department, there were 9,431 car accidents throughout the five boroughs of New York City in September 2020 alone. 

Car accidents can arise due to various contributing factors, and collisions can happen in many different ways. Here are some of the most common kinds of New York car crashes and how they can occur:


Rear-end accidents frequently occur in the stop and go traffic of New York City and the surrounding suburbs. They typically happen at stoplights or in traffic congestion on the parkway due to:

  • Following too closely
  • Driver inattention  
  • Drowsy driving
  • Cell phone use or texting
  • Unsafe speed

Depending on the impact, rear-end accidents can result in serious injuries, including soft tissue injuries, broken bones, and fractures due to airbag deployment, lacerations from a shattered windshield, spinal damage, traumatic brain injury, and paralysis or death in extreme cases.

Under New York law, there is a rebuttable presumption that the rear vehicle is at fault in these types of accidents — this means that the rear driver would have to demonstrate a non-negligent reason for striking the car in front of them. Since drivers must maintain a safe distance between their vehicle and others, it is often difficult for rear drivers to overcome this burden.

T-Bone Accidents

T-bone accidents occur when one vehicle strikes another on the side, creating what looks like a “T” at the point of collision. These types of car accidents often arise when a vehicle runs a red light and crashes into another car with the right of way. They can happen at intersections due to reckless driving, impaired driving, speeding, or distracted driving. Also known as “side-impact” or “broadside collision,” T-bone accidents are among the most serious.

Multiple Car Collision

Multiple-vehicle crashes — those involving more than two vehicles — are the most dangerous and deadly types of accidents, accounting for 61% of car crash deaths in 2018. Multi-vehicle pileups can occur as a result of a chain reaction. For example, if several cars are following too closely, each may crash into the vehicle in front of them as a result of the initial impact. Determining negligence can be complex in these kinds of cases — often, more than one vehicle may be at fault.

Single-Vehicle Crash

A single-vehicle crash involves just one vehicle. They can be caused by weather conditions, defective traffic signals, or the driver’s own negligence or carelessness. While the driver of a vehicle in a single-car accident is often responsible for the accident and the resulting injuries, this is not always the case. Single car crashes can be caused if a driver attempted to avoid colliding into a car driving recklessly, an object in the road, or a pedestrian crossing the street without the right of way. 


Sideswipe accidents can arise when a driver attempts to change lanes and doesn’t signal, or the vehicle next to them is in their “blind spot.” Not only can sideswipes cause significant damage to vehicles, but the impact can push a car into another lane or the divider, causing the driver and passengers to sustain severe injuries. Sideswipes can even result in a multiple-vehicle pileup.

Head-on Collision

A head-on collision is one of the most serious types of car accidents and can result in fatality or catastrophic injuries for the drivers and passengers of both vehicles involved. Head-on crashes typically arise as a result of one of the vehicles traveling the wrong way into traffic. Factors contributing to a head-on accident may include driving under the influence, distracted driving, low visibility, or unclear traffic signals.  

Contact a New York Car Accident Lawyer

If you sustained injuries in a car accident due to the negligence, carelessness, or recklessness of another, you may be entitled to compensation for your economic and non-economic damages. It’s critical to contact a New York personal injury attorney immediately who can advise you of your legal rights and remedies. The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. can help you recover the maximum compensation you deserve. 

The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. has convenient office locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx as well as mobile locations serving Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island, Westchester, Rockland County, and on Long Island in Nassau County and Suffolk County. Contact us at (212) 970-6500 for a consultation.