A traffic accident is classified as any accident involving motor vehicles, which results in an event that is considered to be in contrast of expected, intended, or routine operation. There exists a flawed definition of traffic accidents as accidents that occur on roadways, yet without the presence of a motor vehicle, these accidents are qualified alternatively – such as pedestrian or bicycle accidents. Although motorcycles and commercial vehicles can be classified within realms of individual legislation, accidents that involve motorized vehicles fall under the scope of traffic accidents.
Types of Traffic Accidents
While traffic accident is a broad term, it allows for the definitive classification of any accident involving a motor vehicle. For example, a car accident involving a driver operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated can be broadly classified as a traffic accident, yet specifically as a DUI accident or car accident.
1. Hit and Run: A hit and run accident is a type of traffic accident that involves contact between a motor vehicle and an additional entity, which can include a motor vehicle, pedestrian, and/or a stationary object. Eponymously, a hit and run traffic accident is classified as being one where any of the motor vehicle operators involved in the accident leaves the scene of the accident prior to legal processing. In the event of a traffic accident, individuals involved can choose to report the accident or handle the matter privately. However, unless the decision for recourse is unanimous, both law enforcement, as well as the insurance companies, will be involved.
Hit and run traffic accidents result in one or more individuals involved in the traffic accident engaging in unlawful conduct. Although the reasons for premature fleeing from the scene of a traffic accident vary, it is considered a serious offense and can render penalties including the loss of driving privileges, heavy fines, or jail time.
2. Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI): DUI or DWI is the unlawful operation of a motor vehicle while impaired by a substance. This can result in personal injury, property damage, or fatality. Impaired driving is a punishable offense that, unless proven innocent, results in heavy fines and a loss of license. The severity and frequency of the offense can contribute to jail time. Upon conviction, DUIs and DWIs are considered serious offenses that result in a criminal record.
3. Fender-Benders: “Fender-Benders” are considered to be the most common and least severe type of traffic accident. As the name suggests, these types of traffic accidents result in minor damage to one or both vehicles. These types of accidents include vehicle to vehicle contact at slowed or near-stopped speeds.
Traffic Accident Recourse
In the event of involvement in a traffic accident, an individual is encouraged to obtain documentation of all parties involved in the accident, as well as all documentation detailing the traffic accident. If an agreement cannot be made between the parties involved, an attorney specializing in traffic accidents can assist in the process of obtaining police reports, accident reports, witness testimony, and an assessment of damage and/or injury.