Less than two months ago, a good Samaritan stopped to help a fellow driver on the San Diego freeway.  Within a few minutes, another driver also stopped to help.  Three men stood on the shoulder of the roadway, discussing how to best assist with the broken-down vehicle. 

According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), an “erratic” speeding driver did not see them, veered onto the shoulder of the road and struck two of the three men, killing them instantly.  The third man sustained critical injuries. 

CHP added that alcohol may be a factor in the accident. 

10 million accidents

More than 10 million Americans are involved in vehicle accidents every year. Many accidents result in a smashed bumper or property damage – not death or severe, catastrophic injuries.  Most times, drivers can exchange insurance information and be on their way, but for some accident victims, the crash is a life-changing experience from which they may never recover. 

When minor becomes major

According to the American Medical Association, car and truck crashes account for 43% of catastrophic injuries in the U.S. – second only to all-terrain vehicle crashes.

There are many types of car crashes – fender benders and minor rear-end crashes seldom result in debilitating injuries. 

But head-on, T-bone (side collisions), or vehicle roll-over crashes are different – there can be three exceptionally negative outcomes with these types of accidents.

Car and truck accidents like these can cause fatalities or catastrophic injuries – like permanent severe functional disability or severe trauma without permanent or lifelong damage.  Even severe crashes with non-fatal catastrophic injuries can result in disastrous economic strife, due to on-going medical care.

Victims of traffic accidents – whether minor or major – are advised to carefully monitor their symptoms and obtain prompt medical attention to mitigate the severity of long term damage. 

Next steps

After a car crash, there may be times when pain significantly increases over the course of hours or days.  To protect your legal rights, it is highly advisable that you contact an attorney immediately, monitor and journal how you feel and if your pain increases or migrates.  Particularly for accidents that result in catastrophic injury or death, immediately contacting an attorney will protect your ability to seek justice for you and your loved ones.  Call Jeffery Estes at 619-223-0821.

Somber statistics

Vehicle roll-over and head-on collisions are catastrophic – they are different than minor accidents.  These types of accidents often result in serious injuries and fatalities. 

Catastrophic injuries are defined as severe injury to the spine, spinal cord or brain.  Catastrophic injuries can also involve spinal fractures or damage to the skull.

According to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data, more than 33,000 fatal crashes occur every year.  Out of an estimated 6,471,000 crashes, more than 2 million people died – an additional 6000 suffered major or catastrophic injuries. 


Certain types of crashes cause predictable injuries, like minor rear-end crashes where a person is hit from behind can cause a neck injury – this injury is sometimes referred to as whiplash. 

However, whiplash is not medical terminology, but a colloquial term used to indicate neck strain. Signs of whiplash, often occurring hours or days after the crash, include:

  • Stiffness of the neck
  • Shoulder pain or stiffness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Jaw pain or stiffness

Jeffrey Estes has the experience and aggressive tenacity to help you get the justice and compensation you deserve.  Call the law offices of Jeffrey E. Estes & Associates  to schedule a free case evaluation.

Jeffrey E. Estes & Associates

501 West Broadway, Suite 1650

San Diego, CA 92101