According to NWS, there are five types of lightning strikes. Direct, side flash, ground current, conduction and streamers.
A direct strike is what is sounds like, when a person is directly struck. This usually happens when the victim is in an open area. They are not the most common type, but NWS says they are potentially the most deadly.
A side flash, also called a side splash, is when lightning strikes a taller object near the victim and part of the current jumps from that object to the person. These tend to happen when the victim has taken shelter under a tree to avoid rain or hail, according to NWS.
A ground current is when lightning strikes a tree or other object and the energy travels outward in and along the ground surface. Anyone outside near the strike is a potential victim of ground current.
Conduction is when lightning travels long distances in wires and other metal surfaces. While NWS says metal does not attract lightning, it creates a path for it to follow. Conduction is the cause of most indoor casualties from lightning, according to NWS.
Streamers are not common, but develop as the downward moving leading strike approaches the ground.