While head-on crashes have a tendency to result in the most property damage and rear-end wrecks are the most common type of car collisions, side-impact accidents tend to place the driver and passengers in the greatest danger for injury because of the location of impact.
Also known as a T-bone, right-angle, or broadside car accident, a side impact car accident occurs when one car is hit by another car on the side, creating the appearance of the letter “T”. These collisions are frequently caused by a failure to yield the right of way, especially in an intersection where one vehicle fails to obey a traffic signal.
Without these zones to reduce and redistribute the impact of force sent through the car’s interior, all that stands between you and a 3,000-ton machine is a thin door and window. With no reinforcement or framing for protection, T-bone crashes are often fatal.
The deadliest broadside wrecks involve trucks and SUVs, which are heavier than cars and built like tanks. It’s easy to see why these crashes result in catastrophic injuries. Additionally, side air bags are not presently required safety equipment and therefore are not mandated to be standard equipment in vehicles.
Why Side Impacts Are So Dangerous
Another reason right-angle accidents can be so dangerous is that if the impact is severe enough, the vehicle that has been hit may spin, roll over, or be pushed into oncoming traffic, pedestrians on the sidewalk, or even utility poles. It is estimated that side impact collisions kill between 8,500 and 10,000 Americans every year. T-bone accidents also commonly result in:
- Head injury
- Brain injury
- Neck injury
- Nerve damage
- Torso and chest injury
- Pelvic fractures.
Extra care must be taken when stop lights and traffic signals are not operational due to power outages, fallen power lines, mechanical failure or maintenance. During such times, there is often a sharp and immediate increase in the number of T-bone style collisions. Although the prevailing traffic rule if an intersection’s traffic lights are out of service is that drivers should proceed as though the intersection were controlled by stop signs on all approaches, many drivers instead ignore this rule and proceed through at a high rate of speed and T-bone accidents result.
Side Impact Accident Lawsuits
Do I have to call an attorney right away?
Any accident can cause serious injury, complex medical treatment, and financial distress. Pursuing legal action can help to obtain the compensation needed to pay for medical treatment and thereby help ensure the security of your family.
However, you have a limited amount of time to take legal action, so it is important to get legal help as soon as possible. Acting quickly will also help preserve any useful evidence and maximize any potential recovery.
Lawsuits arising from car wrecks are usually based on the theory of negligence. Drivers must use reasonable care in operating a vehicle, and their failure to do so means that they acted negligently. Failure to exercise reasonable care includes improper speed and signaling as well as disregarding traffic signals, traffic conditions, or weather conditions. Furthermore, a driver who drives unsafely with a clear disregard for the probability that such driving may cause an accident may be liable for an accident caused by his or her recklessness.
If you’ve been involved in a side impact collision, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you establish that you were not the one responsible for the accident and help you navigate every stage in your insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. Since 1998, the attorneys of the Johnson Law Firm have been committed to helping accident victims recover the fair compensation they deserve under the law.
Attorney Billy Johnson can assist you in determining whether you have a valid claim and, if so, guide you through the legal process. We know how to do so skillfully, yet compassionately. Our initial consultation is free.
Let us help you by calling toll-free 606-433-0682 or by contacting us online.