Commonly referred to as a T-bone accident or a broadside collision, a side-impact car accident is any crash where one vehicle hits another at more or less a right angle. A side-impact crash includes collisions where one vehicle strikes another vehicle anywhere along its side. Impacts to the door area often produce the most serious injuries for vehicle occupants.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), side-impact collisions account for approximately 25 percent of all passenger vehicle fatalities throughout the United States each year. These accidents cause some of the most serious injuries because the side area of a vehicle is much harder to protect than the front or rear.
What Causes Broadside Accidents?
A side-impact accident can happen in a wide range of circumstances. Many side-impact collisions occur at intersections, particularly when a negligent driver fails to stop at a stop sign, runs a red light or otherwise fails to yield the right of way.
Common reasons why a motorist fails to yield the right of way include:
- Aggressive driving – This includes speeding and other reckless driving behaviors. A driver who tries to “beat the light” by speeding up as it turns yellow, for example, could cause a side-impact collision.
- Distracted driving – A driver who is paying attention to a cell phone instead of traffic may be too distracted to realize the need to stop at an intersection.
- Impaired driving – Whether impaired by alcohol, drugs or prescription medication, a driver may be too impaired to safely navigate an intersection, which could cause a crash.
- Fatigued driving – A driver who is sleep deprived may nod off behind the wheel and never even realize that he or she needs to stop.
- Road defects – Sometimes an intersection is not properly marked. Nearby trees or bushes could also block a driver’s view and cause the driver to fail to stop at an intersection.
Broadside collisions can result in serious injuries because the sides of most vehicles have very little structure to protect occupants. The front and back of cars include crumple zones that absorb some of the energy from an impact instead of transferring it to the people in the car. The sides of a car have less ability to crumple. Side-impact air bags, which are available on most newer cars, provide some added protection in T-bone accidents, but they do not fully offset the inherent dangers.
A car occupant’s chest, head, pelvis and abdomen often take the full force of a side-impact collision and are most likely to suffer the most damage. Common injuries in these types of accidents include:
- Internal injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Fractured rib
- Fractured pelvis
- Fractured femur
- Ruptured spleen
- Spinal cord injury
If you or loved one suffered serious injuries in a side-impact collision caused by another driver’s negligence, you could be entitled to compensation under New York or New Jersey law.
Hurt in a Side-Impact Collision? The Ginarte Law Firm Can Help
If you are the victim of a broadside collision caused by another driver’s negligence, the Ginarte law firm is here for you. Call 1-888-GINARTE (1-888-446-2783) now or fill out our online contact form for a free claim evaluation. Remember, there is no charge to talk with our car accident lawyers, and we collect fees only if we recover compensation for you.