Side impact car crashes, also known as “broadside” or “T-bone” collisions, occur when one vehicle is hit in the side by another vehicle. The force of the accident is absorbed by the human body in an area where there is often little protection. In fact, the front of a car can absorb much more of the impact than the side. This increases the risk of an injury. When the impact is slight, these crashes are sometimes referred to as “sideswipes.” But when one vehicle hits another at a 90º angle, the chance of a serious injury increases dramatically.
When are Side Impact Crashes Likely to Occur?
While there are countless possible ways to have a traffic accident, certain situations are more likely to produce side impact wrecks. Among them are:
- Running a Traffic Light. Probably the most common cause of a side impact crash is one driver running a red light, perhaps trying unsuccessfully to beat the yellow before it turns red.
- Left-hand Turns. Making a left-hand turn without regard to oncoming traffic can result in a side impact accident. This is not always the fault of the driver making the left-hand turn. It could be caused, or contributed to, if the oncoming vehicle is speeding.
- Uncontrolled Intersections. When a driver approaches an uncontrolled intersection and fails to slow or stop, as needed, for oncoming traffic, the chance of a side impact collision increases.
- Failure to Yield. Failure to yield can arise in numerous situations. In addition to those mentioned above, a driver can also make a right turn at a red light, a stop sign or a yield sign and fail to adequately take into account oncoming traffic traveling in the right lane.
Other issues that may be present in a side impact case can, of course, cause or contribute to a dangerous accident in any situation, including driving under the influence, distracted driving, texting while driving, and others. Whatever the cause, those in the vehicle struck in a side impact crash often suffer serious injuries.
Injuries in Side Impact Cases
The statistics regarding injuries in side impact accidents deal with the likelihood of a serious injury or death depending upon your location within the vehicle that is struck, as well as other factors. Here is what the studies have found regarding injuries to passengers and drivers in side impact motor vehicle crashes:
- Passengers seated in the rear and located on the same side as the crash are more likely to suffer serious or fatal injuries than those seated on the other side of the vehicle.
- Occupants in the rear seats in side impact crash cases are more than three times as likely to be wearing seat belts if the driver was belted.
- Unbelted occupants are almost six times as likely to be severely or fatally injured than those who are wearing seat belts.
While these statistics are informative, there are many other factors that are statistically significant in this area. The severity of a person’s injuries may also depend upon the type of vehicle that is hit, the type and weight of the vehicle that strikes it, the speed of the vehicles, safety features of the vehicles, and others. The injuries may include any that are normally associated with car accidents, including:
- Neck and back injuries.
- Head injuries.
- Chest and abdominal injuries.
- Injuries to the arms and legs.
- Soft tissue injuries.
The likelihood that these injuries will be serious, permanent, and sometimes fatal are higher in side-impact cases than in many other types of auto accidents.
Phoenix Side Impact Crashes
If you or a loved one has been injured in a T-bone crash, the first order of business is to take care of any medical issues that need immediate attention. If possible, try to obtain as much information at the scene as possible, including the names and pertinent information of any drivers involved, witnesses to the accident, and information provided by the other occupants of your vehicle.
In any serious car accident, you want to make sure that you engage the services of an attorney who can properly guide you through the process and take all the necessary steps to ensure that your rights are protected. This includes investigating the accident, obtaining statements from witnesses, engaging the services, if necessary, of an expert who can reconstruct the accident and the circumstances leading up to it, dealing with the insurance companies, and, if appropriate, filing and pursuing a lawsuit to cover your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost income and other losses.
At the Kelly Law Team, we represent clients injured in car crashes, including side impact collisions. Contact us to speak to an experienced Phoenix personal injury lawyer.
Call the Kelly Law Team at 602-283-4122