Side-impact crashes can be some of the most dangerous traffic accidents for passengers and drivers. Car crashes that hit the front or rear of the car are usually buffered by the entire front or rear end of the car. Vehicle crumple zones absorb much of the impact, reducing the risk of injury to the occupants inside the car. However, a side-impact crash may only have a few inches of metal between the occupant and the oncoming car. This can create a more violent impact and trap the injured individual inside the crushed cabin of the car.
Even low-speed side-impact accidents can crush the passenger- or driver-side door, making it difficult for the occupant to escape on their own. If the occupant is bleeding or has some other serious injury, they may have to wait for emergency services to cut them out of the vehicle. The more time they spend trapped in the car, the greater their injuries can become, and they can also be at risk of injuries from a burning or exploding vehicle.
Common Causes of Side-Impact Accidents
Side-impact accidents are also known as broadside collisions or T-bone accidents. Most side-impact accident occurs at an intersection where drivers are crossing from different directions. This could include uncontrolled intersections, intersections where cars crossing the intersection have to yield, 4-way stops, blind intersections, parking lots, highway crossing, and multi-lane intersections controlled by multiple traffic lights. In busy city intersections where the power goes out, many drivers are unsure how they are supposed to proceed, often resulting in confusion and side-impact accidents.
Side-impact collisions may be caused by a number of factors. The primary cause of these dangerous accidents is driver error. Drivers may not be paying attention to when the light turned yellow, and think they have enough time to make it through the intersection. Other drivers may be intentionally running a red light. Distracted driving, intoxicated driving, and texting while driving can also cause people to ignore intersection signals. Some drivers may be unfamiliar with where they are driving and not notice the proper signals until it is too late. Weather can be another factor in side impact accidents, where icy or wet roads make the driver lose control of their vehicle as it careens out of control in an intersection.
After an accident, all drivers and passengers involved in the accident may have a different version of what happened. Each driver may blame the other, or they blame the accident on another vehicle that managed to avoid the collision. It is common for side-impact accidents to be contested between the parties. In many of these cases, it may be in your best interest to contact an attorney. Your attorney will deal with the insurance company to make sure you are not held responsible for an accident you didn't cause.
Injuries in Side-Impact Collisions
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, side crashes account for almost 25% of car accident occupant deaths in the U.S. There is so little protection between the side of the vehicle and those sitting inside that it is difficult to create a safety buffer. Over the years, vehicles have improved the strength and structure of vehicles. Some cars are using side-impact airbags to help protect passengers and drivers.
Side-impact crashes can cause broken bones, head and facial injuries, neck and back injuries, and internal injuries. T-bone accident also may involve cutting injuries from broken glass and the jagged metal that is forced into the seating area. Bleeding injuries can be especially serious if the occupant is trapped inside the vehicle.
Children are some of the most prone to serious injury in side-impact collisions. An injury that may cause minor to moderate injury in an adult could be fatal to a child. Children injured in a car accident may face additional medical needs as they recover and adapt back to normal life. In some cases, a child may be permanently disabled by a side-impact collision.
DC Side-Impact Accident Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been injured in a side-impact or T-bone accident, the law firm of Gilman & Bedigian is here to help. When dealing with serious injuries after an accident, you should not have to worry about fighting with the insurance company. Talk to an experienced attorney about your claim so you can focus on recovery. Our attorneys have years of experience dealing with automobile accident cases throughout the DC Metro area. We will fight for your rights to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.