Side Impact Collisions Injury Lawyer
Side-impact collisions, also known as T-bone accidents, often result in
significant damages and harm to drivers and passengers. Second only to
head-on collisions in terms of
accidents that result in serious injuries and fatalities, victims of a side-impact
collision often find themselves in need of
legal services and assistance in order to deal with the aftermath and consequences of
A side-impact collision occurs when one vehicle is struck by another moving in a perpendicular direction. Vehicle occupants are subjected to a sudden and violent change of momentum which can toss them from side to side. Safety devices like seatbelts and airbags offer some protection, but may be ineffective due to the direction of force. Injuries stemming from a side-impact collision can range from minor sprains and bruises to fractures and potentially fatal physical trauma that may cause organ damage or even death.
In the past two decades, the total number of fatalities caused by frontal impacts has fallen, while deaths that occur as a result of side-impact collisions have increased by as much as 20 percent. This trend has been caused by advances in safety equipment and vehicle design that may be of benefit in a head-on collision but that are not always able to afford vehicle occupants the same protection during a side impact. The recent popularity of larger vehicles, such as SUV's, that have greater total mass may be a factor as well.
During a side impact, there is only an average of eight inches of steel providing protection for occupants. These collisions are among the most deadly for children and are responsible for fully one third of all collision-related child fatalities. While side-impact airbags found in newer vehicles prevent trauma to the head and neck, which can occur either due to the direction of force in a side impact or through impact on the support post or ceiling of a vehicle, have resulted in an estimated 37 percent reduction to collision fatalities such equipment is rarely found in older model vehicles.
Common Causes of Side-Impact Collisions
- Running a Red Light
Failure to see or properly respond to a red light leads to many side-impact collisions. These collisions may be particularly dangerous when drivers accelerate to higher speeds in an attempt to make it through an intersection before a light change.
- Failing to Yield at a Turning Lane
Turning across oncoming traffic can be dangerous, and failure to yield the right of way from a turn lane can easily result in a collision. Drivers who cut across oncoming traffic illegally rarely escape legal liability for any accidents which may ensure.
- Turning From the Wrong Lane
Many side-impact collisions are caused by drivers attempting to cut across another lane when making a turn. Vehicles that may remain in a driver's blind spot are often not spotted until it is too late.
- Reckless Driving
Reckless and aggressive driving can quickly get out of hand. Drivers who attempt to use their cars in an unsafe manner in order to prove a point or intentionally cut off another vehicle often purposely ignore traffic laws. Attempting to scare or intimidate another driver may lead to a collision, one in which the aggressor is almost always found to be at fault.
- Distracted Driving
Operating a cell phone or other mobile device while behind the wheel can be an invitation for disaster. While laws prohibiting the use of phones and texting while driving are becoming more common, not every driver chooses to give the road their full attention. Distractions behind the wheel leave drivers unable to provide the concentration and focus that may be needed in order to avoid a collision.
Common Injuries Seen in Side-Impact Collisions
Side-impact injuries range from minor sprains, bruises and lacerations commonly seen in a variety of accident to very serious and life-threatening injuries that are more specifically associated with the direction of force caused by a side impact. Lacking the additional protection that front and rear crumple zones afford passengers means that even a low-speed side impact has the potential to result in extensive trauma and injuries that may be severe or life-threatening in nature.
- TBI and Cervical Spine Injuries
The trauma to the head and neck side-impact accident victims can easily sustain are some of the most serious injuries associated with this type of collision. The lateral force of an impact can fracture the cervical spine and instances of head impacts on the interior of the vehicle can easily lead to a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Both of these injuries have the potential to be life-altering events and are often fatal in higher-speed accidents.
- Organ Damage
There are limits to the amount of force the human body can sustain. While the rib cage offers some protection for the organs, injuries to the spleen and left kidney are common to driver's and back-seat passengers seated on the left side. The amount of kinetic energy vehicle occupants may be subjected to during a side-impact collision can be more than enough to damage organs which may result in potentially fatal injuries and internal hemorrhaging.
The Doan Law Firm Can Help
If you or someone close to you has been the victim of a side-impact collision or other accident in which you were not at fault, obtaining legal assistance can be of paramount concern. The guidance, representation and assistance that only an experienced attorney can provide may be essential for determining fault and liability, filing a case or suit or ensuing a more favorable ruling or verdict can be reached. Obtaining financial assistance in order to cover the costs of damages and medical care can be all but impossible for those who lack the legal expertise and services that only the best firms can provide.
Our firm is available 24 hours a day seven days a week to provide clients with free phone consultations. Clients are not charged a fee unless we win, and our top priority is customer service and client satisfaction.
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