Side-impact collisions, also known as T-bone accidents, are some of the most serious types of crashes, inflicting major injuries, and in some cases, fatalities. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2012, there were 5,957 fatalities from angle collisions, comprising 44.9 percent of fatal multi-vehicle crashes.
Why T-Bone Car Accidents Are So Deadly
The side of the car frame provides relatively little protection for occupants. “The side of a vehicle, especially the door area adjacent to the occupant is intrinsically a vulnerable spot: there is limited space and structure between the occupant and the outside,” explains the NHTSA in a previous report.
Occupants of small passenger vehicles are most susceptible to injury when hit from the side (T-boned), as compared to occupants of trucks or SUVs. SUVs provide more protection against impact crash injuries than regular passenger vehicles.
A University of New Mexico study published in 2003 found passenger car drivers in side-impact collisions with SUVs are 10 times as likely to be killed than the drivers of SUVs, regardless of which is the striking vehicle.
T-Bone Accident Injuries
Side-impact collision fatalities have risen 20 percent in the past 20 years, primarily as a result of higher travel speeds and the increasing number of SUVs on the road, according to Safety1st.com, citing an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) report.
One common type of injury from a side-impact crash is head trauma, including concussions and traumatic brain injuries. Other injuries include:
- fractures and shattered bones;
- back and neck injuries;
- internal organ damage;
- spinal cord injury; and
Assigning Liability for a T-Bone Crash
The causes of side-impact accidents are much like any other; most can be attributed to general driver negligence or errors. The majority of these types of crashes occur at intersections. A driver talking on the phone and not paying attention can run a red light and strike a victim, causing catastrophic injury or death. In such cases, the responsible driver is liable for any damages that result.
Some common underlying cause of side-impact collisions include:
- talking on the phone or texting while driving.
- driving under the influence.
- not looking carefully before entering the highway.
- failing to yield.
- and, running through stop signs or traffic lights.
If evidence indicates the other driver was negligent – whether related to these factors or others – then the victim can start pursuing an insurance claim or lawsuit to recover damages.
Pursuing Compensation for Injuries
In most cases, victims of accidents can recover damages such as:
- medical and rehabilitation bills.
- lost wages and earning capacity.
- treatments and surgeries.
- disability and disfigurement.
- mental health therapy and counseling.
- emotional damages.
- and, pain and suffering.
The above list is far from exhaustive; there is a long list of damages that you can include on your claim. You can consult a car accident attorney to help estimate the value of your claim and take legal action to reach a settlement.
If your immediate family member was killed in a side-impact collision, you can speak to an attorney about filing a wrongful death claim to collect restitution.
Call Cordisco & Saile LLC for a Free Legal Consultation in Pennsylvania
In the aftermath of serious side-impact collisions, call our personal injury team at Cordisco & Saile LLC in Pennsylvania. We can help you pursue the compensation to which you and your family are entitled.
We can help gather evidence, file necessary documents and negotiate with insurance companies. We will take care of the legal minutiae so you can focus on healing after a T-bone accident. Contact us at 215-642-2335 for a no-cost, no-obligation legal consultation.