One of the most potentially harmful types of car accidents is the side-impact collision (also known as a broadside or T-bone accident). As the name implies, this accident occurs when a car is broadsided by another vehicle.
These types of accidents usually occur at an intersection and are the result of a motorist trying to “beat the light.” A few seconds is all it takes to wreck a car and wreck someone’s life.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is tasked with collecting data about side-impact collisions and that data is grim. These types of accidents are especially bad for children. In the last 20 years, the number of deaths of children caused by T-bone collisions has gone up by 20 percent.
The increase in these accidents have been attributed to two factors: increased speed and more SUVs on the road. Of the 9,000 fatalities recorded in one year, 29 percent of those fatalities were associated with a side-impact collision.
Because of the devastating results that can occur from a T-bone collision, car manufacturers have improved safety features on the next generation of vehicles.
There have been ample modifications made to the structure of modern automobiles, including steel bars that are molded into the doorframe. Side airbags can also buffer the collision and have a positive impact on protecting the vehicle occupants.
Unfortunately, current regulations don’t require side airbags. However, many manufacturers understand the importance of added safety features and have made side airbags standard on most of their models.
Due to the severity of side impact crashes, it rarely results in just a few scrapes and bruises for victims. More often than not, the injuries are severe.
Here are the most common injuries associated with a T-bone collision:
Automobile accidents are the third leading cause for traumatic brain injuries (or TBI). These types of injuries are defined by a severe bump or penetration to the head which affects brain function.
Not every TBI from a car accident is the result of the head striking the windshield or side of the car. Seatbelts and airbags can prevent that from happening. However, the force of the accident can cause a person’s brain to slam into the skull and result in an injury.
Over 70 percent of all chest trauma injuries can be attributed to car accidents. With this type of injury, the blunt force of the accident impacts the chest cavity and that can result in a restriction of airflow.
Along with chest trauma, a person can suffer from broken ribs in a side impact collision accident. These types of injuries can be extremely painful, but they aren’t necessarily life threatening. Unfortunately, the healing process can take a long time.
In the immediate aftermath of a side impact collision, it is vital to seek medical attention. This is when the bills will start accumulating. T-bone accident injuries can also prevent you from going back to work, resulting in lost wages. Once the fault of the accident has been determined, an insurance company should compensate you for both of these factors.
There may also be a consideration for pain and suffering. It is hard for an insurance company to dispute the amount of the medical bills or lost wages. When it comes to the pain and suffering amount, there is not a set scale. Essentially, the insurance company can offer whatever they want and that amount might be “zero.” This is why it is important to enlist the services of an experienced accident injury attorney.
The insurance company of the negligent party will often offer an initial settlement amount that covers the immediate medical bills and lost wages. They rarely take into account any future treatment or sick days due to further recovery. They will also try to make this settlement directly with the accident victim. That’s because they know a lawyer will always demand a higher amount, as they should. It is important not to talk directly with the insurance company once the claim has been filed.
The pain and trauma from a side impact collision won’t go away overnight. Fortunately, it can be reduced knowing that you will be compensated for bills and losses.
If you are the victim of a side-impact collision, contact the experienced attorneys at Tragos, Sartes & Tragos today for a free case consultation.