Side impact car accidents, or T-Bone wrecks, are not only incredibly frightening, they can be among the most serious types of wrecks a driver can experience. Named for the perpendicular angle at which they occur, T-Bone car accidents claim an estimated 10,000 lives every year in the United States. Survivors are often left with painful and debilitating injuries that impact their daily lives. The following is what you need to know about how side impact crashes occur, what makes them so dangerous, and what to do if you are involved in a T-Bone accident.
Side Impact Car Crash Injuries
T-Bone crashes pose a greater risk of serious injury than other types of accidents because of the angle of impact. When one vehicle collides with the side of another, the passenger has less protection than if they were hit from the front or back. Particularly in older vehicles that are not equipped with side air bags, passengers are more likely to absorb the force of impact and suffer the following:
- Broken bones: Without side airbags to absorb the impact, passengers suffer bone fractures of the arms, ribs, hips, and pelvis.
- Back injuries: A sudden jolt throws the delicate and complex system of bones, discs, and nerves out of alignment.
- Head injuries: As impact forces the body in one direction, the head jerks to the other, striking the car door or window and causing concussions and other brain injuries.
- Neck injuries: Neck sprains and strains, including whiplash, are common in T-Bone crashes and can be especially painful.
The extent and severity of injuries resulting from a T-Bone car accident vary depending on how fast both vehicles were traveling, if the occupants were wearing seat belts, and if the vehicles had working airbags.
Determining Fault for a T-Bone Car Accident
In many wrecks, it may be simple to determine what went wrong and who is at fault. Yet, in T-Bone car accidents, liability is not always so easy to establish. In one T-Bone wreck scenario, the driver with the right of way broadsides another vehicle crossing its path. Although the first driver collided with the second, they are not at fault if the second driver mistakenly entered the intersection.
In the second scenario, a driver who should not have entered the intersection crashes into a driver who had the right of way. The first driver would then be at-fault for the wreck. It should be noted that a host of other variables are at play when figuring out who is liable for a serious T-Bone car accident. For example, at the time of the crash:
- Were the drivers speeding?
- Were the drivers texting?
- Were the drivers intoxicated?
- Were all traffic signs and signals functioning properly?
- Were the road conditions safe for travel?
- Did poor weather or lighting impact visibility?
Both police officers at the accident scene and Virginia Beach car accident lawyers assess all of these details to determine exactly how and why the T-Bone accident occurred. From there, traffic citations and legal action may follow.
What to Do After a T-Bone Wreck
After any type of car accident, the first thing to do is check on everyone involved. If anyone needs immediate medical attention, call an ambulance. If the vehicle is drivable, pull it safely out of traffic to prevent another crash. Next, someone at the scene should notify the police. Even wrecks that appear minor at first may result in delayed onset injuries for passengers and property damage to vehicles. Gather names and phone numbers of drivers, passengers, and witnesses. Take down the make, model, and license plate numbers of any other vehicles involved in the crash. If you can, take photos and/or video of the accident scene. This information is helpful for a possible personal injury claim.
Our Virginia Beach Car Accident Lawyers Help Injured Victims Recover Compensation for Side Swipe Crash Injuries
If your T-Bone accident was more than just a fender bender, a claim may be necessary to recover compensation for medical costs, loss of earning ability, physical pain, and property damage. Trust your dedicated Virginia Beach car accident lawyer to advocate for you through every step of the claims process. At East Coast Trial Lawyers, we work tirelessly to get the results you deserve for your car accident injuries. Call us at 757-352-2237 or contact us online to get started. Located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, we serve clients throughout Chesapeake, Eastern Shores, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, as well as North Carolina and nationwide.