Side-impact crashes, also called T-bone collisions or broadside crashes, are a common occurrence on Florida roads. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, side-impact collisions made up 24 percent of all driver and passenger deaths in 2017. Our car accident injury lawyers have seen far too many people injured in these types of crashes. We want to ensure that drivers know the risks of these collisions, as well as how to get compensation from the at-fault driver when a T-bone crash occurs.
Common Causes of T-Bone Collisions
Broadside collisions occur when an oncoming driver strikes a vehicle on its left or right side, forming a “T” shape. These kinds of accidents are most likely to happen at intersections, parking lots, and anywhere vehicles are traveling in different directions.
Side-impact crashes usually involve one or more of these factors:
- Left turns. A left turn requires a driver to cross in front of two different lanes of oncoming traffic. An intersection side-impact accident may happen one of two ways: the left-turning driver may strike the side of a vehicle continuing straight, or an oncoming driver may strike the side of the left-turning driver vehicle.
- Reckless driving. Intoxication, drowsy driving, speeding, and distractions can all prevent a driver from obeying the rules of the road and coming to a safe stop.
- Inadequate stops. Drivers who fail to come to a complete stop behind the white line at a four-way intersection may be found at fault for the crash, even if they're the ones struck in a collision.
- Running a red light. People who accelerate when approaching an intersection to “beat” the red light may enter the intersection too late, placing them in the path of oncoming traffic at a deadly speed.
- Failure to yield. If two drivers each think they have the right of way when nearing an intersection, a side-impact collision may occur when neither one yields.
- Multiple impacts. Broadside crashes are more likely to have several impacts than other kinds of collisions, making injuries in these cases more severe. For example, a vehicle struck on its side may be spun into the path of oncoming traffic, pushed off the road, or slammed into another vehicle.
- Rollovers. A vehicle struck on its side is more likely to flip upside-down, with the number of times it turns over—and potential for injuries—increasing with each mile of speed.
Types of Injuries From a Side-Impact Crash
Most passenger vehicles are designed to withstand being struck from the front and the back. However, the sides of a vehicle offer far less protection to the passengers inside. Without the benefit of crumple zones or full-face airbags, occupants of the back seat are more likely to be thrown sideways, striking their heads and arms against windows and doors. If you have been hurt in one of these accidents, you could be owed payment for your medical bills, lost wages, permanent disability, and pain and suffering.
After a broadside collision, you and your passengers could experience a wide variety of medical complications, including:
- Head and neck injuries. These include whiplash, concussions, broken skulls, brain bleeds or bruises, and other traumatic brain injuries that require ongoing treatment.
- Back injuries. Back problems are common after side-impact or rollover accidents, with conditions ranging from slipped discs or pinched nerves to spinal cord damage. A spinal cord injury could result in partial or total paralysis, making the victim unable to control arm and leg movements or bodily functions.
- Organ damage. Broken ribs may puncture the internal organs, causing internal bleeding or damage to the spleen, liver, and kidneys.
- Broken bones. The impact of a T-bone collision can cause bones to snap or even shatter, particularly in the hands, legs, arms, feet, and hips.
- Death. Any of the above injuries can result in the tragic loss of one or more passengers.
If you are injured in a Florida car accident, you need to seek the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. When you contact DeLoach, Hofstra, & Cavonis, P.A., you don't have to worry about any upfront costs for legal fees or court costs. Our car accident attorneys will review your case at no charge, and you won't pay a thing unless you receive compensation. Simply fill out the quick contact form on this page to get started.