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Side Impact Collisions

A side impact collision, also known as a “T-bone” collision, is a type of motor vehicle accident that can happen in a variety of different ways. It occurs when the side of one vehicle is struck by the front or rear of another vehicle. This type of collision is often referred to as a “T-bone” because the impact typically occurs at the driver or passenger door, making the shape of the collision resemble the letter “T”.

In addition to causing serious injuries, side impact collisions can also result in significant damage to the vehicles involved. The impact of the collision often causes the doors to be crushed, the windows to be shattered, and the side panels to be dented or torn off. This type of damage can be expensive to repair and may even render the vehicle a total loss. Our San Diego car accident lawyers will walk you through possible compensation for your side impact collision. 

How Dangerous Are Side Impact Collisions?

In a side impact collision, the lack of standard safety features to protect occupants can lead to a wide range of injuries. These can include head injuries, ear injuries caused by broken glass and airbags, neck injuries, back injuries, rib injuries, shoulder and arm injuries, or hip and leg injuries. The severity of injuries suffered in a side impact collision can vary greatly depending on the location of the occupants in the vehicle.

For those sitting on the side that was struck, injuries are often most severe in the neck area, followed by the head, chest, legs, and abdomen/pelvis. On the other hand, occupants sitting on the non-struck side of the vehicle are more likely to sustain head injuries, followed by chest injuries.

It’s important to note that the injuries in side impact collision can be severe and life-threatening, that’s why it’s essential to stay alert and drive responsibly at all times to avoid these types of collisions. Additionally, it’s important to wear seat belts and keep your headrests adjusted properly to reduce the risk of injury in case of a collision.

What Factors Contribute to T-Bone Collisions?

T-bone collisions, side-swipes, call ’em what you will, but one thing’s for sure – they’re no laughing matter. These accidents happen when one vehicle takes a direct hit to the side from another, and they can be extremely dangerous.

But how do they happen, you ask? Well, there are plenty of ways, but some of the most common include:

  • Failure to yield at intersections or other busy roads where cars are trying to make left turns. People get impatient or make bad judgment calls. Red light runners, we’re looking at you.
  • Merging collisions – when a driver fails to notice or yield to another driver when merging.
  • Illegal maneuvers – making illegal moves (like an illegal u-turn) can cause crashes because other drivers can’t anticipate or react to them.
  • Inclement weather, poor conditions – heavy rain, fog or icy roads can contribute to crashes, but that doesn’t excuse a driver’s responsibility.

What are the Common the Causes of Side-Impact Collisions: Distracted Driving, DUI, and More

Side-impact collisions can happen for a variety of reasons. Distracted driving, such as texting, changing the radio, or talking to a passenger, can take a driver’s attention away from the road. Similarly, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can also lead to these types of accidents.

Intersections are a common location for side-impact collisions, particularly when a driver fails to obey traffic signals and runs a red light or stop sign. Additionally, speeding or driving too fast for the road conditions, especially in adverse weather, can cause a vehicle to slide into an intersection and collide with another car.

Illegal passing, reckless or aggressive driving, and failure to check for oncoming traffic before making a turn can also contribute to T-bone accidents. These types of collisions can have severe consequences, so it’s essential to stay alert and drive responsibly at all times.

Statistics Associated With Side Impact Collisions

When it comes to car crashes, there’s a reason they call it the “crumple zone” – because that’s exactly what happens when you get hit from the front or the back. The car’s frame takes the hit and protects the occupants. 

Imagine getting hit on the side of your car. There’s not much to protect you from that kind of impact, and the occupants absorb most of the force. Plus, smashed windows and crushed doors just add insult to injury.

It’s no surprise that side-impact collisions are the second deadliest type of crash, accounting for 23% of all crash fatalities in 2019. (Head-on collisions were the deadliest with 57% of fatalities.) So, remember to drive safe, and watch out for those side-swipes!

What Injuries are Associated With Side Impact Collisions?

When it comes to side-impact collisions, injuries can be a real pain in the… well, everywhere. Some of the most common injuries that our car accident lawyers have seen during a claims process include:

And let’s not forget the financial pain of it all. Medical care after a crash like this can add up quickly, with a single trip to the ER costing thousands of dollars.

That’s why it’s important for victims to seek legal counsel following a crash. A skilled lawyer can help negotiate a settlement to cover all damages, including doctor bills and missed wages. So, if you’re ever in a side-impact collision, don’t just focus on the physical pain, focus on the financial pain too.

How Can You Safeguard Against Side Impact Collisions?

Let’s face it, accidents happen. But when it comes to side-impact collisions, there are a few things you can do to reduce your chances of getting T-boned.

  • Use caution at intersections, even if you have the right-of-way.
  • Keep your eyes peeled for sudden, unpredictable moves from other drivers.
  • When buying a car, consider models with side-door airbags and other safety features.
  • Always wear your seatbelt, and make sure your passengers do too. Also, restrain babies and small children properly.
  • And for the love of all things holy, avoid the three deadly sins of driving: DUI, distraction, and speeding. You don’t want to be the cause of a side-impact collision.

What Evidence Do You Need to Prove Liability in a Side Impact Accident?

Proving who’s at fault in a side-impact collision isn’t always as clear cut as you might think. Sometimes it’s a matter of he-said, she-said. But don’t worry, there are ways to strengthen your case and prove liability.

First thing’s first, gather as much evidence as possible. This could include:

  • Pictures of the scene (check out our blog post on what pictures to take)
  • Police report and any citations issued
  • Witness testimony
  • Video footage from dash cams or nearby businesses/residences
  • Medical reports
  • Auto repair mechanic reports

And if all else fails, consider hiring a car accident attorney. They can help you determine what really happened and take the stress and frustration out of the process. So, don’t let the other driver’s lies win, gather the evidence and prove your case.

Navigating the Aftermath of a Side-Impact Accident: Your Next Steps

Are you dealing with the aftermath of a side-impact collision? Allow us to introduce you to the legal heavyweights on our team. Give us a call, and there’s no fee for the initial consultation. We only charge if we successfully negotiate a settlement on your behalf. With mounting medical expenses and lost wages, it’s essential to seek legal counsel. Don’t let confusion and uncertainty cloud your recovery. Reach out to us with any questions you may have about your car accident.


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