T-Bone Car Accident
T-bone accidents are responsible for around 8,000 fatalities each year. Injuries from these collisions are often severe and may require expensive medical treatment.
The risk of injury in T-bone and side-impact collisions is higher than in many other types of car accidents. One or both cars are typically traveling at a high speed, causing the impacted car to spin or roll over, strike other cars, or strike objects and even nearby pedestrians.
What is a T-Bone Accident?
Side-impact collisions — also known as T-bone accidents — occur when the front of a vehicle collides with the side of another. T-bone accidents can cause significant damage to cars, and they often result in severe injuries to car drivers and their passengers as there is very little buffer but the door.
According to the National Transportation Highway Safety Administration, t-bone accidents are responsible for at least 8,000 fatalities each year.
T-Bone Accident Collision Statistics
In general, side-impact or T-Bone crashes cause more severe injuries to the vehicle’s passengers, because the side of a vehicle has poor ability to absorb the force of the colliding vehicle. Even if a vehicle has side airbags for protection, side airbags are not as effective in providing safety as front airbags. According to research conducted by the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine, 19% of car crashes are side-impact collisions. However, these side-impact collisions contributed to 32% of fatalities recorded in the research.
Injuries From T-Bone Car Accidents
Occupants of the impacted car often suffer severe injuries from the side of their car being crushed into them, the vehicle rolling over, or subsequent collisions with other vehicles on the road.
Without the protection of the bumper and engine in a head-on crash or the bumper and trunk in a rear-end collision, drivers and their passengers are susceptible to grave injuries and may require expensive medical treatment. It is not uncommon for t-bone accidents to result in:
- Spinal cord injury
- Skull fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Bone fractures
- Chest injuries
Other Common Injuries:
Leg injuries: If the impact of the collision occurs near the bottom of the car, the door may get crushed and cave in towards the lower body. This may cause broken or crushed bones and lacerations.
Rib injuries: If the impact occurs at the center of the car door, it can cause the door to crumble in towards the body and cause broken or crushed ribs.
Hip injuries: If the impact of the collision occurs near the mid-bottom, the force may get concentrated on the pelvic area and cause hip injuries such as displaced or broken hip.
Head injuries: These injuries may occur if the head hits the door or door glass or when the airbag deploys.
Shoulder injuries: At the time of the crash, the passenger sitting on the opposite side may get forced against the door causing shoulder injuries such as muscle tears or dislocated or broken shoulder.
Arm injuries: Depending on where the arm is placed at the time of the crash, the impact may break, lacerate, or even sever the arm.
Back injuries: Back injuries such as a pinched nerve, sprained back, or broken back are common in car accidents.
Neck injuries: Sudden neck movement from one side to another can cause injuries such as neck strain or sprain, whiplash, or a broken neck.
Side-Impact Collisions and Traumatic Brain Injury
Side-impact crashes prove to be more dangerous because they expose a victim to the risk of traumatic brain injury. Over 50% of fatalities recorded in side-impact crashes have been caused due to traumatic brain injury. The Annals of Emergency Medicine conducted a study that analyzed the relationship between side-impact crashes and traumatic brain injury. The study was conducted based on the NHTSA collision data of about 6,780 victims in 5,483 vehicles. Their research was concentrated on 1,115 injured individuals and the correlation between the type of accident and the injuries sustained.
Side-impact crashes are three times more likely to expose vehicle occupants to TBI. Women were more at risk of TBI than men. Because side-impact crashes lead to traumatic brain injury so often, researchers recommend that medical practitioners in emergency wards check a side-impact accident patient for TBI even before the patient shows any symptoms.
Patients suffering from traumatic brain injuries undergo life-altering changes, physical as well as cognitive. The effects of traumatic brain injury include:
- mood and personality changes
- lessening of cognitive and reasoning abilities
Traumatic brain injury patients often need constant assistance and life-long medical care. The expenses over a long period of time can become a burden for victims and their families to bear.
Common Causes of T-Bone Collisions
Car accidents occur for a wide variety of reasons. Some of the most common causes of T-bone accidents include:
- Driving too fast for traffic conditions
- Making a left turn
- Running a red light
- Running a stop sign
- Attempting a yellow light
- Pulling out of a parking lot
- Inadequate or improper braking distance
- Distracted driving
- Texting while driving
- Failure to signal
Who Is at-Fault in a T-Bone Collision?
Although it may seem obvious who is at fault in a T-Bone collision, assigning liability is not always easy. Being the driver of the car that crashed does not automatically make you the at-fault driver. The other driver may have blown a red light or been speeding. If possible, try and get the contact information of any witnesses and take pictures of the accident scene. Police reports are not always accurate, and it may be up to your car accident attorney to prove fault. The defense in a broadside collision is often a comparative liability, where they claim that the plaintiff also showed some degree of negligence that contributed to the accident. The events leading up to it are often based solely on witness accounts and he said/she said arguments between the parties involved. Therefore, a jury may easily conclude partial negligence on the plaintiff’s side and assign a percentage to the amount of fault that they deem is theirs. Do not let that deter you from filing a claim if you are injured. Losing a small portion of an award is better than not being compensated at all.
Expenses Resulting From a T-Bone Accident
Car accident victims are often left with many expenses after a T-Bone accident, including but not limited to:
- Medical expenses (present and future)
- Property Damage
- Lost Wages
Every collision has unique circumstances that need to be examined closely. It is important to work closely with an experienced car accident attorney to keep the necessary documents to prove these expenses are related to your accident.
Efforts to Reduce Side Impact Collision Injuries
Car manufacturers have made great efforts to equip their vehicles with side-impact airbags (S.A.B.s). These have been designed to protect a person in the event of a severe accident involving the side of the car.
There are three main types of S.A.B.s. The first is to protect the chest or torso. These are mounted on the side of the seat or in the door. The second is designed to protect a person’s head. These are generally mounted in the roof rail above the side windows. The third set is made to protect the head and chest. Because they need to protect the combined area of these body parts, these S.A.B.s are typically more extensive than the chest S.A.B.s but are also usually mounted in the side of the seat.
Prevention of a Side Impact Collision
While the invention of side-impact airbags has helped reduce injuries, nothing can protect a person from an injury like avoiding a side-impact collision altogether. One should be extremely cautious while driving to try and ensure that they avoid being in a car accident. Simple measures like looking both ways before proceeding through an intersection may help prevent side-impact accidents.
However, accidents happen, and we can only be prepared in advance by taking precautions.
- Ensure your car has side-impact airbags
- Make sure that you and your passengers always wear seat belts
- Make sure your children are in proper safety seats
Free Consultation with a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer
Don’t talk to an insurance claims adjuster before speaking with The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. We can help you avoid making statements that may affect the outcome of your case. The consultation is free; you don’t pay unless we get you money!