If you were involved in a car accident, you may be wondering what happens in a side-impact collision. In these types of collisions, also known as T-bone accidents, a vehicle strikes another vehicle’s side. Side-impact collisions can happen when a vehicle is backing up or driving forward. Many of these accidents happen at intersections when a driver does not have the right-of-way.
Possible Causes of a Side-Impact Collision
Side-impact collisions can be caused by a variety of factors, but often, negligent driving practices can contribute to these accidents or make them worse.
Some forms of negligent driving practices that can result in side-impact collisions include:
- Drunk and drug-impaired driving. Impaired drivers have dulled senses and reflexes. This makes it more difficult for them to notice and avoid dangerous situations.
- Drowsy driving. Fatigue can have the same effects on the body as being drunk. Drowsy drivers may not have gotten enough sleep the night before or simply may have been driving for too long.
- Failure to obey traffic signals. Drivers who run red lights may strike the side of a vehicle that is following posted traffic signals.
- Distracted driving. Distracted drivers may not notice or be able to respond in time to situations that arise on the road, leading to accidents. Distractions include texting, web browsing, reading, messing with the radio, and anything else that takes a driver’s attention from the road.
- Speeding. Drivers who are going too fast are sometimes unable to slow down in time to avoid a crash.
- Road rage. Drivers with road rage may be more inclined to speeding, weaving in and out of lanes, and engaging in other forms of aggressive driving.
There are other causes of side-impact collisions not included here.
The Consequences of Side-Impact Collisions
When a side-impact collision happens, passengers at the point of impact can suffer serious injuries. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), side-impact collisions disproportionately affect children since they are the ones typically sitting in the backseat, making them closer to the point of impact.
Some injuries that might happen in a side-impact collision include:
- Internal injuries and organ damage. Internal bleeding, broken ribs, and damaged organs can happen as a result of a side-impact collision. These injuries may require surgery or even organ transplants.
- Broken bones. Broken bones can range from minor to serious. Compound fractures can leave a person permanently disfigured.
- Spinal cord injuries. Damage to the spinal cord and nervous system can result in the loss of sensation and function in parts of the body. It can also result in paraplegia and quadriplegia.
- Back and neck injuries. Back and neck injuries can lead to chronic pain. Whiplash, a neck injury caused by the head snapping back and forth, is particularly common in car accident victims.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). When the head is violently struck, a TBI can develop. A TBI can cause concussions, loss of consciousness, brain hemorrhages, coma, and even death.
Side-impact collisions can result in other types of injuries not included here.
What to Do After a Side-Impact Collision
According to data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), side-impact accidents are the second most fatal type of crash by impact point, only topped by frontal impacts.
Given how dangerous these collisions can be, it is important to seek medical care for yourself and your passengers before anything else. Get treated for your injuries by a healthcare professional and ensure your safety immediately after a side-impact collision leaves you injured.
Report and Document the Crash
Once you know that you and your loved ones are safe, you should report what happened and begin documenting the crash. The police will create an official crash report that can describe what happened. This can be useful evidence if you choose to pursue compensation through a personal injury claim or lawsuit at a later date.
You can also collect your own evidence. Consider taking pictures of the involved vehicles, the crash site, and your injuries. Collect the contact information and statements from the other drivers involved, as well as witnesses who can speak to the crash and the contributing factors surrounding it.
Consider Working with a Personal Injury Lawyer
Finally, consider working with a personal injury lawyer. At Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers, Jason and Debi Chalik will personally work to achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
According to Florida Statutes §95.11, you generally have four years from the date of an accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. Let us help you recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call us today at (855) 529-0269 to receive your free consultation and to get more answers about what happens in a side-impact collision.