Side impact car accidents, sometimes called broadside or T-Bone accidents, occur when the front of one vehicle collides with the side of another vehicle. T-Bone accidents most often take place at intersections when one vehicle fails to stop at a stop sign or traffic light — or in some other way does not yield the right of way to the other vehicle.
Why T-Bone Accidents Lead to Serious Injuries
Without the protection of the front or rear of the car (bumpers, trunk, hood, engine, seats) to absorb the collision’s impact, the occupants of the broadsided car often suffer devastating injuries or die in these accidents. In fact, T-Bone accidents account for 8,500 to 10,000 of the roughly 35,000-40,000 annual vehicle accident fatalities in the US.
One of the reasons T-Bone accidents can be so lethal is their tendency to push the broadsided car off course into oncoming traffic, guardrails or off the road entirely. The broadsided cart is often spun around into additional collisions or even rolled-over by the impact. Although modern cars have side-impact airbags and crumple zones, they are often no match for a large, fast moving colliding vehicle.
Why T-Bone Accident Claims Can Be Complicated
Of course, in some T-Bone accidents one of the drivers admits liability or the circumstances of the collision clearly indicate which driver was at fault. But in many accidents, the facts are more murky.
The colliding car (the one whose front impacts the side of the other car) isn’t always at fault — the driver of the impacted vehicle may be at fault for entering the intersection without stopping at a stop sign or red light. Or both drivers may claim they had the right of way based on the traffic signals. Or a driver is alleged to be speeding or inattentive or having failed to take evasive action to prevent the collision. Or one or both vehicles have mechanical defects that are the real cause of the accident itself (failed brakes) or the serious injuries (a seatbelt that fails in the collision).
A T-Bone accident can also be caused by something completely external to both drivers and their vehicles. For example, power outages that disable traffic lights can often lead to T-Bone accidents at intersections before temporary stop signs are installed. In such cases, a municipality or police department may bear some fault and liability.
An Experienced T-Bone Accident Lawyer Can Help
The T-Bone accident lawyers at Hirsch & Lyon have the experience to conduct thorough and timely investigations of complex collision scenarios to achieve the best results for injured accident victims. Unlike the auto insurance companies who have incentives to reduce or minimize the damages paid to those injured in an accident, Hirsch & Lyon’s investigators will interview witnesses, analyze evidence at the accident scene and use their forensic skills to reconstruct the circumstances of the collision to maximize the compensation you receive.
If you’ve been involved in a T-Bone accident, you should engage a lawyer before your insurance company resolves your claim. Call any of our offices to schedule a free consultation.