When two cars collide from perpendicular streets at an intersection, it is known as a side-impact or “T-bone” accident. T-bone collisions are among the most common forms of vehicle accidents — and one of the deadliest. But what is it that makes them so dangerous? Why is the risk of injury or death so much higher than a typical accident?
What leads to side-impact crashes?
Believe it or not, side-impact collisions are responsible for killing between 8,500 and 10,000 Americans a year, and injuring thousands more. They largely occur at intersections, and rural roads are especially prone to these crashes. The primary causes of these accidents are:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Failure to yield
- Limited visibility from blind spots
- Inadequate signage at turns and intersections
Why side-impact crashes are different from other types of collisions
The reasons behind why these collisions are especially dangerous all come down to simple physics. Head-on and rear-end collisions will usually trigger the airbags. Not only do you have your airbags to protect you, but you also have several feet of steel and engine in front of you, and newer cars are designed to crumple on impact. There are more opportunities for the force of the impact to be absorbed, which means less of that force makes it to your person.
However, when something hits your vehicle from the side, especially if it’s on the driver’s side, you only have a door and a window between you and the colliding car. Even if your car is equipped with side airbags, there’s still much less space and padding between you and the point of impact, which means there’s a much greater chance of you getting seriously injured. The glass window shattering on top of you only makes it that much worse.
Injuries from side-impact accidents
As with any car accident, there’s an extensive list of injuries you could sustain. Anything from a concussion to spinal injuries to broken bones and more, the only real guarantee is that you’ll have at least some sort of scratch on you. Side-impact collisions are dangerous enough to leave you with permanent injuries or even disfigurement, such as amputation or burns if there’s a fire. Not only are these injuries traumatic, they can be incredibly expensive to care for and treat — especially if they’re permanent.
Why you need an attorney after a T-bone crash
If you do find yourself the victim of a side-collision accident, your first step (after seeking medical attention) is to find an attorney. Injury law can be confusing and stressful, and it is the last thing you should be worrying about when you’ve just gone through a traumatic event. Your attorney can look over your case and decide if they can prove negligence on the other party’s side, which would make them liable for your damages under Alabama state law. Once liability is determined, the proper legal representation will fight to get you compensated for your suffering to the fullest extent possible.
Don’t wait. Cases like these can be incredibly complicated, so it is best to get started as quickly as possible. At Martin & Helms, our Huntsville car accident attorneys know what to do and how to help, with transparency and compassion you can trust in Decatur, Athens and Madison, and all of North Alabama. Even if you are certain you are not to blame for the accident, this isn’t something you should try to handle alone. Your rights and finances are simply too important. For more information on how we can fight for you, call us at 256-539-1990 or contact us today.
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