T-bone accidents, also known as side-impact collisions, occur when the front of one vehicle slams into the side of another vehicle, creating the shape of a T. T-bone accidents cause hundreds of thousands of injuries and tens of thousands of deaths each year in the United States.
If you or a loved one were injured in a T-bone collision that was not your fault, you may be eligible for compensation to pay for treatment and lost income. Our Macon T-bone car accident lawyers are experienced in earning maximum compensation for injured clients.
Call today to learn more and to schedule your consultation.
T-Bone Car Accident Statistics
In 2019, the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported 531,000 angled collisions (T-bone accidents) that caused injury. Making up 27.7% of all injury-related crashes that year, T-bone accidents were second only to rear-end accidents at 31.1%.
That same year, 6,039 people died in side-impact collisions. The second-highest was head-on collisions with 3,613 deaths.
These statistics speak to the severity of T-bone collisions, a type of accident that has already claimed the lives of far too many Americans. Even more are living with serious, lifelong injuries as a result of an accident that happened in the blink of an eye.
If you or a loved one were injured in a side-impact crash, you deserve answers. Call a Macon T-bone accident lawyer today for your case consultation.
How do side-impact collisions happen?
As you can imagine, distracted driving is a major culprit in T-bone collisions.
These accidents commonly occur at intersections when a driver ignores or fails to spot a red light or stop sign and drives through the intersection at the same time that another vehicle is crossing.
Side-impact crashes can also occur on highways or major roads when a driver loses control of their vehicle and skids sideways, or in parking lots when one car crashes into another as it pulls out of a spot.
Who is at fault in a T-bone car accident?
Drivers who cause accidents by violating traffic laws, such as running a red light or making an illegal turn, are liable for any resulting injuries or property damage. In situations like these where one driver is clearly at fault, liability is easy to determine and the lawsuit progresses quickly. But sometimes, liability isn’t so clear-cut.
For example, some multi-vehicle cases require an investigation to determine who was the first to cause the accident. A driver five cars behind yours may have crashed into someone who then crashed into the next person, and so on until they collided into your vehicle.
In the case of a malfunctioning stop light or dangerous road, another entity, such as the local department of transportation, may be liable for the accident.
Ultimately, the person whose actions or inactions caused the accident will be liable for damages. An experienced Macon T-bone car accident attorney will conduct an investigation and find out who is responsible for the crash that caused your injuries.
Call today to schedule your case consultation.
Common T-Bone Accident Injuries
Modern vehicles have plenty of safety features to protect drivers from front and rear-end accidents, including airbags, bumpers, and seat belts. But there are really no safety features to protect passengers in side-impact collisions. Some cars do have side airbags, but in most vehicles, the only thing “protecting” passengers from the outside is the car door.
Head and Brain Injuries
In T-bone accidents, head injuries are common for both the driver and passenger(s). When a person’s head strikes a hard surface in the car, such as the dashboard, window, or door, the force can cause skull fractures or bruising or bleeding inside the brain.
Concussion and traumatic brain injury (TBI) are also common in side-impact collisions. Both of these injuries feature wide ranges of severity.
Concussions are ranked, or graded by the severity of symptoms. Grade 1 is considered mild, with symptoms lasting less than 15 minutes and no loss of consciousness. Grade 2 is moderate with symptoms lasting longer than 15 minutes and no loss of consciousness. Grade 3 is severe; the individual loses consciousness, if just for a few seconds.
A moderate to severe TBI is more serious than a concussion. Often caused by a violent jolt or blow to the head, TBIs are classified as “open” or “closed.” An open TBI occurs when an object pierces the skull, damaging brain tissue. A closed TBI occurs when there is no forceful opening of the skull.
Symptoms of open and closed TBI are serious and, while some appear immediately after the accident, others may take weeks or even months to show up. When they do appear, symptoms include:
- Agitation and irritability
- Loss of consciousness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Head pain
- Fluid draining from the ears or nose
- Memory loss
- Loss of sensation in the fingers or toes
- Dilated pupils even in bright sunlight
- Slurred or unintelligible speech
Whiplash and Other Neck Injuries
Contrary to popular belief, whiplash doesn’t occur exclusively in front or rear-end collisions. That’s because violent, sudden side-to-side movement in a T-bone accident can cause the same tendons and ligaments to stretch and tear as the front-to-back movement of a rear-end collision.
A whiplash injury is often accompanied by serious pain. The neck is a delicate part of the body and can cause great suffering to individuals injured in side-impact crashes.
Symptoms of whiplash include dizziness, fatigue, headaches, neck pain and stiffness, loss of range of motion in the neck, pain or tenderness in the shoulders, and tingling or numbness in the arms.
Ear Injuries and Trauma
If you’ve ever been in a car accident, you might have experienced ringing or buzzing in your ears. This usually occurs as a result of the loud noises of the airbags deploying or of the crash itself. The ringing usually goes away and most people walk away from accidents with no serious injuries to their ears.
However, other victims, particularly in side-impact crashes, will feel the effects in their ears for the rest of their lives.
The force of impact in a T-bone collision, or foreign objects like metal or glass can cause the eardrum to rupture, a condition that could lead to infection or cholesteatoma. Cholesteatoma is an abnormal collection of cells within the ear that can disrupt the delicate structures that are responsible for hearing and balance.
Temporal bone fracture (break) and ossicular dislocation are also common types of side-impact crash-related ear injuries.
Internal Bleeding and Organ Damage
The human body isn’t meant to withstand the tremendous amount of force that is present in T-bone accidents. When another vehicle slams into the side of your car, the force exerted on your abdomen can cause damage to your internal organs.
If foreign objects are present (glass, metal, etc.) and puncture your abdomen, you may suffer severe internal bleeding and even organ failure.
In a T-bone accident, there’s not much separating you from the outside – just a door and a window. That can prove disastrous for crucial organs like your kidneys, liver, and lungs.