A side impact car accident, also called a broadside or T-bone accident, occurs when the front of one vehicle crashes into the side of another vehicle at almost a 90-degree angle. These collisions frequently result in severe injuries or death to both drivers and passengers alike. The lack of structural protection on the sides of vehicles for its occupants means victims have a smaller buffer zone for the impact of the collision. Even with occupant safety protections like side impact air bags, the results are often catastrophic due to the location of impact as well as the unexpected nature of the crash.
The IIHS reports side impact collisions result in 23 percent of passenger vehicle occupant deaths and 25 percent of all motor vehicle deaths annually, making it statistically the most dangerous type of accident. The growing number of SUVs on the road is only making these accidents more dangerous, according to the NHTSA. Broadside accidents resulted in 5,866 deaths in 2016 and the injury of more than ten thousand others nationwide. Even though Hemet is a relatively small town of 87,000, it’s situated between the busy 15, 215, and 10 freeways and its motorists are not exempt from risk of injury or death. Drivers violating traffic laws including speeding, operating a vehicle aggressively, misjudging speed, operating a vehicle under the influence, or otherwise behaving negligently can all cause side impact accidents. In 2017, two people died and another was injured at the intersection of Buena Vista Street and Whittier avenue when one vehicle, traveling between 90 and 100 miles an hour, failed to stop at an intersection and broadsided another vehicle. If you or a loved one have been hurt in a broadside collision contact an experienced Hemet Side Impact Car Accident Attorney to see if you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
What Kinds of Injuries Occur During Side Impact Accidents?
The unexpected nature of side impact accidents means victims usually can’t brace for impact, and the lack of structural protections of the sides of vehicles means victims have less standing between them and the brunt of the blow. These factors make it likely that victims involved will suffer a wide range of serious injuries such as:
- Head and brain injuries including traumatic brain injuries (TBIs);
- Spinal cord injuries up to and including paralysis;
- Neck injuries including whiplash and other soft tissue injuries;
- Back injuries such as herniated disks;
- Severe lacerations and bruises;
- Dislocated joints;
- Broken bones; and
- Internal injuries, organ damage, and internal bleeding.
Several of these injuries are life-threatening and if left untreated may lead to death. This means victims may need to seek emergency care, be hospitalized, and need extended treatment and rehabilitation to recover. Afterwards, some may still be unable to work, require expensive accommodations to engage in daily activities, or need lifelong care.
Can I Win My Case?
In California, side impact and other personal injury victims usually pursue compensation by filing a lawsuit alleging their harms were caused by someone else’s negligence. If you can establish the defendant owed you a duty of care, breached it through an act or failure to act, and caused your harm through the breach, the defendant is negligent and will be liable for your injuries without a valid defense.
Another way that victims in vehicular injury cases often establish negligence is by proving the wrongdoer violated a law, rule, or regulation intended to protect someone and in doing so caused your harm. This can include traffic laws such as speed limits and prohibitions against texting while driving. Eyewitness accounts, evidence such as skid marks, or traffic cameras can help establish whether or not someone is liable under negligence per se.
There are many causes of side impact car accidents in Hemet, but some are more common than others. These crashes can originate from several common scenarios including:
- Running a stop sign or red light,
- Distracted driving such as texting and driving,
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol,
- Making a right turn into oncoming traffic without yielding to approaching vehicles,
- Failing to yield properly at a four-way intersection, or
- Improper repair of failing traffic signals or stop lights by the city or county.
Establishing a traffic violation or other cause of a crash and injuries can be tricky, so it’s advisable to speak with an experienced Hemet Side Impact Car Accident Attorney to avoid potentially costly legal mistakes when litigating a claim for compensation.
What Can I Recover for My Injuries?
Due to lack of occupant protection in side impact collisions, it’s understandable catastrophic injuries occur. Surviving victims often face exorbitant medical bills, long-term or permanent disability, and care needs for a lifetime. Some victims will also face financial challenges due to an inability to return to work temporarily or even permanently.
Because of this, courts may award victims damages for harms they’ve suffered from another’s negligence. It’s possible to receive compensatory damages for numerous types of injuries: physical, emotional, psychological, and financial. Victims may be given awards for injuries including:
- Medical expenses,
- Lost wages,
- Property Damage,
- Pain and Suffering, and
- Permanent disability or disfigurement.
In particularly egregious cases, courts may award victims additional damages meant to punish a defendant’s vile, reprehensible behavior and deter repetition of the conduct; these completely discretionary punitive damages are difficult to prove and best tackled by an experienced Hemet Side Impact Accident Lawyer.
Contact a Lawyer
If you or a loved one were involved in a T-bone collision, you’re aware how devastating they can be to you, your finances, and your family in a matter of moments. Time is not on your side, so speak to the skilled Hemet Side Impact Car Accident Attorneys at Walton Law, APC today to put your best foot forward on the road to recovery. We have spent years providing personalized, comprehensive representation for victims like you and have recovered millions in damages for their injuries. Contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (866)-338-7079 or through our online Contact Page to schedule your free initial case consultation today. The no risk, no obligation consultation is completely confidential, and you don’t pay until we win your case. Let our attorneys review the facts of your unique situation and fight to get you the compensation you deserve starting today.