A side impact car accident, also called a T-bone or broadside collision, takes place when the front of one vehicle crashes into the side of another vehicle at or near a 90-degree angle. These violent crashes often result severe injuries or death to both drivers and passengers alike. The lack of structural protections on the sides of vehicles for its occupants means that the vehicle receiving the impact has a smaller buffer zone for those inside the vehicle to be shielded from damage. Even with occupant safety protections like side impact air bags, the results are often catastrophic for those involved.
One of the most dangerous types of accidents, the IIHS reports side impact collisions result in 23 percent of passenger vehicle occupant deaths and 25 percent of all motor vehicle deaths each year. Broadside accidents killed 5,866 people in 2016 and injured tens of thousands more in Riverside and beyond. In March 2019, the passenger in a vehicle sustained life-threatening injuries after being T-boned by a big rig at Jurupa Avenue and Van Buren Boulevard. These accidents can anytime and anywhere, but they’re often the result of a driver negligently running a red light or stop sign at an intersection, exhibiting aggressive driving behavior, speeding, or driving under the influence. If you or a loved one have been hurt in a T-bone accident, contact an experienced Riverside Side Impact Car Accident Attorney to see if you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
What Are Common Injuries Victims Suffer?
Because side impact accidents are unexpected and the occupants of vehicle struck by the oncoming vehicle are largely unprotected from impact, they often cause serious harm. If the occupants survive, there may be a broad range of injuries including:
- Head injuries including traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries as severe as paralysis
- Neck injuries including whiplash and other soft tissue injuries
- Back injuries such as herniated disks
- Severe lacerations and bruises
- Dislocated joints
- Broken bone
- Internal injuries
How Do I Win My Side Impact Car Accident Case?
In California, victims must usually establish that someone’s negligence caused their injuries in order to receive compensation in a personal injury case. This means proving a defendant owed them a duty of care, breached it through act or failure to act, and caused their harm through the breach. However, if you can establish through eyewitness accounts, evidence such as skid marks, or traffic cameras that the other driver broke a law such as the speed limit, it creates a presumption they acted negligently.
There are many causes of side impact car accidents in Riverside, but some are more common than others. Typical scenarios involve traffic violations and may include:
- Failing to stop at stop signs or red lights
- Poor lighting or failing infrastructure – traffic signals and stop lights can fail during a power outage or because of downed power lines, maintenance, or power outages. The city or county should immediately work to station officers for directing traffic or install temporary stop signs. Failing to do so often causes an immediate spike in broadside accidents at intersections.
- Failing to yield – if more than one car arrives at a four-way intersection simultaneously, most state laws require yielding to the vehicle to the left before proceeding. A failure to do so resulting in a side impact collision creates a presumption of negligence. Motorists in oncoming vehicles are also expected to yield to vehicles turning left.
- Turning right into oncoming traffic – drivers must wait to attempt a right turn into the flow of traffic until it’s safe; this means yielding to oncoming vehicle already in a lane of traffic.
- Distracted driving behaviors such as texting while driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Once a driver’s negligence is established, they are liable for damages a victim can prove unless a valid legal defense exists. Establishing a traffic violation or other negligence can be tricky, so it’s advisable to speak with an experienced Riverside Side Impact Car Accident Attorney to avoid potentially costly legal mistakes in your case.
How Much Can I Recover?
Due to lack of structural occupant protections in vehicles and the violent nature of side impact collisions, it’s no surprise catastrophic injuries with lifelong consequences occur frequently. Victims lucky enough to survive often face astronomical medical bills, heavy property damage, and long-term care expenses. It’s even possible that some people will never be able to return to work or need expensive accommodations to go about daily life.
Victims may receive an award of damages to make them whole for injuries inflicted through negligence. Awards for physical, mental, emotional, and financial damages may compensate for:
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Funeral or burial costs
- Lost wages and lost future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Scarring, disfigurement, or disability
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Contact a Lawyer
If you or a loved one were involved in a broadside collision, you know firsthand how quickly your life can be turned upside down by someone else’s negligence. Don’t delay – speak to the skilled Riverside Side Impact Car Accident Attorneys at Walton Law, APC today to protect your health, your rights, and your chance of recovery. We have years of experience providing personalized, dedicated representation for victims like you and delivering results; we’ve recovered millions in compensation on their behalf. 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 team of attorneys review the facts of your unique situation and use our knowledge and resources to fight for the compensation you deserve starting today.