A side impact car accident, also referred to as a broadside collision or T-bone accident, occurs when the front end of one vehicle crashes into the side of another vehicle at or close to a 90-degree angle. Side impact accidents frequently result in catastrophic injuries or death to the occupants of the broadsided vehicle as a result of the comparative lack of protection on the sides of vehicles even with modern safety features such as side impact airbags. A smaller buffer exists on the side of a vehicle for passengers when struck than during a front or rear impact, so occupants of a T-boned vehicle are helpless to avoid harm in an accident. The IIHS reportsthat side impact accidents cause a staggering 23 percent of all passenger vehicle occupant deaths in the United States annually, as well as 25 percent of all motor vehicle deaths. They were responsible for 5,866 fatalities in 2016 and tens of thousands more injuries.
In 2020 a side impact collision on the westbound 60 freeway east of Indian street resulted in the death of a motorcyclist. These accidents can occur in almost any set of circumstances, but they often result when a driver behaves negligently – running a red light or stop sign, driving aggressively, failing to yield, or driving while intoxicated. If you were broadsided, contact an experienced Moreno Valley Side Impact Car Accident Attorney to see if you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Commonly Sustained Side Impact Injuries
Side impact accidents often cause catastrophic injuries because of the relative lack of protection on the side of vehicles and the fact that the unexpected nature of the crash prevents occupants in the struck vehicle from bracing for impact. Surviving occupants may face injuries including:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck injuries including whiplash and other soft tissue injuries
- Back injuries
- Severe lacerations and bruises
- Dislocated joints
- Broken bones
- Internal injuries
- Internal bleeding
How do I win my Case?
Generally, victims pursue recovery by filing a personal injury lawsuit alleging someone’s negligence caused their injuries. To prove negligence, you must usually show the defendant breached a legal duty of care to you and caused your injuries. However, if you can establish the other driver broke a law such as the speed limit or the prohibition of texting and driving, it creates a presumption they acted negligently.
Moreno Valley side impact car accidents can occur in any number of ways, but some are more common than others. Typical scenarios often involve traffic violations like:
- Failing to stop at stop signs
- Running a red light
- 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
- Driving while intoxicated
Evidence from the accident scene such as skid marks, eyewitness accounts, or traffic camera footage can help establish a traffic violation and render a defendant negligent under the doctrine of negligence per se. Once negligence or negligence per se is established, the wrongdoer is liable for a victim’s damages unless they have a valid defense.
How Much can I Recover for my Injuries?
Considering the sides of vehicles have much less structural protection for occupants, it’s no surprise that violent side impact collisions result in severe injuries and even death. It’s not uncommon for a victim fortunate enough to survive the crash to face enormous medical expenses, a long-term or permanent inability to return to work, a lifetime of treatment needs, and expensive accommodations in order to go about daily life. Courts understand this reality and may award the victim of negligently inflicted injuries compensatory damages to help make up for the damage they suffered physically, financially, and emotionally. It’s not uncommon to see awards for:
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
- Lost wages and lost future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability or disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
If a defendant’s behavior is particularly egregious, victims may receive an additional type of damages from the court to punish the conduct and discourage its repetition. However, these punitive damages are rarely awarded because the burden of proof is extremely high and whether or not to award them is entirely at the court’s discretion.
Contact an Attorney Today
If you or a loved one were involved in a side impact collision, you know firsthand how traumatic it is and how life-changing the consequences can be. To protect your rights and take a smart first step in your pursuit of recovery, speak to the skilled Moreno Valley Side Impact Car Accident Attorneys at Walton Law, APC today. 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 pay nothing until we win your case. Let our team of attorneys review the facts of your unique situation, answer your questions, and use our knowledge and resources to fight for the compensation you deserve so you can get your life back on track!