Side Impact Collision & T-Bone Accident Lawyer in Louisiana
A side-impact collision, more popularly known as a T-bone collision due to the shape of the impact, is one of the most dangerous vehicle crashes you can experience. In fact, over half of all traffic accident deaths involve a T-bone collision, and they’re the deadliest for children, especially with the number of heavier cars like SUVs on the road.
If you or a loved one has been in a side-impact crash, you could be facing thousands in medical bills, lost wages due to your injuries, and undue pain and suffering. Educating yourself about the risks of T-bone collisions, how to prevent them, and what to do if one happens to you is paramount to keeping yourself safe.
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What Is a Side Impact Collision?
These accidents kill about 8,000 people every year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). One reason why these wrecks can be so catastrophic is that, while the front and rear of most cars are heavily protected, the only thing protecting passengers from a side impact is a relatively thin door.
Another reason broadside accidents are so dangerous is what happens to the struck car—the car at the top of the “T”—after it’s hit. Because of physics, it’s very likely that the car will flip, spin, or even cross into oncoming traffic, which can lead to further collisions and pile-ups.
Causes of T-bone Car Accidents
There are a number of situations that can cause side impact accidents, but the common denominator in all of these is negligence—the failure or unwillingness to pay close attention to one’s surroundings:
- Failure to stop: If a driver fails to stop at a stop sign or other intersection, they can crash into the side of another vehicle with the right-of-way. Sometimes a crash like this can be due to a mechanical error, like failing brakes, but it’s often caused due to negligence or reckless driving.
- Failure to yield: Rules of the road exist to orchestrate traffic and minimize the risk of accidents. When drivers flaunt these rules by failing to yield right-of-way—at all-way stops, on-ramps, T-junctions, and the like—they put themselves and others at risk of a deadly T-bone crash.
- Running red lights is an all-too-common practice by Louisiana drivers that often leads to broadside crashes. Drivers often run red lights when they’re in a hurry and speeding, meaning they have less time to stop for cross traffic and will impact the crossing car at a higher speed, leading to worse injuries.
- Failing to account for bad weather can lead to T-bones and other accidents as drivers hydroplane, lose control, or lose visibility on the road.
Know the Right-of-way to Avoid T-bone Accidents
The best way to avoid a side impact crash is to know the rules of yielding right-of-way and driving defensively. Remember, right-of-way can only be yielded, not taken! The basic rules for when to yield include the following:
- If you’re turning left, oncoming traffic always has right-of-way, even those vehicles turning right. Don’t turn left until there is a big enough gap in oncoming traffic to do so safely.
- Traffic lights indicate which lanes have the right-of-way, but you should also be alert to your surroundings, including pedestrians.
- If you have a Yield sign, you do not have the right-of-way! Yield signs are used to indicate when a lane of travel that might normally have right-of-way doesn’t, so as you approach one, slow down and look for cross-traffic before proceeding.
- Always obey directions from law enforcement or emergency personnel.
- Don’t “block the box”—if traffic is heavy and you’re at an intersection, wait until you have space on the other side to cross.
- Always yield to moving traffic when entering a major road from a driveway or smaller road.
Common Injuries Suffered in a Side Impact Collision
T-bone crash injuries tend to be quite serious, especially for passengers on the impact side of the T-boned car. Any of the following injuries are all too common following side impact crashes:
- Diaphragm injury
- Damage to pulmonary (lung) blood vessels
- Heart injury
- Spinal injury, including temporary or permanent paralysis
- Internal organ injury
- Bone fractures or dislocations
- Brain injury
- Neck and back injury including whiplash
Determining Liability After a T-bone Collision
Determining liability in a side impact collision can be a complex question, and depends on the circumstances leading up to the crash. Generally, the car that makes the vertical bar of the “T” is at fault, unless the other car pulled out in front of them illegally. In some situations, both drivers could share liability—or a third party could be partially liable as well, if they caused one of the wrecking drivers to swerve and crash.
The complexities of determining who’s at fault after a T-bone wreck necessitate an experienced lawyer on your side. With a Louisiana car wreck lawyer from Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys advocating on your behalf, you’re more likely to get the compensation you deserve for the pain and suffering, lost wages, medical bills, and more that you’ve had to pay.
Call Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys at 888.501.7888 for a free consultation about your legal options. A dedicated lawyer will start on your claim right away, finding evidence, interviewing witnesses, and preparing your case for court.
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