Understanding broadside collisions and the damage they cause is our topic for today. Broadside collisions are among the most dangerous types of car accidents in Pennsylvania. If you have been injured in a broadside collision, you might remember the moment in which you realized another char was about to slam into the side of your car, and you probably could not do anything about it. These types of accidents often happen in intersections, and they can result in serious injuries or fatalities for people who are occupying the vehicles that are hit. If you have suffered serious injuries in this type of accident or have lost your loved one, the legal team at DiCindio Law can help you to recover the compensation to which you should be entitled.
What is a broadside collision?
There are three main types of car accidents, including rear-end accidents, head-on accidents, and broadside accidents. Of the three, rear-end accidents are the most common. While they can result in serious injuries, many people are also able to escape with minor injuries from rear-end collisions. Head-on collisions are the most dangerous and cause the greatest number of fatalities. This is because of the speed of the involved vehicles and the physical forces that are released by the impact. Broadside collisions are the second-most dangerous type of car accident and cause the second-highest number of deaths.
Broadside collisions are also known as side-impact crashes or T-bone accidents. These accidents happen when one vehicle strikes another car, SUV, or truck on its side. Many of these accidents happen in intersections and might result when the at-fault driver fails to obey a traffic control device or runs a stop sign, crashing into a vehicle that is traveling through the intersection.
Many vehicles have fewer safety features on their sides as compared to the front and rear areas. This means that the buffer between the people sitting in the passenger or driver seats is minimal. Side-impact airbags have helped to reduce the risk, but they have not eliminated it. By contrast, rear-end accidents have the trunk area to absorb some of the forces in a collision, and head-on accidents have the engine compartment to absorb some of the forces. When a vehicle strikes another one on its side, the physical forces do not have anything else to absorb them, and they travel inside of the passenger compartment. In many of these accidents, the vehicle that collides with the other car is traveling at a high rate of speed. This can cause the car that is struck to collide into an object or a third vehicle.
Common injuries in a broadside collision
People who are in vehicles that are hit on the side can suffer serious injuries, including the following:
- Serious lacerations
- Severe abrasions
- Damage to the organs
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Crush injuries
Broadside collisions can cause lifelong injuries and disabilities. The injuries can be worse when the vehicle that broadsides the other car is a larger vehicle, including a truck, tractor-trailer, van, or SUV.
Causes of broadside collisions
Broadside collisions are nearly always caused by driver negligence. Some of the common causes of broadside accidents include the following:
- Driving through a four-way intersection without stopping
- Failing to yield the right-of-way at a four-way intersection
- Speeding up to try to beat a red light
- Crossing turn lanes without waiting for oncoming cars
- Distracted driving
- Reckless or aggressive driving
- Drunk or drugged driving
- Mechanical problems like failed brakes
- Inclement weather conditions
- Road rage
Dangers of side-impact collisions
When a vehicle is struck on the side, it absorbs the full impact of the crash at whatever speed the other vehicle is traveling. Even if your vehicle has side airbags, some of these collisions happen at such a great speed that the airbags cannot adequately protect you. Most drivers do not see the oncoming vehicle in time to take any evasive actions to avoid a side-impact crash, making the impact even greater. Drivers who strike other vehicles also may not engage the brakes and might be traveling at high rates of speed.
Proving a side-impact accident claim
To prove a side-impact collision claim, plaintiffs must show that the other driver was negligent and caused the accident and injuries. To prove negligence in this type of crash, attorneys might work with accident reconstruction experts to show what happened in the moments leading up to the accident. They might also have investigators contact all of the witnesses and interview them. Attorneys may gather any video evidence that might be available and review phone records, photographs, witness statements, police reports, and medical records to show the extent of the injuries suffered by the victims.
Many people who are seriously injured in broadside collisions face a staggering amount of medical expenses for their medical care and long-term rehabilitation and treatment. People who are injured in these types of collisions also may be unable to return to their jobs and face lifelong disabilities. Filing a personal injury claim after a side-impact collision might allow people to recover compensation for all of their pecuniary losses as well as their non-economic losses.
Some of the recoverable damages in a side-impact collision claim might include the following:
- Past, current, and future medical and rehabilitation costs
- Past lost wages
- Future reduction in your earnings capacity
- Property losses
- Funeral and burial expenses in wrongful death claims
- Lost inheritance rights in wrongful death claims
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Loss of the ability to enjoy life
- Loss of consortium and guidance
Get help from DiCindio Law
If you have suffered serious injuries or have lost your loved one in a broadside collision, you may be entitled to recover damages. Contact DiCindio Law today to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help by calling us at 610.430.3535.