T Bone Accident
T bone accidents or side-impact collisions are one of the most serious injury causing types of traffic accidents that occur daily across the country. Studies have shown that there are over 3 million t-bone accident injuries of various degrees each year. Amongst these incidents, between 10% and 18% result in neck injuries. While many advancements in automobile safety have been made to reduce injuries on drivers and passengers from the rear or head on collisions, injuries from being T-boned are still extremely high.
Side Impacts from Running a Light
In a side-impact or t-bone accident, often times one driver will have ignored a traffic signal thus “blowing” the red light or running a stop sign. This is one of the primary cause of a T-Bone / side impact accident. The severity of the injuries from a t-bone accident has as much to do with the speed of vehicles involved as it does the size of the vehicles.
Automobiles have become as safe as ever in recent years, but the energy produced in side-impact collisions remains high. The threat from a large truck, SUV or even a small car traveling at fast speeds blowing through an intersection and causing serious injury or death remains regardless of improvements to side impact airbags and other advancements.
The distance from the side impact especially when on the same side as the occupant can be as little as 6 inches. In that small distance side impact beams or side impact bars are needed to block or spread the energy and reduce the injuries from a direct hit. Such a small distance allows little room for error and only a fraction of a second for side curtain airbags to provide any meaningful protection to the driver or passengers.
Why do Serious T-Bone Accident Injuries Occur?
During a T-Bone accident, the spine is stretched beyond its physiological range after the side-impact blow. The range of motion that the human spine can withstand from a side-impact is lower than other directions. When the torso is accelerated with the car seat, it tends to move the whole body in one direction causing strain on the neck and head as it whiplashes to catch up with the body.
While side airbags in the door or side curtain airbags, along with seat belts can help reduce the effects of side to side impact, the body can only absorb so much energy . When a the force of the blow from the t-bone is too great, severe injuries including serious whiplash, closed head injuries, organ damage, bone fractures, and even death can often occur. Depending on the size and speed of the vehicles involved in the t-bone accident and the angle of impact the vehicles involved may also rollover increasing the potential for severe injuries and death.
T-bone Accident Injuries
In a side-impact collision, some of the most common injuries include:
- Head Injuries: concussion, traumatic brain injury, face lacerations (cuts), contusions (bruises),closed head injuries, and abrasions
- Neck and back injuries – whiplash, herniated discs, spinal cord damage, paralysis, and other nerve damage
- Chest and limb injuries – rib fractures, abdominal and pelvic injuries along with broken arms, legs and torn ligaments are can result from of a t-bone accident.
- Additionally traumatic amputation of outboard arms, hands and fingers from partial ejections can occur when T-boned or in a resulting secondary crash or rollover.
Often times in a t-bone accident, one driver is totally at fault. The negligence of the driver causes the accident when the driver fails to obey ordinary traffic laws such as speeding or failure to stop at a stop sign. Increasingly, many of these running the red light cases, rear end accidents and t-bone accidents can be blamed on the use of a cell phone or texting while driving. When texting or cell phone use by the defendant driver can be proved, some courts are allowing a submission to the jury to find whether or not the texting while driving amounts to reckless or grossly negligent and whether punitive damages can be held against them for their actions.
The occupant kinematics in every serious t-bone accident must be carefully studied, as there may be manufacturing defects to the vehicle’s safety systems, airbags, seat belts, side curtain airbags, side impact bar or beams, roof pillars and even tires. Often in a high speed side impact the t-boned vehicle will lose directional stability and driver will be unable to control the vehicle. When this occurs the vehicle may start to travel perpendicular to the direction of normal travel and may start rolling over side to side. When a driver is hit from behind in a rear end collision at highway speed, they can lose control of the vehicle in the same manner with sadly the same outcome. Pickup trucks and SUVs are prone to rollovers from these side and rear collision impacts and therefore more likely to rollover. In such a rollover accident, the stability of the vehicle comes to play, but especially the roof strength and the roof pillar rigidity. In a rollover accident, the seatbelts may in fact unbuckle and allow the occupant to be fully ejected or partially ejected from the vehicle during the rollover. If a product defect can be found and it is determined that the product defect contributed to the injury or death of the occupants in the target vehicle, then a potential auto defect or products liability lawsuit may be a viable option for the injured persons or their families.
T Bone Accident Injury Lawyer
If you or your loved ones have suffered a severe and debilitating injury caused by a side impact or t-bone accident or due to any potential product defect, the Willis Law Firm is here to help you get the compensation you may be entitled to.
In such side impact and rollover accidents, the need for legal representation is needed to help secure the evidence. Investigate the accident, interview the witnesses, gather the police reports, cell phone records and other critical evidence needed to win the lawsuit for the clients. Call for a free case evaluation. Talk to a Board Certified Personal Injury Trial Lawyer with over 30+ years of accident and injury lawsuit experience.
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