Side-impact collisions, sometimes known as “T-Bone” or “broadside” collisions, are some of the most serious we see. These accidents are especially dangerous for passengers when seated on the side of the vehicle that receives direct impact. If you were injured in a side-impact collision and someone else was to blame, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses, including things like medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering. The personal injury lawyers at Butler Kahn have decades of experience helping injury victims throughout Georgia secure the compensation they deserve. We are ready to put that experience to work for you. Contact us today for a free consultation with a Roswell T-Bone accident lawyer.
Common Causes of T-Bone Accidents
Side-impact collisions are a leading cause of death on the road. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), of the 24,019 passenger vehicle fatalities that occurred in 2020 alone, nearly one in four were caused by side-impact collisions. Common contributing factors in T-bone accidents include:
- Distracted driving– Thousands of lives are lost each year due to distracted driving. Drivers distracted by phones, navigation systems, and other passengers often fail to yield the right of way at intersections and in merge zones. Among other things, this may lead to severe side-impact collisions.
- Impaired driving– Of course, intoxicated drivers are a danger to themselves and everyone else on the road. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 29 people are killed every day in the United States in crashes involving alcohol-impaired drivers. Impaired drivers may struggle with slowed reaction time, lowered depth perception, and reduced spatial awareness, making it harder for them to avoid side-impact collisions.
- Aggressive driving – This is a broad category of behavior that includes things like speeding, tailgating, lane-weaving, and passing where prohibited. Aggressive drivers are more likely to make mistakes and endanger the lives of others, including by increasing the risk of side-impact collisions.
- Mechanical defects– Some side-impact crashes occur due to mechanical defects in the vehicles themselves. Defects may include things like old tires, worn brakes, and defective airbags. These defects may be caused by manufacturing error or poor maintenance. Either way, responsible parties may be liable for resulting injuries.
- Road conditions– Poor road conditions are a contributing factor in many auto accidents, including those involving side-impact collisions. All drivers are responsible for adjusting their driving to account for things like adverse weather conditions. However, when accidents are caused by poor road maintenance — for example, malfunctioning traffic signals and missing road signage — responsible parties may be on the hook for compensating injured victims.
Common Injuries Sustained in T-Bone Accidents
Side-impact collisions often result in severe, life-threatening injuries. Vehicle occupants sitting closer to the zone of impact are particularly vulnerable. Among other things, side-impact collisions may lead to:
- Spinal cord injuries (SCIs), including partial or complete paralysis
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Abdominal injuries and internal bleeding
- Broken, fractured, and dislocated bones
- Bruises, cuts, and puncture wounds
- Facial injuries and dental trauma
- Amputation and loss of limb
- Permanent scarring or disfigurement
- Soft-tissue strains, sprains, and tears
- “Road rash” and other burns
- Seatbelt and airbag injuries
- Psychological trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Who Can Be Held Liable in a T-Bone Accident?
When we think of auto-accident liability, we normally think of a straightforward crash between two drivers. However, depending on the circumstances of the crash, numerous parties may be potentially liable for compensating injured victims. If you were involved in a side-impact collision, any of the following parties could be partially or fully liable for your injuries and other losses:
- Drivers directly involved in the side-impact collision
- Other motorists or road users, such as pedestrians
- Mechanics liable for poor workmanship
- Vehicle manufacturers liable for product liability
- Government entities responsible for poor road maintenance
What Compensation Is Available After a T-Bone Accident?
If you are injured in a side-impact collision in Georgia, you may be entitled to a wide variety of compensation from the at-fault parties. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you could be entitled to compensation for:
- Medical expenses incurred for the treatment of crash-related injuries
- Incidental expenses, such as mileage costs for medical travel
- Lost wages from any time you missed at work due to your injuries
- Lowered future earning potential if the crash causes long-term disability
- Subjective losses, such as pain, suffering, and reduced quality of life
- Loss of consortium and wrongful death
- Funeral and burial expenses
What Should I Do After a T-Bone Accident?
There are many steps you can take early on in the life of your case to protect yourself and your legal right to compensation for your injuries. Where possible, take the following steps after being injured in a side-impact collision:
- Seek medical care as soon as possible to make sure all of your injuries are identified, treated, and documented. Carefully follow your doctor’s care plan and attend all follow-up appointments. The medical treatment records your doctors create will turn into critical evidence in your case.
- Collect information from all other drivers involved in the wreck, including their contact information, driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers, insurer names, and insurance policy numbers. Also, be sure to identify all witnesses of the accident and collect their contact information.
- Gather evidence from the accident scene, including photos of the wreck, your injuries, and road conditions.
- Keep track of medical bills, bank statements, proof of income, repair estimates, and other important documents related to the injuries and losses you sustained in the crash.
- Record your ongoing physical pain and discomfort in a daily “pain journal.” This can later be used to prove the true value of your injuries in settlement negotiations and trial.
- Watch what you say to others about your accident. It is best to let your attorney handle communications with the at-fault party and any insurers involved in your case. Because anything you say can be used against you, it is also best to avoid posting about your accident and injuries on social media.
- Consult with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney to make sure you know your rights and are not taken advantage of. The injury attorneys at Butler Kahn are here to help.
Is There a Deadline in Georgia for Filing a T-Bone Accident Lawsuit?
Yes, accident victims in side-impact collisions must comply with an important deadline known as the statute of limitations when filing a lawsuit seeking compensation for their injuries. Georgia law gives you only two years from the date of the accident to file suit against the at-fault party. If you attempt to do so after the deadline has passed, your case will most likely be dismissed, thereby gutting your right to seek compensation through the court system.
Contact a Roswell T-Bone Accident Lawyer
If you are reading this page because you or a loved one has been hurt in a T-Bone accident, we hope you are receiving the medical care that you need and are making a strong recovery. We hope the information on this page has been helpful. If you would like to talk with Butler Kahn about your situation, call us or contact us online. There is no charge to talk with us about your case.