Also called broadside crashes or side-impact collisions, T-bone accidents are known to be deadly. They usually happen at intersections where lack of visibility and the respect of traffic signs play a crucial part.
A T-bone accident occurs when a vehicle impacts the side of another vehicle moving due to its right of way. People must know how deadly these accidents are and try to avoid them by practicing safe driving rules.
Hopefully, you don't have to experience a car hitting your vehicle on one side and causes getting severe injuries. Still, if so, you will require an experienced Bronx T-bone accident lawyer besides highly qualified medical care.
Keep reading this material about the consequences of this traffic accident and how to proceed if you or a loved one gets in this kind of incident.
The Dynamics and Physics Behind Side-Impact Crashes
In a side-impact crash, the front of one vehicle strikes the side of another car. This impact creates a force that affects both vehicles' trajectories and occupants' safety.
The forces involved in a side-impact crash include the kinetic energy of both vehicles in motion and the deceleration forces that occur when the collision happens.
These forces can cause rapid changes in velocity and direction.
In a T-bone accident in the Bronx, forces are primarily applied perpendicular to the struck vehicle's side. This means the vehicle's occupants experience forces from the side, increasing the risk of injury.
Many modern vehicles are equipped with side-impact beams in the doors and frames to help absorb and distribute the impact forces. These beams are designed to help protect occupants by preventing excessive intrusion into the cabin.
Some vehicles also have designed deformation zones in the front and rear sections to absorb energy during a collision. These zones help reduce the transfer of forces to the occupants.
That is why old cars usually have more fatalities than new vehicles.
In a T-bone accident, occupants experience rapid changes in velocity due to the vehicle's sudden deceleration. Their bodies continue moving in the vehicle's original direction until restrained by seat belts or other objects.
A vehicle's side provides less protection than the front or rear, making occupants vulnerable to injuries. Common injuries include:
- Head trauma
- Rib fractures
- And Internal organ injuries due to the lack of crumple zones on the sides.
Some vehicles are equipped with side airbags that deploy from the seat or door to provide additional cushioning for occupants. Side curtain airbags can also help protect the head during a side-impact collision.
Physics of Injury
The rapid changes in velocity during a side-impact crash subject occupants to high accelerations and decelerations. These forces can lead to injuries, particularly to the head, chest, and pelvis.
The rotational forces involved in a side-impact collision can cause the head to rotate rapidly, increasing the risk of neck and brain injuries like whiplash or traumatic brain injury.
Common Causes of T-Bone Collisions
Now, talking about common causes of T-bone accidents, we have drivers who disregard traffic signals or signs that can enter an intersection without yielding the right-of-way, leading to T-bone collisions with vehicles crossing legally.
Drivers who fail to yield to oncoming traffic while turning left or entering an intersection can cause T-bone collisions with vehicles already in the corner.
Those situations are considered intersection violations.
At intersections without traffic signals or signs, confusion about the right-of-way can result in both drivers assuming they have the right to proceed, leading to a collision. It can be considered that the lack of traffic signs originated the accident, making the public entity in charge of traffic signs carry a certain percentage of the accident liability.
Also, some drivers fail to yield to emergency vehicles with sirens and lights that can cause T-bone collisions as they attempt to clear the way.
Reckless driving is another cause of T-bone accidents in the Bronx, NY. High speeds reduce reaction times and make it difficult for drivers to stop or maneuver in time to avoid a collision, particularly at intersections.
Aggressive driving behaviors such as tailgating, weaving through traffic, or sudden lane changes can lead to T-bone collisions if other vehicles cannot anticipate or respond to these actions.
It is almost impossible not to discuss traffic accidents without mentioning distracted driving. Drivers distracted by texting, calling, or using their phones can miss traffic signals, signs, and the presence of other vehicles, increasing the likelihood of T-bone collisions.
If the conditions prevent the drivers from seeing what is around them, there are high chances of an accident. Poor visibility due to obstacles like parked vehicles, large signage, or vegetation can prevent drivers from seeing approaching traffic, leading to collisions when they enter the intersection.
Slippery road conditions caused by weather can impair a driver's ability to stop or control their vehicle, increasing the risk of T-bone collisions at intersections.
DUI and Impaired Driving play another part of the blame when accidents occur. Drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs may have reduced reaction times, impaired judgment, and decreased coordination.
Then we have Mechanical failures. The inability to brake effectively can lead to drivers being unable to stop at intersections, resulting in T-bone collisions with vehicles in their path.
T-bone collisions often result from a combination of factors, including driver behavior, traffic conditions, and environmental factors. Interaction with pedestrians and cyclists can also be a cause of these accidents.
Common Injuries Associated with T-Bone Collisions
As a result of the substantial impact directed at the side of a vehicle, individuals involved in a T-bone collision in the Bronx undergo a forceful movement of their necks either to the left and right or from front to back, depending on the position of the impacting vehicle.
In cases where the vehicle lacks modern safety features like side airbags and a robust structure to withstand side impacts, there exists the risk of individuals being struck by the damaged metal, causing injuries such as lacerations or burns to their skin and limbs.
Here is a compilation of potential injuries that an individual might sustain after a T-bone collision:
- Fatal Outcomes
- Fractures and Broken Bones
- Soft Tissue Damage to the Neck (Whiplash)
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Internal Organ Bleeding or Damage
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
All these injuries are considered catastrophic due to their severe impact on a person's well-being.
If individuals manage to survive the collision, these injuries can result in enduring consequences, encompassing persistent pain, substantial financial obligations, and emotional or psychological challenges that significantly alter the course of their lives.
Liability in a Side-Impact Collision
In broadside collisions, the initial inclination is often to attribute fault to the striking vehicle, assuming they are responsible for compensating the victim for damages.
While this holds in many cases, it's essential to recognize that liability might not always rest solely with the striking car. Certain situations can involve third parties who could also be deemed liable.
In specific scenarios, investigations have revealed that the vehicle impacted on its side was, in fact, a contributing factor to the accident. Through compelling evidence, such as traffic camera footage or recordings from neighboring vehicles' dash cameras, it's plausible for the striking vehicle's driver to be absolved of liability.
This occurs when it's substantiated that the vehicle struck was at fault for failing to yield the right of way and disregarding traffic signals.
An adept attorney specializing in T-bone car accidents in the Bronx assesses whether third parties are accountable for the accident.
The evidence often unveils the involvement of these liable entities. Below, we delve into potential third parties that could bear responsibility for your damages:
Occasionally, a malfunctioning part within a vehicle might hinder the driver's maneuverability and evade a side-impact collision. However, this situation necessitates scrutiny by experts who can determine if the manufacturer's liability is justified.
Establishing the manufacturer's responsibility demands proving that the vehicular malfunction did not arise due to inadequate regular maintenance by the car owner.
NYSDOT (New York State Department of Transportation):
The entity entrusted with upholding the state's road system is the NYSDOT, with the responsibilities often shared with local government agencies. A defendant might suggest that poor road maintenance by these entities contributed to the broadside collision.
This assertion requires meticulous investigation to ascertain liability, supported by witness accounts and photographic evidence of the accident scene and its surroundings.
In conclusion, while the striking vehicle is commonly perceived as the liable party in broadside collisions, complexities can emerge, pointing to other entities sharing or bearing the responsibility.
Pure Comparative Negligence in The Bronx
In New York, fault sharing is a significant aspect of personal injury law, particularly in cases of negligence and liability arising from accidents. New York follows a comparative negligence system, specifically the "pure comparative negligence" doctrine.
This legal principle is designed to allocate responsibility and damages fairly when multiple parties are involved in an accident and share varying degrees of fault.
When an accident occurs, the court or insurance adjusters determine each party's fault. This allocation is expressed as a percentage, reflecting the proportion of responsibility each party bears for the incident.
The damages that the injured party can recover are then adjusted based on their assigned percentage of fault. In other words, a person's compensation is reduced by their degree of responsibility for the accident.
For example, if a court determines that a person is 20% at fault for an accident and their damages amount to $10,000, their compensation would be reduced by 20%, resulting in a final award of $8,000.
The system also applies when multiple parties are involved, and each party's degree of fault is considered separately.
The pure comparative negligence rule in New York emphasizes fairness by recognizing that accidents often involve complex circumstances where more than one party might contribute to the incident.
It ensures that individuals are held accountable for their share of fault and receive compensation that aligns with their actual level of responsibility.
Bronx Legal Aid and Representation
We have learned that these types of accidents can be caused by multiple reasons that are more common than we thought and what legal complexities are often involved. Hiring a side-impact accident lawyer from The Ward Law Group P.L. may alleviate this stress.
Our firm has highly efficient lawyers in the personal injury area. Together, our lawyers have over 25 years of experience, bringing positive results to everyone who has come to our law firm to get help.
We proudly serve the Hispanic community since we understand how difficult it is for non-English speakers to navigate a process already confusing by its legal terms; it gets even harder to get with a language barrier too.
Contact us for a free consultation of your case at 855-DOLOR-55 or through our online chat; if you have any questions, a lawyer will be right there to answer them.