T-Bone Accidents in New York
A type of accident known for being deadly for people is the so-called T-bone accident, which is also called broadside crashes or side-impact collisions. It usually happens at intersections when a negligent driver does not respect the traffic lights or signs and gets to impact the side of another vehicle moving due to their right of way.
T-bone accidents can be hazardous, and the severity of the results will vary depending on the type of vehicle involved, the speed they were driving, and the safety rating of the vehicle.
If you got injured as a result of a t bone car accident or a loved one received serious injuries or even died in an unfortunate T-bone accident, you should reach out to The Ward Law Group, PL, we have experienced and respected T-bone car accident lawyers in New York which you can rely on to represent you and your family to get compensation for damages.
T-Bone Accident Statistics
Side crashes account for about 25% of passenger vehicle occupant deaths in the United States. Since the side of vehicles does not have too much space between the impact zone and the passengers, that is the main reason why these t-bone accidents are too dangerous.
Studies that have been started since 2003 show that people driving old cars have more probability to die in a t-bone car accident because of the lack of side airbags and weak structure. Also, the study was done to update the type of cars that became popular in The United States more recently, which was not taken into account in the first studies.
Pick-ups and SUV vehicles have become in recent years more popular than regular sedan-type cars and t-bone crashes between different types of vehicles is a significant factor in the injuries sustained by the passengers and drivers, we will discuss more in-depth about this later on.
Common Causes of T-Bone Accidents
Let’s discuss the common causes of t-bone accidents in most cases:
Driving above the speed limit, changing lanes not in a proper way, and not respecting the traffic signs are just some examples of how drivers can be involved in t-bone accidents.
Drivers must always drive in a defensive way, even though they have the right of way, avoiding speed when it’s not needed could prevent disastrous accidents that may change lives.
A drunk or drugged driver commonly known as driving under the influence, has a higher chance of provoking a t-bone accident. Drivers in this state have decreased reflections and usually drive in a reckless way.
People that use their mobile devices for texting or phone calls are a great risk for everybody, also to be arguing with a passenger is a major distraction increasing the probability of ignoring traffic signs that may lead to a t-bone car accident.
People that have driven for hours without resting are endangering themselves and others, since they are drowsy in front of the steering wheel, they may not see or react to traffic lights, and this act may provoke a t-bone crash with unfortunate results.
There are also situations in which the weather plays a crucial part in these accidents, since a driver may stop at a red traffic light, but the ice on the road may avoid the vehicle to stop causing it to crash into another vehicle.
Sometimes a brake failure is the main cause of a t-bone accident, when the driver finds out that the brakes are not responding, they might be too close to the intersection and with the speed they carry, it is extremely difficult for them to stop the car.
T-Bone Car Accident Injuries
The force of the impact directly to the side of the vehicle, makes the passengers of a t-bone collision experience a strong movement of their necks to the left and right, or front to back on the striking vehicle users. Also, if the car is too old and it does not have side airbags and a strong structure to resist side impacts, the people may get hit by the wrecked metal into their limbs, causing lacerations, or burns to their skin.
Here is a list of potential injuries that a person may sustain after a t-bone collision:
- Broken bones
- Neck soft tissue damage (Whiplash)
- Spinal cord injury
- Internal organ bleeding or damages
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
All of these injuries are catastrophic injuries that are life-changing for a person, if they could survive the impact, they could lead to long-term repercussions, followed by extreme pain, financial burdens, and emotional/psychological issues.
Who is Liable in a Side-Impact Collision?
When we encounter broadside crashes, most people will be tempted to say that the striking car is indeed the liable person in the case and that he or she will be responsible for paying the victim’s damages. Even though, in the majority of the situations it is true, not always is that way, sometimes there are other third parties that could be found liable.
In special cases, it has been proven that the car that received the impact on the side of it was actually the cause of one of the accidents. With solid evidence of traffic camera footage or footage from neighbor cars witnesses in their dashboards, the striking car driver could be found not liable for damages to the victims, because it was proved that the one who had no right of way and therefore failed to follow traffic signs was the struck car.
An experienced t-bone car accident lawyer will be the one to determine if there is a third party who is liable for your car accident. Most of the time, the evidence brings to light the participation of these liable parties. We will discuss now, potential third parties that could be found liable for your damages.
Sometimes, a defective part of the vehicle would cause the driver to not be able to maneuver it to avoid the side-impact collision. This situation needs to be reviewed by experts in the field because while it is true that the manufacturer could be liable for an accident, they will need to prove that the malfunction of the motor vehicle was not for a lack of regular maintenance by the owner of the car.
The entity responsible for maintaining the roadway system is the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), and these tasks are also shared with local government agencies.
A defendant may imply that the broadside collision was due to poorly maintained roads. This implication must be investigated and with evidence from witnesses and actual pictures of the crash scene and the surroundings, liability can be determined.
What Kind of Damages Can I Collect?
Whenever there is a car accident in New York, since it is a no-fault state, the participants of a t-bone accident will receive compensation for their PIP coverage. Later on, when the accident is properly investigated and a liable person is found, the bodily injury coverage will help the victims to add extra budget to pay for their injuries.
After that situation has been passed, the at-fault party is enabled to receive a personal injury lawsuit from the victim, where in this case, you can ask for compensation for non-economic damages.
We have learned that in this type of accident, people most of the time get a serious injury, so that makes them able to sue for extra compensation. A list of non-economic damages that you can obtain is:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Disfigurement or scarring
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of independence
- Loss of future earning capacity
It is a must if you are thinking of filing a personal injury lawsuit to get compensation for non-economic damages, to hire a t-bone accident lawyer that assists you on this matter since there might be tricky procedures that may prevent you from obtaining this compensation.
Are SUVs More Dangerous Than Sedans for Side Impacts?
Studies on vehicles have found that SUVs are safer than sedan cars.
In 2003, research started with a test program by the government. But IIHS was concerned that those tests didn’t completely capture the types of crashes likely to occur in the real world.
That is because the government was using a moving barrier that was designed in the 1980s when most of the vehicles were sedan cars and testing with that moving barrier won’t give accurate results in comparison with modern SUVs and Pickup trucks.
That is why the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) made in 2021 another test with a modern moving barrier that emulated modern vehicles. With the new test, they implemented a 37 mph speed that provided 82 percent more energy than the original test.
In these tests, it was found that modern vehicles were safer than old models. The extra protection of side airbags helped the passengers when they were receiving the side impact.
A modern SUV or Pickup with its extra safety features was more protective than regular sedans, and newer sedans were safer than older ones. The data showed that there is a higher chance of surviving a t-bone accident if you are driving an SUV or Pickup. The difference in mass and height of an SUV/Pickup versus a sedan-type car makes a huge impact on the outcome of how many people die in these collisions.
Contact a T-Bone Accident Attorney Today for Help
When a person is struck by a car on their car’s side, they are prone to a serious injury that may attempt their lives. If they could survive that, then they will have health complications for life and may face a financial burden. If you want to get good and fair compensation, you need to hire a New York car accident lawyer to represent you.
The Ward Law Group, PL has 10 years assisting car accident victims, and with over 25 years of experience in the field, you can rely on our expertise to bring justice to you. We will take over your case so you can have peace of mind and dedicate it to healing your injuries. If you got hurt in a T-bone car crash, dial 855-DOLOR-55 for a FREE talk about your situation.