Side-impact accidents might not be as fatal as head-on or rollover crashes, still, they can cause severe injuries. Also known as t-bone accidents happen when a vehicle directly crashes the side of another vehicle at a 90-degree angle.
If you were injured in a T-bone crash, you might be entitled to a compensation claim to cover your medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering. While you recover from the crash it’s important to get in touch with a New Mexico car accident attorney (the same goes if you have lost a loved one in such an accident).
Liability in T-bone Accidents
T-bone crashes almost always occur because a driver failed to yield the right way. Even though it seems clear who is at fault in such cases, the determination might be complicated. If such accidents happen because a diver wasn’t making a safe left turn, they will be at fault for not yielding the right of way. If you run a red light or failed to stop at a stop sign, you might be partially at fault.
Distracted driving (texting, DUI) will also be at fault. But, it’s possible that the driver was pushed into the other car by another negligent driver. In most cases, the driver will insist that he had the right of way. This is why it’s not always easy to prove fault for the crash. These accidents mainly happen at intersections so in most cases there are witnesses who can tell details about the accidents. Most intersections have cameras as well, which will make the determination easier.
Injuries After a T-bone Accident
When a T-bone crash happens, the car door collapses, and windows break. The most common parts of the body that suffer are the head, neck, and back. Strains, whiplash, sprains, pinched nerves, herniated discs, and spinal cord problems occur in most cases. It’s not uncommon for people to end with broken hips, arms, ribs, and pelvises.
The most common factors that contribute to the extent of the injury are the speed, angle of impact, presence of airbags, use of seatbelts, and the type of vehicles. Of course, if a truck and a sports car are involved in such a crash, the outcome will be devastating.
About one-third of drivers and passenger fatalities happen because of t-bone accidents.
Steps to Take After a Side-Impact Accident
Just like in any accident, if you’re involved in a T-bone crash, make sure to call the police and 911. Even if no one is injured, internal injuries or brain trauma might appear until much later; this is why you need to get a medical examination. Make sure to document as many details at the accident scene as possible. Be sure to exchange information with the other driver. Since such accidents usually happen at intersections there will be witnesses. Get their personal info so you can later call them.
Take photos of the crash, the weather, your injuries, and anything else you think could contribute to your case. Notice if there are intersection cameras (you might seek the footage later in case there is a problem to determine who was at fault). Finally, call your insurance company as soon as you can.
Once the police arrive at the scene, be careful about what you say. Even innocent phrases like “I didn’t see them” could affect your compensation claim later. So, even if you weren’t at fault, things might not work in your favor.
Potential Damages After a T-Bone Accident
Your vehicle will likely be damaged and if you were the one who was crushed, you have the right to seek damages (even if you were partially at fault for the accident). Your claim will cover the medical bills, car reparations, lost wages, lost earning capacity, wrongful death, and pain and suffering.
Contact an Attorney
Trying to deal with such an accident on your own may be a real challenge. Not everyone knows how to deal with the legal phrases, nor understands things like statute of limitation, knows how to file for a claim, and so on. Any lack of knowledge will be used by the insurance company of the other driver. Not only they may offer you a low claim at the beginning, but what’s worse, if you don’t know any better, you might accept it.
To avoid potential risks of getting a low clam, make sure to have a skilled car accident by your side. Our team at FBD Law is here to stand by your side and help you with everything.