What To Do After a Broadside Collision
Whether you're traveling on a road trip or just heading down the street to the store, you're likely to travel through an intersection. Intersections are built to keep drivers and passengers safe, but that doesn't mean they are indeed safe all the time.
Broadside accidents, sometimes called T-bone collisions, are most common at intersections, but they can happen elsewhere on the roadway, as well. Serious injuries are common results of broadside accidents.
What Is A Broadside Collision?
A broadside collision is a car accident where the side of one vehicle is hit by the front or back of another vehicle. This impact forms a T shape, which is why these accidents are often referred to as T-bone accidents
More often than not, broadside collisions happen as the result of a negligent driver. Whether the driver who caused the accident speeds into an intersection or changes lanes without looking, the result is an impact with another vehicle that has the potential to be deadly. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been looking at ways to make cars safer in recent years, but ensuring safety still requires the vigilance and attention of all drivers.
Common Causes Of Broadside Collisions
Today, cars are much improved to protect passengers when they're involved in an accident. However, even with these safety advances, cars still lack protection to prevent injuries in broadside collisions.
These accidents are usually caused by one driver's negligence, which can include:
Running a Red Light
Drivers who ignore traffic lights are not only breaking the law but also creating the perfect scenario for a broadside accident. When a driver disregards traffic signals or tries to beat a red light, the perpendicular traffic may start to enter the intersection as the negligent driver is speeding through. The driver running the red light may not have realized what was happening in time and failed to apply any brakes, causing a strong and aggressive impact on the vehicle that had the right of way. In addition, the force of this impact may push the vehicle that was hit into other vehicles, causing more injuries and further damage.
Failing to Yield
When drivers make turns across oncoming traffic or change lanes, it's their job to make sure there is no other vehicle that they might hit. A driver failing to check their surroundings could cause an impact on another vehicle, hitting the car with the right of way. If the force of the impact is strong enough, the vehicle with the right of way could be forced into oncoming traffic, further exacerbating the injuries and damage.
Driving Under the Influence
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a major cause of accidents. Impaired drivers lack the necessary reflexes to hit the brakes before colliding with another vehicle. Because little or no braking occurs in these accidents, the victims may suffer serious injuries.
Texting While Driving
One of the most common causes of accidents in recent years is distracted driving, which usually involves texting. Distracted drivers who look down to respond to a text often cause traffic accidents, including broadside collisions.
Truck drivers face an even greater challenge due to their larger blind spots and longer stopping distances. If a truck driver fails to observe a stop sign or red light owing to distraction, fatigue, or other factors, it can result in the vehicle striking smaller ones that have correctly adhered to traffic control signals.
Human error causes most car accidents. The same is true of most broadside collisions. Because people can usually prevent them, the resulting injuries are even more tragic.
Where Do Broadside Collisions Occur?
Broadside collisions can happen anywhere on the road. But there are more common locations, such as:
- Highway on-ramps
- Rural intersections where only one direction of traffic yields
- Multi-lane roadways
Intersections where multiple vehicles cross paths are common occurrence sites for broadside collisions. Reports from The Federal Highway Administration note that this could be due to complex navigation decisions drivers need to make swiftly. Parking lots also present a similar scenario, where vehicles often intersect with little or no warning due to inadequate signs or markings. When properly regulated by traffic control devices like stop signs or red lights, conflicting vehicular movements can be managed effectively without disrupting the traffic flow or causing an accident. However, if drivers disregard these traffic control devices, or they are poorly positioned, the risk of vehicle strikes increases exponentially.
According to a 2008 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study, over two million accidents occurred at intersections. Being vigilant and paying attention to your surroundings while driving is the best way to avoid a broadside collision. Because human error is the biggest cause of T-bone accidents, focus on driving when you're behind the wheel.
Share the Road and Stay Alert
Broadside collisions often result in serious, life-altering injuries. Due to the nature of the accident, the at-fault driver may strike your vehicle in an area where it has fewer safety features. By paying attention to your surroundings, you give yourself the best opportunity to reduce the severity of a crash by taking action to avoid it as best you can.
Common Injuries in Broadside Crashes
Broadside collisions all have one thing in common: destruction. The nature of broadside accidents is such that the impact is usually extremely forceful, and it usually occurs in a part of the car where there is less protection. Because of this, injuries in a broadside crash are usually severe.
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries
More than 34,000 people died in car accidents in 2017. While death doesn't always result from a broadside collision, it can and does happen. If you or a loved one has been injured by a negligent driver in a broadside collision, you deserve to have legal representation that you can trust. Your injuries are likely severe and causing you a great deal of pain and suffering. Your personal injury lawyer will help you collect what you need to cover your medical bills so you don't end up having to pay out of pocket for any of the costs associated with your injuries.
Damages You Can Recover
When you or a loved one sustains an injury in a broadside accident, your sole focus should be on your recovery. As your car accident attorneys, we will fight to get you compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Past, present, and future medical bills
- Rehabilitation costs
- Home remodel costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of companionship
Because of the severity of your injuries, you're likely out of work, maybe temporarily and possibly permanently. This means that you won't have money coming in to help cover your bills. This is why it's important to work with a skilled and trusted personal injury lawyer in Pennsylvania who can help you recover what you need so you don't end up paying any bills out of pocket.
The Role of the Insurance Company
Because you may need cash immediately to cover your bills, you may want to accept the initial settlement offer from the negligent driver's insurance company. Don't do it until you speak with us. Insurance companies are in the business of making money, and if they pay the full value of every claim, they won't make money. It's the job of the insurance adjuster to settle your case for as little as possible. This means you could end up paying out of pocket for injuries that you played no part in causing.
The insurance company will try to tell you that they've estimated the value of your claim and they can't possibly pay you any more than they're offering. They may have created an estimate, but it only includes your current bills. We see many clients miss out on recovering damages because they don't properly estimate their future medical costs. As a victim of a broadside collision, your injuries are severe and may require years or even a lifetime of care. And this care does not come cheap.
The insurance company will prey on your need to cover your bills by offering you a lowball settlement. Choosing to go that route not only makes it more likely that you'll pay for future medical costs out of your own pocket, but it also makes it more likely that you will waive your right to bring a claim against them in the future. To avoid this tragic situation, make sure you have a trusted personal injury lawyer by your side. While it's true that most personal injury cases settle out of court, if the insurance company refuses to settle for a reasonable amount, we are fully prepared to take your case all the way to trial if necessary.
Steps To Take After Your Accident
After your broadside collision, there are several steps that you should take right away.
- Call 911. Because your injuries are likely severe and your car severely damaged, this is the most important first step. In reality, it's important regardless of your injuries. Calling the police helps to protect and preserve the accident record. The police will create a report that documents what happened in your accident. While the police report may not assign fault, it may note if a driver violated traffic laws and include information about what other drivers were doing at the time of the accident. This information can help the insurance company and your personal injury attorney determine who was at fault in the accident.
- Get medical attention. Calling 911 will allow you to receive prompt medical attention. Have a medical professional document your injuries as soon as possible after your accident to make sure that you're healthy. Broadside collisions usually cause severe injuries, so making sure that you are seen by a medical professional as soon as possible is extremely important. By having a record of your injuries, your Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer has a better chance of getting you the full value of your claim.
- Take pictures. Documenting the accident scene is key to your financial recovery. That includes taking pictures of the accident scene, your injuries, and any property damage. This will help keep a record of the severity of your injuries and how they improve or potentially get worse.
- Don't speak to the insurance company. Don't give them a statement until you've spoken with a trusted personal injury attorney. The insurance company is going to try and make you seem at fault for the accident so it doesn't have to pay out your claim. Even saying something seemingly innocent, like “I wasn't watching where I was walking,” could lead the insurance company to fight your claim tooth and nail, making it more challenging for you to make a recovery.
- Keep a personal injury journal. As you progress through your recovery process, it's important to keep a journal of how you feel, what improvements you make, as well as any setbacks that occur. Keeping this journal makes certain that you don't forget anything. By keeping a record of your medical progress day to day, your personal injury lawyer can better see your progress or lack thereof and help to get you the compensation you need to get better. If you don't keep a journal, you may not remember the incredibly painful days or the smaller setbacks you suffered. These are all important to your claim.
- Call a car accident lawyer. An experienced motor vehicle crash law firm knows the tactics insurance companies employ to avoid paying. A car accident attorney knows what you're going through, that you need financial assistance to get better, and will strive to get you the compensation you deserve so that you can make a full recovery and get back to the life you love.
Making sure you have trusted legal representation can go a long way to lifting the burden off your shoulders. You deserve peace of mind knowing your attorney has your best interests at heart.
How A Car Accident Law Firm Can Help You
You never get into your car expecting to get into an accident. You certainly don't expect to end up in a broadside collision facing months or even years of recovery. But when such a tragedy occurs, you need a personal injury lawyer you can trust.
A car crash attorney will generally evaluate your claim, conduct an independent investigation, negotiate with the insurance company, take your case to trial if necessary, and lift the weight of the legal issues off your shoulders. Most personal injury lawyers will do all of this at no cost to you. We take your case on a contingency basis, which means that we don't get paid unless you obtain compensation for you.
If a broadside car accident caused you or a loved one injuries, you deserve to have an experienced car accident attorney that you trust guiding you through the complex personal injury claim process. Without a skilled legal team on your side, you risk having to pay out of pocket for injuries that you didn't cause. Your best chance of making a full and complete recovery depends on the dedication of your personal injury lawyer. Contact us at the Levin Law Firm today and schedule a free consultation.