T-Bone Car Accidents
A T-bone accident is also known as a side-impact collision, a broadside collision, or a right-angle collision. These types of crashes occur when two cars collide at a perpendicular angle — most often, when the front of one vehicle crashes into the side of another, forming a shape like the letter T.
The severity of the injuries suffered in a T-bone accident depend on a number of factors, including the speed and direction of travel of both vehicles, as well as which side of the vehicle a person was on (“near side” vs. “far side”).
If you’ve been injured in a T-bone car accident, you may be struggling to manage the tasks of your everyday life, fighting with insurance companies, and juggling doctor’s appointments, medications, and other therapies. But you don’t have to go it alone. The experienced New York City car accident lawyers at Zlotolow & Associates, P.C., can take on your fight for compensation, so that you can focus on taking care of yourself.
How Does a T-Bone Accident Occur?
T-bone accidents are most common at intersections. When two vehicles try to navigate the intersection at the same time, they may collide. Often, a side-impact crash occurs at an intersection because one driver ignored, misread, or simply did not see a red light or a stop sign.
Side-impact accidents are more likely to cause multiple deaths or injuries, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)’s 2014 “Crash Facts” report. The report also notes that side-impact collisions are more likely to be fatal if the front or rear of one vehicle collided with the left side, or the driver’s side, of the other vehicle.
What Should I Do After a T-Bone Accident or Injury?
After an accident, many people find themselves in an unfamiliar world. Once used to seeing their doctor only occasionally, their lives are now structured around doctor’s appointments. Unfamiliar with insurance company jargon or rules, they now find themselves having to talk to adjusters almost daily.
Here are steps you can take to help put your life back in order after a serious side-impact crash:
Keep a Journal or Notebook
Keeping all your information in one place can help you stay on top of things. It can also make it easier for your lawyer to build a strong case for compensation. Use a notebook to write down what you remember about the accident, as well as to keep track of doctor’s appointments, log your symptoms and medications, and work through your emotional reactions to the accident and to your current situation.
Save Your Paperwork
Start a file that contains items like your insurance policy, any paperwork from the accident (like police reports or discharge paperwork from emergency room visits), medical records, and bills that are related to your accident or injuries, such as bills from the pharmacy and a log of the mileage you have to drive to get to and from appointments. If you have paperwork from your job regarding medical leave, disability insurance, or other items, keep copies of these as well. This information can help your lawyer build the strongest possible case for the compensation you need after a crash.
Work with Your Doctors
Follow your doctors’ instructions regarding medical devices, medications, and follow-up appointments. If you develop new symptoms or side effects, contact your doctor’s office right away to let them know. This communication can help your doctor provide the best care for your condition.
Limit Your Communication with Insurance Companies
Your insurance adjuster may be genuinely concerned about your personal situation, but his or her professional responsibility is to the insurance company. Limit your conversations with insurance companies to the facts, and never give a statement or sign anything without your attorney present. Your lawyer can help with this task by managing communications entirely, so that you can focus on healing.
Common Injuries Suffered in T-Bone Accidents
Broadside collisions, or T-bone collisions, often cause more severe injuries than similar crashes that impact different parts of the vehicle. When a vehicle strikes the front or rear of an automobile, the vehicle’s engine compartment, trunk, bed, or hatchback create a buffer zone between the crash itself and the occupants. When a vehicle hits the side of a car, however, this buffer zone is extremely small: often, no wider than the car door itself. Even with the addition of side-impact air bags in recent years, occupants are at a much higher risk of injury.
Common injuries that a side-impact crash may cause include:
Leg and Hip Injuries
An impact closer to the bottom of the vehicle door is more likely to cause damage to the leg or hip. As the door crumples under the impact and caves or bends toward the body, the force of the crash and flying debris can cause lacerations, penetrating injuries, and broken bones. In a severe crash, so-called “crush injuries” may occur, doing significant damage to the muscles, nerves, and soft tissue in addition to the bones.
Chest or Abdominal Injuries
With relatively little protection from the force of a side impact, the center of the body can experience significant damage in the form of broken or crushed ribs, punctured lungs, or damage to organs such as the heart, liver, or kidneys. Spleen injuries are also common and can be serious.
Arm and Shoulder Injuries
Injuries to the arms and shoulders include broken bones, dislocated joints, and crush injuries — similar to the types of injuries that may affect the legs or hips. Flying glass may also cause more severe lacerations to the arms, or the arm may become crushed, trapped, or pinned in a door that has given way under extreme force.
Head and Neck Injuries
Whiplash during a T-bone accident is not only possible, it is common. The force of an impact can whip the head and neck sideways, resulting in a serious neck sprain. If the head suffers a blow during the accident, such as by colliding with the car door or frame, a concussion or other traumatic brain injury may occur. Lacerations or cuts to the head and face may result not only in injury, but in lifelong scarring or the loss of one or more organs such as the eyes or ears.
Traumatic responses to traumatic events are normal. They are your brain’s attempt to help you survive a life-threatening situation. After the physical danger has passed, however, the brain may need help to return to equilibrium. Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms like flashbacks, nightmares, insomnia, depression, anxiety, and mood swings are real symptoms of a real medical condition, and they can often be treated successfully.
Choose an NYC Car Accident Attorney Who Will Fight for You
After a serious car accident, you and your family need an attorney who will fight to win. You deserve an advocate who is committed to pursuing the full compensation you need and deserve — and who won’t settle for a fraction of that amount simply to end the case.
At Zlotolow & Associates, our NYC car accident attorneys have worked for more than two decades to secure maximum compensation for our deserving clients, whether that means standing our ground in insurance company negotiations or establishing a strong case in court. We care about our clients, and our commitment shows in our results.
To learn more about how our auto accident lawyers can help you, schedule a free consultation today.