According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), angle car collisions, like T-bones, made up nearly one in five car accidents in the United States in 2017. What is considered a T-bone? This type of accident occurs when the front of a vehicle strikes the side of another car to form a T-shape collision.
Victims experience severe injuries – even death – from these severe side impacts, where they are seated, or from the vehicle rolling over. Blunt force trauma is the most common injury that results from T-bone car accidents, also called side-impact collisions, which are then more specifically pinpointed to the chest and head. But there are many other common injuries that adults and children suffer from.
1. Traumatic Head Injuries
One of the most common serious injuries from a T-bone car accident is trauma to the head. In the moment of the side impact, the head will violently hit one of the following:
- Side window
- Another passenger or the driver in the vehicle
- Steering wheel
- Side airbag
Head injuries from a T-bone can range from a concussion to severe, life-changing trauma. Long-term symptoms that can affect a victim’s everyday way of life include:
- Severe headaches
- Nausea and vomiting
- Memory loss or amnesia
- Confusion or disorientation
- Ringing ears
- Blurry vision
- Difficulty sleeping
- Difficulty speaking
- Paresthesia, when skin tingles, prickles, or itches
- Emotional changes
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2. Whiplash and Spinal Injuries
Whiplash and spinal injuries are easily the most common injury from a T-bone accident. This is why it is important to have your entire spine examined after you have been involved in a T-bone car accident and not ignore any minor symptoms. It is also crucial to seek the help of a personal injury attorney to fight for compensation for your medical bills and other damages.
3. Leg and Upper Body Injuries
A side impact from a T-bone collision hits the waist, hip, and upper leg area of the person sitting in the vehicle, with injuries that can result when they slam into the car on one side or the other.
Hip and leg injuries can range from bruises to fractures, which can all be painful, restrict mobility, and possibly require surgery. This setback could also affect your job if you are on your feet most of the day and your budget when you are facing expensive medical bills.
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4. Shoulder Injuries
Just like the waist, hip, and upper leg area, the shoulder closest to a side impact is especially vulnerable in the case of a T-bone car accident, causing damage to the cartilage and ligaments in the shoulder. For drivers who see the impact coming and react by gripping the steering wheel harder, injuries could be even worse.
After surgery, these kinds of tears can heal with the help of a sling and physical therapy.
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Why do T-Bone Accidents Cause Such Serious Injuries?
T-bone accidents are more dangerous because the force of the impact throws passengers and drivers from one side of the vehicle to the other. Seatbelts and airbags are also not as effective as a frontal impact collision, and T-bones occur at higher speeds within intersections rather than stopped traffic.
Unfortunately, despite that, at-fault drivers violate Georgia laws that require drivers to yield the right of way to any vehicle coming from the opposite direction.
What Causes a T-Bone Accident?
T-bone accidents happen when the front side of a vehicle hits the broad side of another vehicle, with collisions more commonly occurring in an intersection in a right-of-way situation, which includes driver error by:
- Misjudging the oncoming traffic speed before turning
- Misjudging the gap in traffic
- Not checking blind spots
- Not taking into account an obstructed view
- Distracted driving
- Driving through a red light
- Reckless or aggressive driving
If you have been the victim of a T-bone car accident because the other driver is guilty of one of these driving behaviors, a personal injury attorney will be able to take the at-fault driver to court and get you the compensation you deserve.
What Damages Can You Claim in a T-Bone Accident Lawsuit?
You can apply for multiple financial damages in your lawsuit as well to cover:
- Medical expenses, including hospital and emergency room bills, surgeries, medications, and physical therapy.
- Lost wages from mental or physical injuries after the accident that forced you to take time off from your job.
- Property damage to your vehicle, which can be severe after a T-bone, as well as any damages to items inside the car that need to be replaced.
- Pain and suffering for any mental or physical suffering, such as loss of enjoyment in life, in the aftermath of the accident.
- Wrongful death in the sad case that a loved one died in a T-bone collision, which could include covering funeral expenses.
If you were a victim of a T-bone accident, a personal injury attorney could help you collect evidence to support a lawsuit against another driver, an auto manufacturer in the case of possible mechanical issues, or any outside parties, such as a road engineer who designed an unsafe intersection.