T-bone accidents occur in motor vehicle collisions that impact the side of a vehicle. They can lead to devastating injuries that break bones, damage the spine, or even cause the death of someone you love. You will also face psychological and financial harm following these severe injuries.
Here, we discuss the most common injuries from T-bone accidents and what to do after suffering one. You can protect your health and legal rights when you understand these dangerous accidents.
What Is a T-bone Accident?
T-bone accidents occur all too often on Texas and Louisiana roads. This type of collision occurs when the front of one vehicle strikes the side of another vehicle, creating a “T” shape. This side impact can happen at incredible speeds, especially if the front-end vehicle travels very quickly. The force from both high-speed and low-speed accidents can do critical damage to a motor vehicle and its occupants.
Side-impact collisions are especially hazardous because most vehicles are designed to absorb impact best from the front or back of the vehicle. Many vehicles are designed to crumple from the front or back ends to absorb some of the impact of the collision. Vehicle sides cannot absorb as much impact, meaning the occupants feel more of the accident force.
Most modern vehicles do offer some side-impact protection. This might include the vehicle’s frame and side-impact airbags. These protective measures can help prevent even more serious harm, but catastrophic injuries are still possible in a T-bone accident.
Frequent Causes of T-bone Accidents
T-bone accidents usually occur when one vehicle fails to yield to the other vehicle which has the right of way. Either the front-end driver or the side-impact driver could be negligent. For example, a driver who runs a red light and strikes the side of another vehicle is likely liable in the accident. Alternatively, a driver could illegally pull into an intersection and be struck on the side. In that case, it is the driver illegally in the intersection who is liable for the side-impact collision.
Other common causes of T-bone accidents include:
- Eating or drinking while driving
- Negligent truck drivers
- Icy roads or slippery road conditions
- Driving while tired
- Reckless or aggressive drivers
- Texting while driving
- Driving while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol
These and other causes could be why you were hurt in a T-bone accident. It may be that the negligent driver is financially responsible for your injuries.
Common Injuries in T-bone Accidents
You may suffer catastrophic and painful injuries in a T-bone collision. Common injuries from the accidents include the following:
A side impact collision may cause abrasions or lacerations to your skin. Cuts often occur from broken glass or impact with the road, often called “road rash.” You could also suffer significant burns from the side-impact collision — often triggered by an engine or gas tank fire.
Impacts from the side can jerk your neck suddenly in awkward and painful ways. The sudden force of a motor vehicle impact can cause significant whiplash, which may lead to a sore neck, spinal cord injuries, and other neck damage. It may even lead to a broken neck or broken clavicle.
Head injuries are common in side-impact collisions. These injuries may occur from a car door, the car’s frame, airbags, or other debris. The impact may result in traumatic brain injury, which could include a concussion or other severe brain trauma.
Head and brain injuries may lead to:
- Lasting headaches and chronic pain
- Brain bleeds or hemorrhages
- Cognitive deficiencies
- Memory loss
Broken bones can occur anywhere in your body, from your skull to your feet. While any broken bone is possible, side-impact collisions uniquely increase the risk of pelvic, neck, clavicle, and skull fractures.
Broken bones typically require casts, splints, or slings to allow them to heal. You might even require corrective surgery for more severe breaks.
Back and Spinal Injuries
T-bone accidents can do serious damage to your back and spine. You might suffer injuries such as:
- Damage to back muscles and dermal tissue
- Damage to the spine and vertebrae
- Spinal cord damage
These injuries could result in anything from minor pain to total paralysis and everything in between.
Many T-bone accident victims also face severe internal injuries. This could include organ damage or loss, internal bleeding, and much more. Internal injuries are often discovered late after they have caused other major medical issues. They may even appear long after the accident, leading to critical injuries or death.
One of the most severe consequences of a T-bone accident is the death of someone you love. Death is more likely in high-speed collisions or in vehicles that offer little side-impact protection.
Losing a loved one is devastating for the entire family. The surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit to seek compensation for funeral expenses and lost income, as well as grief, sorrow, and the absence of companionship and support that follows the untimely death of a beloved family member.
What To Do After a T-Bone Accident
After a T-bone collision, you are likely dealing with severe pain, high medical costs, and psychological trauma from your accident. After that accident, follow these tips to protect your health and your legal rights:
- Get Emergency Care. Call 911 or get to an emergency room immediately after an accident. Make sure you or any other injured person gets help.
- Follow Your Doctor’s Recommendations. Follow up on all medical care that your doctor recommends. This helps ensure your health is protected and demonstrates your efforts to reduce the damage in your case. Failure to follow your doctor’s directions could negatively impact your health or any financial recovery in a personal injury lawsuit.
- Preserve Evidence. Collect and keep any evidence related to your case. This includes your medical bills, property damage costs, pictures of the accident or injuries, and anything related to your T-bone collision.
- Speak With an Attorney. Consult a personal injury lawyer about your T-bone collision. There are time limits on these cases and filing late could deprive you of the compensation you are owed.
Recovering From Common T-Bone Accident Injuries
A T-bone accident may have caused serious injuries for you or someone you care for. You may even have lost someone you love. Understanding these common injuries can help you understand what you face and the compensation you may be owed from the negligent driver who caused the accident.