Side-impact collisions, also commonly referred to as a “T-bone,” are one of the deadliest types of automobile accident an individual can be involved in. These accidents can be extremely dangerous for both the driver and their occupants as many consider the side panels of a vehicle to be one of the most vulnerable areas that can be struck. Due to the deadly nature of these accidents, it’s not uncommon for those involved to sustain serious life-changing injuries including spinal cord damage, severe whiplash, and even traumatic brain injuries.
If you have been seriously injured or lost a loved one due to a side-impact collision, then it’s critical that you reach out to an experienced Iowa car accident attorney as soon as possible. You may have already received a settlement offer from the insurance company, but it’s important you don’t make any major decisions without first consulting with an attorney. A knowledgeable Iowa automobile accident lawyer can assess the settlement to ensure it’s fair and equitable for your circumstances. They can even negotiate with adjusters on your behalf, collect additional evidence to support your claim, and do whatever is necessary to help you recover completely from your injuries.
Des Moines T-Bone Accident Lawyer | Iowa Personal Injury Firm
The aftermath of a side-impact collision can be incredibly deadly and cost injured victims thousands and thousands of dollars in property damage and medical treatment. If you’ve been injured or lost a loved one in a side collision, then don’t negotiate any further with the insurance company without the legal advice from McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C.. With over 30 years of personal injury experience, Attorney Landry has spent years dealing with the harm that results from side-impact collisions and has been successful in securing substantial recoveries for many clients.
Schedule your first consultation today by calling our office at (515) 279-9700 or simply submitting an online contact form. McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. has offices in West Des Moines, but we also accept clients throughout every part of Polk County and Dallas County including Des Moines, Pleasant Hill, Polk City, Runnells, and Altoona.
- Common Causes for Side-Impact Collisions
- Side Impact Collision Injuries
- Determining Fault in a Side-Impact Collision
- Additional Resources
Common Causes for Side-Impact Collisions
Collisions that occur on the vehicle’s side can occur for a variety of reasons, but in most cases the main cause is another driver’s negligence. Reckless, carless, and drivers who are grossly unaware of their surroundings pose a great risk to the public around them. If a driver fails to follow traffic rules or exhibits gross negligence while driving, it can result in a T-bone accident. The negligent driver may be held legally responsible afterwards if serious injury or death occurs.
Listed below are some common reasons why a side-impact collision may occur.
- Distracted Drivers – Drivers must remain vigilant when they are navigating the road. Engaging in distracting behaviors such as texting, eating, changing the radio, or any other action that takes the driver’s eyes away from the road could potentially be the cause of a side-impact accident. This is especially true for drivers in busy intersections.
- Backing Out or Reversing – Reversing out of a space, whether it’s a person’s driveway or a parking lot, requires the driver to be aware of their surroundings. Drivers who fail to check for oncoming traffic and other obstacles could potentially cause an accident. Many side-impact car accidents happen due to drivers who pull out too quickly.
- Issues with Traffic Signs or Signals – Drivers must utilize traffic signals in order to navigate the road and inform other drivers of where they plan to go. When a driver’s turn signal or brake light doesn’t work, then it could result in a serious T-bone accident. This is very common for drivers who planned to turn but failed to turn on their signal. Damaged, bent, covered, or missing traffic signs could also be the cause of a side-impact collision, especially if it’s a stop sign.
Side Impact Collision Injuries
Car accidents where a vehicle’s side is struck can be incredibly deadly, especially for any occupants inside the car. The injuries commonly stemming from side-impact collisions tend to be extremely severe and require extensive medical treatment. Since these types of accidents often occur at high speeds, the people injured may sustain injuries such as whiplash just from the sheer force of the accident. For that reason, it’s not uncommon for the driver or even the occupants of the vehicle to not be fully aware of the true scope of their injuries until days or even weeks after the accident.
The following are some common injuries a person may face from a side-impact collision.
- Internal bleeding
- Psychological damage
- Neck injuries
- Brain injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Burn injuries
Determining Fault in a Side-Impact Collision
In most cases, the other driver who hit the injured plaintiff is at fault for the accident. Usually, the reason for the accident is the other driver made an unsafe turn or did not have the right of way which ultimately results in a side-impact collision. However, these aren’t the only possible causes of a side impact collision. There are other parties that could be held legally responsible for the injured plaintiff’s injuries due to some type of negligence on their part. Listed below are possible parties that could be held liable for an individual’s damages in a side impact collision.
- Automobile Manufacturer – In some cases, the reason for a side-impact collision is due to some faulty part of either the plaintiff’s or the other driver’s car. For example, if the vehicle’s brakes or accelerator are malfunctioning, it could lead to a serious T-bone accident. If the court finds faulty parts instigated at least part of the accident, then the manufacturer may also be held partially responsible for damages.
- City Hall, County or State –Road maintenance generally is the responsibility of the city, county, or State to maintain. As a result, the government may be responsible for any damages caused by roads that weren’t kept reasonably safe. If the design of the street or obstacles within the street are conducive to a side-impact collision, then they may be found at fault. For example, if a traffic light is faulty, then it will be nearly impossible for other drivers to determine if they have the right of way. This failure to maintain the road and traffic signals could result in an side-impact collision.
If the injured plaintiff is successful with their case, then they’ll receive a settlement or monetary award for their injuries. The court determines how much the plaintiff is compensated based on the value of their damages. Damages are the losses a person has suffered because of the T-bone collision. These damages include:
- Medical expenses
- Car repairs
- Lost earnings
- Loss of enjoyment for life
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Reduced earning capacity
- Rehabilitation costs
- Therapy costs
Side Impact Collision Tests – Visit the official website for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) to find more data regarding side-panel crash testing. Access the information on the site to learn more about how IIHS performs these side-impact collisions, the information regarding ratings, process of changing airbags for vehicles, and more.
Crash Data from Iowa DOT – Visit the official website for the Iowa Department of Transportation (Iowa DOT) to read the annual traffic reports provided by the State. Access the site to read the data regarding fatal crashes, motorcycle crashes, accidents for distracted drivers, and other important information.
Side Impact Accident Lawyer, Des Moines IA
If you or someone you know has been injured or wrongfully killed in a side-impact collision, it’s critical you seek legal representation. You can find experienced and skilled representation with Gregory Landry of McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C.. With over three decades of experience, he has the skills, resources, and network necessary to fight for the settlement or award you deserve.
Schedule your first consultation with McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. by calling (515) 279-9700 or simply submit an online contact form. McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. has offices in Des Moines, but we accept clients throughout every part of Polk County and Dallas County, IA.