Broadside Collisions Cause Serious Injuries—Even Death
Knowledgeable Kentucky lawyers help clients severely injured by T-bone accidents
Most broadside collisions occur at intersections when drivers ignore or misjudge traffic signals, ignore “Yield” signs, or are distracted. They can cause very serious or even deadly injuries, especially when impact is directly into the slender structural member that supports the roof, and from which the driver and passenger’s side doors are hung. Many cars are now equipped with side curtain airbags installed above the doors. These deploy on impact to cushion passengers’ heads against the sudden, violent sideways motion characteristic of “T-bone” collisions.
If you were involved in a broadside collision, you should consult an experienced Kentucky auto accident attorney at once. Determining fault in such collisions is complicated, and Kentucky’s “pure comparative negligence” law makes a prompt, professional response essential. A car accident attorney at Crandall & Pera Law, one that is experienced in litigating broadside collisions cases, can protect your interests in the legal arena.
Why are the particular dangers of broadside collisions dangerous?
The sides of a car offer the least protection to its passengers. Door thickness is measured in inches and, unlike the engine compartment and trunk, the sides of cars lack energy-absorbing controlled collapse structures. A severe side impact can drive the doors into the passenger compartment, bend their supporting member and cause the floor of the passenger compartment to buckle and its roof collapse.
Passengers are in physical contact with the doors, which means that the energy of a side impact is transferred directly to them.
What kinds of injuries are sustained by drivers whose cars are “broadsided?
The combination of forward motion and sudden side impact in a broadside collision creates forces capable of causing injury to five body regions:
- Clavicle. The clavicle can be compressed and fractured by forces against the shoulder.
- Chest. Compression of the thoracic wall inward can result in fractured ribs, pulmonary contusion, or compression injury of the solid organs beneath the rib cage. Shear injuries of the aorta can also result from lateral acceleration. Twenty-five percent of ruptures of the aortic arch occur in lateral-impact collisions.
- Abdomen and pelvis. Compression and fracture of the pelvis caused by the head of the femur being pushed through its pelvic socket. Occupants on the driver’s side are vulnerable to spleen injuries because the spleen is on the left side of the body, whereas those on the passenger side are more likely to receive an injury to the liver.
- Neck. The torso can move outward from under the head. This can fracture the vertebrae or, more likely, cause spinal cord injury.
- Head. The head can impact the frame of the door causing skull fracture, concussion, brain contusion, subdural hematoma, and death.
Which driver was responsible?
Responsibility in broadside collisions is not always clear, and in the absence of witnesses presents considerable challenge. Measuring skid marks on a dry roadway can provide an estimate of the vehicles’ speeds, but are not in and of themselves determinative of who was at fault. Which car struck the other is also not determinative; the driver of the car that was struck may not have had the right of way. Investigators may have to rely on accident reconstruction specialists, as drivers involved in serious accidents rarely remember all the details, or may offer accounts favorable to themselves. Kentucky’s insurance and comparative negligence rules can make “fault” an essential part of the legal process. In tort-based litigation, the more one party’s share of negligence in an accident increases the more the other party’s share decreases. Eventually, the insurer whose client made the larger contribution to the accident pays, although its payment is reduced in proportion to the other party’s share of negligence.
If you are injured in a broadside collision, let a Kentucky lawyer at Crandall & Pera Law represent you
If you or a loved one were injured in a broadside collision, one of Crandall & Pera Law’s Kentucky traffic accident attorneys can help. When liability is to be shared, let us help see that it is shared equitably, consistent with the facts of the case. We have access to investigative specialists who can help establish responsibility in broadside collisions, as well as to the medical specialists who can determine the nature and likely after-effects of your injuries.
Your accident case is important to us, and we want to help. Please call us today at 877-686-8879 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a Kentucky auto accident attorney. We have offices conveniently located in Lexington and Louisville.