More than 32,000 people in the U.S. are killed and two million are injured in motor vehicle accidents each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Many of these accidents occur when a vehicle is struck from the side, resulting in a side-impact crash or T-bone accident. This type of collision typically causes more serious injuries than other types of car accidents and accounts for more fatalities than rear-end and head-on collisions combined.
Side-Impact Accident Causes
The causes of side-impact accidents vary. They may occur due to distracted driving, which claims the lives of 3,450 people each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Association (NHTSA). They may also occur due to defective auto parts, such as the brakes. However, the most common causes of side-impact crashes typically involve:
- Left-hand turns: Cars that are turning left may be struck by oncoming vehicles when drivers fail to yield.
- Traffic law violations: When drivers run red lights or accelerate to make yellow lights, side-impact crashes can occur.
- Failure to yield at intersections: Drivers who fail to yield at intersections can T-bone drivers passing through with the right of way.
- Improper merging or lane changes: Side-impact accidents often occur when drivers do not merge in time or fail to check their blind spots before changing lanes.
Common Injuries in T-Bone Accidents
Injuries in T-bone accidents tend to be more severe than injuries in head-on or rear-end collisions because the sides of vehicles are not as protected as the front and rear. Consequently, it is estimated that between 8,000 and 10,000 people are fatally injured in side-impact crashes each year.
Common non-fatal injuries from T-bone accidents include:
- Fractures and broken bones
- Neck and back injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
What to Do After a Side-Impact Collision
Those who are involved in a side-impact collision in Washington, D.C. should remain at the scene of the accident. Report the incident to police and seek medical attention for any injuries as soon as possible. Exchange names, addresses, driver’s license numbers, auto insurance, and contact information with the other parties involved in the accident. If possible, take pictures of the scene of the accident, as well as any visible injuries sustained. Reporting laws vary by state, therefore those who are involved in side-impact collisions should seek the counsel of a qualified attorney in their local area.
Proving Fault in DC Side-Impact Crashes
DC is a no-fault state, meaning that drivers can file a claim with their car insurance company following an accident, regardless of whether someone else was at-fault for the accident. However, there are exceptions to this rule, including if the injured driver’s claim exceeds the limits of their personal injury protection (PIP) policy. Potential damages include compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
DC Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King Assist Those Injured in Side-Impact Crashes
If you were injured in a side-impact crash, contact a DC car accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Duane O. King. We can help you obtain the compensation you are entitled. Located in Washington, DC, we represent clients throughout DC and Maryland. For a free consultation, please complete our online contact form or call us at 202-331-1963 today.