Broadside accidents occur when one car strikes another on a perpendicular angle. In nearly all cases, these accidents happen at an intersection. Across San Antonio, there are more than 1,400 intersections with traffic lights, which is problematic for those who are concerned about T-bone (or broadside) collisions.
Anatomy of Broadside Collisions
It may seem to many drivers that broadside collision accidents should never happen. However, when you consider there are more than 1.4 million people in San Antonio, it stands to reason there are all types of drivers. Some are very attentive, some are aggressive, and there are those drivers who are in a hurry to get where they are going and fail to pay enough attention to what is going on around them.
A broadside collision at an intersection can occur when a driver attempts to run through a yellow light, when a driver takes a legal turn on red but fails to notice another car coming, or when a driver is taking a legal left turn and misjudges the distance they have to make it through the intersection.
While the most common broadside collisions occur at intersections, there are cases where they can occur away from an intersection. For example, if a driver is struck from behind their car could fishtail resulting in them broadsiding another vehicle, a road hazard could cause a driver to momentarily drift into the lane to their left or right, or a driver may be pulling into a driveway and be struck by an oncoming vehicle. The one thing to remember is that a broadside accident typically means one car is struck on the side, which can result in serious injury to the occupants of the vehicle.
Establishing Fault for Broadside Collisions
When a collision occurs at an intersection, the person who did not legally have the right of way is typically at fault. Since these accidents do cause damage, the San Antonio police department will investigate the accident and determine fault. Victims should seek immediate medical attention as well as obtain names and contact information about witnesses, take photos of the intersection if it is safe and they can do so, and document anything which they believe may be relevant to the accident. Damages to your vehicle should also be documented.
Injuries That Can Occur in Broadside Collisions
Statistics provided by the Texas Department of Transportation show that in 2018, 701 people across Texas lost their lives in accidents occurring at intersections. Not all broadside collisions are fatal, but the severity of injuries can be devastating. Since the door panels of a car do not offer the same protection a driver or passenger would have if the car was struck from the front or rear, the injuries can be significant and can include:
- Broken ribs – Broken ribs can lead to lung collapses which are very serious as the result is obstructed breathing.
- Broken shoulders and arms – Since the impact which occurs on the side of a vehicle often means the door is pushed into the car, drivers and passengers in all seats except a middle seat may suffer broken shoulders and arms from the impact.
- Head trauma – The jarring action of a car being struck from the side can result in whiplash as well as concussions. These can be serious and be life-altering injuries.
Broken hips, back injuries, leg injuries and injury to the pelvis can also occur in broadside collisions. The severity of the injury depends on the speed at which both vehicles are traveling as well as the size of the vehicles involved.
Dealing With the Aftermath of Broadside Collisions
Immediately after a broadside collision, before you contact any insurance company, you should seek medical attention. Even if you have no symptoms, it is a good idea to be checked after any type of car accident. If the doctor tells you they cannot detect any problems, you should pay attention to any symptoms which may occur over the next several days, and even weeks after an accident. Oftentimes, there are “hidden” injuries which can cause you problems that are not immediately able to be detected.
Once you report the accident to the insurance company, you should also contact a San Antonio car accident lawyer immediately. You should take advantage of a free consultation to make sure you understand what your rights are as a victim of a broadside collision. Additionally, you cannot always depend on an insurance company doing what is right for you, the victim. More likely, they are going to do whatever possible to pay as small a settlement as possible. The more serious your injury, the more financial support you may need.
If someone else caused the accident, you are entitled to compensation for the damage to your vehicle. You are also entitled to be reimbursed for medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, and time lost from work. When you are seriously injured, these expenses can add up and may also include tests, surgical procedures, medication for pain. More serious injuries can also mean additional in-home nursing care or other household help while you recover. Only by contacting a San Antonio auto accident attorney can you ensure you will be fully compensated for your financial losses after a broadside collision.
Good Car Accident Legal Representation Matters
There are some important points about Texas personal injury statutes which a car accident can explain to you further but there are two specific things you should know. First, you have only two years to file a personal injury lawsuit. This is a hard and fast rule and failing to do so could mean you forfeit your right to file a lawsuit. Second, Texas follows “shared fault” rules which means the insurance company is likely to attempt to prove you were partially at fault for the accident which caused your injuries.
Anytime you are involved in an accident resulting in an injury, you should always seek competent legal assistance from a qualified personal injury attorney. The right lawyer can help you with negotiations with an insurance company, and if they fail to reach a reasonable settlement, your attorney can file a lawsuit on your behalf.