Side impact collisions cause more devastation than many other types of auto accidents. Also known as broadside collisions or “t-bone” accidents, the over 3 million annual side impact crashes kill more people than head-on crashes and rear-enders combined, accounting for a quarter of all passenger vehicle occupant deaths in America.
The experienced personal injury attorneys at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. understand the extreme physical, emotional, and financial effects that a side-impact collision can have on an individual and his or her family. Our dedicated Rockland County and Bergen County car crash lawyers can help you answer questions regarding your rights after an accident and help you recover the compensation you deserve.
What to do after you have been broadsided
After a serious auto accident, safety is the first priority. At the same time, evidence can be fleeting so it is important to act quickly to retain any information that can later help your case. Some tips to remember include:
- Call the police to make a formal report. The police report often contains helpful documentation of the people, place, weather, and other factors related to the accident and also establishes whether the other driver was cited for the accident.
- Find out who is on the scene. Most importantly is the other driver and occupants of their vehicle – you need to find out their names and obtain insurance information. Do not overlook other witnesses who were not involved; obtaining their contact information as well can help tremendously.
- Take photographs of the physical damage, personal injuries, and location of the crash.
- See a doctor as soon as possible to document the injuries. Some injuries are not immediately apparent and if you sign any waivers by an insurance company before you have discovered the extent of your injury, you may waive your right to sue.
- Speak with an attorney. Once you retain a lawyer, the other party and his or her insurance company must go through your lawyer to communicate, reducing any harassing phone calls or pressure to sign any agreements.
Keep in mind that in New York and New Jersey, the no fault laws can limit a victim’s ability to recover from the at-fault party, so the information gathered in the early stages is necessary to show that the injuries exceed the threshold to bring a claim. The attorneys at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. regularly help personal injury victims in Rockland County and Bergen County establish their claims in light of these limiting laws.
Who is at fault in a t bone accident?
Each car crash has its own unique factors, but a common element in many t-bone accidents is the failure to yield. What often happens is the injury victim’s vehicle is stopped at an intersection and another runs a light or stop sign.
Typically, the driver of the striking vehicle is cited for the accident, making liability seemingly straightforward. A few other issues can cloud the situation, including any contributory negligence by the injured party and the extent of injuries in less severe cases.
Injuries typically suffered in a t bone accident
Unfortunately the reality of physics is that a t bone car accident is often more severe than another type of accident involving the same vehicles.
Passenger vehicles are built with maximum impact absorption at the front and rear. The bumpers, engine, and cargo space all help to protect the occupants from a head-on or rear end collision.
In a broadside hit, the occupants of the struck car have minimal protection and the bumper of a striking vehicle, especially a raised bumper when it is a truck or SUV, is often at the optimal level to inflict the most damage. This leads to a disproportionately high number of severe injuries including head trauma, spinal cord injuries, and crushing damage to the limbs.
What determines a t bone car accident settlement?
Personal injury victims have the right to recover for the losses caused by another’s wrongful act. This right can be limited in no-fault states like NY and NJ, where the law limits recovery for less devastating injuries. Where the extent of injuries exceeds the state minimum, the recovery can include:
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Loss of companionship for spouses
- Wrongful death and funeral expenses
A settlement is affected by many factors, including the severity of the injuries, whether the accident created a new injury or worsened a pre-existing one, and whether the victim was also partly at fault.
An experienced Rockland County and Bergen County car crash lawyer who has handled similar claims in the same community – with knowledge of how local juries view these types of claims – is a valuable resource when you are wondering about your t bone accident settlement potential.
NJ and NY side impact crash lawyer
When you or a loved one has suffered through a t-bone accident, you most likely have physical, emotional, and financial strains that can interfere with daily life. Putting your trust in a committed car accident attorney can lift some of your burden.
Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman puts their experience to work to help you present your best case. We work tirelessly to help you recover.
Additional Side Impact Collision Resources:
- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Highway Loss Data Institute, Ratings: Side Crash Test, http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/ratings-info/side-test
- Monash University – Passenger Cars and Side Impact Injuries https://www.monash.edu/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/217412/atsb134.pdf
- NHTSA – National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Traffic Safety Facts http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/810631.pdf