Our law firm sees a lot of side impact traffic collisions because our firm handles only serious injury claims. After head-on collisions, side impact crashes are the most deadly. Over a third of all fatal motor vehicle collisions are broadside accidents.
For children, these crashes are more even dangerous. Approximately 25% of motor vehicle crashes involving children are side impact crashes. These accidents comprise more than 33% of child fatalities. Depressingly, almost all of these deaths are caused by head trauma.
Why do these crashes disproportionately cause occupant deaths? Although side airbags help in some vehicles, there is just no cushion between occupant and the impact. When you get rear-ended or even in a head-on crash, there is a lot of metal between you and the force of the impact. But a T-bone type impact can be deadly because there is a lack of space allotted to absorb the force of the other car. We have had death cases with pictures where it is hard to believe the accident was serious, much less fatal.Where Is the Risk of Serious Injury the Greatest in Side Impact Crashes?
- Running or trying to run a red light or stop sign
- Taking a left turn
- Pulling out into oncoming traffic
We have had some very serious injury cases from people pulling out of parking spaces into traffic. But these are the exceptions as opposed to the rule. Normally, these are relatively minor injuries.Common Broadside Accident Scenario
Most of these accidents occur because the at fault driver was rushing from point A to point B. This is very common with commercial vehicles and drivers on their way to work.
Think of this situation: A man named Fred hit the snooze button on his alarm one too many times on Monday morning. Before he knows it, he needs to be at work in 15 minutes and he still has a toothbrush in his mouth. He has to make a normally 20-minute commute in less than 12 minutes, so he decides to take the back roads and avoid the morning rush hour traffic altogether.
While speeding through the neighborhoods, he notices the light at an upcoming intersection has changed from green to yellow. He slams his foot on the accelerator and although he sees the light go from yellow to red he thinks, “I can make it!” and chooses to go through anyway. At this exact time, a school bus on its way to drop off children is attempting to cross the intersection on the green. Fred can’t stop in time and slams into the driver’s side of the bus.
Thankfully, the children on the bus only receive cuts and bruises - we can't have seriously injured kids in our hypothetical, although they are all too common in children who are not on a bus -- but both Fred and the bus driver are rushed to the hospital and treated for severe head and back injuries.
If Fred had not been so distracted by being late to work and in such a rush, he would have been more focused on safe driving and the accident could have been avoided. He would have made it to work (maybe not on time, but at least in one piece), and the children and bus driver would have made it to school safely.Sample Broadside Miller & Zois Verdicts and Settlements
Our law firm has handled scores of serious injury and death side impact vehicle wreck cases. Here are a few verdict and settlements that Miller & Zois has had in these cases of interest:
- Plaintiff, a hair stylist, is driving to work. The at-fault driver - ironically a lawyer for the IRS - stops to take a left but, distracted, pulls out without ever seeing our client. The victim suffered an ankle injury. The insurance company made a ridiculous offer so we went to trial. A Prince George's County jury awarded her $928,000.
- Plaintiff and her son were hit by a commercial truck who ran a red light. The crash largely spared the son but the impact broke our client's leg. The company refused to make an offer before trial, claiming our client ran a red light. The insurance company made no offer until just before trial. Too late. The jury rendered a verdict just over $1 million.
- Looking for more verdicts? You can find more side impact collisions verdicts and out-of-court settlements in Maryland and around the country here. To get more information on the value of your claim with respect to the specific injuries you have suffered, the jurisdiction you are in, or the insurance company you are dealing with, visit here.
Side-impact collisions can be avoided merely by responsible driving. Being a victim in a side impact collision can be a terrifying experience as in most situations, the victim does not see the other vehicle until the moment of impact. It is an awful experience to be T-boned, seeing some kind of a blur of color coming towards you and suddenly experiencing immense pain before you can even process what happened.
If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in a T-bone wreck or another type of side-impact crash, please contact us for a free consultation at 1.800.553.8082 or online, here.