- Side-impact accidents are often called T-bone collisions and usually happen at intersections or stop signs.
- Georgia law says that the at-fault party in a car accident must pay for all resulting costs and damages, including medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and wrongful death.
- Evidence you can use to prove fault in a side-impact crash includes police body cams, 911 audio recordings and electronic data from your car’s ECM module.
If you’ve been injured in a side-impact car crash, it was most likely caused by another driver’s negligence. The at-fault driver may have been distracted by texting or using a mobile phone. Our Atlanta side-impact injury lawyers have handled cases where drivers were talking on cell phones, surfing the internet, searching for music on a mobile App like Pandora Radio, or yelling at kids in the back seat. About one of every four accidents involves a side impact or T-Bone crash.
You may have many questions about what to do next and how to begin the process of recovering what you’ve lost. Our Georgia attorneys specialize in Side-Impact and T-Bone Collision cases. We have prepared a short Georgia legal guide to answer many common questions.
- How can I prove the other driver was at-fault in my accident?
- Why do side-impact collisions cause such serious injuries compared to other accidents?
- The medical bills from my side-impact collision are huge – what can I do to get them paid and still have something left of my settlement?
- Will I need a lawyer who specializes in this kind of wreck?
Types of side impact car accidents
There are three common types of side impact collisions:
- T-bone collisions. These occur when one car strikes another at approximately a 90 degree angle usually when the front of one car collides with the side of another. These accidents can be serious because there are no structural barriers between the driver or passenger at the angle and causes severe accidents.
- Sideswipe collisions: These happen when a car hits another side to side. Many people think that these accidents tend to be minor however injuries from these crashes can also be severe.
- Angular car accidents: These happen when one car hits another from the side at a less then 90 degree angle. Again, injuries from these collisions can be severe.
How is negligence calculated in a side impact car accident?
Negligence can be determined by several factors. Some common cases include distracted driving which can consist of texting while driving, talking on a cell phone, and eating while driving. Side impact accidents can also occur when someone is not careful changing or when a vehicle has a mechanical issue such as faulty brakes. It is important to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you investigate all the possible causes of a side impact collision including any experts that may be needed to prove fault and get you the compensation you deserve.
How can I prove the other driver was at-fault in my side-impact accident?
There are many reasons why Atlanta drivers get into auto accidents. Usually the primary cause of a car accident is some form of driver negligence or recklessness.
Begin by immediately to gathering the information necessary to prove your claim. Obtain police reports, medical records, witness statements, and any other form of proof necessary in order to establish that you were not at fault for the accident. If you are not sure who witnessed the accident, write to the local 911 communications department for your city and county and request the audio recordings for the 15 minutes before and one-hour after your wreck.
Request the responding police officer’s patrol car and body-worn camera recordings. The law enforcement officer may have recorded conversations with witnesses who stopped to report what they saw. Request records from EMS and other first responders who may have taken a history of what happened in the wreck. Also, visit businesses near the crash scene and find out whether any surveillance cameras captured how the accident happened.
Use expert witnesses when necessary to prove that you were the victim of carelessness or negligence. Most modern cars and trucks record electronic data from a vehicle’s operation. The onboard data module may have recorded whether how fast a driver was going, the RPM of the car and whether a driver steered or hit his or her brakes just before the accident. If you are trying to prove whether an at-fault driver stopped or drove through a stop-sign, electronic data can be the difference between winning and losing.
Why are side-impact collisions more likely to cause such serious injuries compared to other accidents?
Side-impact collisions typically at intersections where one driver runs a stop sign or traffic light. This can cause cars to form a T-shape when they collide. Hence, these are often called “T-bone collisions.” The traffic ticket issued is usually for failure to yield the right of way, but there can be other citations given.
T-bone accidents often result in more severe injuries than other types of collisions. NHTSA statistics place side impact collisions near the top of the most serious accidents that happen each year. But, why is this?
Side impacts are generally more serious because the driver or passengers are often hit on the door. Drivers and passengers are much less protected in these kinds of accidents. There is much less crumple protection for a car’s occupants in a side-impact compared to a front or rear end impact. This means the forces and energy from the crash are transferred to the driver and passenger. In some accidents, the car flips-over or rolls-over. Drivers and passengers become more seriously injured because the violent change of direction whips the body around inside the car. Airbags and seat belts may be as effective in these crashes due to the dramatic forces coming from the side.
Injuries are usually worse for drivers and passengers seated on the side nearest the impact. The National Institute of Health finds that rear-seat occupants on the same side of a crash impact are more likely to be severely or fatally injured than passengers on the opposite side.
In the most severe and serious T-Bone crashes, it may be wise to have the car examined for crash-worthiness or failure of critical systems such as door-latches, seat-belts, and seat-backs, to determine whether failure may have made your injuries worse.
In an Australian study, one of the few to specifically focus on side-impact crashes, scientists looked at the types of injuries that occur in side-impact collisions. Among all injuries to drivers in side-impact accidents, the most frequently reported injuries were to the head (70 percent), abdomen and pelvis (70 percent) and upper extremities (67 percent). Notably, the study’s authors said there were practically no severe injuries to the face, lower limbs or neck among rear-seat passengers in side-impact accidents.
Head injuries and brain trauma can cause permanent damage that can never be undone. Traumatic Brain Injury, TBI, can change lives for the worse making even the most basic daily tasks feel impossible and previously healthy relationships wither and die.
In spite of their life-altering nature, head injuries and their consequences can be difficult to prove because they are not visible to the naked eyes of others. Without specialized and very expensive care and treatment, these injuries can be devastating.
Abdominal and pelvic trauma are far more life-threatening injuries than a simple broken arm or even severe lacerations. These internal injuries are not instantly obvious and can be difficult to diagnose. Internal bleeding and organ trauma are extremely dangerous. They often require surgical intervention and cause permanent organ damage or death.
The medical bills from my side-impact collision are huge – what can I do to get them paid?
Serious injuries will generally result in large medical bills that you may be worried about paying. Or, if you do not have health insurance, you may be concerned about how to get the current and future medical care you need.
If you do have health insurance, use it to pay for your treatment after your car accident. You will be reimbursed for your medical bills when your case settles or a judgment is paid by the at-fault drivers insurance company. Medical plan health insurance liens can be negotiated at this time, saving you money and allowing you to keep more of your injury settlement.
If you do not have health insurance, you may be able to treat with a doctor or other medical provider or clinic on a lien. Most personal injury attorneys have a list of doctors and therapy clinics near you that accept accident patients on a lien basis. A medical lien simply means you pay for the medical care you received at the end of your case, from your settlement.
Will I need a lawyer who specializes in this kind of wreck?
Even if fault seems clear, the insurance company may find ways to place some or all of the blame on you. Or, if the adjuster is not arguing that you were guilty of contributory negligence, he or she will almost certainly argue you were not hurt “badly” or that your injuries were pre-existing. This is standard practice in the insurance defense industry, where their goal is to pay you as little as possible.
Based on our knowledge of this kind of accident claim, we believe that your best chance of winning a side-impact collision claim is to retain a personal injury lawyer who has been highly successful in serious side-impact cases.
The Millar Law firm are specialists. That means we do only personal injury claims – all day, every day. We provide FREE same-day consultations by telephone or in person. Our Atlanta car accident offices are conveniently located just off I-75 and 85, in Midtown Atlanta, 1201 Peachtree Street, Atlanta, Ga. 30309. In South Atlanta our car accident attorneys are located at 151 N. Main Street, Jonesboro, GA.
This focus allows us to concentrate on getting everything you need in your settlement. We are proud of our expertise and are confident that it will give you the winning edge in your claim.
When a legal team spends enough time focused on collisions, they are better prepared to understand and later explain the situation to a jury. The scientific principles at work in an accident of any kind can be difficult to understand and even more difficult to explain.
An excellent attorney must be not just a lawyer, but also be a scientist and a physics professor. When it comes to the sheer forces of nature – gravity, inertia and the other laws of physics that come into play during a car accident, your legal team must know how to explain the science to a jury made up of regular folks like you and me. Not everybody stayed awake during fifth period science in high school. Some of us need extra help to fully understand how the law of gravity leads to the serious injuries that happen in a car crash. When the picture of your accident is crystal clear, and your injuries are fully understood by the jury, those individuals will be far more sympathetic to your plight.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a side-impact car crash, let us help. At the Millar Law Firm. Call us now at 770-400-0000 or fill out our online contact form for a free evaluation of your case and get the answers you need. please review our case results and client testimonials – then contact us today.