Side impact auto accidents, also known as a “t-bone” crash because of the shape the vehicles make at impact, are among the most dangerous types of collisions. They most frequently occur at intersections when a driver either fails to obey traffic signals, fails to yield the right-of-way, or otherwise enters an intersection when it is not safe. Drivers pulling out of parking spots or driveways also routinely cause side impact accidents.
During my 30 plus years as a car accident attorney, I have seen many clients involved in side impact collisions suffer significant brain injuries.
Do Side Impact Accidents Cause More Severe Injuries?
The Annals of Emergency Medicine published research from the University of Rochester revealing the extensive injuries associated with side impact accidents. Researchers reviewed collisions reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration where occupants in a car had been seriously hurt, and this is what they found:
- Approximately 10,000 people are killed annually in side impact collisions in the United States.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are three times higher in side impact collisions, compared with victims who are involved in other types of crashes.
- Brain injuries sustained in side impact accidents are frequently more severe than brain injuries suffered in other types of collisions.
- In 51 to 75 percent of fatal side impact crashes, traumatic brain injury was the cause of the wrongful death.
- Females are at greater risk of suffering a traumatic brain injury in side impact collisions because men generally have more neck strength.
The chances of incurring a TBI in a side impact crash is so substantial, researchers believe doctors should assume there is a brain injury after such a crash, even if there are no obvious signs. As a result, anyone involved in a side impact accident should receive a medical examination to determine if a traumatic brain injury exists.
According to research published by the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine, side impact collisions are also significantly more dangerous to children than other types of crashes. The abbreviated injury scale (AIS) is a coding system used to classify the severity of injuries on a scale of 1 to 9, with higher numbers reflecting more serious damage. A score of two or greater is indicative of moderate injuries.
Researchers found that in 41 percent of side impact collisions, children between the ages of five and nine years old received an injury score of two or greater. That is compared to 15 percent when the same age group was involved in a front impact crash, and three percent if the children were in a rear impact crash.
The effect of the side impact crash on the children in the study was:
- 23 percent of children sustained a clinically significant impact-related injury.
- 39 percent of children sustained an injury to the head.
- 22 percent of children sustained injuries to one or more extremities.
- 17 percent of children sustained an abdominal injury.
After any auto accident, victims should consult a car accident lawyer for help. Victims deserve to be compensated for all their damages.
How Can a Long Beach Car Accident Lawyer Help You?
Your Injuries are Personal to Me
Call the Law Office of Michael D. Waks at 888-394-1174 or use the convenient online contact form to schedule a free consultation to speak with a Long Beach car accident lawyer to learn how I can help you if you’ve been hurt in a side impact accident. You will be under no obligation and you will never pay any money unless you recover compensation for your losses.
You can also download my convenient glove box checklist and keep it in your vehicle so you will be prepared with a checklist for what to do if an accident happens.
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