Detroit Side-Impact Accident Attorneys

Side-impact or “T-bone” collisions are one of the most dangerous types of vehicle accidents, occurring when one vehicle hits the side of another at a roughly 90-degree angle, often at a four-way intersection. They are so dangerous because the force from the impact is concentrated around the doors, where there is less structure to protect the vehicle’s occupants. Passengers often sustain serious injuries in side-impact collisions.

Side-impact accidents are usually caused by careless driving (failing to yield at a stop sign, running a red light, driving too fast for conditions, etc.). If you have been injured in a side-impact accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation. A Detroit car accident attorney can help you get the money you deserve for your injuries and inconvenience.

Side-Impact Accident Statistics

Data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) shows that side-impact collisions make up around 25 percent of fatal accidents. In 2019, 5,187 people died in side-impact accidents. The risk of being killed in a T-bone collision is highest for the occupants of cars (27 percent) and lowest for those in pickup trucks (18 percent).

Injuries From Side-impact Accidents

Injuries from side-impact accidents tend to be severe because of the structure of motor vehicles and the circumstances under which these accidents often occur. The sides of a car offer the least protection for those inside. While the front and back of the vehicle offer a few feet of material to buffer the passengers from an impact, the sides have only a thin door and window to shield the vehicle’s occupants. Some newer vehicles offer side airbags to help protect passengers, but these are the exception rather than the rule.

Negligent driving contributes to many side-impact accidents. Common causes are speeding, distracted driving, and driving under the influence. Any of these scenarios can create an extremely dangerous impact. 

Drivers and passengers often suffer serious injuries in side-impact accidents, including:

●  Head injuries.

●  Concussions.

●  Traumatic brain injuries.

●  Back injuries like herniated discs.

●  Neck injuries like whiplash.

●  Spinal injuries like a severed spinal cord.

●  Crushing injuries like broken bones and soft tissue damage.

●  Lacerations from broken glass.

●  Contusions, strains, and sprains.

Any of these injuries can lead to permanent disability, lasting pain, or death. A side-impact accident can radically alter the lives of everyone involved and their families. The person who caused the accident should be held accountable for the victims’ physical injuries and other damages. 

Damages for Side-impact Accidents

When you are hurt in a side-impact accident, you may be able to recover compensation for your damages. There are two general types of damages available to car accident victims: economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages include:

●  Medical bills.

●  Projected cost of future care.

●  Loss of wages and benefits.

●  Lost earning capacity in the future.

●  Property damage.

Non-economic damages include:

●  Physical pain and suffering.

●  Mental and emotional anguish.

●  Physical impairment.

●  Disfigurement.

●  Permanent disability.

●  Loss of consortium (the relationship between spouses).

Economic damages have a clear dollar value, making them easy to calculate. Non-economic damages are for losses that may not have a discernable monetary cost, which makes calculating them much more subjective. Recovering both types of damages is crucial to getting the compensation you deserve from the person or party responsible for your accident. A Detroit side-impact car accident lawyer can help determine the total fair value of your case.

Who Is Liable?

Someone is legally at fault for a traffic accident if 1) their actions breached the duty of care to others that every driver bears and 2) those actions resulted in harm to the victim. It can take some investigation to determine whether a driver’s actions establish liability for damages. Witness testimony, physical evidence from the scene (like skid marks, sobriety tests, and vehicle damage), and expert analysis can help reconstruct what happened and why. 

After an accident, an adjuster representing the other driver’s insurance company might contact you. They will ask questions about the accident that may seem standard or insignificant, but it is important to remember they represent the best interests of their employer and want to minimize their policy payout. Anything you say to an adjuster may impact their determination of liability and affect any settlement offer. It is best to speak with insurance companies with an attorney rather than on your own.  

Contact a Detroit Car Accident Attorney for Help

If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a side-impact collision, you need experienced legal representation. You may be able to recover compensation for your damages, but there is a time limit on pursuing legal action against the negligent party. The car accident attorneys of Sommers Schwartz can help you recover from a side-impact car crash by getting you the compensation you deserve. 

To speak with a Sommers Schwartz attorney about your rights after an accident, call (800) 783-0989 for a free consultation.

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