A Side-Impact Collision: What You Need To Know

Side-Impact Collision Attorneys in Houston

As Houston side-impact collision attorneys, we understand how dangerous the streets of this city are. Across the Greater Houston Area, many different types of motor vehicle accidents occur each year. From rear-end accidents to sideswipes, nothing is quite as dangerous as a T-bone collision. 

These side collisions have the potential to cause extensive damage and injuries. When you suffer from a side collision due to another’s negligence, you have legal options to help you recover. Schedule a free case evaluation with our personal injury attorneys today. 

What Is a Side-Impact Collision?

Also called a broadside collision, a side-impact car accident involves the side of a vehicle colliding with the front end or rear of another vehicle. Oftentimes, you hear people refer to these car wrecks as “T-bone collisions” because the positioning of the two vehicles forms a T. 

In typical front-end and rear-end auto accidents, the driver has a great deal of material to absorb and disperse the impact. With the hood and engine in the front or the trunk and seats in the rear, drivers in these wrecks often take less damage compared to a side collision. 

As Houston side-impact collision attorneys, we realize the true danger of motor vehicle accidents. A side-impact collision has the highest potential for life-threatening injuries because these accidents occur where drivers and passengers have the least protection. Moreover, these wrecks tend to involve intrusion into the same space that someone occupies. 

The Severity of a Side Collision

The fact that occupants have so little protection in a T-bone accident means that life-threatening injuries are far more common in these car wrecks. Oftentimes, fatalities in a side-impact crash sem from severe injuries to the head and brain. 

This level of danger, of course, involves the strength of the impact. However, the difference in the size of the two vehicles also plays a role. For instance, the height difference between an SUV and a coupe is quite significant. In a side collision, the bumper of the SUV has the potential to sit at the height of the other driver’s head. In such an auto accident, there’s almost no way to protect the head and brain from potentially traumatic or even fatal injury. 

Some estimate that about 25% of all car accidents involve a side-impact collision. Among these collisions, around 27% involved occupant death. Due to the severe nature of these accidents, auto manufacturers began to develop side-impact airbags (SABs) in the late 80s and early 90s. Drivers lucky enough to have this feature gain some protection that decreases fatalities in these accidents by as much as 45%. 

Common Causes of Side-Impact Collisions

Typically, a side-impact collision occurs as the result of one party failing to yield or obey traffic signals. The majority of these accidents boil down to a failure to yield. Most often, one driver at an intersection fails to yield to another driver as they enter the intersection or make a turn. 

Additionally, side collisions happen when someone ignores a stop sign or tries to speed through a changing light. No matter the cause, this negligence causes a great deal of harm. 

Our Houston side-impact collision attorneys see numerous factors that lead to motor vehicle accidents. While the causes vary, it’s important to remember that when you sustain an injury due to another’s negligence, you have rights. When you need to hold the liable accountable, count on the attorneys at AP Law Group to fight for your future. 

Common Side-Impact Injuries

Generally, passenger occupants face an increased risk of injury in T-bone crashes simply due to how manufacturers design vehicles. Motor vehicles have a small amount of space and material to absorb the force of another vehicle and shield occupants. 

While some vehicles now have SABs, not all do. This lack of protection on the side of a car often results in severe injuries to drivers and passengers. 

  • Back and neck injuries 
  • Bone fractures and breaks 
  • Brain injuries 
  • Burns
  • Head injuries 
  • Lacerations
  • Partial paralysis or complete paralysis 
  • Spinal cord injuries 
  • Whiplash 
  • Wrongful death

Often, the person sitting at the point of impact sustains far more severe injuries as they take on the brunt of the force. In some cases, vehicles travel at high speeds during a side-impact collision, causing a rollover or spin out. Such accidents often involve multiple vehicles. 

How Houston Side-Impact Collision Attorneys Determine Liability

Oftentimes, liability is clear when it comes to T-bone collisions. Generally, these accidents occur when one driver speeds through an intersection without yielding the right of way to another vehicle. When such negligence occurs, fault and liability are easy to determine. 

However, there are certain cases where both drivers share fault in a side collision. For instance, consider the following. 

Driver A moves through a green light. Technically speaking, the driver has the responsibility to make sure it’s safe by looking both ways as they proceed through the intersection. Clearly, the other driver is at fault when the breeze through a red light. 

However, in some cases, Driver A “should have seen the other driver coming” and stopped sooner. While this doesn’t always come into play, it’s important to recognize the responsibility of each driver. This impacts the side-impact collision settlement our attorneys negotiate. 

Modified Comparative Fault in Texas

In such scenarios, the insurance company and courts look at an array of factors as they determine fault. 

  • Speed 
  • Other traffic 
  • Visibility
  • Other surrounding circumstances

Whether or how much a victim recovers in a personal injury lawsuit depends, at times, on whether your state is a fault or no-fault state. Texas is an at-fault or tort state. With this legal framework, the person who causes the side-impact accident is responsible for the person’s damages. 

However, Texas also applies modified comparative fault as a rule when the two parties share the blame. This means that you still have the option to pursue damages. However, the amount of fault you share reduces the settlement. 

To learn more about the liability in your case, schedule a free case evaluation with our Houston side-impact collision attorneys. Our team listens to your story and investigates your claim to calculate the potential settlement available to you. 

Side-Impact Collision FAQ

How dangerous is a side-impact collision?

When a side-impact car accident occurs, one vehicle hits the side of another motor vehicle. Due to the devastating damage to the vehicle, many of these collisions result in severe injuries or even fatalities. 

Per a report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), side-impact accidents caused about 23% of all car accident fatalities across the United States in 2018. Due to the nature of these accidents, larger vehicles have the potential to crush the passenger or driver. This leads to broken bones, internal bleeding, and even wrongful death. 

What is the statute of limitations for T-bone collision claims?

In Texas, the statute of limitations for a personal injury lawsuit is two years from the date of the accident. This follows Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003. While this seems like a lot of time, motor vehicle accident investigations often become complex and time-consuming. 

This is especially true when the other driver denies their role, responsibility, or liability. The sooner you reach out to our Houston side-impact collision attorneys, the more quickly we begin our investigation. 

Oftentimes, people wait because they believe they can’t afford an attorney. However, we work on a contingency fee basis. This means you pay nothing until we win your settlement! 

At AP Law Group, our auto accident attorneys understand the stress of mounting medical costs. When you struggle to pay your bills, we don’t expect you to pay us upfront. We are your advocates against the insurance companies who want to reduce your claim and pay as little as possible. 

Together, we fight for your future and seek the compensation you deserve. Schedule your free consultation today to see what our team can do for you. 

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