Being involved in a car crash, especially a side-impact collision can be a traumatizing event. In some cases, it can take as long as a year for the client to recover from the accident entirely. Fortunately, you do not have to undergo the financial burden of the accident on your own if you file for compensation from the other party.
The injury and accident attorneys at the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm will help you understand your rights and explore your options in terms of the settlement. We offer free consultations so you can learn more about how we can help. To speak with an attorney today, call the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm, at (833) 254-2923.
A side-impact collision happens when another car turns in front of you, or you make a left turn and hit another car or truck. The drivers often don’t see it coming because they didn’t expect the other vehicle to be there. In a typical front-end collision, both cars stop. But in a side-impact accident, the cars keep going and may cause a rollover accident if both vehicles careen off course.
Side-impact collisions are hazardous, perhaps even more so than head-on collisions. In a head-on collision, you have a greater chance of seeing the other vehicle coming, so it gives you a bit more time to react and move out of the way. In a side-impact, one vehicle can run into the side of another car at a reasonably high speed, potentially sending that car into a violent spin.
The lower section of the vehicle, which typically comprises doors and windows, is where most injuries occur. This is because these areas lack the strength of the areas located at the front and rear of vehicles.
Types of Side Impact Collisions
Sideswipes and broadside collisions are two main categories of side-impact collisions. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines a sideswipe collision as a head-on or near-head-on collision where the opposing vehicles sustain contact with each other only along a single side.
In a broadside collision, two cars collide when approaching one another from opposite directions so that their respective CBAs make a nearly 180-degree angle. The vehicles’ fronts often bump or scrape against each other in these collisions. Once the car is struck, it will spin and will likely turn over on its side or roof, leading to severe injuries for those inside of the vehicle.
Side Impact Collisions can be prevented by paying attention to your surroundings, not making abrupt lane changes, remaining aware of your lane position at all times, properly merging into or out of traffic, staying alert, and being safe behind the wheel.
Causes of Side Impact Accidents
As with any collision, multiple causes lead to these types of accidents.
While drunk drivers and aggressive drivers are dangerous on their own, these can be made worse when paired together in side-impact car accidents. Drugs and alcohol alter motorists’ judgment, impair their reflexes, and decrease their ability to concentrate.
Those who are intoxicated are less likely to notice dangerous traffic situations, are unable to make sound judgments, suffer from poor coordination, retain little or no memory of their actions while driving, or react slowly to emergencies that arise while on the road. These effects often increase the risk of being in a car accident with another vehicle, a pedestrian, or your car.
2. Loss of Control
A loss of control can occur for several reasons. The most common reasons are inclement weather, environmental conditions, and an inattentive driver. The vehicles that are hit might have been stationary at the time of the accident, or they could have been in motion, possibly because either the driver or passenger decided to exit the vehicle unexpectedly.
Intersections are the single most common location of side-impact accidents. The intersection is where two roads join, and drivers turn left, turn right, and go straight all cross paths. Intersections can be especially dangerous if you yield incorrectly or try to beat another vehicle through an intersection.
When drivers are cutting it too close getting through intersections, they are crossing paths with oncoming cars, which is the number one way to get into a side-impact accident. While peripheral vision may not be as honed at intersections, drivers should be focused and prepared to stop when entering an intersection.
4. Lane Changing
Changing lanes is a fairly common practice, especially when negotiating traffic. Sometimes you may slide into the other lane without even realizing it because your attention was on something else. Other times, you may choose to change lanes simply for the sake of convenience. In either case, you should always check your blind spots before changing lanes to ensure that it’s safe to do so.
This is only a partial list of factors involved in side-impact collisions. If you were hurt or lost a loved one in one of these accidents, it’s essential to talk to an attorney about your rights and options.
Effects of Side Impact Car Accidents
Most side-impact accidents result from elements that are beyond the driver’s control. Cars brushed by another car may unexpectedly slam into the second vehicle to create injury-causing collisions. In many cases, even your car’s side airbags cannot provide enough protection from the impact.
When a vehicle is hit on its side, the occupant can be thrown against the car’s interior, striking their head on the window. The window glass also has little to no give, making it very hard. The windshield may remain intact, but occupants are still at significant risk of severe head injuries because there is little protection in the side-impact collision.
Unlike a head-on collision, where the front bumper provides space between the fronts of the vehicles, there is no protection for your body in a side-impact collision. Side impacts cause severe damage due to the target vehicle’s interaction with other cars on the roadway, pedestrians, fixed obstacles on the streets, and other vehicles on the highways. Moreover, side-impact accidents also lead to significantly higher fatality rates than frontal and rear accidents.
Injuries Caused in Side-Impact Accidents
Side-impact collisions can cause a wide array of injuries depending on how hard you were hit and how you were positioned when the crash occurred. Side-impact collisions usually produce the following types of injuries:
- Burns: Airbags are designed to decrease the risk of injury during a side-impact collision by deploying in addition to any worn seatbelts. While side airbags can help reduce the risk of moderate burn injuries, they can cause minor abrasions on exposed skin when activated.
- Head injuries: These are among the most severe and prevalent types of injuries caused by side-impact collisions. Depending on the severity of the damage, a person can experience drastic changes in cognitive functioning or even lose consciousness. This could be because the brain has been injured, causing cognitive problems such as memory loss, dizziness, paralysis, seizures, and ringing in the ears.
- Bruises: Bruises are an unfortunate side effect of most side-impact collisions. In a car accident, your body will go with the movement of the vehicle naturally. Your brain might have difficulty deciphering what’s going on when you’re in a significant collision. As a result, your shoulder, thoracic spine, and neck can get damaged from sudden jolts in a side-impact collision during a car accident. More specifically, airbags and seatbelts can cause bruises to those involved in the crash.
- Whiplash: During a side-impact collision, your body’s forward momentum is abruptly halted by contact with the vehicle. This sudden stop can cause injuries to the head, spine, and torso. Whiplash occurs when the head is thrown back and then forward or twisted from one side to another. This movement of the neck stretches and damages tissues that support it.
If you have been in a side-impact collision, there are some things you want to do after the accident. First, you should get immediate care. Then, contact your auto insurance company for help with identifying your options for available payment plans if your insurance doesn’t cover all of your expenses. You must document the extent of your financial obligation for recovery from this type of injury with receipts, bills, and other documents to prepare for litigation if need be.
How can the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm Help?
Getting injured in a side-impact car collision can put a tremendous financial strain on you and your family. If your medical bills and other expenses are high, you need to know how to deal with these costs appropriately and efficiently. You do not need to go through this challenging time alone; you can reach out to a lawyer who will help you during the entire process. If you’ve been injured in a vehicle collision, we must implore you to contact one of our injury and accident attorneys immediately.
Our experienced team of attorneys will work to recover the money you need to cover medical expenses, property damage, and lost wages. We’ll fight for you and hold negligent parties accountable. For a free consultation with an experienced attorney, call our office at (833) 254-2923 or email [email protected].