While all vehicles have seatbelts, which according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provide safety to passengers, they offer less protection in side impact collisions. Additionally, beams inside the doors also often help protect passengers inside the vehicle in the event of an accident. Unfortunately, many times airbags fail to deploy or a larger vehicle collides with a smaller vehicle rendering the protective beams ineffective.
Additionally, in some cases, a seat belt may not offer a great deal of protection as it is typically intended to provide safety by securing passengers from front-back movements instead of side or lateral impacts. Side impact collisions can cause serious injuries or even fatalities.
If you suffered any injuries or losses as a result of a side impact collision, consider visiting with our legal team today in order to better understand how a Pittsburgh side impact collisions lawyer at Ben Crump Law, PLLC at (800) 598-7557 can help you with your next steps.
Seatbelts, Airbags and Side Impact Collisions
As previously stated, airbags and seatbelts often fail to completely protect passengers when they experience a side impact collision, such as a T-boning or sideswiping accident.
In fact, in a side impact collision, victims can suffer injuries along the different points of impact with the actual seatbelt, including abdominal, pelvic, and spinal cord injuries as well as traumatic brain injuries. These injuries can lead to internal bleeding, internal organ damage, lacerations, bruising, broken or fractured bones, nerve damage, or even death.
For a free legal consultation with a side impact collisions lawyer serving Pittsburgh, call (800) 598-7557
Elderly Persons and Children Involved in Side Impact Collisions
Elderly persons and children have even more vulnerability when it comes to side impact collisions. Elderly persons have a lower bone density making them more likely to suffer serious or catastrophic injuries in side impact collisions.
Some parents place their children in the back seat of their vehicle, either behind the passenger or the driver seat. If a child in a car seat experiences a side impact collision, they may have serious injuries resulting in paralysis, amputations, life-long medical issues, or even death simply because of their smaller size and weaker bones.
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Examples of Causes of Side Impact Collisions
Every accident will have its own set of unique circumstances leading to the collision. In some cases, a side impact collision could have been completely avoided, as these accidents often result from driver error or negligence. Side impact collisions encompass either “T-boning” accidents (accidents where one driver collides with another vehicle perpendicularly) or sideswiping accidents (accidents where one vehicle collides with the side of another vehicle). As indicated below, most of the examples of causes of side impact collisions are the direct result of negligence, carelessness, or recklessness of the driver.
- Speeding and failing to notice vehicles entering an intersection, roadway, or merging from another lane
- Failure to follow traffic rules and regulations such as the failure to fully stop at red lights or stop signs
- Failing to monitor their surroundings and check blind spots when switching lanes or merging into traffic
- Driving aggressively or with road rage
- Attempting to pass another vehicle without the legal right to do so
- Failing to yield the right-of-way to another driver
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Driving while fatigued or drowsy
- Driving while distracted (texting and driving, eating, smoking, drinking, changing the climate control or radio station, checking a navigational or GPS system, having distractions either inside or outside the vehicle).
- Weather conditions that cause poor visibility or dangerous roadways
- Hazardous or toxic substances on the roadways or dangers such as potholes that cause drivers to swerve into other lanes of traffic
- Animals running out onto the roadways
- Manufacturing defects causing the driver to lose control (steering, braking, tire issues, etc.)
Why Determining the Cause of a Side Impact Collision Matters
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), side impact collisions cause the most catastrophic injuries and fatalities of any kind of accident on the roadways. As a result, making a determination of the cause of the accident can help determine liability and responsibility for the side impact collision.
Once a determination occurs regarding liability, a victim will have a better understanding of which person or entity has a legal responsibility to compensate them for their injuries and losses. In many cases, making a determination regarding the cause of side impact collision may require an independent investigation, the issuance of a spoliation letter to preserve evidence, and hiring expert witnesses to help determine the cause of the accident.
Consider visiting with our legal team today to learn how a Pittsburgh side impact collisions lawyer at Ben Crump Law, PLLC can help you with all of these in order to make a determination regarding which party has the responsibility to compensate you for your economic and non-economic losses.
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Types of Compensation for Victims of Side Impact Collisions
Whether you suffered injuries in a T-bone or sideswiping accident, you may feel overwhelmed handling your medical injuries, emotional trauma, loss of income due to your inability to return to work, property damage, and pain and suffering.
You may have more of a right to receive compensation than you currently realize, however, depending on the facts and circumstances of your particular case. Consider the following types of compensation potentially available to victims of side impact collisions:
- Property Damage. Repair or replacement of the vehicle, as well as any contents inside of the vehicle.
- Medical Costs. Doctor visits, diagnostic testing, emergency room visits, hospitalizations, ambulance transport, prescription and non-prescription medications, surgery, physical therapy, psychological counseling, medical devices, and medical equipment.
- Loss of Income. Lost or missed wages or salary, used vacation or sick leave, missed promotional opportunities, missed bonuses, lost pension contributions or employee benefits.
- Pain and Suffering. The calculations of pain and suffering often prove legally complex and challenging, however, victims often have a right to receive compensation for their pain and suffering.
Consider How a Pittsburgh Side Impact Collisions Lawyer Can Help You
If you struggle with medical bills, negotiating with insurance companies, pain and suffering, the loss of wages and more following your side impact collision, consider visiting with our legal team today in order to understand how a Pittsburgh side impact collisions lawyer at Ben Crump Law, PLLC at (800) 598-7557 can work with you to receive the compensation you deserve.