Side-impact car accidents are some of the most common types of collisions that occur. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
, close to 25 percent of passenger vehicle occupant deaths result from side-impact crashes. These collisions can cause severe injuries and extensive damage, and unfortunately, many of these preventable accidents happen as a result of driver negligence.
If you were injured in an Arkansas side-impact car accident, you could be entitled to compensation for your losses. The skilled attorneys of the Pfeifer Law Firm have years of experience working with injured victims to hold negligent drivers accountable. We know what it takes to establish a solid claim and recover the compensation you need.
today for a free consultation to learn more about the ways our team can help you recover from a side-impact car crash.
What Is a Side-Impact Accident?
A side-impact accident is any traffic collision that involves one vehicle striking the side of another vehicle. Side-impact collisions can be categorized into two main types:
- Sideswipe accidents - In a sideswipe collision, the side of one vehicle strikes the side of another vehicle as they travel side by side. Sideswipe accidents often occur when drivers fail to check their surroundings before merging. Many sideswipe crashes occur at relatively low speeds with minimal damage, but in some cases, sideswiping can cause a vehicle to lose control, spin out, or collide with other vehicles nearby.
- T-bone accidents - Also referred to as “broadside” accidents, T-bone crashes involve the front end of one vehicle colliding with the side of another vehicle. This type of side-impact collision can be incredibly dangerous, especially to occupants of the car that is struck from the side. Many T-bone accidents occur as a result of driver distraction or failure to yield the right-of-way at intersections.
Why Are Side-Impact Accidents So Dangerous?
A minor brush against the side of another vehicle in a sideswipe collision may not cause significant damage or injury. However, depending on the nature and speed of impact, side-impact accidents can be extremely dangerous.
The most prominent dangers associated with side-impact accidents include:
- Lack of protection from the force of side impact collisions - The front and rear ends of a vehicle offer much more protection from the forces of a sudden impact. Because the sides of a vehicle are less protected, the passenger or driver sitting on the side of impact are at risk of suffering severe injuries, even if the crash occurs at a slower speed.
- Increased likelihood of being pinned or crushed - When the side or front end of one car strikes the side of another, any vehicle occupants on the side that gets hit are more likely to be crushed or pinned down by the oncoming vehicle. Crushing injuries are some of the most severe types of car accident trauma, frequently resulting in broken bones and amputations.
- Older vehicles may lack side airbags or advanced safety features - While most modern automobiles have side airbags installed as standard features, older models often lack these life-saving innovations. As a result, occupants of older cars can be at significantly higher risk of serious injury in side-impact crashes.
How Do Side-Impact Accidents Occur?
Some of the most common scenarios that lead to side-impact accidents include:
- Drivers running red lights or stop signs and colliding with vehicles traveling crosswise at intersections
- Distracted drivers failing to pay attention and striking other vehicles at intersections or merge points
- Drivers failing to yield the proper right-of-way at intersections or merge points
- Drunk or drugged drivers who make poor driving decisions or fail to recognize the proper right-of-way
- Drivers who make negligent left- or right-hand turns at intersections
- Malfunctioning traffic signals that mislead drivers and cause collisions
Common Injuries Suffered in Side-Impact Collisions
Depending on the safety features that a car comes equipped with, the types of injuries that result from a side-impact accident can vary widely. However, victims of side-impact collisions frequently suffer the following kinds of serious injuries:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) - Severe brain injuries that result from violent blows, bumps, or penetrating wounds to the head or skull
- Concussions - A form of TBI that can lead to loss of consciousness and, in some severe cases, permanent brain damage
- Whiplash - A common kind of neck injury caused by a force of impact that moves the neck in a back-and-forth, whiplike motion
- Spinal cord injuries - Injuries that involve damage to the spinal cord, which is responsible for things like sensation and muscle control
- Broken bones - Complete or partial fractures to fragile bones in the body
- Burns - Damage to skin or soft tissue caused by heat, friction, or chemicals
- Amputation - The complete loss of body parts such as arms, fingers, or toes
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) - A serious type of anxiety disorder caused by exposure to disturbing or violent trauma, such as a car crash
Compensation for Side-Impact Collisions
The types and amount of compensation you could receive will depend on the extent and severity of the injuries or property damage you suffered. An attorney can help you establish an estimate of the compensation you could secure by considering the following types of accident-related losses:
- Past and current medical bills and related expenses
- Potential costs of any future medical treatment you will likely need
- Repair or replacement costs for damaged personal property
- Lost wages and other income from missed time at work
- Lost future earning potential, if you suffer long-term disability
- Permanent physical disability, disfigurement, or psychological impairment
- Pain and suffering, emotional distress, and mental anguish
Contact a Side-Impact Car Accident Attorney Today
At the Pfeifer Law Firm, we’re committed to making sure at-fault drivers are held responsible for the harm they cause. We understand the many challenges injured victims face in the aftermath of an accident. We are committed to transparent, one-on-one communication to ensure we can meet your needs at every stage of the accident claim process.
today to discuss the details of your claim in a free case review and learn more about what Pfeifer Law Firm can do for you.