A side-impact collision, sometimes referred to as a broadside or a “T-bone,” occurs when a vehicle is struck on the side. Even if the car is hit directly on the side, any angle other than the impact from the front or rear is considered to be a side-impact collision.
Sadly, side-impact collisions in Birmingham, AL, have resulted in many severe and catastrophic injuries. In addition to the damage done during the initial collision, the force of the impact may cause the vehicle to spin out of control or be pushed into oncoming traffic.
Have you or someone you love been injured or killed in a side-impact collision? If so, the car accident attorneys at Norris Injury Lawyers are here to help. We can inform you of your legal rights and help determine whether you have a valid claim for compensation.
Schedule a free review of your case today. Call us 24/7 at (800) 477-7510, fill out the online evaluation form, or start a live chat with a representative to get started.
Why Are Side-Impact Collisions So Dangerous?
While all types of car accidents can cause injuries, T-bone collisions are dangerous because of the nature of their impact by comparison. In a rear-end collision, there is usually trunk space between the vehicle and any passengers. In a frontal accident, you have the hood of the car as a buffer.
However, in a side-impact collision, there is no hood or trunk to absorb part of the blow. The full force and momentum of the impact go into the side windows and doors. This means in T-bone accidents the passengers have little in the way of protection and often take the brunt of the impact.
What Causes Birmingham, AL Side-Impact Collisions?
Side-impact collisions most frequently occur at intersections and are usually the result of driver error.
The following driver actions and behaviors are common causes of side-impact collisions:
- Speeding: Driving over the posted speed limit is one of the leading causes of all car accidents. T-bone collisions that occur at high speeds often result in severe injuries or fatalities.
- Failure to yield: Most side-impact collisions involve a driver failing to yield the right-of-way. Drivers should always yield to oncoming traffic when making a turn, when they are merging onto the highway, at a four-way stop, and in other driving situations.
- Distracted driving: Many broadside accidents occur because a driver was looking down at an electronic device instead of at the road ahead. Drivers who allow texting, talking to passengers, eating and drinking, or other tasks to distract them are a danger to everyone in their vicinity.
- Driving under the influence: In Alabama, it is against the law to drive with a blood alcohol (BAC) level of .08 or greater. The risk of side-impact collisions and all other types of car accidents is greater when a driver is intoxicated.
- Running a red light: A driver who intentionally or unintentionally goes through a red light can crash into a vehicle with the right-of-way that was passing through the intersection.
- Changing lanes: Side-impacts often happen when a person is changing lanes. If drivers do not check their blind spots before switching lanes, they could collide with the vehicle adjacent to them.
Side-Impact Collisions in Birmingham, AL Cause Catastrophic Injuries
Occupants of side-impact collisions are less protected by seatbelts and airbags than victims of front or rear-end collisions. The impact of a broadside accident can cause a person’s body to be violently jerked in a sideways direction or be thrown against the vehicle’s interior, causing serious injury.
The type and severity of the injury can vary greatly depending on the size of the vehicle, the speed at which it was traveling, and other factors.
Injuries reported in side-impact collisions commonly include:
- Bruises and burns: Side-impact airbags can cause burns and abrasions when they touch a person’s skin
- Lacerations: Jagged steel and broken glass can cause deep cuts that may require stitches, and result in scarring and disfigurement
- Neck and back injuries: The force of the crash can affect the neck and back, causing strains, sprains, or breaks
- Chest and abdominal injuries: The impact from a broadside collision can result in broken ribs or damage to a person’s lungs, heart, kidneys, or other internal organs
- Head injuries: A blow or jolt to the head from a car accident can leave a victim with a fractured skull, traumatic brain injury (TBI), or another head injury
- Spinal cord injuries: Damage to the spinal cord is a devastating type of injury that can leave a person partially or completely paralyzed
- Psychological injuries: The trauma and physical injuries from a severe car accident can leave a person coping with anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other mental health disorders
These are just some of the many injuries that someone may sustain in a side-impact accident. At times, the accident may be so severe it results in a fatality. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a car accident in Birmingham, AL, contact Norris Injury Lawyers to find out about your right to compensation.
Why Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer After Your Birmingham Side-Impact Collision?
After being involved in a car accident, you may be deciding whether to file a claim on your own or hire a side-impact collision attorney. Some types of auto-accident cases may not require the help of a lawyer.
For example, if you were involved in a minor fender-bender and did not sustain any serious injuries, you probably do not need legal representation to handle a property damage claim.
On the other hand, if you were in a severe side-impact accident that has significantly harmed you and led to substantial medical expenses, it is recommended to speak to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Consider the following ways a lawyer can assist you after a motor vehicle accident:
- Provide a free case consultation: Our law firm understands car accident victims may not have the funds available to pay a lawyer immediately after being injured. You are already dealing with medical bills and are unable to work. For this reason, we offer free, no-obligation case evaluations.
- Investigate your accident: After taking on your case, our legal team will launch a complete investigation into your accident. This may involve speaking to witnesses, obtaining copies of police reports, gathering video and photo evidence, hiring accident reconstructionists, and more.
- Identify all liable parties: We can identify all potential sources of compensation. In some situations, more than one party may be held responsible for your injuries. For example, if you were T-boned by a commercial truck, the truck driver, trucking company, and truck manufacturer all could be liable for damages.
- Determine the value of your claim: Insurance companies are notorious for offering accident victims quick settlements that are far less than what a claim is actually worth. Your lawyer will gather documents relating to your medical bills, lost wages, and property damage, and more accurately calculate your claim’s worth.
- Handle all settlement negotiations: Our lawyers are familiar with all of the tactics that insurance companies use to reduce, delay, and deny claims. We can negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company and the at-fault party on your behalf.
- Take your case to trial, if necessary: The majority of car accident cases are settled out of court. However, if a fair settlement cannot be reached during negotiations, our powerful team of lawyers is prepared to take your case to trial.
Why Contact a Lawyer Immediately Following a Birmingham, AL Side-Impact Collision
At Norris Injury Lawyers, our compassionate attorneys understand that injured victims have a lot to deal with following an accident. You may be coping with physical pain, determining when you can return to work, and worrying about how you are going to cover your medical expenses.
Even during these challenging circumstances, it is important to speak to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after being involved in a side-impact collision.
Consider the following reasons why you should not delay speaking to an attorney:
- Evidence may be lost or destroyed: Evidence is usually easier to find immediately following an accident. Some physical evidence, such as vehicle parts at the accident scene, may be cleaned up. Tire markings may naturally wear away and photos and video surveillance may be deleted.
- Witnesses’ memories fade: Eyewitness testimony often provides valuable evidence in personal injury claims. However, a witness’ memory may fade over time. He or she may be unable to remember important details, such as whether the driver was distracted or failed to yield.
- Statute of limitations: Car accident victims in Alabama have 2 years from the date of injury to file a claim. This may seem like a long time, but it is best to get your claim started as soon as possible. Lawyers have to collect evidence, gather documentation, file all necessary paperwork, and more.
- Document your damages: When filing a car accident claim, you are in hopes of receiving compensation for all your damages and expenses. If these losses are not properly documented, you may unnecessarily end up paying for some costs out-of-pocket. Your attorney will keep track of things such as the cost of a rental car or medical devices, and he or she can ensure these expenses are included in your payout.
- Communicate with the insurance company: You may be surprised how quickly you hear from the other party’s insurance company after the accident. The adjuster may try to trick you into saying something that hurts your case or pressure you into accepting a fast and low settlement. Your side-impact collision lawyer will handle all communication with the insurance company and ensure you receive fair compensation.
Recovering Compensation Following a Birmingham, AL Side-Impact Collision
An experienced car accident lawyer will be able to identify what compensation is available to you following a side-impact collision. The amount and types of damages you are eligible to recover will vary depending on the extent of your injuries, who is liable, and other factors.
Damages awarded in Alabama car accident claims commonly include compensation for:
- Medical expenses: All past and future medical expenses should be compensable. This could include reimbursement for ambulance rides, hospital stays, surgeries, prescriptions, doctor’s visits, and more.
- Lost wages: Victims of side-impact accidents may be left unable to work for weeks or even months following the crash. A personal injury lawyer will calculate the income you lost because of the accident.
- Reduced earning capacity: Injuries sustained in a car accident may be so severe that a person is unable to ever return to his or her previous line of work. If forced to take a job at a lower wage, the difference in his or her lost income will be calculated and included in the claim.
- Property damage: If your vehicle was damaged in the collision, the cost to repair or replace it will be included in the claim. In addition, if you had a laptop, phone, sunglasses, or other items destroyed in the accident, these are compensable.
- Pain and suffering: Injuries sustained in a broadside collision can cause physical and emotional harm. Alabama allows victims to file a claim for the pain and suffering they have endured as a result of the accident.
Schedule a Free Consultation Today
If you are considering taking legal action for injuries sustained in a Birmingham side-impact collision, contact Norris Injury Lawyers today. You should not have to pay the price for someone else’s negligence. Our legal team would be happy to review your case and answer any questions you have.
Our law firm has proudly represented car accident victims in Alabama for over 40 years, and we know what is needed to recover maximum compensation for our clients. Let us put our knowledge and experience to work for you.
Our personal injury attorneys take all car accident cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that we will not charge you any upfront costs, and you pay nothing out of pocket. Our No Fee Guarantee® means you owe us nothing unless you are awarded a settlement.
We offer all potential clients a free case review. Schedule yours today by calling us at (800) 477-7510, starting a live chat, or filling out a contact form.