The Dangers of a T-Bone Accident in South Carolina

The Dangers of a T-Bone Accident in South Carolina
two cars involved in a t-bone accident

A T-Bone Accident Can Cause Traumatic Injuries

The dangers of a T-bone accident cannot be overstated. A T-bone collision occurs when the front of one vehicle strikes the side of another vehicle, forming a "T" shape at the point of impact. Also known as side impact collisions or broadside collisions, T-bone accidents are especially dangerous because the front end of most motor vehicles contain the highest areas of reinforcement. Since most t bone crashes involve the front of vehicle striking the side of another vehicle where reinforcement may not be as robust, the driver and passengers of the struck vehicle can sustain catastrophic injuries. 

During a T-bone accident, the human body moves in ways that are not normal. When a car strikes another vehicle on its side, the occupants can suffer serious injuries even if they're not sitting near the point of impact. Also, the speed at which the striking vehicle collides with the other car tend to be higher, which amplifies the impact and trauma to those inside. 

If another driver caused a side impact collision in South Carolina that hurt you or someone you love, you may qualify to obtain compensation from the at-fault driver. However, the claims process is complex and difficult to successfully navigate without the help of a personal injury lawyer. Reach out to a car accident attorney near you for a free consultation on how you can recover compensation. A lawyer can protect your legal rights and help you seek compensation to pay for your medical bills, lost income, and other damages.

T-Bone Accidents Can Result in Fatal Injuries

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, broadside collisions accounted for the second-highest number of fatalities in a traffic accident in a recent year, following head-on crashes.

In South Carolina, T-bone accidents killed more than 1,100 people in 2021, an increase of more than 15% from the year before. Accident statistics also report that more than 37,000 people suffered injuries in T-bone collisions during that same time, a 9% increase from the previous year.

What Are Common Causes of T-Bone Accidents in South Carolina?

A T-bone car accident can result from a number of causes, including:

  • Running a red light or stop sign: When a driver fails to stop at a red light or stop sign, they may collide with a vehicle crossing the intersection.
  • Failure to yield the right-of-way: T-bone accidents often occur when a driver fails to yield to oncoming traffic while making a left turn or entering a roadway.
  • Distracted driving: Drivers who are distracted by their cell phones, passengers, or other activities may fail to notice traffic signals or other vehicles, leading to side-impact collisions.
  • Impaired driving: Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medication can impair a driver's judgment and reaction time, increasing the risk of T-bone accidents.
  • Speeding: Excessive speed reduces a driver's ability to control their vehicle and avoid collisions, particularly at intersections.
  • Poor visibility: Inclement weather, obstructed views, or inadequate lighting can make it difficult for drivers to see other vehicles, leading to T-bone crashes.
  • Vehicle malfunctions: Brake failures, tire blowouts, or other mechanical issues can cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle and collide with another car.
  • Reckless driving: Aggressive or reckless behaviors, such as sudden lane changes or improper passing, can result in side-impact accidents.

As mentioned, T-bone collisions can be particularly dangerous because the side of a vehicle offers less protection to occupants compared to the front or rear. It is crucial for drivers to remain alert, follow traffic laws, and practice defensive driving to minimize the risk of these accidents. No matter how careful you are, though, you can't control the actions of other drivers. Contact an attorney to discuss your options for seeking compensation if a negligent driver caused a side impact collision that hurt you or a close family member.

What Types of Injuries Commonly Occur in a T-Bone Accident?

T-bone accidents can cause a range of injuries, some of which may be life threatening. Some of the most common injuries people experience in a T-bone accident include:

Neck Injuries

Whiplash is one of the most frequent injuries in T-bone collisions. The sudden sideways impact causes the head and neck to jerk violently, stretching and tearing muscles and ligaments. Symptoms include neck pain and stiffness, headaches, dizziness, and pain radiating to the shoulders and arms. Whiplash can cause chronic pain. More severe neck injuries like cervical spine fractures or disc herniations are also possible.

Spinal Cord Injuries

The extreme forces in a T-bone crash can fracture, dislocate or compress vertebrae, potentially damaging the spinal cord. Spinal injuries may result in partial or total paralysis below the level of injury, as well as loss of sensation and bodily functions. Victims often require extensive medical treatment and may be permanently disabled.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

The brain can sustain injury due to the head striking objects or from the force of rapid deceleration. Although most modern vehicles contain side airbags, your brain can still suffer damage because of the violent jostling or from your head striking the airbag. A concussion can cause headaches, memory problems, mood changes. A severe traumatic brain injury can result in cognitive impairments, personality changes, physical disabilities. TBIs often have long-lasting effects and may require ongoing care.

Broken Bones

A broadside collision can result in fractures in the ribcage, arms, and wrists due to impact with the car's interior or from the front seat collapsing on rear passengers. Broken ribs are very painful and pose a risk of puncturing lungs. Limb fractures may require surgery to repair.

Leg Fractures or Hip Fractures

The legs and hips absorb significant force. Fractures of the femur, tibia, fibula and hip are common in T-bone accidents, as are foot injuries. Hip fractures are a major concern for older occupants and frequently require surgical repair. Significant disabilities can result.

Shoulder Injuries

The shoulder can be dislocated or fractured from the seatbelt or impact. Rotator cuff tears and labral tears often occur. Shoulder injuries are painful, limit arm function, and often need surgical repair followed by lengthy rehab.

Cuts and Lacerations

Broken glass and twisted metal can lacerate skin, sometimes severely. Facial lacerations are common. Deep cuts may damage underlying muscle, nerves and blood vessels. Scarring and disfigurement can occur.

Psychological Injuries

Many T-bone accident survivors experience significant emotional trauma - PTSD, anxiety, depression, insomnia. Psychological injuries can be debilitating and long-lasting, requiring extensive therapy to manage symptoms.

Fatal Injuries

T-bone accidents have a high fatality rate due to the lack of structural protection on the sides of vehicles. Blunt force trauma, head injuries, internal organ damage, and blood loss can prove immediately fatal or cause the victim's death later. Families who lose a loved one often pursue wrongful death claims to get justice and compensation for their losses.

No matter the types of injuries you suffer, it's critical to get prompt medical care and to explore your legal options for obtaining compensation from the at-fault party.

What Should I Do After Suffering Injuries in a T-Bone Accident Someone Else Caused in SC?

There are several important steps you should take to protect your health and legal rights if you suffered injuries in a T-bone crash:

  • Seek medical attention: You need to get a thorough medical evaluation even if you feel fine following the accident. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent, and timely medical care is crucial for your well-being and any potential legal claim. You may still be able to pursue compensation for minor injuries, so you need to seek medical treatment regardless.
  • Report the accident: Call the police and file an accident report. This official record can be valuable evidence in establishing fault and pursuing compensation.
  • Gather evidence: If possible, take photos of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and your injuries. Collect contact information from witnesses and the other driver, including their insurance details.
  • Notify your insurance company: Promptly inform your insurance provider about the accident, but stick to the basic facts and avoid admitting fault or discussing your injuries in detail.
  • Be cautious with the other party's insurance company: If the other driver's insurer contacts you, exercise caution when providing statements or signing documents. They may attempt to minimize their liability or offer a low settlement.
  • Keep records: Maintain a file with all accident-related documents, including medical bills, repair estimates, and correspondence with insurance companies.
  • Follow through with medical treatment: Attend all recommended medical appointments and follow your doctor's treatment plan. This not only aids your recovery but also demonstrates the severity of your injuries.
  • Consult a personal injury attorney: An experienced attorney can protect your rights, handle communications with insurance companies, and fight for fair compensation on your behalf.

Remember, the aftermath of a serious car accident can be overwhelming, but taking these steps can help safeguard your health and legal interests.

What Types of Compensation Can I Receive for My Car Accident Injuries?

If you have been injured in a T-bone car accident, you may be entitled to various types of compensation, depending on the circumstances of your case and South Carolina state laws. Here are some common types of compensation you may be able to receive:

  • Medical expenses: This includes compensation for current and future medical bills related to your injuries, such as hospital stays, surgeries, medications, and physical therapy.
  • Lost wages: If your injuries prevent you from working, you may be able to recover lost wages for the time you missed work due to the accident.
  • Loss of earning capacity: If your injuries result in a long-term or permanent disability that affects your ability to earn money in the future, you may be entitled to compensation for the loss of earning capacity.
  • Pain and suffering: This refers to the physical pain and emotional distress caused by your injuries. The amount of compensation for pain and suffering varies depending on the severity of your injuries and their impact on your life.
  • Property damage: You can seek compensation for the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle and any other personal property damaged in the accident.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life: If your injuries prevent you from participating in activities you enjoyed before the accident, you may be able to recover damages for the loss of enjoyment of life.
  • Punitive damages: In rare cases involving gross negligence or intentional misconduct, you may be awarded punitive damages to punish the at-fault party and deter similar behavior in the future.

It's essential to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can evaluate your case and help you pursue full and fair compensation for your car accident injuries.

Morris Law Accident Injury Lawyers - Fighting for Your Rights in Myrtle Beach

At Morris Law Accident Injury Lawyers in Myrtle Beach, we fight for your rights when another driver causes your accident injuries. Don’t pay financially for another driver’s mistakes. If you live in the Myrtle Beach area, you can reach us by phone at (843) 232-0944. You are also welcome to contact us online. Call us today for a free evaluation of your case and learn how we can help you obtain the compensation you need following a T-bone accident.


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