What Is a Broadside Accident?

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Of the many different types of auto collisions, a broadside accident is one of the most dangerous. In a broadside accident, one vehicle strikes the broadside – the side, not the front or rear – of another. Other names for broadside accidents are T-bone collisions or side impacts. Determining liability can be difficult after a broadside accident. Proving fault is not always easy.

what is a broadside accident

Unique Factors in a Broadside Accident

Broadside accidents might not be unique, but they pose unique threats to victims. The way a T-bone crash occurs can seriously injure occupants of both vehicles. A broadside accident can cause catastrophic injuries to the driver or person on the passenger side of the vehicle depending on which side of the car gets struck. It can also seriously injure the driver in the vehicle doing the broadsiding. For this driver, the mechanics of the car accident are similar to a head-on collision. A broadside accident can cause many serious injuries.

  • Broken bones
  • Traumatic brain and head injuries
  • Lacerations from broken glass
  • Neck or back injuries
  • Herniated disks or spinal cord damage
  • Crush-related injuries
  • Internal organ damage
  • Soft-tissue injuries
  • Permanent scarring or disfigurement
  • Death

Catastrophic injuries could make a victim eligible for greater compensation than a claim after a minor car accident. Catastrophic injuries are those that could permanently affect the victim, such as paralysis or brain damage. T-bone accidents often lead to life-altering injuries due to the frame of the impacted vehicle crushing inward or crumpling. Passengers sitting on the side of the vehicle struck are more at risk of severe injuries than passengers elsewhere in the vehicle.

Common Causes of Broadside Accidents

Side-impact collisions are most common at intersections. Where two lanes of traffic flowing in opposite directions intersect, one driver might break the rules and end up in the other driver’s lane at the wrong time. This could happen if one driver runs a red light at an intersection, for example. Many different things could cause a broadside accident.

  • Red-light running
  • Ignoring a stop sign
  • A malfunctioning traffic signal
  • Speeding
  • Drunk driving
  • Reckless driving
  • Drowsy driving
  • Ignoring the right-of-way
  • Making an illegal left turn
  • Passing illegally
  • Bad weather/hydroplaning

After a broadside accident, the police might issue a ticket for a traffic infraction to one or both drivers – typically, the driver that did not have the right-of-way. This could serve as evidence against the driver during an injury claim later. Then, an insurance company may investigate the side-impact crash for signs of negligence or fault. Hire an accident lawyer to serve your best interests during a T-bone accident investigation and injury claim.

Who Is At Fault?

Nebraska is a fault-based insurance state, making it necessary to identify the at-fault party before you can file a car accident insurance claim. Broadside accidents typically trace back to the negligence of one of the drivers. In most cases, one of the drivers should not have been where he or she was when the collision happened. Had the driver obeyed traffic laws and driven prudently, he or she would not have struck the side of the other vehicle. It is up to the victim of the T-bone accident (or surviving loved ones) to identify the party at fault for the collision, often with assistance from investigators or attorneys.

If another driver caused your broadside accident or a loved one’s death, his or her insurance provider may offer you a check for your damages. Insurance benefits can help you pay for medical costs and vehicle repairs. If the insurance company disputes fault, however, or you have severe injuries, you may need to take your claim to court. Bringing a legal cause of action against the at-fault driver may be necessary to obtain fair compensation depending on the scenario. An Omaha personal injury lawyer can help you determine fault for your broadside accident, navigate an insurance claim and/or bring a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf.