T-Bone Car Crashes and Side Impact Auto Wrecks

The Consequences of T-Bone and Side-Impact Car Crashes

Side-impact collisions–often more recognizable by their colloquial name of “T-bone crashes”–are one of the most commonly occurring types of car collisions in the United States. Despite being in possession of such an “appealing” name, a T-bone collision can result in a serious injury or fatal accident in many cases due to the violent, direct nature of contact.

A side-impact collision generally occurs when one vehicle is impacted directly on its side at a relative angle of 90 degrees, hence the name T-bone crash; an homage of sorts due to the aftermath of such a collision visually resembling the popular steak. At least to some people it does, anyway.

A car that is struck in a side-impact collision is completely vulnerable to being impacted with brutal force and has literally nothing to protect itself, or the driver inside, from the serious threat of an oncoming vehicle. The potential for horrific injuries, especially if there are high speeds involved, is unfortunately very high and nearly guaranteed in a side-impact collision.

The aftermath of a side-impact collision tends to be more devastating than in other types of car accidents. The costs of medical care associated with treatment will likely be extreme. Individuals injured as a result of such a collision may be unable to return to work for several weeks or months, if ever.

Injuries as a result of a side-impact collision are generally life changing, and victims and their loved ones will need representation by an experienced car accident lawyer who will fight for the settlement that they need and deserve.

At West Coast Trial Lawyers, our qualified Los Angeles car accident attorneys have over 60 years of collective legal experience in handling personal injury cases. With our track record of winning more than $1 billion in settlements for our clients, we are confident that we will deliver a good outcome to your settlement. 

To schedule a free consultation at our Los Angeles personal injury law firm, please contact our 24/7 legal team by calling (888) 979-9356  or filling out our quick contact form.

Considerations for Side-Impact Collisions

There are only a few reasons for a side-impact collision to ever occur. The vast majority of these causes are of the common sense variety and will necessarily involve a high degree of negligence on behalf of at least one of the drivers involved. The most recurring reasons for side-impact collisions are:

  • Failure to yield

Let’s consider a few examples. What if, for example, a driver fails to follow road rules related to right-of-way while at a four way stop sign?  They then enter the intersection at the same time as a vehicle to its right and ends up slamming into that car. In this case, the driver who was impacted by the driver who failed to respect right-of-way laws will have the option of filing a personal injury lawsuit.

The point of the previous example is to illustrate the fact that negligence often plays a significant role in the majority of all side-impact collisions. However, there are other factors at play. A plaintiff who chooses to bring a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent driver will also bear the burden of proving that the other driver’s negligence was indeed the direct cause for the side-impact collision.

In order to actually prove negligence, a victim’s car accident lawyer must demonstrate that the offending driver violated his or her duty of avoiding risk of harming another driver by a reckless or negligent action.

In sum, to prevail against a defendant, a plaintiff must prove that:

  • Defendant breached his or her duty of care.
  • The breach caused harm to Plaintiff.
  • Plaintiff suffered damages.

What exactly is a duty of care? In short, all drivers have the responsibility to act prudently and safely while behind the wheel. Any action or inaction that violates this responsibility, whether intentionally or not, can constitute a violation of one’s duty of care.

Additional Causes of Side-Impact Accidents


  • Failing to stop at four-way intersections, running red lights, or rolling through stop signs
  • Failing to yield right of way to other drivers as necessary
  • Negligent driving or being under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
  • Texting and driving or talking on the phone while driving
  • Equipment failure
  • Inclement weather which impairs driving ability or visibility

Commonly Seen Injuries in Side-Impact Collisions

According to data provided by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), nearly 23 percent of all traffic deaths reported in 2019 were as a result of a side-impact collision. About 19 percent of side-impact crashes were single-vehicle fatalities, while 33 percent were multiple-vehicle deaths. Common injuries sustained as a result of side-impact collisions include:

  • Head injuries. Head injuries are serious and commonly seen in side-impact collisions, with or without the benefit of side airbags. Anytime a person’s head slams against a hard surface, skull fractures, brain injuries, or concussions can occur.
  • Punctured eardrums. Without the benefit of side airbags, the actual volume of a violent collision can damage a person’s eardrums.
  • Spinal cord injuries. Fractured, slipped, or herniated discs are often seen in side-impact collisions.
  • Internal bleeding. A side-impact collision generally occurs near the side of a passenger or driver. This may result in severe injuries that could potentially trigger internal bleeding. Internal bleeding can go unnoticed and even cause death without immediate medical attention. 
  • Whiplash. Whiplash is more commonly seen in rear-end collisions, but it can occur in a side-impact collision as well. Whiplash often results in damaged or torn neck muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

Contact Us to Find Out How We Can Help

If you have sustained injuries as a result of a side-impact collision, our skilled Los Angeles car accident attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers can help you recover compensation for the losses you have suffered, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. 

Contact us today by calling (888) 979-9356  or filling out our quick contact form to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring, and compassionate legal team.

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