Spinal Cord InjuriesBlindsided: Surviving Devastating Broadside Collisions

April 29, 2024

Broadside collisions, also known as T-bone crashes, are among the most dangerous types of crashes. They occur when the side of one vehicle is impacted by the front or rear of another vehicle at an intersection or driveway. Blindsided broadside crashes often result in severe injuries for the struck vehicle’s occupants as there is little to no protection on the sides of most vehicles.

Causes and Risk Factors

Failure to yield the right of way and running red lights or stop signs are common causes of broadside crashes. Drivers may fail to see crossing traffic due to distractions, sun glare, obstructed views, or simple carelessness. Speeding also increases both the risks of crashes occurring and the severity of injuries sustained.

Vehicle type plays a role as well; tall vehicles like SUVs and trucks are more likely to cause critical injuries upon impacting smaller vehicles. Side airbags provide added safety but are not available in every vehicle. Finally, children, elderly passengers, and improperly restrained occupants also face heightened risks of injury or death in a major side-impact crash.

Surviving the Impact

There are a few things you can do to potentially reduce injury severity if you cannot avoid an impending broadside collision:

  • Brace for Impact – If possible, press your body firmly against the seat, grab door handles and braces, and place your hands against the roof liner. This helps reduce violent whiplash motions during the crash.
  • Relax – Tense muscles are more prone to injury, so try to relax them. Easier said than done, but it can help.
  • Avoid Locking Limbs – Keep your legs slightly apart rather than locking them together, and avoid locking your elbows as well. This reduces breakage risks.
  • Adjust Head Restraints – Ensure your car’s head restraints are adjusted properly to reduce whiplash risks.

After the Collision

Once the crash occurs, the following steps can aid survival and recovery:

Check For Injuries – Adrenaline will likely mask any pain initially, so proactively check yourself for bleeding wounds, swelling, pain, difficulty breathing, and other warning signs of internal injuries. Even if you feel fine, get checked out at the ER.

Exit The Vehicle – Do so promptly if no hazards like oncoming traffic or downed power lines are present, as gas leaks, fire, or being hit again are potential risks. Watch for glass and debris as you exit.

Call For Help – Phone emergency services if you or other vehicle occupants have concerning injuries. Also, notify the police so they can file an accident report.

Exchange Information – If you are able to, collect the contact and insurance details from the other driver while waiting for first responders. Take pictures of vehicle damage and crash scene details that could aid insurance claims later.

Seek Prompt Medical Care

While adrenaline, numbness, or denial may mask issues initially, broadside crash victims often sustain very serious traumatic injuries requiring urgent medical intervention. These include:

  • Fractures – Rib, limb, hip, spinal fractures from violent side impact forces and subsequent collisions with the vehicle’s hard interior.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries – Vertebrae damage, paralysis risk from spinal compression, flexion and whiplash effects during the crash.
  • Internal Organ Damage – Torn blood vessels, lacerated lungs, ruptured spleen, bowel perforations from crush injuries against the inside of the struck vehicle.
  • Head Trauma – Concussions, hemorrhages, stroke risks due to the brain impacting the skull from whiplash motion.

Prompt trauma care is crucial, as ‘watchful waiting’ could allow undetected internal bleeding or organ damage to become critical or fatal over time. Thus, broadside collision victims should always get checked out promptly after crashes that deform the occupant side of their vehicle significantly. Doing so could well save their life or prevent lifelong disability from overlooked injuries.

By understanding the risks, taking basic pre-crash precautions, safely exiting your vehicle post-collision, promptly summoning medical aid, and urgently seeking trauma care, victims stand the best chance of surviving and recovering from catastrophic broadside motor vehicle crashes.

Though no amount of preparation can fully eliminate the risks such collisions pose, the above guidance can help limit potential injuries when the unthinkable occurs.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer

If you’ve been injured in a broadside collision that was another driver’s fault, contact a personal injury attorney immediately. An experienced lawyer from Glober + Glober can help you file an insurance claim, handle negotiations, determine the full value of your injuries and vehicle damage, and take legal action if needed to recover fair compensation. Given how serious injuries can be after a T-bone accident, securing adequate compensation is important.

Contact Glober + Glober today. Visit our office at 422 Jacksonville Dr. Suite B, Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250.

Call us today for a free consultation on (904) 633-9999.

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1 800 643 4300

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