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T-Bone Auto Accident While Driving

The Washington State Patrol responded to a 3-car accident long the Granite Falls Highway, near Lake Stevens, that left one driver dead and three others injured. It happened on State Route 92 near 44th Street Northeast. Troopers say that a station wagon was pulling out from the intersection where 44th Street NE meets SR 92 when it was T-boned by a Ford 350. The impact sent the wagon into another car going the opposite direction on SR 92.

The driver of the station wagon was pronounced dead at the scene from the injuries he sustained during the collision. Other motorists were hurt with what law enforcement officers deem as “non life-threatening injuries” and were taken to an area hospital. The State Patrol said the cause of the crash is still under investigation.

View original news story, Crash Kills at Least One in Lake Stevens.

Deadly Auto Accidents

There’s no question that some types of collisions can be deadlier than others. Being involved in a car accident is always a serious matter, with obvious and and not-so-obvious injuries for many caught in the crosshairs of the collision. Depending on the point of impact and speed at which a vehicle is hit, the resulting damages and severity will vary.  But no matter the type, car crashes are traumatic and can leave lasting scars on the minds and bodies of those involved.

Side-impact collisions, often referred to as T-bone accidents, can be particularly catastrophic for unsuspecting passengers. The main reason for this is when you are hit from the rear or front of the vehicle, you have several feet of metal and space to absorb the shock and impact of a massive amount of weight and force. Auto engineers have carefully designed motor vehicles to withstand potential hazards and the possibility for impact crashes. But in the case of a broadside or side-impact collision, there’s only the door and window standing between a charging vehicle and the receiving passengers and driver. Passengers are exceptionally more vulnerable in these kinds of collisions because there’s very little space or structure separating them from the forces of weight and speed being hurled at them.

Severe Outcomes for T-Bone Auto Accidents

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), T-bone collisions account for 25% of collision fatalities for vehicle occupants in 2015. It was only topped by the deadlier front-end collisions, which accounted for 54% of passenger fatalities in the same year. The National Transportation Highway Safety Administration estimates that there are approximately 8,000 people killed each year due to T-bone accidents in the United States.  And tens of thousands more are injured as a result of these side-impact crashes annually.

Unfortunately, side-impact injuries tend to be more severe, with many victims suffering long-term or even permanent disabilities.  Less severe ailments, but still common after a T-bone collision, can be broken or fractured bones, spinal cord or back injuries, head injuries including traumatic brain injuries (TBI), and chest injuries. As a driver or passenger in a motor vehicle, your best safety defense mechanism is wearing your seat belt.  Properly buckled seat belts can decrease your risk of severe injury by as much as 50%, even in T-bone collisions.

What Type of Vehicle You Are Driving Matters for Safety

The type of car you drive also has a big impact on the outcome of a T-bone or side-impact accident.  The likelihood of crash deaths varies remarkably among vehicle types according to size. Small/light vehicles have less structure and size to absorb crash energy, meaning that the crash forces on occupants will be higher. People in lighter vehicles have a greater disadvantage in collisions with heavier vehicles.  Pickups and SUVs are proportionally more likely than cars to be in fatal single-vehicle crashes, especially rollovers. However, pickups and SUVs generally are heavier than cars, so occupant deaths in SUVs and pickups are less likely to occur in multiple-vehicle crashes.

Common Causes of T-bone Collisions

Some of the reasons T-bone accidents occur include the following:

  • Running Red Lights or Stop Signs. If the driver of a vehicle runs a red light or fails to yield or stop at an intersection, it’s possible that they will hit or be hit by another vehicle as it is traveling in front of them.
  • Drunk Driving. Drunk drivers lack perception and fine motor skills needed to safely operate a motor vehicle. Suppressed inhibitions or visual perception make intersections more susceptible to missing signals or risking unprotected turns. Drunk driving is always reckless and dangerous, and often a leading cause of side-impact collisions.
  • Distracted Driving. Cell phones or other activities where the driver’s attention is somewhere other than the road is a safety concern. Distractions make missing safety lights, signs, and stops a greater possibility. This increases the probability of colliding with another vehicle, animal, or objects on or near the road.
  • Vehicle Malfunctions. Sometimes people are safely driving and something in their vehicle stops working, like brakes or power steering. Other safety hazards include a blown or flat tire that can cause a driver to lose control of the vehicle. This can contribute to a T-bone scenario.
  • Weather. Driving in poor weather conditions, such as ice and fog, creates a higher risk for hitting another vehicle. Make sure that tires are adequate for winter driving and that you reduce your speed during inclement weather. Driving in poor weather is risky and not worth the liability or dangerous circumstances it can put you in. Plan and prepare for winter driving and reduce the chances of potential accidents, like T-bone collisions.

A Personal Injury Lawyer Has Your Best Interest In Mind

Many side-impact collisions are easy to assign liability and negligence to. Anyone involved in an auto accident should be cautious and wary of an insurance company’s quick settlements. You should always be skeptical of first offers and their timing. Keep in mind that insurers are looking out for their best interests, and that may not necessarily be YOU!

Many serious injuries, like whiplash and concussions, may not be diagnosed until weeks after a collision. Pain and suffering may go on for some time, especially since healing is different for everyone. Therefore, don’t let an insurance company pressure you to settle too quickly. Chances are, you need a personal injury attorney that has YOUR best interests in mind, that has the experience and skill to negotiate your auto accident claim for you. Let Fielding Law Group work to get the compensation and settlement you are entitled to.

Our Auto Accident & Personal Injury Lawyers Are Here to Help

If you or a loved one has been hurt or injured in a side-Impact or T-bone collision, contact Fielding Law Group today for a free consultation on how we can help you recover damages from any negligent parties. Our team of experienced attorneys will fight to get your health and life back on the road. Remember—Don’t let an accident wreck YOU!