Being involved in an auto accident is traumatic and dangerous. Victims may be left with life-threatening injuries and financially crippling medical expenses. There are certain accidents, however, that prove to be more dangerous than average. One type of accident that is uniquely deadly is a T-bone accident. The highways running through Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC see millions of travelers per day. More people on the road means higher chances of getting into a T-bone collision.
If you or your loved one were involved in a T-bone accident and sustained severe injuries in DC, Virginia or Maryland, the Regan Zambri Long car accident lawyers can help. We are experienced trial lawyers who have over 100 years of combined experience in personal injury law. Our promise to our clients is simple: we will build a case to secure fair compensation in an efficient and timely manner. And we do not take a fee unless we win. Call today for a free consultation with a veteran car accident lawyer to get the claims process started.
A T-bone accident is when the front of one vehicle slams into the side of another vehicle, forming the shape of a “T”. These types of accidents are also known as side-impact accidents. They are particularly dangerous crashes. According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), over 5,000 people were killed in T-bone accidents in 2020 – that is almost a 25% fatality rate in T-bone collisions!
More fatalities occur in T-bone accidents because the side of a car is not as protective as the front of the back of the car. Most vehicles today are made with crumple zones, which are portions of the car that absorb the impact of an accident, protecting the passengers inside. The sides of the car do not have that same protection, making the occupants in the vehicle more vulnerable in a T-bone crash, especially when they are hit by a semi-truck or tractor-trailer.
T-bone collisions can happen for several reasons. However, the most common cause of these accidents is when a negligent driver fails to yield to the driver who has the right of way. T-bone crashes usually happen at intersections in one of two ways. The first way is the negligent driver will make a dangerous left-hand turn, thinking they have time to clear the turn before the oncoming traffic gets near. The second way is the negligent driver will speed through a yellow light, trying to “make the light” before it turns red. When they do this, they can end up running a red light and crashing into a car that had the green.
Besides intersection accidents, there are other ways T-bone collisions can occur:
T-bone accidents can cause deadly injuries. For the victims that survive, their lives may be forever changed by permanently debilitating injuries that can force them to leave work and change their entire lifestyle. The most common injuries from T-bone collisions are:
A spinal cord injury is when the cells and nerves that send and receive messages from the brain are damaged and they are the most common injury in a T-bone accident. The impact of the collision forces the victim’s head and neck to be slung back and forth, which can cause severe cervical breaks, fractures, and sprains.
Spinal cord injuries can lead to one of four types of paralysis: monoplegia, hemiplegia, paraplegia, and quadriplegia. Spinal cord injury victims may have to live with: :
Other complications that can arise from a severe spinal cord injury are:
Head injuries are also very common in T-bone accidents. The passengers on the side of the car that gets hit may slam their heads on the side window, on another passenger in the car, on the windshield, or on the steering wheel.
Victims can experience a milder form of traumatic brain injury, which is called a concussion. Concussions may take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to fully heal. A severe traumatic brain injury, however, can take years to heal. Many TBI victims will never fully recover. Symptoms of a TBI include:
In the worst cases, a traumatic brain injury can leave the victim’s brain permanently damaged for the rest of his or her life. These injuries can also cause the victim to be in a coma or a vegetative state.
The passengers on the side of the car that is impacted by the crash run the highest risk of broken bones and fractures from the accident. The victims often sustain broken legs, wrists, arms, and ankles during the collision. If a break is bad enough, the victim may have to undergo surgery to fix it, causing them to lose multiple days of work.
Breaks and fractures of the hip are also very common in T-bone crashes. Depending on the height of the vehicle that crashes into the victim, it can make impact right at the hip of the victim, resulting in deep bruising or a broken hip.
Soft tissue injuries are injured muscles, ligaments, and tendons. These injuries cause inflammation, swelling, stiffness, and a great deal of pain. Unfortunately, these injuries are harder to prove on x-rays and scans but are the injuries that can cause chronic pain. Many soft tissue injury victims will need ongoing treatment to combat the physical discomfort from the injury. Ongoing medical treatment, especially when it is not covered by insurance, can cost the victim and their family an enormous amount of money out of pocket.
The impact of a T-bone accident, especially if a regular car is hit by a commercial truck, can cause the victim’s organs to rupture and internal bleeding to occur. When these types of injuries happen, they are extremely severe. Internal bleeding is one of the most serious consequences of any trauma.
The unique danger to internal bleeding and organ damage following a car accident is that the victim may not immediately show warning signs of an injury. When there are symptoms, they may be so subtle that the victim doesn’t notice he or she has the trauma. Signs of organ damage and internal bleeding can include:
Other injuries T-bone accident victims might sustain are:
If you or your loved one sustained any of the injuries listed above, you have the right to compensation. The car accident attorneys at Regan Zambri Long firmly believe you should not have to pay for an accident you did not cause. You were hurt because of someone else’s negligence and that person should have to pay. Call today for a free case evaluation with a seasoned attorney who can guide you through the claims process and help you secure fair compensation.
A: While not all accidents are preventable, there are several safety measures you can take while driving that will help avoid getting into a collision. To avoid getting into a T-bone collision, you must obey the traffic laws, especially when you approach an intersection. When you approach a yellow traffic light, do not speed up to “make the light.” Instead, safely come to a complete stop and wait for the next green. If you are approaching a stop sign, come to a full stop and look both ways before you proceed with the drive.
Second, never assume that other drivers will obey the traffic laws. Before you proceed in an intersection, quickly look both ways to see if a driver may not be coming to a full stop. Never count on another driver to slow down at a yellow light or to completely stop at a stop sign. You must always drive defensively.
Finally, always drive with extreme caution when the weather is bad. If it’s raining or foggy, approach intersections slowly and cautiously. Since visibility is low, other drivers may not see the light change or the stop sign before the intersection. Maintain a safe speed and take your time.
A: The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim varies from state to state. In Maryland and Washington DC, a car accident victim has three years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim. However, in Virginia, the window is only two years.
The best thing a car accident victim can do is file a claim as soon as they are able. Car accident claims may take months to settle and during that time, the victim may rack up medical expenses while being out of work due to their injuries. The car accident lawyers at Regan Zambri Long work tirelessly to secure a favorable settlement as quickly as possible, but the sooner the claim is filed, the sooner a settlement can be reached.
A: Car accident victims are not required to have legal representation when they file a claim. However, victims who do not understand Maryland, Virginia, and DC laws or insurance policies may have a harder time negotiating a fair settlement. Insurance companies are notorious for lowballing car accident victims. Insurance adjusters manipulate facts and contact the victim in their most vulnerable state to get them to accept a low settlement.
The Regan Zambri Long car accident lawyers practice across the DC Metro Area and have a deep knowledge of the laws, insurance policies, and the court system. We are not afraid to take on large insurance companies. We are expert negotiators and prepare each case as if it were going to trial. If we do not receive a settlement in your favor, your lawyer will take your case to court.
If you were severely injured in the T-bone accident, your focus should be on your recovery, not on trying to learn the ins and outs of the law to recover the compensation you deserve. When you work with a Regan Zambri Long car accident lawyer, your attorney will do all the leg work. We will prepare the claim and file the claim. We will take care of all the correspondence with the insurance companies. You do not have to speak to anyone or do anything except recover as quickly as possible. Your lawyer will keep you informed of the process every step of the way and will relentlessly fight to secure the highest compensation possible.
Our car accident lawyers offer free consultations to new clients where we will discuss your legal options. Call today for your free case review and let us carry the weight of the claims process.