Side-Impact Collisions

Side-impact collisions, also called broadside or t-bone collisions, can result in some of the most devastating and even fatal car crashes.  Because there is often very little to shield the drivers and passengers from the full-impact of the car, these broadside collisions are very serious.  The severity of the crash may depend on:

  • What part of the vehicle is struck
  • Safety features of the car
  • The speed both cars were going
  • Vehicle weight and construction

The impact of the collision can sometimes even cause the impacted car to go into a spin or to rollover.  In other cases, the initial impact might lead to one or more additional collisions.  Because the airbags will only deploy on the first collision, passengers are often left unprotected in these subsequent collisions.
The majority of side-impact collisions occur as a result of a driver failing to yield the way, or by disobeying traffic lights of stop signs.  This may be unintentional and a result of distracted driving, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  High speeds can also multiply the severity of these accidents.
Unfortunately, if you are the victim of a side-impact collision, your injuries will often be much more severe than those of the driver who crashed into you.  The injuries that result span a wide range, from leg and hip injuries, to neck, back and head injuries.  Even something like flying shards of glass can result in severe injuries.
Unlike standard frontal air bags, side-impact air bags (SABs) are not yet required in all vehicles on the road.  When SABs are present, the head, neck and chest are more protected from the collision.  They may remain inflated for several seconds, in order to protect passengers in the case of a rollover.  The NHTSA states that these SABs are extremely effective and severely decrease the chance of a fatality in a side-impact collisions.  Most of these fatalities result from brain injuries, and SABs are designed to minimize such injuries.
If you have been in a side-impact collision, your injuries are likely severe and you will need to ensure that you are properly compensated.  Insurance companies will pressure you to sign a settlement, but you should contact an attorney first.  Only an experienced attorney can safeguard your rights while you focus on your physical health and recovery.
Return to Types of Accidents and Resulting Injuries
Go to
Rear-End Collisions
Front-Impact Collisions