It's a terrifying scenario, looking out of your vehicle's driver-side window to see a pair of headlights speeding towards you. The moment can be just as frightening on the other side; imagine seeing a car suddenly appear in front of you and knowing there is no way you'll be able to stop in time to avoid a crash. We know that the phrase "t-bone crash" belies the terror of the incident and the tragic consequences that may follow.
As reported by Northwest Florida Daily News, a Jeep Wrangler and Toyota sedan were involved in a t-bone wreck in Destin on Sunday afternoon. The crash occurred around 3 P.M. on U.S. Highway 98 near Destin Commons. Three people were transported by emergency officials to local hospitals where they were treated for minor injuries, as reported by firefighters working with the Destin Fire Control District. Investigators with the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office are working to determine the cause of the wreck, which left both westbound lanes closed for approximately one hour.
Often referred to as a "t-bone crash," a side impact collision can be among the most dangerous of accidents. Discussing side-impact protection, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety notes that the side of a vehicle lacks the extra space to absorb energy and the crumple zones built into the front and rear of a vehicle. Big strides have been taken in recent years, including the use of side-impact airbags and the development of side-impact vehicle ratings, but the crashes still result in one-quarter of vehicle occupant deaths nationwide. Additionally, the crashes can result in a wide range of injuries, including damage to the legs, hips, arms, torso, neck, and head. Of course, the driver and passengers in the vehicle that suffers the head-on impact is also at risk for death or serious injury.
As with any car accident, determining fault is a crucial part of any resulting injury case. Often both drivers will claim that they had the right-of-way. Evidence can come in many forms, including eyewitness reports, traffic light programming data (i.e. proof that a green light would have been scheduled for one driver at a specified time), and the physical state of the cars and roadway following the crash. In addition to evidence pointing to a driver's fault, evidence may also support civil claims against a manufacturer, repair facility, or other party responsible for a mechanical failure (ex. brake failure that rendered a driver unable to stop).
If you believe someone else's negligence led to a side impact collision that left you injured or caused the death of a relative, you should contact an injury lawyer as soon as possible. Obtaining legal counsel in a timely fashion can help ensure that no evidence is lost. Attorney Pittman understands both the legal and factual issues that can arise following a t-bone collision. Call to schedule a free consultation to discuss how we can help you obtain monetary damages from those responsible for your injuries or the loss of your loved one.