According to research published in the National Institutes of Health, the sides of a vehicle do not provide significant protection similar to the protection provided in the front or back of the vehicle. Therefore, if a car receives an impact to the side through a sideswipe or T-bone accident, catastrophic injuries and damage can easily occur. These types of side-impact collisions occur frequently often resulting in serious injury or death. While sidebars offer a modicum of protection, these types of side-impact collisions are typically severe in nature. If you suffered injuries or losses related to your involvement in a side-impact collision, consider how a Chicago side-impact collisions lawyer may be able to hold the at-fault driver responsible. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 794-0444 for a free consultation.
Causes of Side-Impact Collisions
Side impact collisions occur on the roadways, intersections, and even in parking lots. Any place that two vehicles can drive side-by-side, or at a 90-degree angle towards one another, a side-impact collision remains possible. These types of accidents are also called “sideswiping accidents” or “T-bone accidents” depending on how they occur. Some of the causes of side-impact collisions include the following:
- Drivers running red lights or failing to fully stop at stop signs
- Aggressive or reckless driving
- Distracted driving
- Failing to yield the right-of-way
- Reduced visibility due to roadway conditions or weather conditions
- Drowsy driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Manufacturing defects (if the accident resulted from the failure of the vehicle or a part or component of the vehicle failing to operate appropriately due to a design defect or a manufacturing defect)
Devastating Impact of Side-Impact Collisions
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, side-impact collisions have the highest injury and fatality rates of any type of accident. When side-impact collisions occur, typically they occur with vehicles traveling at high rates of speed. If the collision involves “sideswiping” then an accident can involve vehicles traveling at extremely high rates of speed on the highways or roadways. If the collision involves a “T-bone” accident, then one vehicle slams perpendicular into another with substantial force and impact causing severe damage and devastating results. Even if a vehicle has side airbags, because these types of accidents occur so quickly, many fail to deploy or adequately protect the passengers inside from the impact of the collision.
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Types of Injuries Related to Side-Impact Collisions
Some of the types of injuries related to side-impact collisions can include the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries (possibly leading to paralysis)
- Neck and back injuries (whiplash, herniated discs, and neck or back sprains)
- Broken or fractured bones (possibly leading to amputation)
- Soft tissue injuries (injuries related to tendons, ligaments, and muscles)
- Nerve damage
- Internal organ damage or internal bleeding
- Aortic dissection (due to airbag or seat belt damage to the heart or chest area)
If you suffered any type of injury related to your side-impact collision, you may feel overwhelmed attempting to handle your medical bills, your inability to return to work, as well as the negotiations with an insurance company regarding a possible settlement amount. If you suffered injuries related to your side-impact collision, consider how a Chicago side-impact collisions lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you understand your legal rights and help you with your next steps.
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Types of Damages and Compensation Available Following a Side-Impact Collision
Every accident is different, and the injuries suffered by victims will also differ in both type and severity. However, the following are some types of damages and compensation available to victims following a side-impact collision due to someone else’s negligence.
- Medical expenses. These expenses will include medical bills, ambulance fees, hospitalizations, physical or cognitive therapy, prescription medications, surgeries, treatments, or medical equipment (such as wheelchairs or the installation of handrails)
- Lost wages. If a victim remains unable to return to work following an accident due to their injuries, they may receive compensation related to their lost income. Additionally, any vacation time, sick leave, bonuses, or employee benefits lost due to the inability to return to work may also be directly included in lost wages.
- Property Damage. If your vehicle, or any property inside your vehicle, suffered damage or loss, you can also file a claim for compensation related to your property damage.
- Pain and Suffering. If you have injuries related to a side-impact collision, you likely suffer from different levels of pain or the inability to perform daily tasks. Take time to keep a journal and record the different levels of pain you feel, along with the daily tasks and activities you are no longer able to accomplish due to your injuries.
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Statute of Limitations
There are specific guidelines and regulations regarding the deadlines a victim has to file a claim for compensation regarding their injuries and losses related to a side-impact collision in the state of Illinois. Specifically, Illinois Statutes Chapter 735 Civil Procedure § 5/13-202 clearly states that a victim only has two years from the date of the side impact accident to file a claim for compensation for any injuries, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses. Two years may seem like a long period of time, however, car accident cases often take a great deal of time to investigate, and to collect evidence. Additionally, negotiations with insurance companies also often take a considerable amount of time. Make sure not to pass this deadline or you will remain unable to file a claim for compensation regarding your injuries related to your side-impact collision.
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Consider How a Chicago Side-Impact Collisions Lawyer Can Help You
If you suffered injuries due to a sideswiping or T-bone accident, speak with a member of our legal team today. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 for a free consultation, and to learn how a Chicago side-impact collisions lawyer can help you understand your legal rights.