What Injuries Can Occur During a Side-Impact Collision?

What Injuries Can Occur During a Side-Impact Collision?

Side-impact crashes, or T-bone accidents, are dangerous yet common accidents on the roads. The name T-bone refers to the shape the cars in the accident often form, the shape of the letter “T.” These accidents are avoidable but usually occur due to reckless driving.

Side-impact accidents can alter your life. They can cause severe injuries that may last a lifetime and can even result in death. If you have been in a side-impact collision and are suffering from any of these injuries, a lawyer may be able to help you get compensation for your injuries.

How Do Side-Impact Accidents Happen?

Side-impact accidents are one of the many accidents that occur at intersections. T-bone accidents occur can occur in a few different ways. Side-impact accidents occur mostly in the following situations:

  • Running a red light or failing to stop at a stop sign
  • Making a left turn too early or too late
  • Distracted driving
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs

Due to the nature of T-bone accidents, it’s fairly easy to determine which driver is at fault, unlike other types of accidents. The driver that forms the bottom part of the letter “T” is usually at fault. However, variations of how side-impact accidents occur can change who is at fault.

Common Injuries From a T-Bone Crash and Their Consequences

The injuries that side-impact accidents cause can affect several parts of your body. Side-impact accidents can be very damaging if the driver at fault is speeding. However, T-bone accidents can also be minor, resulting in few to no injuries.

Below are some of the most common injuries that can occur when you get into a T-bone accident. Some of the injuries you can make a full recovery from, while others will require medical treatment throughout your life.


Although you can get whiplash from any type of accident with a large enough impact, it’s also very common with T-bone crashes. Whiplash is a neck injury that results from your neck forcibly jerking forward and backward. It can damage your neck’s muscles, tendons, and even nerves in the process.

In a side-impact crash, both drivers are at risk of getting whiplash. If you are the driver hit, you may have whiplash from being hit and the driver that hit you could get whiplash from the sudden stop they experience when they hit you.

The symptoms of whiplash often include:

  • Neck stiffness
  • Numbness in arm or hand
  • Ringing in ears
  • Concentration or memory problems

Depending on the severity of the accident and your injury, you may make a full recovery or require medical assistance for life. Whiplash can limit you from driving again, doing some of your favorite activities, and doing everyday movements.

Internal Bleeding

Internal bleeding is a risk you face in side-impact accidents, and it can be life-threatening. Internal bleeding occurs on the inside of your body so you won’t notice it right away. A sign of internal bleeding is a bruise around the damaged area. The blood can come from damaged organs, tissues, and blood vessels.

The pressure from the seatbelt or hitting any part of your body on your car’s interior could cause internal bleeding. When you hit a part of your body with a large amount of force, you could damage or pop a blood vessel which could cause internal bleeding.

The symptoms of internal bleeding can be different depending on where the bleeding is occurring, but the common symptoms include:

  • Swelling of the affected area
  • Numbness
  • Bruising around affected organs
  • Nausea

If internal bleeding is not taken care of in time, it can result in death. However, it’s possible to live a healthy life after internal bleeding. However, you may have to take medications to prevent blood clots from forming, which can cause more bleeding.

Spinal Injuries

The trauma that your body goes through in a side-impact accident can severely damage your spine. Spinal injuries can affect ligaments, discs, vertebrae, and the spinal cord, essential to basic movements.

The sudden stop and jolt from being hit by the other driver can hurt your spine. The positioning of your seat may affect the severity of your injury. If you are far away from the steering wheel, your body has more room to move from the impact, making your injury more severe. The symptoms of spinal injuries include:

  • Numbness and inability to feel hot or cold temperatures
  • Pain and difficult breathing
  • Pressure in neck, head, or back
  • Loss of feeling in hands or feet

Spinal injuries can affect your entire body and leave you paralyzed, limiting your ability to move. Depending on how severe your injury is, you may need physical therapy, medications, and medical equipment like a wheelchair for the remainder of your life.

Ruptured Eardrums

One of the many reasons car crashes are so traumatizing is how loud they are. The loud crash when a car hits can rupture your eardrums, especially if you don’t have airbags on the interior sides of your car to absorb the noise. When ruptured eardrums occur, the eardrum tears, leaving a hole in it.

The possibility of your eardrums rupturing depends on the speed and distance of the driver who hits you. If they were far away and going very fast, your eardrums may rupture, as opposed to if they were turning left and then hit you, because they would be going a lower speed, hopefully. The symptoms of having ruptured eardrums include:

  • Hearing loss
  • Bloody pus draining from your ear
  • Ear pain
  • Ringing ears

The most severe consequence of having ruptured eardrums is permanent hearing loss. But most ruptures will heal on their own, so it’s not a lifelong injury. However, if you do lose your hearing, you may need hearing aids, new accommodations, and sign language education.

Head Injuries

T-bone car accidents can cause serious head injuries like traumatic brain injuries, along with other types of head trauma. Head injuries most often damage the brain, skull, and scalp.

In a side-impact accident, brain injuries can occur from hitting your head on the steering wheel, window, or if pieces of glass reach your brain from the impact. There are many types of head injuries and symptoms may differ for each. However, the most common symptoms of head injuries include:

  • Confusion
  • Sensitivity to light and noise
  • Dizziness
  • Headache

Some head injuries can be minor, while others can be severe and affect your ability to function independently. For example, a traumatic brain injury may require speech therapy, physical therapy, and medical equipment, like a walker. If untreated, a head injury could result in death or a lifelong disability.

Seeking Compensation for Your Injuries From a Side-Impact Accident

The aftermath of a side-impact accident is painful and stressful when you’re injured. Our lawyers will work with you to seek compensation for the damages and injuries you sustained to relieve some of the stress. Depending on your case details, you may be able to receive compensation for:

  • Lost income
  • Current and future medical bills
  • Medical equipment
  • Rehabilitation efforts like therapy
  • Vehicle damages
  • Pain and suffering

We provide a free case evaluation where we’ll examine the details of your case to determine if you have a valid case. If we decide you have a case, we can estimate how much in damages you are likely to recover.

Talk to a T-Bone Accident Lawyer

Side-impact accidents can physically and financially bring your life to a halt. At Zanes Law Injury Lawyers, we carefully examine your case and aim to get the highest compensation amount possible.

If you’ve been in a T-bone accident and are injured, call us or fill out the form on our contact page to get your free case evaluation. We’ll work with you to get the compensation that you deserve so that you can get back to living life.

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