Side impact accidents are also called T-bone crashes because the vehicles form the shape of a T when one car hits the side of another vehicle. These crashes are common at intersections, but can also occur when drivers leave parking spaces or driveways and strike the side of an oncoming vehicle. Regardless of where the collisions occur, the side of a vehicle absorbs almost no force and provides very little protection to occupants when a car is struck. This is true even with side airbags, which are not nearly as effective as front airbags.
Side impact collisions are extremely dangerous due to the limited protection provided by the side of a vehicle. In fact, Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine indicated that in a study of crashes, 19 percent of the collisions were side-impact crashes but these collisions caused 32 percent of all car accident deaths. Side impact crashes are more likely to be deadly in part because there is a greater risk vehicle occupants will suffer traumatic brain injury (TBI). Anywhere from 51 to 74 percent of deaths in side impact collisions are caused by the victim sustaining a brain injury.
Even when TBI is survivable, it is generally life-altering. A brain injury lawyer in Atlanta should be consulted by victims who sustain a TBI or by those whose loved ones lose their lives due to a brain injury caused by a side-impact crash. With help from an attorney, victims can get the money they need to get treatment and begin to rebuild.
Atlanta Side Impact Collisions a Leading Cause of TBI
A recent study published in Annals of Emergency Medicine evaluated the risks of brain injury after a side-impact crash. The researchers who conducted the study, who were from University of Rochester, determined a side-impact crash causes brain injury so commonly that the crash should be considered a risk factor prompting medical professionals to evaluate the patient for TBI even without obvious outward symptoms.
The researchers narrowed down NHTSA data on collisions involving 6,780 people in 5,483 vehicles. They focused on 1,115 people who had been in crashes and who were in a car at the time of the crash where at least one person got seriously hurt. The researchers then looked at the types of accidents that occurred and the injuries which were sustained.
They discovered side impact collisions were three times as likely to result in vehicle occupants sustaining a TBI, compared with other crash types including head-on accidents. In cases where victims did sustain traumatic brain injuries, these injuries were also significantly more likely to be classified as severe. Women were at a greater risk of a TBI due to a side impact crash than men were, likely because their necks are not as strong as a man’s neck.
For victims who sustain these TBIs, mood and personality changes, cognitive impairments, and a reduction in reasoning abilities are all common symptoms. Patients often need intensive care and sometimes lifelong care after a brain injury. An attorney can help victims to get the money they need to pay for their medical expenditures and other damages.
The Atlanta car accident lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent victims after a collision causes brain injury. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.