Who's At-Fault in a Side-Impact Crash?

Most drivers understand who’s at-fault in a rear-end collision - usually the person in the rear is at-fault because they were “following too closely” or because they were distracted and failed to stop in time. As far as head-on collisions, it’s not hard to determine liability. Accident reconstruction experts can usually determine fault when they learn which car veered into the wrong lane, striking the other head-on.

But what about side-impact crashes? Which driver is usually liable for the crash? Side-impact crashes are also referred to as T-bone or broadside collisions. This is where the front-end of a vehicle hits the side of another vehicle. We usually see side-impact collisions in parking lots and at intersections, whether it’s an intersection with a light or a stop sign.

Main Cause of T-Bone Collisions

“What is the main cause of T-bone or side-impact collisions?” It’s the failure to yield the right of way. So, in most two-vehicle crashes, the driver whose vehicle strikes the side of the second vehicle is at fault. This is because that’s usually the driver who blew through a stop sign, ran a red light, turned left in front of oncoming traffic, or who turned left without a green arrow. As with any crash, the greater the speed, the more damage that can be caused and the greater chances of severe injury or death for the occupants in the vehicle that was struck.

Some people think side-impact crashes are not big deals. We beg to differ. Here is some excellent footage of side-impact crashes demonstrating their dangers and the importance of buying a vehicle that is equipped with side airbags.

“Side-on crashes can cause serious injuries at relatively low speeds,” according to rms.nsw.gov.au. The site continues, “For people on the struck side of the vehicle, severe injuries were most commonly inflicted to the person’s chest, followed by the lower extremities, head and abdomen/pelvis.”

Were you or someone you love injured in a side-impact crash? If so, contact Jones & Swanson to meet with a Smyrna auto accident attorney for FREE.