The New York auto accident lawyers at Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool And The Law Office Of William A. Gallina, LLP have handled numerous cases involving side impact collisions. A side impact collision occurs when the front of a vehicle collides with the side of another vehicle. These collisions form the shape of a "T" and are thus known as T-bone accidents. Such accidents are also referred to as "broadside" type accidents, since the broad or long side of a vehicle is struck by another vehicle, such as a car, van, truck or bus. Side impact collision accidents typically occur at an intersection due to the failure of one or more vehicles to obey traffic signs and signals, or other failures to yield the right of way. Due to their nature, these types of accidents can lead to severe injuries for drivers, as well as passengers.
Side impact collisions are usually the result of a driver's negligence. Any individual who has suffered an injury or property damage in one of these types of accidents may have grounds to file a lawsuit against the driver of the other vehicle. Our auto accident lawyers understand the complexities of side impact collision cases and have a sustained history of success recouping compensation for our clients who have suffered injuries in such accidents.*
How Severe Are Side Impact Collisions?
An impact to the side of a vehicle is somewhat more likely to cause serious injury or death than other types of vehicular accidents. One reason is the greater crush factor that exists for impacts to the side of the vehicle. The side of your car is more likely to crush from the force of impact than the front or rear of your vehicle because it lacks the protection of front and rear bumpers, as well as other structural parts of the vehicle that protect occupants from injury. While modern-day auto safety technology, including the employment of side airbags, reduce the risk of serious injury, the chance of catastrophic loss caused by a broadside hit remains very high. This is also true due to the proximity of car occupants to the point of impact. While a front or rear impact may cause injury due to indirect impact and forces within the interior of one's own vehicle, the direct force of impact caused by a side collision can be much more devastating.
How Do Lawyers Prove Negligence In Side Impact Collision Cases?
Proving liability or negligence of the other driver in side-impact collision cases can be contentious as it often involves a "he said/she said" scenario where each driver blames the other for ignoring the relevant traffic control device. This is especially true in un-witnessed accidents where the only testimony regarding how the accident occurred may come from the drivers of the vehicles themselves. Thus, testing the credibility of the defendant in such cases may be crucial to your case. A skilled side impact collision attorney must perform a detailed interrogation of the defendant at his deposition in an attempt to challenge any false claims regarding which driver failed to drive with reasonable care. Such questions will involve factors like time, speed, distance, traffic control devices and the intersection. The relationship of all of these factors to each other at various points in time can involve a complex analysis that may require the retention of witnesses, such as accident reconstruction experts or engineering experts. Such experts may also be obtained to analyze forensic evidence that was gathered at the scene. Our New York auto accident lawyers pride themselves on working with experts at the forefront of their respective fields. The testimonies of these experts are among the many reasons our firm has a sustained history of success in auto accident cases.
In New York City, any accident involving death or a serious injury likely to result in death typically leads to a special police investigation by a unit known as the Collision Investigation Squad (CIS). Our knowledgeable auto accident lawyers will specifically request that the City of New York provide this investigative material and it will customarily obtain accident photos showing the position of vehicles involved in the side impact accident prior to them being moved from their resting place. The Auto Insurance Specialists (AIS) reports will usually also include photos and measurements of crucial information, such as skid marks and yaw marks, as well as statements from the drivers and any witnesses to the accident.
Can Both Parties Be Negligent In T-Bone Accidents?
In some side impact collision cases, multiple drivers may have acted negligently. For instance, a driver having a green light does not entitle that driver to enter an intersection without exercising due care. A little known fact is that New York City's vehicle and traffic laws require vehicles to slow before entering an intersection, regardless of the color of the traffic light. Additionally, a driver who proceeds after properly stopping at a stop sign must do so with reasonable care, looking carefully in each direction before proceeding forward, even after having come to a full stop.
Another common side impact collision involves the "left turn" accident whereby a driver making a left turn is broadsided by a vehicle traveling straight. Such accidents typically involve a situation where both vehicles had a green light, yet the driver traveling straight had the right of way and the vehicle turning left had the obligation to yield the right of way to the other vehicle. Despite the fact that the vehicle going straight has the right of way, this does not fully exculpate that vehicle from liability if, in fact, the accident was partially caused because the vehicle with the right of way was speeding or contributed to the happening of the accident by some other act of negligence. Due to the fact that drivers who have the proper traffic signals on their side can still be negligent, T-bone accident cases can be more complex than they seem. Thus, it is imperative that injured drivers and passengers seek the counsel of a skilled New York auto accident lawyer.