Business Law

What Is a Side-Impact Accident? 

A car accident occurs when one driver hits another vehicle. The collision can be in the front, side or back of the vehicle. Car accidents where one vehicle crashes into the side of another vehicle are t bone accidents. These accidents are also called side-impact and broadside collisions.

A Broadside Collision Usually Occurs at Intersections

A broadside collision typically occurs when one driver hits another driver at an intersection or at a traffic sign or traffic light. These injuries are often more serious than other types of injuries that occur during car crashes. The injuries are so serious because one vehicle hits another at a full impact in the passenger or driver side of the vehicle. For example, crumbled doors and broken windows can cause major brain injuries, disfigurement and fractures. A driver or passenger can even be ejected from a car once it’s hit from the side.

Liability for a Side Impact Vehicle Crash

A driver responsible for a side impact car accident must be found negligent. Negligence is the failure for a driver to do what a reasonable driver would do in the similar and/or the same situation. This means drivers who don’t obey traffic signs, don’t yield or speed are more likely to be deemed negligent. Unsafe driving is also another action that may result in negligence and a side impact accident.

Determining Fault in Broadside Car Accidents

It may be obvious that a driver is at fault for a broadside car accident. However, the injured driver and/or passenger must show the other party was at fault. This means the injured victim must show the court other driver was failed to act as a reasonable driver would in the same and/or similar situation.

This is done in four steps. The first step is to show the other driver had a duty of care to the injured person. State law requires all drivers to obey traffic laws. This is an implied duty of care not to cause any accidents with and/or without injuries.

The next step is to show the breach of duty. A breach of duty occurs when the driver fails to act with reasonable care. This means they did something to cause the accident such as speed through a red light.

The third step is to connect the cause of the broadside car accident to the driver’s actions. This is done by showing the driver sped through the red light or disobeyed another traffic law. The purpose of this step is for the injured person to establish the driver was proximate or directly responsible for the side impact crash.

In the last step, the injured person must provide evidence that they incurred damages related to the broadside car crash. This evidence includes lost wages, property damage and medical bills. If the person died in or after the car accident, it would include funeral and burial expenses.

Only after all these steps are proven in court will an injured person receive damages. However, the driver could agree to a settlement. This means the case is settled out of court for a lump sum or series of payments.

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