Side impact car accidents are one of the most dangerous and traumatizing accidents that individuals may experience. These collisions usually happen suddenly and lead to severe and catastrophic injuries. While you may be lucky enough to survive a side impact car crash, you will likely suffer from the physical injuries, mental trauma, and long-term complications that these accidents cause for several years to come.
What is a side impact car accident?
A side impact car accident occurs when the front portion of a vehicle collides into the side of another vehicle. Side impact car accidents are often referred to as T-bone accidents because they form the shape of a “T.” These accidents typically happen without any warning, and drivers do not have much time to react when they occur. However, negligent behavior is usually always a factor when a side impact crash occurs.
Severe injuries that result from side impact car accidents
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), side impact car accidents made up 22 percent of all car accident fatalities. In fact, there were close to 3,700 deaths due to side impact car accidents in the United States in 2021. These types of accidents can lead to a variety of severe injuries. However, the type of injury that you may experience depends on where you are seated inside the vehicle. Below, we will go over the different injuries that result from side impact car accidents based on whether you are in the front seat or back seat.
Injuries to the driver and front passengers:
The National Center for Biotechnology Information explains that the driver and front seat passengers almost always experience injuries from the impact of the dashboard and steering wheel. These individuals usually suffer severe injuries to the head, face, and upper body, which include:
- Skull fractures: A person has a skull fracture if they experience any type of break in their cranial bone. Many people heal from this injury on their own, but some do require surgery and additional rehabilitation to properly recover. Skull fractures can be very difficult to find. Therefore, if you hit your head during a T-bone accident, you should inform your doctor right away so they can begin looking for any fractures. A few common symptoms to keep an eye out for are swelling around the face or head, bruising on the face or head, blood dripping from your ears or nose, and tenderness around the head or face. Skull fractures usually take several weeks or even months to heal.
- Traumatic brain injuries: Traumatic brain injuries happen when a person experiences a “violent blow or jolt to the head or body.” These injuries usually occur when a person hits their head on a hard object within the vehicle. As a result, you may have minor bruising, bleeding, and tears within the brain tissues. Depending on how severe your injuries are, you may also have permanent brain damage. These injuries are very serious and can cause death, which means that you should let your doctor know immediately if you think you might have one.
- Whiplash: Whiplash occurs when the impact of a car accident causes the neck to move very fast back and forth. These injuries can lead to chronic pain and lifelong complications. While they are believed to only result from rear-end accidents, they actually can result from side impact accidents as well as many other types of accidents. Therefore, if you have any neck pain, you should notify your medical provider to check for whiplash.
- Chest injuries: There are various chest injuries that drivers and front passengers may experience, such as lung injuries, pulmonary contusions, trachea injuries, esophagus injuries, rib fractures, breastbone injuries, cardiac injuries and tears, and more. These injuries usually happen due to the impact and force of the T-bone accident.
- Facial, eye, and dental injuries: Other common injuries that individuals in the front area of the car may suffer are facial, eye, and dental injuries. These may include a broken jawbone, broken teeth, eye punctures or lacerations, and more.
Injuries to the rear passengers:
According to another study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, rear passengers are also prone to suffering traumatic brain injuries, but there are a few other injuries that they are more likely to suffer than front seat passengers and drivers, such as:
- Abdominal injuries: Abdominal injuries are any type of injury that affects the stomach area. Some of the most common injuries in this area are cuts, lacerations, scrapes, hematomas, contusions, ruptures, and perforation. Due to the impact of the T-bone accident, individuals are likely to experience blunt trauma to their abdominal area.
- Spinal cord injuries: When a person experiences impact in their side or back from a car accident, this can result in a spinal cord injury. Unfortunately, spinal cord injuries cause permanent complications, and people typically never fully heal. The reason for this is because the brain can no longer send messages and communicate with other areas of the body when the spinal cord is damaged in any way.
- Internal organ damage: After being in a side impact collision, you may want to have your organs checked. Some of the organs that can become damaged in this type of car accident are the spleen, liver, lungs, kidneys, and even the heart.
- Internal bleeding: Internal bleeding is a common occurrence after any type of trauma or injury to the body. When a person is bleeding internally, they must seek medical attention immediately to stop the bleeding. Sometimes, internal bleeding can take days to show up, which is why you should inform your doctor about any changes that you may be noticing. A few symptoms of internal bleeding include swelling, pain, feeling dizzy, headaches, and fainting.
- Pelvic fractures: When you have a break in your pelvic bone, you are suffering from a pelvic fracture. Signs that you may have a pelvic fracture are pain in your hips or lower back, inability to move or walk, numbness in your legs or groin area, abdominal pain, and inability to use the restroom.
If you suffer injuries from a side impact car accident, please reach out to Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys as soon as possible. Our team of car accident lawyers is ready and available to assist you through this difficult time, ensuring that you know and understand everything going on with your case. We are also committed to protecting your rights and fighting for the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses. Call our office or submit our contact form to schedule your free, no-obligation case review today. Our attorneys can meet with you anytime at our office in Kansas City, MO, or you can schedule an appointment (required) at our offices in Lee’s Summit, Parkville and St. Joseph (MO); Olathe, Kansas City, and Overland Park (KS).
Kansas City personal injury attorney James Roswold of Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys handles cases dealing with victims of personal injury, medical negligence, wrongful death, workers compensation, nursing home negligence, premises liability, product liability, car accident, truck accident and motorcycle accident cases.