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Side Impact Collisions Accident Attorney in Sacramento
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When disaster strikes on the road, the consequences can be dire, especially in the case of side impact collisions. Often described as T-bone or broadside collisions, these accidents occur when the front of one vehicle crashes into the side of another, frequently leading to serious injuries or fatalities. Living through such an experience can be traumatizing, and dealing with the legal aftermath can be complex and intimidating. Having an experienced Sacramento side impact collision lawyer on your side can make all the difference. They help you navigate the legal landscape and fight for your rightful compensation.
J.G. Winter Law specializes in helping victims of side impact collisions get justice. Our personal injury law firm in California brings a wealth of experience and knowledge and focuses on helping you get the justice you deserve.
What Is A Side Impact Collision In Terms Of Car Accidents?
A side impact collision occurs when one vehicle collides with the side of another, forming a ‘T’ shape. These accidents can happen in various settings, such as intersections, parking lots, or even on open roads when vehicles merge. The critical factor to remember about side impact collisions is their potential to cause severe damage. Unlike frontal or rear-end collisions, the sides of cars offer less structural protection. Consequently, when the impact force is toward the side, it can lead directly to the passenger compartment and result in significant injuries or death.
Side Impact Collision Causes
Numerous factors can contribute to the occurrence of a side impact collision. Understanding these causes is critical for determining liability in a legal scenario. Below are listed the significant causes of side impact collisions.
One of the leading causes of road accidents, including side-impact collisions, is distracted driving. Activities such as texting, eating, adjusting the radio, or using a navigation system while driving can lead to distractions. Unfortunately, a distracted driver can easily miss vital traffic signals or fail to notice other vehicles, leading to potential side impact collisions.
Failure to Yield Right of Way
Drivers are expected to yield to other vehicles at intersections based on the right-of-way rules. However, when a driver fails to yield, it dramatically increases the risk of a side impact collision. This is especially common when a driver attempts to make a left-hand turn and either fails to notice an oncoming vehicle or misjudges its speed or distance.
Drunk or Impaired Driving
Drunk or impaired driving can severely affect a driver’s ability to operate their vehicle safely. Such drivers are more likely to make dangerous and illegal maneuvers, such as running red lights or stop signs, that can lead to a side impact collision.
Reckless driving refers to various dangerous behaviors, including excessive speed, improper lane changes, tailgating, and failing to signal. A reckless driver may ignore traffic signals, fail to yield the right of way, or make unsafe turns or lane changes, leading to a side impact collision.
Running a Red Light or Stop Sign
It’s common for side impact collisions when a driver runs a red light or stop sign. In their hurry, drivers may ignore these signals, directly leading to accidents as they collide with vehicles with the right of way.
Poor Weather Conditions
Adverse weather situations such as heavy rain, fog, or snow can reduce visibility and make roads slippery. In such conditions, drivers may fail to see other vehicles, traffic lights, or stop signs, leading to a potential collision.
Faulty Traffic Lights
Malfunctioning traffic signals can also lead to side impact collisions. If a traffic signal isn’t functioning correctly, it may confuse drivers regarding right-of-way rules, leading to crashes.
Inadequate Road Signs
Proper road signage is crucial for informing drivers about upcoming intersections, changes in speed limits, and other pertinent road conditions. If such signs are missing or inadequately placed, it can increase the chances of side impact collisions.
Defects in a vehicle, such as a brake failure, could lead to a side impact collision. If a driver cannot stop their car due to a mechanical defect, they may run a red light or stop sign, causing an accident.
Side Impact Collision Injuries
The injuries resulting from side impact collisions can range from minor to severe, depending on the speed of the vehicles and the point of impact. Given the limited protection the sides of cars offer, occupants are vulnerable to various injuries. Check out some common side impact collision causes.
Head and Brain Injuries
Head and brain injuries are common consequence of side impact collisions. The sudden impact can cause the occupants’ heads to jerk violently or hit the car’s interior, leading to concussions, traumatic brain injuries, or skull fractures. These injuries can affect an individual’s cognitive abilities and overall quality of life.
Neck and Spinal Injuries
The violent jolt experienced in a side impact collision can cause whiplash, leading to neck pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion. More severe impacts can result in spinal cord injuries, which could lead to temporary or permanent paralysis.
Chest and Abdominal Injuries
Chest and abdominal injuries are common in side impact collisions, especially if the vehicle occupant is on the side of the impact. Such injuries can involve broken ribs, internal bleeding, or damage to organs such as the heart, lungs, liver, or kidneys.
Pelvic and Lower Extremity Injuries
The force of a side impact collision can cause fractures in the pelvis or lower extremities, including the hips, legs, and feet. In severe cases victims may require surgeries and long-term physical therapy to regain mobility.
Facial injuries can occur if the impact causes the occupants to hit the side window or if shattered glass cuts the face. These injuries range from minor cuts and bruises to severe lacerations and broken facial bones.
Beyond physical injuries, side impact collisions can also lead to psychological trauma. Victims may have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, or develop a fear of driving or riding in vehicles.
In severe cases, side impact collisions can be fatal. The high force of impact, coupled with the lack of protection on the sides of vehicles, can lead to life-threatening injuries, making side impact collisions one of the deadliest car accidents.
Who Is At Fault In A Side Impact Collision?
Determining fault in a side impact collision can be complex as it heavily depends on the accident’s circumstances. Here are some parties that could be potentially liable.
The Other Driver
In many side impact collisions, the other driver is at fault. The reasons may include running a red light or stop sign, failing to yield the right of way, reckless driving, or being under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
The Government Entity
The fault may lie with a government entity responsible for maintaining traffic signals and signs. The government entity could be held liable if a malfunctioning traffic signal or inadequate signage contributed to the accident.
The Vehicle Manufacturer
The manufacturer might be held responsible if a vehicle defect caused the accident. This could be the case if a crucial part, such as the brakes or steering, failed, leading to the collision.
The Construction Company
In cases where road construction or maintenance activities contributed to the accident, the construction company might be held at fault. This could happen if the company left hazardous materials on the road or failed to provide adequate warning about road work ahead.
California Vehicle Code for Side Impact Collision
In California, several vehicle codes relate to behaviors that can lead to side impact collisions. For example, Vehicle Code 21801(a) states that a driver intending to turn left or make a U-turn upon a highway, or to turn left into public or private property, shall yield the right-of-way to vehicles approaching from the opposite direction.
Similarly, Vehicle Code 22350, the Basic Speed Law, states that no person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent, considering weather, visibility, traffic, and the surface and width of the highway. Violations of these laws can be used to establish fault in a side impact collision.
What Damages And Compensation Can Be Recovered In Side Impact Collisions?
Victims of side impact collisions are entitled to seek compensation for their losses. These are typically categorized into economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
Economic damages are the measurable losses a victim suffers. They include:
- Medical expenses: The cost of immediate medical care, ongoing treatment, rehabilitation, and any future medical expenses related to the accident.
- Lost wages: If the victim cannot work due to their injuries, they can seek compensation for lost wages. This also covers reduced earning capacity if the victim’s ability to work has been permanently affected.
- Property damage: This covers repairing or replacing your vehicle and any other personal property damaged in the accident.
Non-economic damages are intangible losses that don’t have a direct monetary value. They include:
- Pain and suffering: This compensates for the physical pain and emotional distress suffered by the victim.
- Loss of enjoyment of life: This compensates for reducing a victim’s ability to enjoy life. This can cover hobbies, recreational activities, and everyday pleasures.
- Emotional distress: Victims can be compensated for psychological effects such as anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances.
Punitive damages are awarded in cases where the defendant’s behavior was reckless or egregious. They are intended to punish the defendant and deter similar conduct in the future.
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Contact Top Rated Sacramento Side Impact Collision Lawyer
Being involved in a side impact collision can be a distressing experience, resulting in substantial physical, emotional, and financial burdens. It’s crucial to hire a knowledgeable Sacramento side impact collision lawyer to navigate the complexities of the legal system and fight for your rights. J.G. Winter Law is committed to providing top-notch legal representation to side impact collision victims. We understand your challenges and are dedicated to helping you secure the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with our seasoned personal injury attorney in Sacramento. Let us handle your legal action while you focus on your recovery.
Local Courthouse – Car Accident Lawyer Near Sacramento, CA
If you or your loved one have been involved in a car accident in Sacramento, California, we know you are going through a tough time. Hiring the right car accident lawyer can make a significant difference when dealing with such a difficult time. You will spend hours and hours at your local Sacramento Courthouse trying to figure out what to do on your own. If you don’t hire a lawyer, you might waste countless hours and likely receive less settlement than you could have gotten with professional help. That’s why hiring the right lawyer can help to resolve your case and settle it faster. Most importantly, you’re more likely to receive a larger settlement.
At J.G. Winter Law, we’re here to help, and it won’t cost you anything to consult with us. If you have any questions or want to know how much you might be owed, contact us for a free consultation. In California, you have up to 2 years to file a claim and sue for compensation. If you decide to go to the court by yourself, you can find Sacramento County Courthouse at 720 9th Street, Sacramento, CA 95814. But, if you want professional help, our car accident lawyer in Sacramento would gladly assist you.
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Law Offices of J.G. Winter
1540 River Park Dr
Sacramento, CA 95815