In California, side-impact incidents are among the most frequent car collisions. They happen when two vehicles collide from the side rather than the front or back. These crashes leave a path of devastation, much like other auto accidents. Severe injuries from side impact incidents include those to the head, neck, spinal cord, and back. The impact of the collision determines how serious these injuries are. Fortunately, if you suffer injuries in a side-impact crash in Sacramento, you are eligible for compensation.

California personal injury laws allow you to file for compensation if someone else was at fault for the accident. At the Foos Gavin Law Firm, our team of knowledgeable personal injury attorneys will guide you through the legal process, safeguard your rights, and fight for the just compensation you deserve.

The Nature of Side-Impact Collisions

T-bone accidents are often referred to as side-impact crashes. They happen when the front of one vehicle strikes another vehicle on the side. These collisions typically occur in parking lots or junctions when most traffic is perpendicular to one another. Running a red light or failing to yield in an intersection are the two most frequent causes of T-bone collisions. Sometimes, a car could lose control and veer off the road, hitting another vehicle from the side. The results are devastating for the vehicle occupants.

Depending on the severity of the crash, a T-bone accident can cause minor or significant damages. The occupants of both involved vehicles can sustain catastrophic injuries in side-impact collisions. The fact that victims of injuries can use a personal injury lawyer to recover their damages is good. The money you obtain can help you meet your medical expenses, replace any lost wages, repair any property damage, and cover any non-financial losses, including suffering, pain, and disability. However, you need skilled legal representation to navigate the complex legal process and win just compensation for your losses.

T-bone collisions impact the drivers and passengers of the involved cars. The crash can cause more severe injuries requiring more time and money to treat if one or both vehicles are traveling at great speed. Some people pass away immediately, while others do so while receiving treatment. Thus, the victims and their families must pay a high price due to a T-bone accident.

When an accident occurs, it is crucial to seek legal counsel quickly. That will aid in your thorough preparation for civil action against the negligent party. No one will violate your rights if you have an accomplished attorney. Your lawyer will also assist you in determining your potential sources of compensation.

Causes of Side-Impact Collisions

The majority of T-bone collisions happen at crossings where it is likely that the driving traffic is parallel to one another. They could occur for a variety of causes. Many of these collisions are the result of negligent driving. These are the accidents' most frequent causes:


Some drivers travel at high speeds, making it hard for them to control their vehicles when faced with a hazard on the road. It is challenging for a driver to stop when they are traveling at a high rate of speed, and another vehicle approaches an intersection. The driver ends up colliding with the other car's side.

Running a Red Light

Drivers and pedestrians are directed by traffic stops as to how and when to cross an intersection. Accidents occur almost always as a result of disregarding a traffic light. A T-bone collision is likely to occur if a driver runs a red light and moves when vehicles traveling in the opposite direction with the right of way are doing so.

Distracted Driving

While driving, some people attempt to multitask, which is risky and a significant contributor to auto accidents. You can become distracted from the road ahead if you do something else while driving, like eating, chatting or texting on the phone, or working on the stereo. Remember that there are internal and external distractions on the road. When you are preoccupied, looking for and avoiding an approaching vehicle is impossible. After realizing their mistake, a distracted driver will yield at an intersection when it is too late.

Failing to Give Way

Driving safely always involves being aware of other people on the road and taking every precaution to keep everyone safe. However, some motorists are frequently too absorbed to pay attention to other road users. Some people often rush to their destination and think everyone else will give them the right of way. When it is someone else's turn to move, especially at junctions, drivers must be willing to yield. To ensure everyone travels safely, drivers should slow down at intersections and road junctions. A collision is likely to occur if you fail to yield.

Reckless or Aggressive Driving

All users of public roads should feel 100 percent safe. Driving aggressively and recklessly is inappropriate there. Some motorists behave erratically on the road when intoxicated by drink or drugs. Others move obnoxiously to frighten other motorists. When you drive recklessly, you cannot control your car in an emergency. An aggressive or careless driver likely causes a side-impact incident at an intersection.

Risky Weather Situations

Drivers find it challenging to maneuver safely when the weather is hazardous. The road could become slick from a significant fall. Certain weather conditions make it difficult for drivers to see well in front of them. Such circumstances make it easy for a driver to cause an accident.

The majority of side-impact collisions are the result of driver error. You can quickly initiate a lawsuit against the party at fault once you identify the accident's cause to receive compensation for your losses.

Injuries You Could Sustain from a Side-Impact Collision

Like any auto accident, side-impact collisions can cause various physical injuries. But, injuries could be graver in a T-bone accident because of the side-to-side jolting of the car after the side hit. Your body often moves at an equal speed with the vehicle when riding in one. The vehicle's forward motion quickly stops when an impact occurs, but your body keeps moving.

If you keep moving, your body can fall on the dashboard or suffer intense pressure from the seatbelt. In a T-bone collision, your forward body motion and the quick sideways jolt are combined, which opens up more potential for physical harm. Injuries that you could receive in a side-impact collision include the following:

Whiplash Injuries

In head-on and rear-end crashes, whiplash injuries are relatively common. However, they could also happen following a T-bone collision. If your head is rapidly thrown backward, forward, and from one side to the other, as it is in an accident, these injuries happen. Your neck stretches due to the fast movement on your head, placing significant strain on your spinal cord.

Symptoms of a whiplash injury after a side-impact collision include:

  • Shoulder pain
  • Pain and stiffness in the neck
  • Pain in the lower back
  • Dizziness
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Blurred vision
  • Problems with memory or concentration
  • Tiredness, irritability, and sleeplessness

Since whiplash injuries are soft-tissue injuries, diagnosing them could be problematic. But diagnostic scans like MRIs can help doctors find them. These injuries can take longer and cost more money to heal, even though they can be adequately treated.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Car collisions frequently result in head injuries. When a solid item severely hits your head during an accident, traumatic brain injuries can result. They could also be a side effect of whiplash, which occurs when the movement of your head after an accident causes your brain to move inside your skull. TBIs do not often become apparent immediately after an injury, but you could experience one or more symptoms weeks or months later. The following are some signs that you could have had a TBI in a side-impact collision:

  • You are disoriented
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Persistent headaches
  • Confusion
  • Numbness throughout your body
  • Seizures
  • Coma

Doctors can treat some TBI instances shortly after the crash, but others can impact you long-term. For doctors to diagnose injuries like these, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible following an accident.

Broken Bones, Bruises, Bumps, and Lacerations

T-bone collisions frequently result in wounds, bruises, shattered bones, and bumps. You can benefit from speedy medical care for these if you receive medical help right after the injury. However, specific lacerations could seem tiny and simple to overlook when critical. If these are ignored and infected, they could cause serious health problems. Additionally, you can suffer internal injuries that a doctor would need to examine you thoroughly to determine.

If you fail to seek medical help immediately after an accident, you could suffer serious infections or develop a permanent deformity if you shattered bones in a T-bone accident. You can also experience chronic joint issues.

Abdominal and Chest Injuries

Most side-impact collision injuries result in trauma to the chest and abdomen. They lead to rib fractures, which, while modest injuries for younger people, can pose a significant risk of morbidity and fatality for older folks. Your heart, lungs, and various internal organs in and around your belly and chest could sustain injuries. For example, a high-impact T-bone accident could cause damage to your kidney, liver, and bladder. Some of these wounds do not have apparent symptoms but can worsen with time.

Injuries to the Pelvic and Lower Extremities

Most auto accident victims suffer damage to their lower limbs and pelvic region. In side-impact incidents, these injuries are more serious. They even pose a significant risk of death. In collisions, drivers typically suffer upper-leg fractures, while passengers typically suffer pelvic injuries. Some of these wounds could result in impairments and need protracted medical care and healing.

Immediately following an accident, doctors identify pelvic injuries during the initial examination. For this reason, it is essential to visit a hospital as soon as possible following the accident. The type and extent of your injuries will determine the therapy you receive.

Spinal, Neck, and Back Injuries

Side-impact collisions will likely result in the following types of injuries:

  • Whiplash
  • Severe fractures to the spine
  • Strains, sprains, and broken bones in the back and neck
  • Complete or partial paralysis from spinal cord injuries

Injuries to the spinal cord are more serious. They make life incredibly difficult for you by causing lifetime pain and suffering and a reduction in your level of function. Disability is a typical result of spinal cord injuries.

Your neck is the portion of your body that absorbs the most force during a side-impact collision. Your head and body both move side to side, forward and backward simultaneously. Your neck's supporting ligaments and muscles are stretched by that motion. Additionally, it can cause the bones supporting your neck to fracture.

Your spine could sustain injuries from a severe back injury caused by the impact of the collision.

What To Do After a Side Impact Collision

What you do immediately following a car accident in California could significantly impact your personal injury lawsuit. If you want to receive the payment you deserve for your damages, there are a few issues you need to be careful about doing or not doing after an accident:

Seek Medical Treatment

Even if the accident is minor, you can sustain bodily injuries after a side-impact crash. Therefore, receiving medical care for you and anyone involved in the accident is a top priority. Before your injuries develop and become more expensive or difficult to cure, you must receive prompt medical attention. Additionally, seeking medical attention as soon as possible after an accident proves that you were hurt. Insurance providers will hunt for justifications not to pay you for your damages. They can use the excuse that you chose not to seek medical attention as evidence that you did not suffer any injuries.

Tell the doctor's staff what happened when you arrive at the appointment. Ensure your doctor gives you a thorough medical report outlining your injuries and the course of action that must be taken. Your doctor could also estimate the expense of your care and the time it could take you to recover fully. When you present your claim in a civil court, you will rely on that report to back it up.

Hire an Attorney

Contrary to appearances, California personal injury law is complex. Even if you are allowed to file for compensation after a T-bone collision, you must take additional steps to ensure that you receive the money you are entitled to do so. For example, you must demonstrate liability, identify the liable party, and identify all monetary and nonmonetary damages. Personal injury lawyers with expertise and experience perform some of these processes at their finest. You will probably file a successful claim with a personal injury attorney.

The conditions to submit a personal injury claim in Sacramento are known to your attorney. They are aware of the deadlines and the applicable statutes of limitations. They are also skilled at conducting investigations into personal injuries to determine fault. Your lawyer knows the proper paperwork to submit and the type of proof required to prevail in an individual injury case.

Gather Evidence

Evidence is essential to establish a personal injury. You can prove the accident's cause, the responsible party, and the validity of your claims with evidence. Right after the accident, your lawyer can assist you in gathering evidence. Go for all forms of proof, like:

  • Eyewitness account of the accident
  • The police report
  • An expert's report on accident reconstruction
  • Photographs and videos of the scene of the accident
  • Your narrative of the accident's events

Ensure that you preserve all the evidence you gather to be admissible in court.

Proving Your Personal Injury Claim After a Side Impact Collision

The people directly impacted by an accident nearly always know what caused it and who is to blame. However, in personal injury lawsuits in California, more is needed to support your claim. What you must do for a judge in a civil court to recognize your claim is spelled out in the law. You must show liability and demonstrate your damages to receive compensation from the at-fault person or their insurance company. To make a valid claim, you must verify the following:

The Responsible Party Owed You A Duty of Care

Most personal injury cases center on negligence. A duty of care was due to you by the claimed liable party, which you must prove. Every time a driver is on the road, they have a duty of care to other drivers and road users. Therefore, drivers must drive safely to protect themselves and other road users from harm and accidents. You must show that the responsible party violated that duty of care.

The Responsible Party Was Negligent

When someone violates their duty of care, it is considered negligence in personal injury claims. In most auto accidents, the failure to drive with reasonable care results in a collision. For example, motorists must always pay attention while driving, and driving while distracted reveals a driver's incapacity to pay attention on the road. The driver is held accountable for the accident if they were careless and an accident occurred. You must show how the negligent party's actions led to the accident that resulted in your injuries.

The Responsible Party is Liable For Your Damages

The conduct of the accountable person and your damages must be related. It is insufficient to show that a party was at fault for a side-impact collision to convince the judge to accept your claim. You must be able to link the accident, the responsible party, and the losses you suffered as a result of the accident. For example, show that your brain damage is related to the accident and you require expensive care and treatment. If insurance companies are not sure their customer is to blame for your injuries, they will not pay for them.

Proof of Damages

To be eligible for the compensation you are due, you must also demonstrate all the damages in your claim. In a side-impact collision, you will incur a variety of damages. Understanding compensatory damages in personal injury lawsuits in California, how the law functions, and knowing what you could include in your claim are all crucial. You can have the following two types of damages in your claim:

  1. Economic Damages

These cover all the losses that result in a direct financial loss for you. They consist of any out-of-pocket expenses you spend due to the accident, medical costs (past, present, and future medical demands), transportation costs to and from the hospital or emergency room, and medicine. You could include lost pay for the days, weeks, or months you miss from work due to your injuries and diminished capacity to work. You could also mention any harm to your property due to the collision.

  1. Non-economic damages

They include additional losses that do not directly result in financial loss. In your lawsuit, you can add pain, suffering, mental anguish, and lost enjoyment of life as non-economic damages.

The judge could grant punitive damages if your case justifies them. Punitive damages are awarded by civil court judges to deter future acts of gross carelessness and to punish the offender. These damages are not part of your claim, but your lawyer can ask the judge to consider them. If you receive punitive damages, you will receive more compensation for your damages.

Find a Skilled Personal Injury Attorney Near Me

Knowing how California's personal injury laws operate is helpful if you or a loved one sustains injuries in a side-impact crash in Sacramento. Before a judge awards you the compensation you are entitled to, there are many steps in the legal process. For example, you must demonstrate your damages and show liability. For this reason, you need the most outstanding legal counsel and direction to submit a successful claim. We at the Foos Gavin Law Firm could assist you in developing the most substantial compensation demand that accounts for all your damages. We will only stop working once you receive total compensation for your losses. For more information about side-impact collisions and our services, contact us at 916-779-3500.