Thousands of people die in car crashes in Florida every year, and more than one hundred thousand suffer injuries in vehicle collisions. Intersections are particularly dangerous locations because there are many ways in which something can go incredibly wrong. A driver who glances down at a phone can miss a light change and enter an intersection on a red traffic signal. Drivers might fail to notice a stop sign and travel past it when another driver is heading perpendicular to that vehicle and not anticipating a car entering their lane.
When side-impact crashes take place, the risk for injuries and fatalities is high. Most of these incidents are the result of a driver who failed to follow the rules of the road. If you suffered injuries in a side-impact collision, you might be entitled to recover damages. At the Durham Law Group, our Tampa accident attorneys are experienced in representing individuals who suffered injuries in car accidents in Tampa, Florida. Call us today at 813-333-6250 to learn how we can help you.
Why are Side-Impact Crashes so Dangerous?
Side-impact collisions involve a car striking another vehicle on its broadside. Part of the reason that these crashes are so devastating is that cars are protected from frontal and rear-end crashes by crumple zones, but those features do not help people in a vehicle that suffers a side impact. The point of contact between the vehicles in a T-bone collision is close to the place where occupants are sitting. When a car strikes the front or back of a car, the crumple zone slows down the vehicle and protects the people from the worst of the impact.
Another issue is that not all cars have side airbags. While these features can help improve safety, they are not yet mandatory, and many older cars still on the road do not have these airbags, which are potentially life-saving features.
Crash tests for side-impacts were, until recently, outdated. The tests used weights that did not accurately represent the many large and heavy SUVs on the road today. Newer tests will increase the weight used to simulate the impact and will occur at higher speeds. Hopefully, manufacturers will make their cars better suited to protect occupants and pass these tests.
According to experts, even at 30 miles per hour, a side-impact incident can lead to deadly injuries. Anyone driving on the road in Florida knows that 30 miles per hour is not a particularly high-speed for the state.
Liability in Side-impact Crashes
When it comes to side-impact crashes, many of these incidents are the result of a driver violating a traffic signal or law. Sadly, drivers are running red lights more often now than at any time in the past. These crashes are killing hundreds of people in the United States every year. Stop signs are not much better, and according to some reports, they are another poor traffic control device that many motorists tend to overlook.
If a driver violates another driver’s right of way, then that driver will likely be liable to the other driver for their injuries. If you were hurt by a motorist who ran through a red light or stop sign, you would have a strong case that the other driver was negligent and, therefore, owes you compensation.
Of course, in many cases, drivers will end up arguing about who had the right of way. Sometimes witnesses will be able to clear up disputes, or there will be traffic cameras available to show what transpired. In order to learn more about how to successfully file a claim against a driver for your injuries in a car accident, contact a Tampa, Florida, car crash attorney.
Comparative Negligence in Side Impact Crashes
There are times when a crash is the result of multiple drivers making mistakes. Imagine that a driver turns left into your path, and you strike the other car on its broadside. In that incident, unless the other driver had a green turn arrow, you likely had the right of way. But if you were speeding at the time, and had you not been speeding, you would have been able to avoid the crash, then you might also be partly at fault. In those cases, the court will apportion the liability to the parties, and damages will depend on the percentage of liability the injured party bears.
Imagine you were injured in a crash, and you were 20 percent at fault, and the other driver was 80 percent to blame. If your damages were $100,000, then you could only recover $80,000 because of your share of fault.
Call the Durham Law Group Today After a Side-Impact Crash in Tampa
At the Durham Law Group, our attorneys are dedicated to representing people injured in car crashes in Tampa, Florida. Call us today at 813-333-6250 to discuss your claim with a dedicated attorney.