St. Louis T-Bone Car Accidents
When a vehicle strikes another at a right angle, it hits directly into the impacted vehicle’s sides, where either the passenger or driver sits. T-bone or side-impact collisions are devastating for those involved, often ending in serious injuries and deaths.
Side-impact collisions are a common St. Louis car accident type, so if you’re visiting or living in the area, it’s important to understand what it is, its primary causes, how to prevent it, and what to do if you’re involved in one.
What’s a T-bone accident?
A T-bone accident is a type of crash that happens when the front-end of a vehicle hits the side of another, creating a “T” shape at the impact point. A T-bone accident can cause a lot of damage to the vehicles involved. Not to mention, the driver and passengers may also suffer severe injuries. The person seated at the point of impact is especially at risk of significant harm.
What are the Causes of T-Bone Car Accidents in St. Louis?
- Running a stop sign or red light: A stop sign signals you to slow down and prepare to stop. Inattentive drivers may keep driving and strike another vehicle from the side. Similarly, vehicles that fail to make complete stops at stop signs might be on the giving or receiving end of a T-bone accident.
- Distracted driving: Talking to a passenger in the car, dealing with kids or pets in the backseat, texting, or even talking on the phone can make it difficult for drivers to see another vehicle traveling across an intersection ahead of them leading to right-angle collisions.
- Making a left turn: Busy intersections in St. Louis, such as Dorsett Road in Maryland Heights, Jefferson Avenue, and Salisbury Street, often confuse drivers and are common locations for accidents. While at such dangerous intersections, most drivers attempt left-hand turns requiring them to cross one lane of traffic to safely get to the second one. Doing so can leave them vulnerable to T-bone wrecks.
- Weather conditions: At times, roads can get wet or snowy. When this happens, drivers should operate their vehicles per the prevailing road conditions. Some drivers fail to respect the traffic conditions, though, and when that happens, they might slide into oncoming traffic or hit your car from the side.
- Medical conditions: Poor eyesight among drivers might make it challenging to see clearly at night, leading to a collision.
- Speeding: Drivers who approach intersections while speeding may be unable to stop in time, causing them to enter the intersection as cars are traveling from the opposite direction resulting in a T-bone crash.
- Pulling out of the parking lot: Most people prefer to park near downtown St. Louis in spots like Old Cathedral, St Louis Public Library, Kiener Plaza East Garage, and more. However, not all drivers observe their surroundings when pulling from a parking lot to a nearby roadway, causing them to hit the side of another vehicle moving through the lane.
T-Bone Car Accident Statistics in St. Louis
According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics, side-impact accidents are responsible for over one-fifth of total fatalities in the United States. Generally, female teenage drivers are more likely (23%) to engage in T-bone crashes than male teenagers (17%).
According to WalletHub, a financial outlet, St. Louis ranks 56th among the worst cities to drive in. This ranking considers the possibility that you may be involved in an accident along with other factors, such as the cost of vehicle ownership and maintenance, overall safety, and traffic and infrastructure.
Right-angle collisions are also a leading cause of car accidents in mid-Missouri, and specifically, Jefferson City. The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) recently released a study showing that most collisions occur at high-volume traffic locations, such as Highway 50, Missouri River Bridge, and Missouri Boulevard. According to this study, side-impact accidents accounted for 18% of all crashes in Jefferson City.
Injuries from T-Bone Accidents
T-bone accidents are some of the deadliest in the United States, and victims can suffer devastating injuries.
Unfortunately, in the event of a side-impact collision, drivers have a higher likelihood of sustaining serious injuries or even death.
Not only can drivers and passengers get injured, but pedestrians on the other side of the vehicle can also suffer harm.
Common T-bone accident injuries include:
When it comes to head-related injuries after a right-angle collision, outcomes such as severe brain trauma, concussion, and cuts from broken glass may occur. Additionally, getting tiny glass particles in your eyes from flying debris can potentially lead to blindness.
Head injuries can significantly change your concentration, memory, reasoning, and decision-making capabilities.
Back injuries can be debilitating and include anything from nerve damage and herniated discs to chronic pain and spinal cord injury. Chronic pain can move from the neck to other parts of your body. In some instances, severe back injuries can result in partial or even total paralysis.
The force of side-impact accidents can cause the neck to move back and forth rapidly, also known as whiplash. Neck injuries can also lead to herniated discs.
Chest, Abdominal, and Pelvic Injuries
A T-bone collision can easily cause chest, abdominal, and pelvic fractures in addition to damage of interior organs close to these regions. If that happens, you should seek speedy medical help.
A side-impact accident can lead to broken bones in the forearms, legs, hands, and ribs. These fractures are especially likely to occur if the accident makes the car roll.
How to Prevent T-Bone Crashes in St. Louis
Due to the serious harm they cause, you can take some measures to minimize the risk of experiencing a side-impact accident, including:
Drive your car in a way that expects other motorists to break the rules. For example, as a defensive driver, you should be prepared for another motorist to run a red light, approaching intersections with caution, ready to stop if needed.
Approach Intersections at a Slow Speed
Busy intersections in St. Louis require patience among motorists. When approaching an intersection, beware of other busy lanes and slow down so you can quickly stop if the circumstances require you to.
Follow the Traffic Regulations
Remember to stop at red lights and slow down when approaching a yellow light rather than try to beat the light. Also, be sure to stop completely when at a stop sign, and don’t just roll through by tapping on the brake. Violating traffic rules not only puts you at risk of being ticketed but can also result in serious accidents like side-impact collisions.
How can the attorneys at NST Law help me with my T-bone accident case?
Have you or your loved one suffered injuries from a T-bone crash in St. Louis? Unfortunately, handling such cases can be complicated, and it’s common for the other driver to deny liability.
Other than informing the police and your insurance company about the crash and seeking immediate medical attention, it’s important to contact a car accident lawyer right away.
Here are some of the ways an attorney can help you:
- Investigate the crash: Your attorney can gather evidence to establish who’s at fault. Of course, the police will do their own investigation of the matter and write a report. Still, car accident attorneys can do some additional digging to find out who’s liable for resulting damages.
- Reviewing forms from the insurance company: Typically, insurance companies request that you fill out specific documentation, including lost wage reports, HIPAA authorizations, and more. Not all forms are a legal requirement. Attorneys can review the requested forms and let you know which ones you can ignore to help protect your ability to obtain fair compensation.
- Reviewing medical information: It’s important to ascertain that your injuries stem directly from the T-bone accident. Otherwise, the insurance company may deny your claim. Your attorney can speak with your doctors and go through the medical notes to ensure they mention the side-impact accident as the sole cause of the injuries.
- Fighting for a fair settlement: Attorneys will speak with the insurance companies on your behalf to negotiate for a reasonable and complete payment.
- Lawsuit: Sometimes, the insurance company will only agree to a reduced settlement to protect their best interests or deny your claim altogether. If that happens, your attorney can file a lawsuit against the insurance provider and the at-fault motorist.
Free Consultation with a St. Louis T-Bone Accident Lawyer
We have over 30 years of experience representing clients with their personal injury and accident claims. We want to help you recover your financial losses to get back on your feet after a T-bone accident. Contact NST Law’s St. Louis office now for a free consultation.