Side-Impact Crashes in Gaithersburg, Maryland
One of the most serious car accidents on the road is the side-impact or T-bone crash. The people in the car that is struck on its side are especially vulnerable to severe injuries caused by these wrecks. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, nearly one-quarter of people killed in car crashes in the United States die in side-impact collisions. Data indicates greater than 5,000 people lost their lives in side-impact crashes in 2018 alone. In addition to the tragic loss of life caused by these collisions, many other people suffered severe injuries.
If you suffered injuries because of a side-impact collision, you be might be entitled to collect compensation. Contact a Gaithersburg, Maryland car crash attorney to learn more about your legal rights and options. At Berman, Sobin, Gross, Feldman & Darby LLP, our firm has been working for more than 30 years to represent the victims wrongfully injured in car accidents throughout the state of Maryland. Call 301-670-7030 to speak to one of our dedicated car accident attorneys today.
What are the Common Causes of Side-Impact Crashes in Gaithersburg, Maryland?
Side impact crashes are common at intersections. Most of the time, these crashes are the result of one driver who violates a traffic signal or stop sign. The car struck on its side may be either the violating driver or an innocent driver passing through the intersection on a green light. There are also cases common where a driver will turn left in front of oncoming traffic, resulting in a car striking the turning vehicle on its side.
Studies indicate red-light-running crashes are increasing throughout the United States. In many cities, officials have resorted to putting red light cameras at intersections to deter people from engaging in this dangerous behavior. All it takes is a momentary distraction, though, for a driver to violate a traffic signal and cause a potentially deadly crash. The risks posed by intersections have led some safety advocates to promote the installation of roundabouts. When roundabouts are used instead of a cross-section intersection, the number of injury-causing crashes drops by nearly 75 percent. Fatal crashes decline by an even higher amount when a roundabout is used. One of the main reasons roundabouts are a safer traffic design is that they cause all cars to travel in the same direction and eliminate side-impact crashes.
Why Do Side-Impact Crashes Cause Such Severe Injuries?
Cars are designed with crumple zones on the front and back. A crumple zone helps to absorb the impact of a collision and therefore reduces the forces experienced by the occupants inside of the vehicle. Side impact crashes are dangerous in part because the car struck on its side does not benefit from the protections of the crumple zone. Instead, when a vehicle hits another vehicle on its side, the impact sometimes occurs within inches of the occupants inside of that vehicle. Side airbags or curtain airbags have proven somewhat effective in reducing the devastating effects of side-impact collisions, but these features are not installed in all vehicles currently on the road.
As cars have grown in size, side-impact collisions have become increasingly more dangerous. Modern SUVs are larger than those that were previously on the road. These vehicles are also taller and higher off the ground. As a result, when an SUV strikes another car on its side, that impact often occurs higher up. The location of the impact, therefore, tends to be near the head level of the vehicle occupants.
The dangers posed by larger SUVs are causing safety regulators to redesign crash tests. Safety tests will now involve simulations using weights of 4,200 pounds and impacts that occur at higher speeds than previous crash tests. Until recently, the tests used a weight of about 3,300 pounds. SUVs are now larger, and the old tests are no longer representative of the real world side-impact crashes taking place on American roads today.
Negligence in Gaithersburg, Maryland Side-Impact Crashes
Maryland negligence law follows what is called contributory negligence. Drivers who are injured in a car crash caused by another driver will be prevented from collecting compensation. This policy differs from that followed by most US states. Car crashes are a messy business. It is often the case that multiple drivers’ behaviors lead to a serious collision. Most states acknowledge that a more at-fault driver may owe compensation to a less at-fault driver who suffered severe injuries. In Maryland, drivers must not be at fault if they wish to collect compensation from another negligent driver. In many cases, injured Maryland drivers are still able to collect compensation from another motorist. For instance, if a driver ran a red light and struck the side of your vehicle, there is a good chance that the other driver will be found entirely at fault for that crash.
Contact Berman, Sobin, Gross, Feldman & Darby LLP for Help After a Broadside Car Accident in Gaithersburg
If you were injured in a side-impact crash in Gaithersburg, contact the experienced car accident attorneys at Berman, Sobin, Gross, Feldman & Darby LLP today at 301-670-7030 to discuss your claim.