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T-Bone or Side Impact Auto Accidents in Las Vegas, Nevada

Posted by: on Tue, May 21, 2013

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What is a T-bone Accident?

An accident that occurs at an intersection is often called a t-bone accident or a right angle collision. These accidents are also referred to as a side impact crash. This type of accident is where the front end of one vehicle collides with the side of another vehicle, either the front, middle or rear side. Depending upon the size and speed of the two vehicles involved, these side impact or t-bone accidents can cause minimal, moderate or severe (and even fatal) injuries.

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The common causes of a t-bone accident include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Running a red light
  • Texting or other distraction while driving
  • Intoxication
  • Inattentive driving

Injuries in T-Bone Accidents

The victims of t-bone accidents are at greater risk for injury than in many other types of vehicle accidents due to the nature of the collisions. T-bone collisions typically occur at intersections or when two vehicles pass on a multi-lane highway or road. In most collisions, the vehicles are turned or spun from their original directions, and in the worst cases, may be spun or rolled over, or even hit by other speeding vehicles. Rollover accidents also have a high potential for causing injury to drivers, passengers and even pedestrians and other vehicles that are nearby and unable to avoid a collision.

A t-bone accident can be notoriously dangerous because when the vehicle is hit on its side it produces an effect that is totally different from a head-on collision or rear-end crash. The side of a vehicle has far less protection than the front or the back as there is a hood (with engine) at the front and a trunk at the rear, either of which can offer a collision buffer on impact. T-boned accidents often place the driver and passengers at a greater risk of serious injury because the only protection is the door and occasionally a side air bag. Another factor is the speed and size of the other vehicle.

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Side impact car accidents result in very high trauma injuries for another reason. This is because side impacts are usually caused by a party whom runs a stop sign or stoplight without braking or vehicle slowing. The energy from the speeds of both cars is then transferred to the occupants, including rear passengers. The dramatic reduction in force when a vehicle is caused to decelerate in an instant causes body parts to mechanically move direction causing tearing, ripping, and jolting of muscle tissues. Resulting neck injuries are very prominent as well as major bone injuries such as fractured ribs, broken pelvis, lumbar spine injuries, fractured legs and arms, and serious head trauma.

Fortunately, many newer vehicles have side-impact airbags that are designed to protect passengers in t-bone and/or side collisions. Typically, an occupant on the struck side of the vehicle is the most susceptible to injury. However, side-impact airbags are limited in the amount of protection they can provide in these accidents. Airbags are only able to provide protection during the initial impact, but since t-bone accidents often produce multiple, individual impacts, drivers and passengers are often unprotected during subsequent impacts.

Common Injuries

Sometimes, the injuries in a t-bone accident are fatal, while those accident victims who survive may experience a spinal cord injury, a head injury, broken or fractured bones and severe cuts and bruises. Other common injuries to drivers and passengers include the following:

  • Head injuries and traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
  • Neck injuries
  • Shoulder, joint, muscle and bone injuries
  • Burns, scars and disfigurement
  • Fatal injuries
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Reasons for T-Bone Accidents

It is fairly easy to guess the major causes of t-bone accidents at intersections. It is when a car is running a light or failing to stop at a stop sign. The negligent driver runs a risk of hitting an innocent driver directly on the side. In either of the situations described, vehicles will be passing so their sides are vulnerable to a t-bone incident if a careless driver is not paying attention to road rules and who has the right of way. These sorts of accidents take place when a driver is either in a hurry and doesn’t want to wait for passing traffic or has something else on his or her mind and simply fails to stop. Even if someone is driving defensively, there is not always adequate time and opportunity to notice that another driver is not going to brake when approaching an intersection. The consequences of a t-bone accident can be devastating to the victims…all because a careless driver did not follow some rules of the road that are well displayed and obvious.

Life Changing Situation

In any automobile accident, there are normally some inevitable scratches and bruises, but the likely outcome of a t-bone accident could be life changing. Any serious injury can result in a visit to a hospital or time taken off work to recover. This brings about financial hardships and pressure on family members to find time to provide care for the injured as well as tightening up the budget to allow for these additional expenses.

Side impact car accidents often seal doors shut on the impacted vehicle due to dented and twisted metal. Emergency extrusion tools, such as the “jaws of life”, are sometimes necessary to free the passengers. Modern day side-impact air bags attempt to cushion the blows from side impacts, but the forces are often so great that air bags will not totally help the deceleration forces impacting the body. The area of the intrusion can tell investigators whom may have entered the intersection first and skid marks can also help determine speeds. Modern day vehicle recorders also help police determine exact speeds at time of impact. We at Albright Stoddard also try to locate and obtain statements from key witnesses.

Some of Clark County’s busiest and most dangerous intersections:

  • Desert Inn Road & Maryland Parkway
  • Tropicana Avenue & Paradise Road
  • Charleston Boulevard & Lamb Boulevard
  • Losee Road & Craig Road
  • Losee Road & Cheyenne Avenue

Of course, statistics are interesting, but the most dangerous intersection to you is the one where your accident occurs.


Injuries from car accidents caused by an angle approach can cause serious injuries. Left sided impacts naturally may have left sided trauma and vice-versa. Often the force of the impact causes the body to move in the opposite direction of the hit. Thus, a right side impact will cause the body to, at first, go right with body extremities going the opposite direction given the forward momentum they had prior to and during the impact. The twisting and turning of the body joints cause major core injuries around the muscular skeletal system. Call the attorneys at Albright Stoddard Warnick & Albright today at 702-384-7111 for a free, no obligation consultation regarding your Las Vegas car accident, or feel free to e-mail us at

About the Authors: The law firm of Albright, Stoddard, Warnick & Albright is an A-V Rated Nevada-based full-service law firm having attorneys licensed in Nevada, California and Utah. Our firm’s practice includes a strong emphasis on personal injury accidents. Call us at 702-384-7111.

Note: This article, and any other information you obtain at this website, is not offered as legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as such, nor is it a solicitation for legal services. Only a licensed attorney can advise you with respect to your specific legal needs. We welcome your contacting our firm to discuss such representation. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.