What Are the Most Common Injuries from T-Bone Collisions?
Car accidents, regardless of where the vehicle is struck, are jarring, sudden and unpredictable. In the instance of a T-bone or side-impact collision, a driver could face numerous types of injuries, including injuries to the ankle, foot and knees, legs and hips, shoulders and head.
Ankle, foot and knee injuriesInjuries to the ankle(s), feet and knees are common injuries during T-bone collisions. Typically, these types of injuries occur when a driver attempts to avoid the crash by slamming on the brakes.
When this occurs right before impact, the sudden corrective measure causes strain on the joints in the ankles, knees and feet, which often causes cartilage and/or tendon damage. The force behind many T-bone collisions, coupled with the sudden movement, can lead to semi-permanent injuries to the joints, which often require surgery to correct.
Leg and hip injuriesIt should be no surprise that, in the event of a side-impact crash, the hips and waist are often injured. The occupant on the side impacted is often thrown against the door or into the center console. The impact can lead to injuries as simple as a bruised hip, a deep contusion or leg fractures.
While a severe bruise doesn’t sound like a big deal, they can be very painful and limit the victim’s mobility. Fractures require medical attention, and in severe cases, surgery to stabilize the bones until they heal.
The treatment(s) for fractures and other hip-related injuries can be long-lasting and those who require mobility to work will see long-term impacts. This is especially true of jobs that require walking, standing and/or lifting.
Shoulder injuriesAnother common injury from a T-bone is a shoulder injury. The force of the impact can jerk the steering wheel out of their hands and damage the cartilage and ligaments in the driver’s shoulder in the process. This is especially true when a driver tensing up their grip on the steering wheel at the moment of impact or if they try to jerk the wheel to avoid an impact.
Like leg injuries, a driver’s own strain on their shoulder coupled with the violent nature of a collision can lead to severe injuries. One common injury, for example, is a torn rotator cuff. The rotator cuff is the collection of muscles and tendons that hold a person’s arm bone in the shoulder socket. Rotator cuff injuries don’t heal on their own and require reparative surgery, although mild cases can benefit from rest and physical therapy.
Even after rotator cuff surgery, shoulder mobility is severely limited until fully healed. A sling is required for several weeks, followed by physical therapy in order to regain lost mobility and strength.
Spinal injuries and whiplashThe most common injury from a car crash is a spinal injury, which can range from whiplash to injuries to the spine itself. This class of injury is caused by the whipping motion of a crash victim’s head being thrown to the back, front or side.
T-bone collisions are particularly dangerous to the spine; therefore, crash victims should always have their spine thoroughly examined after a crash. The most dangerous aspect of spinal injuries is that they don’t always manifest immediately after a crash—some take days to fully emerge. Any pain (no matter how minor) in the spine after a T-bone collision should be evaluated by a physician immediately.
TBIs and head traumaHead injuries are also common in T-bone collisions. In the event of a side-impact crash, a vehicle occupant’s head often strikes objects (such as the dashboard, headrest, another occupant(s), side window or the steering wheel) around the vehicle.
Even though modern vehicles are equipped with side curtain airbags to protect the head in the event of a crash, the brain is easily damaged. Several types of head injuries (from a mild concussion to a traumatic brain injury) could occur due to T-bone collisions, but the severity of the injury depends on the force of the impact.
Depending on the severity, traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can be dangerous, hard to treat and impact the victim for the rest of their lives. Symptoms of a TBI include:
* Blurry vision
* Difficulties sleeping
* Difficulty speaking
* Emotional changes
* Memory loss
* Nausea and vomiting
* Paresthesia (feeling sink sensations including burning, itching, prickling and/or tingling)
* Ringing in the ears
Depending on the severity of the crash, T-bone collisions can be life-threatening with long-lasting repercussions. If you’ve been involved in a T-bone collision, contact a trusted attorney today.