Those who live here in Houston, Texas know car accidents happen far too often than they should. Recent statistics show the Houston area continues to have an alarmingly high number of car crashes per year with a variety of severe injuries.
One of the worst crash scenarios and causing the most serious injury is a broadside collision. These often happen in intersections when someone attempts to make a turn, though they can happen anywhere.
Where in Houston do these typically occur? Let’s take a look at some facts and what you should do when facing injuries after a broadside collision occurs.
How Do Broadside Collisions Happen?
Broadside collisions are usually known as T-Bone accidents because they take place in intersections so frequently. The most typical scenario is someone attempting to make a turn (either left or right) and being broadsided by an oncoming car.
In that more prevalent situation, the driver who broadsided you may be negligent. Perhaps they didn’t notice you due to various distractions, like playing music, talking too much, texting, or just driving while drowsy.
Many scenarios exist to cause broadside collisions. Broadsides don’t always happen in intersections. While we see numerous intersection cases, broadside collisions can also happen at highway exit ramps.
Similar scenarios even occur on multi-lane roadways, and in rural intersections where no traffic lights exist. How do these particular accident scenarios typically play out?
A Broadside Collision on a Highway Exit Ramp
The problem with many highway exit ramps is they require cars to merge into highway traffic. This is never an easy thing to do, and it requires the careful use of rear-view mirrors to avoid colliding with oncoming cars.
Those entering a highway from an off-ramp have the right of way, which means other drivers coming head-on need to slow down and let the other driver merge. Unfortunately, things don’t always work out as well as planned, especially when someone is driving at 65 mph or above.
A distracted driver may broadside your car if not paying attention to your attempt to merge. High-impact crashes like this at a high rate of speed could become fatal in most situations. Any lingering injuries are most certainly severe, depending on if you have side airbags in your car.
Your car may not have side airbags, or it maybe didn’t deploy properly to protect your body from injury. Your injuries from an accident like this no doubt changed your life forever and may require years of rehabilitation.
Broadside Collisions on Multi-Lane Roadways
Some people may be old enough to remember when many roads in Houston were simply two lanes. In the modern era, most roads are at least four lanes, and sometimes more. Even on highways, you might find six or eight lanes.
Any attempt at passing on those lanes could also cause a broadside accident. Your lane pass was probably done correctly by always watching for oncoming traffic. Another driver maybe didn’t pay attention and ended up broadsiding you as you made the pass.
In other scenarios, the driver perhaps broadsided you on the highway as they pulled out of an intersection. Multi-lanes are necessary to keep heavy traffic flow going here in Houston. Yet, we constantly recognize they have their liabilities in drivers doing things they shouldn’t.
Broadside Collisions on Rural One-Way Roads
We still have some rural areas left here in Houston where one-way roads exist. Over the years, we’ve seen numerous broadside accidents on these roads because traffic has to yield to oncoming cars.
Not having a traffic light at an intersection like this makes it harder to see cars driving above the speed limit. Negligent drivers often think that just because it’s a rural road, they don’t have to obey traffic rules like in the city.
Drivers who do this often find out the hard way what can happen if not paying attention to those pulling out into rural intersections. Other times, maybe the driver wasn’t to blame and was due to obstruction from construction equipment or an overgrown shrub.
In either case, it’s important to know exactly what caused the broadside collision as a key piece of evidence.
What To Do After Suffering a Broadside Collision
Once a broadside collision occurs, you may be unable to do anything without some help. The first thing to do is call for medical aid if you can reach your mobile device.
Always get medical attention before taking any other action since you may have internal injuries and not realize it. Too many people who experience a car accident like this think they’re ok if they feel no immediate physical pain. You may have internal bleeding and not realize it until a couple of days later.
As soon as you get medical attention, you need to get some legal representation if you feel your injuries are going to alter your life. After hiring an attorney, they’ll get to work immediately on gathering evidence.
Gather All the Evidence
We always recommend you gather any evidence as you can on your own first. Obviously, this isn’t always possible if you’re severely injured and sent to the hospital.
Following your approval for an attorney to represent you, they’ll likely gather any physical evidence available, including interviewing witnesses who saw what happened.
Traffic camera footage is also usually obtained if possible. Most busy intersections here in Houston have traffic cameras that catch broadside collisions in the act. Finding this footage is invaluable to prove who exactly is to blame in the accident.
Beyond the physical evidence, be sure to also gather and keep track of your medical bills. You can request these while you’re in the hospital and put them in safekeeping to prove the financial hardships you’re facing.
Your legal team also considers the intangible evidence relevant to broadside collisions.
Consider all the mental anguish you’re going through with your injuries. Living with mental pain from pain and dealing with financial stress is not always shown through physical evidence.
This is what we call intangible evidence, even if it still applies to your case. Your attorney can prove that the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of your injuries are all tied together, and create a form of suffering only you feel.
Your lack of ability to enjoy life also plays a part here. You may be paralyzed from your broadside collision, creating an inability to enjoy relationships and lifestyles you once knew.
Plus, any inability to make plans for your future proves your life is forever changed and can’t be taken back. It’s things like these that enhance your case and ultimately stem from physical evidence, particularly your medical bills.
Negotiate With Insurance Companies
Compelling evidence makes your case all the more powerful in gaining a settlement. Next, though, comes the challenge of negotiating with insurance companies to get the settlement you need.
We’ve seen far too many people in broadside collision accidents attempt to work with insurance companies on their own. Most of these people find out that negotiating with insurance is not an easy process.
This comes from the insurance companies representing the negligent driver. They often go after accident victims like you to persuade you to settle early. To do this, they offer a low settlement offer that sounds enticing.
When you’re in a financial predicament with massive medical bills, it’s easy to get carried away with the sound of fast money. Never take these offers, however, because they’re designed to give you less than what you really deserve.
Any attempt to negotiate with these companies could even end any chance of you gaining a settlement. Insurance companies often ask you questions, including how you feel after the accident. Any slip of the tongue saying you feel ok may turn against you if a trial occurs. The insurance company could turn the tables by presenting evidence saying you told them your injuries are not as bad as you say.
It’s best to let your legal team negotiate with insurance. They’re here to help you through this process so you don’t have to stress through it. You have every right to take time to recover after your accident while we work on your behalf.
Your Potential Settlement
Various factors go into what kind of settlement you might receive for your broadside collision. Where, how, and even when the accident occurred all go into how much you could potentially win.
Never expect a certain settlement amount, since all cases differ. You’ll find various stories where people had medical bills well into the five or even six figures. Thanks to attorneys winning settlements for them, they were able to pay their medical bills, plus have leftover money in their bank accounts.
Houston’s Problem Spots for Broadside Collisions
Anyone familiar with the Houston area knows many dangerous roads exist where broadside collisions happen far too often. We’ve even placed a popular Traffic Accident Hotspot Map on our site showing where the worst spots are for most car accidents.
Did you know Houston has had a total of 61,167 accidents over the last few years? A number like that is overwhelming compared to most other cities.
One reason we decided to create our Traffic Accident Hotspot Map was to use it as a car accident preventative. We figure the more people use the map to scope out the most dangerous places, the chances for accidents are less apt to happen.
Still, car accidents continue to occur here every day. Based on our research, the worst spot of all in Houston is Beltway 8 at Bissonnet Street. One reason is it has numerous freeway exits nearby with chaotic traffic in multiple lanes. Quite simply, it’s an accident scenario waiting to happen every day, and does.
Beltway 8 is far from the only dangerous area. A few other roads in Houston are frequently cited as among the riskiest:
Loop Freeway and Interstate 610
The Loop Freeway/Interstate 610 area is an urban freeway circling Houston—and perpetually marked as dangerous. Daily commutes occur on this stretch of highway, making it extra chaotic for local Houston workers and tourists.
All that road chaos causes more broadside accidents than just about anywhere else.
Southwest Freeway and Interstate 69
Another busy freeway is Southwest Freeway, which goes through Sugar Land, Missouri City, and up to Houston. Many use this for commuting as well. Plus, protestors are known to take over Interstate 69 sometimes, causing even more traffic tie-ups.
When protestors take over the interstate, traffic is gridlocked, causing more chances of broadside collisions due to cars trying to pass one another.
Eastex Freeway and Interstate 69
Eastex Freeway takes you to East Texas, but also connects with troublesome Interstate 69. Beware when driving here, since it has many of the same freeway off-ramps and multiple lanes that cause broadside collisions so often.
Regardless of where in Houston you found yourself in a crash, call a car accident lawyer near you for help with your claim.
Since starting his firm in 1999, Stewart J. Guss has had the honor of representing clients from all over the world, helping them recover from even the most catastrophic injuries.
Today, thanks to a strong belief in those values of compassion, respect, and approachability, the firm has grown to employ over 120 legal professionals in numerous offices across 4 states, with nationwide reach.