The Insurance Information institute reveals T-bone accidents now make up over 13 percent of annual total car crashes in the US. These types of accidents may result in severe injuries, loss of lives, and property damage. If you incur injuries in a T-bone accident, consider working with an experienced car accident lawyer to pursue your rightful compensation for the damages suffered.
What Is a T-Bone Car Accident, and How Do They Happen
A T-bone accident refers to a car crash where the front of one vehicle strikes the side of another car to form a shape of a “T” at the point of impact.
These accidents mostly happen at intersections where one driver ignores red lights or stop signs and drive through an intersection as another vehicle is cruising across it.
In some cases, T-bone accidents may also occur because of a bad judgment call on a green light. It can also happen on interstate or highways if a driver loses control and skid sideways to hit other moving or parked vehicles.
Who Is at Fault in a Car Accident T-Bone?
Several scenarios may result in a T-bone accident with myriads of parties at fault. If you are involved in A T-bone accident, an experienced car accident lawyer can help evaluate and determine the party at fault. Here are the potential at-fault parties:
The driver of at least one of the vehicles could be liable for a T-bone accident. Traffic rules prohibit vehicles from crossing an intersection at right angles concurrently. For a T-bone accident to happen at interactions, one driver must have entered the intersection wrongly due to speeding, inattention, distraction, or impairment.
If any of the vehicles in T-bone accidents have faulty parts that contributed immensely to the crash, the vehicle manufacturer may share partial or full liability for the damages. For example, if you are approaching a road intersection and your brakes fail or the accelerator gets stuck, and you ram on the sides of another car, you can hold the automotive manufacturer liable for your losses and injuries.
Road engineers and designers
There are certain features of intersections that make the road highly susceptible to T-bone car accidents. Road engineers and designers who have control over these roads can be held liable for accidents due to the following:
- Incorrect or inappropriate signage/signaling: ideally, the more traffic that uses an intersection, the more concise the signals should be. Inappropriately placed traffic signage and incorrect signaling can confuse drivers and result in T-bone accidents.
- Poor sight lines: drivers approaching an intersection need robust sightlines to notice the intersection on time. If engineers and road designers locate the intersection inappropriately, it may result in a point of conflict between the crossing drivers. For example, if intersections are placed on a blind hill or blind curve, drivers approaching may fail to notice it and enter by mistake and cause a T-bone collision.
- Confusing layouts: complicated traffic patterns may confuse drivers as to where they are allowed to drive through or turn at when they approach an intersection. When drivers are forced to use a lot of time deciding where to go next, they are likely to make mistakes and cause accidents.
There are instances where the at-fault driver in a car crash tries to evade a head-on collision but ends causing an accident. In such a scenario, the driver may make a sudden left turn in an attempt to avoid the collision, only to end up striking the side of another vehicle. In such cases, the driver who started the chain of events will be held liable for the turn of events even if their car did not hit the other vehicles.
How to Prove Fault in a T-Bone Car Accident
In some cases, the driver’s error is so obvious based on how the T-bone accident occurred.
However, in other instances, the at-fault driver may hit your car or cut in front of you so that you are forced to swerve and hit other vehicles. In such a scenario, the at-fault driver may claim they had the right of way, and you were at fault.
Your first step should be to contact your attorney as soon as the car accident happens to help you prove fault after a t-bone car accident. Some of the ways to prove fault include:
- Using a police report
The state and federal rules concerning a T-bone accident are similar to those of other accidents. If you are not severely injured, call the police or have someone call them immediately after the accident. A police report often serves as a critical first piece of evidence to prove fault. The responding law enforcement officers make observations of the scene, record statements, and collect crucial pieces of evidence that your attorney can use to prove fault.
As you wait for the officers to arrive, take photos and videos of the car accident scene from all angles. You should also get the contact details of all witnesses. Remember; do not admit liability to the other driver or their insurance companies.
- Traffic signals
Traffic lights can be used to resolve conflicts regarding the right of way. When involved in a T-bone accident, try to make notes of the exact time the accident occurred. Traffic lights are controlled by automated programming, and a review of the system can reveal the driver at fault. For example, if the accident occurred at 12:15:30, this time can be compared against the programming to reveal that the at-fault driver actually jumped a red light and caused the crash.
- Traffic Video footage
Some traffic intersections have special cameras to record careless drivers who disregard read lights. If you get into a T-bone accident at intersections with cameras, proving liability will become much easier. After an accident, your attorney can immediately obtain the traffic and video surveillance footage installed by road authorities and local businesses and review the footage to get critical evidence.
- Vehicle defects
If the other driver runs the red lights due to failed brakes, it will be the vehicle manufacturers or designers who will bear the accidents’ cost. These kinds of cases are usually complex and may need thorough investigation. For the manufacturer to be found liable, you must prove that the defect existed while the vehicle was in control of the manufacturer. It is always advisable to retain an experienced defective product lawyer and personal injury lawyer to establish liability.
What Damages Are Available Car Accident Compensation?
A T-bone car accident can leave you with many injuries and other damages. When seeking compensation, ensure you include all costs related to the crash in your claim. The following are some of the common damages to include in your claim:
- Medical expenses
Healthcare costs are the most significant expense incurred following a T bone car crash.
The medical expenses include the costs that you have incurred due to injuries and the estimated costs of future medical treatment and care. These costs may include emergency onsite stabilization procedures, ambulance costs, medical tests, medication, medical devices, doctor visits, physical therapies, future care, and follow-up appointments.
- Repair to personal property
A T-bone accident almost always results in substantial damage to the side of your car. The damage can be minor dents or extensive damage that also costs repair. Irrespective of the level of damage, you have to spend on repair costs or buy a new car.
- Loss of employment and wages
A T-bone car accident may result in extensive injuries that could make it impossible for you to go to work. Your employer may not be under any obligation to keep you on payroll during your absence. If you lose your job or wages, you can seek damages for the losses.
- Pain and suffering
Pain and suffering that you experience following a car accident are forms of non-economic damages that are intangible. The law allows victims of road crashes to recover damages for pain and suffering. Depending on the nature of your injuries and diagnosis, pain and suffering damages can be huge.
- Loss of quality life
Some car accident injuries may leave victims with disabilities or permanent reduction in the quality of lives they lead. If a T-bone accident leaves you with a permanent disability, you can seek damages to compensate for your reduction in quality of life.
A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You Get Your Deserved Damages.
It is always wise to seek legal advice before accepting any settlement offer. Insurance companies will typically try to settle for a smaller amount than what you rightly deserve. If you or your loved one is a victim of a T-bone car accident, let our lawyers help fight for fair compensation. Our experienced car accident attorneys will value your claim and provide a range of recovery values for all your incurred damages. Contact us today and schedule a free initial consultation.