A t-bone car accident occurs when you least expect it. You are driving along, often through a green light or an intersection, and another driver fails to give you the right-of-way as they legally must.
The resulting accident could be devastating, mainly because you did not have any warning to try to take evasive measures. These are among the most deadly and dangerous types of car accidents.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a T-bone car crash, we can help you. Call us for a free consultation to learn about filing a legal claim for your injuries.
What Is a T-Bone Accident?
T-bone accidents are called that because the front of one car hits the side of another. The resulting accident damage is in the shape of the letter T. This is another name for a broadside collision with side impact.
These types of car accidents should not happen. Usually, it is the fault of one vehicle, although it is not always easy to determine if you or the other car is to blame for the accident.
How T-Bone Accidents Happen
A t-bone collision should not be happening under routine circumstances. A t-bone car accident occurs when one (or both cars) are in a place where they are not supposed to be.
The usual cause is when one driver has run a red light or a stop sign. Otherwise, the two drivers would never be in the position for t-bone collisions.
Usually, one driver has the right-of-way because they are proceeding as if there is no danger, unaware that they are about to get broadsided by another driver.
Other t-bone car crashes can happen when a driver in oncoming traffic strikes you. This usually occurs when a driver loses control of their car. They could be speeding, distracted, or driving drunk.
These are among the most dangerous side-impact collisions because they happen at full speed.
The Role of Negligence in a T-Bone Car Accident
In any car accident, you have a legal right to recover for your injuries when you prove that someone else was negligent.
This is a legal term for a more complicated test that requires you to show that the driver acted unreasonably under the circumstances.
In other words, they did something ordinary drivers with reasonable training and experience would not do.
It is up to you to prove what the other driver was doing during the car accident. The plaintiff in a car accident lawsuit has the burden of proof to show that their side of the story is more likely than not to have happened.
Some Causes of a T-Bone Accident
In some cases, the other driver did not see that they had a stop sign. They may have been speeding to make it through an intersection before they had to stop at a red light.
While these seem like common mistakes, they would still be examples of negligence, which does not have to be intentional. Reasonable drivers will observe traffic signs and commands.
Some other causes of t-bone car accidents would include:
- Distracted driving (such as missing a stop sign because the driver was looking at their phone instead of the road)
- Drunk driving
- Aggressive driving
The Dangers of a Side Impact Accident
T-bone collisions are among the most dangerous types of car accidents. The fact that neither driver has a chance to slow down before a t-bone car accident is what makes them possibly deadly.
Because of the force and type of impact of a t-bone accident, you are much more likely to suffer a crush injury in these accidents.
This could include upper body crush-type injuries to the chest and throat. Drivers are much more likely to suffer internal injuries in these crashes.
In addition, the impact force in a t-bone collision is also more likely to cause a traumatic brain injury. The driver could either suffer whiplash or hit their head against something from the impact of the collision.
Each driver will experience impact at a vulnerable place of their vehicle in a t-bone car accident. One driver will be in a head-on collision.
The other driver will be hit on the side of the car, where there is less protection from impact than the front. If a passenger is in the front seat, they will be in the most danger in a T-bone car accident.
Statistics About T-Bone Crashes
T-bone accident cases are far more common than you think. Roughly 13% of car crashes in the United States yearly are t bone type accidents.
However, 18% of this country’s total auto accident fatalities happen in these types of crashes.
Every year, roughly 8,000 people lose their lives in t-bone crashes. The higher rate of fatalities in these crashes directly results from the increased danger of a broadside impact.
T-bone accidents are behind head-on crashes regarding the danger for the drivers involved.
The Importance and Role of Stop Signs and Traffic Lights to Prevent T-Bone Accidents
Traffic operation depends on drivers not trying to simultaneously be in the same space. Stops signs, red and green lights are the primary means to prevent vehicle crashes.
Of course, drivers must obey these signs and traffic controls because they prevent accidents. When a driver proceeds at a green light, they expect other drivers to stop at the corresponding red light.
They are not at all anticipating being broadsided by another car.
Who Else May Be at Fault for a T-Bone Accident?
There are several other potentially responsible parties for a side-impact collision. A third driver could be responsible for their own reckless and dangerous driving.
The other driver may have hit you because a dangerous third driver did something like run a stop sign or force them out of their lane.
In addition, while it is a remote possibility, the road engineers or designers could be to blame for poor sightlines on the road.
There could be an obscured stop sign covered by tree branches that drivers could not see. Alternatively, there could be a malfunctioning traffic light where both drivers thought they had the right of way.
How Insurance Companies Will Determine Fault for a T-Bone Accident
The usual rule in determining fault for a car crash is that the driver whose front of the car hit other drivers is to blame for the crash. This is not always the case in a t-bone crash.
The driver who has been hit could be at fault if they proceeded without the right of way. Vehicle hits can be the fault of the person who has been hit in certain circumstances.
There are several ways that insurance companies will try to figure out who is to blame for a T-bone crash. They will always try to speak to the drivers of the vehicles involved to get their recollections of what happened before the crash.
If you have been injured in one of these crashes, you should be careful about speaking with the other driver’s insurance company. You should never do it without your lawyer.
Once you have an attorney-client relationship, insurance companies must go through your lawyer.
The Driver Who Makes Impact May Not Always Be at Fault in a T-Bone Accident
The usual rule is that the driver who makes an impact is the one who is legally responsible for a car accident. If a driver has run a stop sign or red light, they will be the one to blame for this accident.
The driver who was not where they were supposed to be is responsible, regardless of whether they were the one who hit the other driver.
You will need witness testimony or a police report to establish what happened. If the accident happened at a four-way stop sign, you would need proof that the other driver ran the stop sign in determining fault to show that it was the other driver’s fault.
One rule that insurance companies do apply is that if a t-bone car accident happened when a driver was making a left turn, it is the driver who was in the middle of the turn who is at fault.
How Vehicle Damage Could Reveal Fault in the Accident
In some cases, insurance companies will look at the pattern of damages to the vehicle to help determine fault in a car accident.
This could be more important in a t-bone accident because it could help reveal who first occupied the space. However, this alone would not be enough to determine who was at fault.
Insurance companies may use the damage to back up some facts they already knew to strengthen their conclusions about the fault.
Insurance Companies Will Review the Official Police Report
After a severe car accident, the police will be called to the scene. They will usually issue a report about the accident.
Insurance companies will review this when they determine fault.
However, the police report is not admissible in court as evidence because the officer did not witness the car accident.
The police report will note the officer’s observations about the accident scene and may include witness recollections.
How Traffic Violations Help Determine Fault
The most critical role of the police report is that it may detail which driver was issued a citation after the accident.
If law enforcement gives a driver a ticket for running a stop sign, a red light or making an illegal left turn, that will usually be enough to prove fault in side-impact collisions.
There is an essential concept in personal injury law called negligence per se. This means that something is negligence in itself. If you can prove that other drivers did that, you do not need further evidence to show that they have been negligent.
Traffic violations in a crash are one thing that could be negligence per se.
What to Do After T-Bone Accidents
The critical part at the scene is getting medical attention for any injuries sustained in the crash.
This will be a given if you have suffered severe injuries. It is always better to avoid getting medical help after an accident.
Even if you do not think you are hurt after an accident, getting medically checked out after a T-bone car accident is always a good idea.
Some injuries take more time to become apparent. For example, you may not feel the effects of a traumatic brain injury immediately after a car accident.
In addition, internal injuries do not always show immediate symptoms. Finally, what you may think is a bruise could be broken bones that require medical treatment.
However, left untreated, T-bone accident injuries can grow worse over time. This is why you should seek medical attention the days after the accident, even if you think you are OK.
In addition, you should also contact a car accident attorney as soon as possible after the accident. When you are unrepresented, your legal rights are at risk to insurance company overreach.
They may try to get you on the record with an inadvertent admission (or something that could be taken as an admission) that could undercut your legal case.
Damages in T-Bone Car Accidents
If you have been injured in a t-bone car accident, you could be legally entitled to the following financial compensation:
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional Distress
- Wrongful death damages (if a family member was killed in the accident)
You could be legally eligible for financial compensation! Our law firm will fight for you to receive the total damages for your accident injuries when insurers do not want to pay you what you deserve.
You Can File a Lawsuit if the Insurance Company Does Not Find that it Was the Other Driver’s Fault
Insurance companies do not have the final word regarding your legal rights. Even if the insurer does not concede that the other driver was at fault, you can still have your day in court.
The jury will decide whether you should receive financial compensation for your injuries.
Our law firm can help you file a lawsuit in your accident case if your claim has been denied in your car accident case.
We can give you legal advice about the best option to receive compensation for your injuries.
Why You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer
When your T-bone car crash could be anyone’s fault, depending on the insurance company’s investigation, you need a personal injury attorney to tell your side of the story.
A car accident lawyer will investigate the crash and gather the evidence you need to show that the driver of the other vehicle was at fault.
The insurance company may try to take advantage of you and push you into making admissions that undercut your claim and make the traffic accident your fault.
Car accident cases are about what you do to prove your entitlement to personal injury damages after the accident. This is not something that you can do effectively on your own.
Contact Car Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation
If you have been injured in a t-bone car crash, call the car accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers at (888) 424-5757 to schedule your free consultation.
We will learn more about your case and review your legal options.
Our lawyers will handle all of the details of your insurance claim or lawsuit, and we commit to fighting for you to receive the compensation you legally deserve when someone else caused your car accident injuries.
You have legal rights in a traffic accident, and we will work to ensure they are respected.