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, especially 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 where there is 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 figure out if you or the other car is to blame for the accident.
How T-Bone Accidents Happen
Obviously, 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 done something like 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.
These are among the most dangerous types of 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 are able to 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 that an ordinary driver with reasonable training and experience would not do.
It is up to you to prove what the other driver was doing at the time of the car accident. The plaintiff is 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 simply 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 force of the impact 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 their car, where there is less protection from impact than the front of the car. If there is a passenger in the front seat, they will be in the most danger of all 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 every year are t bone type accidents.
However, 18% of the total auto accident fatalities in this country happen in these type of crashes.
Every year, roughly 8,000 people lose their lives in t-bone crashes. The higher rate of fatalities in these crashes is a direct result of the increased danger of a broadside impact.
T-bone accidents are right behind head-on crashes in terms of the danger for the drivers involved.
The Importance and Role of Stop Signs and Traffic Lights to Prevent T-Bone Accidents
The operation of traffic depends on drivers not trying to be in the same space at the same time. Stops signs, red lights and green lights are the primary means used to prevent vehicle crashes.
Of course, it is crucial that drivers obey these signs and traffic controls because they prevent accidents. When a driver proceeds at a green light, they fully expect that other drivers will be stopped 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 with 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 that was covered up by tree branches that drivers could not see. Alternatively, there could be a malfunctioning traffic light where both drivers thought that 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 the one to blame for the crash. This is not always the case in a t-bone crash.
The driver who has been hit could be the one at fault if they proceeded without the right of way. Vehicle hits can actually 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 very careful about speaking with the other driver’s insurance company. In fact, you should never do it without your lawyer.
Once you have an attorney client relationship, insurance companies will need to 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 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 the one responsible, regardless of whether they were the one who hit the other driver.
You will need things like 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 it was the other driver who ran the stop sign in determining fault to show that it was the other drivers 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 in their determination of fault in a car accident.
This could be more important in a t-bone accident because it could help reveal who was first in 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 that they already knew to provide more strength to their conclusions about fault.
Insurance Companies Will Review the Official Police Report
After there has been a serious 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 actually witness the car accident. The police report will note the officer’s observations about the accident scene, and it may include witness recollections.
How Traffic Violations Help Determine Fault
The most important 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 or a red light or making an illegal left turn, that will usually be enough to prove fault in side impact collisions.
There is an important concept in personal injury law called negligence per se. This means that something is negligence in itself. If you can prove that others drivers actually did that thing, you do not need any 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
At the scene, the important part is to get 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 err on the side of caution in getting medical help after an accident.
Even if you do not think that you are hurt after an accident, it is always a good idea to get medically checked out after t-bone car accidents.
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 actually 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 in the days after the accident, even if you think that 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)
If you are legally eligible for financial compensation, our law firm will fight for you to receive the full amount of 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 when it comes to 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.
At the end of the day, it is the jury that 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 perform their own investigation of the crash and gather the evidence that 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 after the accident to prove your entitlement to personal injury damages. This is not something that you are able to do effectively on your own.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
If you have been injured in a t-bone car crash, call the 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 that you legally deserve when someone else caused your car accident injuries.
You have legal rights in a traffic accident, and we will work to make sure that they are respected.