T-bone car accidents, also known as side-impact collisions, can cause drivers and passengers to suffer severe injuries. In extreme cases, they can result in victims’ deaths.
T-bone accidents are unique because, unlike other types of collision, such as rear-end or head-on collisions, victims of T-bone collisions are only separated from the colliding vehicle by a thin door and window.
The window can shatter on impact, showering the victim in shards of glass. Although it might seem obvious that the colliding driver is at fault in this type of accident, the truth is that this is not always the case. Sometimes, the driver of the vehicle that is hit is found to be the negligent party, and in other cases, a third party is deemed to be responsible for a T-bone collision.
If you are injured in a T-bone collision or any other type of car accident, seek medical attention for your injury. Then, consider working with an experienced personal injury lawyer to pursue compensation for your damages.
Either Driver Can Be at Fault for a T-Bone Accident
A T-bone collision looks like this: one car broadsides the other, forming a “T” with the vehicles. Generally, this type of collision occurs when one driver does not give the other driver the right of way. For example, when a car drives through a red light into an intersection where others are rightfully passing perpendicular to their position, that driver can T-bone another vehicle and be found to be negligent.
But if they have the right of way and collide with another vehicle that should have been stopped at a red light at that intersection, the other driver may be at fault for the collision. More than one driver can be at fault for a T-bone accident. Imagine that two drivers have stop signs, not traffic lights, determining the right of way at an intersection. Driver A fails to stop at the stop sign and T-bones a distracted Driver B, who would have seen Driver A and potentially avoided the collision if they had not been distracted.
In this scenario, some of the blame might be assigned to Driver B because although they had the right of way, they too were acting negligently and could have prevented the accident by taking proper care. In Texas, a negligent party can recover compensation for their damages in an accident as long as they are deemed to hold 50% or less of the responsibility for the accident.
Determining fault in your car accident requires the use of evidence like photographs, eyewitness accounts, and the official police report for the accident. In the moments following your collision, take as many photographs of the affected areas of both vehicles as you can. Show the collision from multiple angles and the damage to both vehicles.
The official police report will include details about the collision that can be used to determine fault, such as whether any local ordinances were broken. If your car accident occurs in Houston, you can file a Houston car accident report with HPD.
When law enforcement arrives on the scene of a side impact collision, the officer may not decide fault or may even make a fault determination that is incorrect. Due to the lack of a definitive determination of fault and the fact that eyewitnesses may have different stories of what happened, it is likely that the other driver will accuse you of causing the accident. For such reasons, your car accident case may benefit from being handled by an experienced personal injury lawyer who can build your strongest case and put you in the best position for a positive outcome.
A successful car accident claim does not just demonstrate that a driver was negligent. It demonstrates that because of the driver’s negligence, an accident occurred, and because of that accident, a victim suffered an injury that caused them to suffer substantial financial damages.
In addition to the evidence discussed above, you will need to use evidence like your medical bill and input from your doctor to demonstrate that you suffered a specific injury in the collision and that you need certain medical treatment. To demonstrate your lost wages, you can submit a pay stub showing what you normally earn and the time at work you had to miss during recovery.
Right-of-way violations are one of the most common factors in T-bone accidents. Drivers who run red lights, fail to yield to oncoming traffic, or roll through stop signs are considered negligent.
In T-bone accident cases, the most common reasons given for the failure to yield are:
- Blocked view
- Misjudgment of gap size when turning
- Miscalculation of approaching traffic speed
- Distracted driving
- Aggressive or reckless driving
- Drunk driving
The impact of a T-bone crash can cause the car’s side to cave in. If parts of the vehicle and the striking vehicle penetrate the interior of the car, they can injure the driver or passengers, potentially crushing them. Even though many newer cars have side curtain airbags, these collisions often result in severe head and brain injuries due to the force of the impact.
In filing a personal injury lawsuit, you may be able to get monetary compensation if you suffer injuries in a car accident to pay back any financial damages you sustained and to compensate you directly for intangible harms. When a loved one is killed in a T-bone car crash, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit with a TX accident lawyer for damages such as lost income, lost companionship, funeral and burial expenses, and emotional harm.
Car accidents usually result in economic or financial damages, which cover the costs you incurred due to the accident. These typically consist of vehicle damage, medical costs, and lost wages as a result of your absence from work. Financial transactions, hospital bills, pay stubs, receipts, and other documentation detailing your out-of-pocket financial expenses will help you prove your damages in court. If your injury resulted in disabilities or limited your ability to function at work, you can seek compensation for these lost wages with the assistance of your attorney, who can consult with financial experts to value your claim.
Intangible damages are those that cannot be proven with medical bills or other objective documentation. An injury can severely hinder the victim’s ability to function, cause long-term pain and suffering, and diminish the enjoyment of life and activities. These factors all contribute to the amount of pain and suffering damages a victim may be able to claim. These damages tend to be significantly more valuable for victims with permanent or disabling injuries that require lifelong treatment and care.
An accident that results in the death of your loved one could result in significant damages. When considering future loss of income and burial or funeral expenses, the death of a primary provider for the family might threaten your loved ones’ financial security and well-being. Additional compensation for emotional pain, loss of companionship, counseling, childcare, and household services may also be available.
The best accident lawyer will do all that they can to make sure your rights aren’t taken advantage of. At Sutliff & Stout, we have been representing some of the most challenging personal injury and car accident cases in Texas and its surrounding areas for decades. If you have been injured due to negligence, you can rely on us to hear your story and fight for fair compensation. You have nothing to lose by contacting us. If you believe you may have a viable case, contact us for a free consultation. There will be no fees unless we win your case.
Don’t wait another minute to seek support—speak to a T-bone accident attorney at Sutliff & Stout today by calling (713) 405-1263 or completing our online contact form.