Research suggests that the type of injury most commonly associated with T-bone accidents is blunt force trauma, particularly to the chest and head. T-bone accidents, also known as side-impact collisions, occur when the front of a vehicle strikes the side of another vehicle, forming a T shape. Injury patterns in T-bone accidents are consistent among adults and children, who often suffer severe injuries from the impact occurring on the side on which they are seated or the vehicle rolling over.
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that angle collisions, such as T-bone accidents, accounted for nearly one in five of all accidents in the United States in 2017.
What Is A T-Bone Accident?
Accidents are all different and can cause different physical, emotional, and psychological damage for victims. T-bone accidents usually involve the front of one car hitting the side of another, creating a T-shape. This kind of crash can cause injuries that range from minor to catastrophic, and can even result in loss of life. Interestingly, some will argue that a t-bone accident is more dangerous to the body than a rear-end collision because of the way bodies are moved in this type of collision.
If a negligent driver injured you in a T-bone accident, you may be wondering if they will pay for your resulting medical bills, property damage/loss, and expenses. Since fault can affect your recovery, who is to blame when a T-bone accident happens?
The truth is that there is no one answer to this question. Every T-bone accident has different factors and every victim faces different challenges. Determining fault really requires some steps in fact-finding and analysis that an attorney can do for you.
For a free consultation about your accident and injuries, call 813.755.9500 or get in contact online. Our legal team and professional staff are ready to help you.
How Does A T-Bone Accident Happen?
The impact of a T-bone is usually located on the broad side of one car and the front of another. There are many situations that can result in this kind of crash, but they are more common when cars are turning in different directions, like in an intersection.
For example, if a driver runs a red light in an intersection, changes lanes on a turn, or tries to go at a right angle against traffic flow, there is a chance for a dangerous T-bone crash to happen. T-bone accidents can even occur on Florida highways at high speeds, especially if a car hydroplanes in rainy weather. On the other hand, low-speed T-bone accidents can happen in parking lots when you have some drivers reversing out of parking spaces while others are driving around.
What Damages and Injuries Can Result in a T-Bone Accident?
Depending on which side of your car is hit, people in a vehicle that is closest to impact can be the most at risk for life-threatening injuries. This is where the injuries and damage from a T-bone accident can be totally different than other kinds of crashes.
In accidents where the front or back of your car is hit (like rear-end accidents), there are layers of structural protection to buffer the impact. In the back you have seats, your trunk, and a bumper; in the front, you have your hood, airbags, another bumper, and an engine.
But with side-impact collisions like T-bones, you may only have a door and window between you and the car that hits you. This leaves passengers and drivers vulnerable to severe injuries or even death.
American automakers are now required to build in side-impact safety features, but thousands of people are still killed by this kind of accident every year. Those who are injured in a T-bone crash can suffer from a variety of minor to serious injuries, including:
- Shoulder injuries
- Leg and knee injuries
- Ear injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Arm injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Hip injuries
- Amputation of limbs
- Nerve damage and spinal cord injuries
The intense pain and suffering that is often caused by these injuries don’t even cover the emotional trauma, lost wages, property damage or loss, medical bills, and other losses that a victim may have to face. With all of these life-changing factors at play, it is only right to want justice if a negligent driver hit you.
It’s important to remember Florida’s insurance laws make it a no-fault state. This means that your ‘no-fault’ or PIP (Personal Injury Protection) insurance is usually the first resource for victims to cover lost wages, medical bills, property damage, and other accident-related expenses.
When PIP coverage cannot take care of the cost of your injuries because they are catastrophic, then you can pursue compensation from the at-fault driver. A major part of using your rights to recover from a negligent driver is proving that they are financially and legally responsible, or liable, for the crash.
This is a job that a knowledgeable personal injury attorney can take off your shoulders. Hiring an experienced lawyer with a strong track record can secure you your maximum compensation. Call us at 813.755.9500 or complete the form on our homepage to get a free, confidential case review.
How To Prove Liability For A T-Bone Crash?
First and foremost, you can start working to strengthen your claim right at the scene of the accident. Although it may be a hectic time for you, it is also a crucial moment for taking important steps to secure a full recovery later.
A few ways you can collect evidence to support your claim are to contact the police, take pictures, and talk to witnesses. Read our blog on steps to protect your injury claim at the crash scene.
When a T-Bone accident happens, there are some parties that can be found at fault, depending on the circumstances that led to the crash. Every collision is different, so be sure to speak with a lawyer if you were hurt and have questions.
In the process of investigating and determining fault for a side-impact crash, it is important to look at causes that are likely for liability. Here are some common ways that an at-fault party can be liable for a T-bone crash:
There are a variety of reasons that another driver on the road can cause an accident like this. At intersections in particular, distractions from phones, radios, and other gadgets can cause drivers to lose focus, miscalculate timing, and fail to communicate to other cars properly. Unfortunately, these kinds of mistakes can lead to life-changing injuries and damage to others.
Speeding can also be a factor to make someone responsible for causing a side impact accident since often a driver’s control is decreased as their speed is increased. Approaching a roadway or an intersection going too fast can cause a driver to make a hasty and unwise decision that results in a side-impact crash.
Aside from driver error, there are also situations where T-bone accidents are caused by mechanical issues from defective parts. In cases like these, an automaker can be found at fault for the crash if it is successfully proven that they put a failing part or a car on the market for sale.
The details of proving this kind of ‘strict liability’ can involve difficult legal issues, so it is best to consult with an attorney if you believe your T-bone accident was caused by your car or motorcycle.
Other unlikely outsiders can be found liable for a side-impact collision, even if they are not at the scene after it happens. Although a road engineer may not be actually present when a T-bone crash occurs, their decisions can still contribute to it happening.
Road engineers control the designs and signals to guide traffic and allow drivers to respond to upcoming risks on the road. If a road engineer fails to make an intersection safe enough, drivers can be more likely to make mistakes, leading to dangerous T-bone accidents.
Road designers or engineers are just one example of an outside party that can be liable for a side-impact crash. Other drivers on the road can also cause this kind of collision but avoid it somehow and not stop after it happens.
Even if another driver is responsible for creating the domino effect that leads to the T-bone crash, they may just keep driving afterward and leave the scene. If this happens, taking note of their license plate, getting witness accounts, or writing down other identifying details may help your attorney to investigate.
Find An Accident Attorney For Help
Determining liability for a T-bone accident can be a complicated process since either driver can be found at fault. Holding at-fault parties accountable often involves fact-finding as well as fielding other legal issues and challenges along the way. Taking that on without the help of a lawyer could add much more stress to an already overwhelming situation.
You should find an attorney who is willing to put in the work to get you compensated fully. We will never stop working to get injured clients the recovery they deserve. For a free attorney case review, call 813.755.9500 or submit our contact form online.