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Car Accident Information Center

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Car Accident Lawyer

Who is at Fault in a T-Bone Car Accident?

If you were in a T-bone car accident, you may be wondering who was at fault for the accident and responsible for your injuries. In many cases, you need to consider what is known as comparative fault. This means that there may be more than one party at fault in these accidents, making these cases more complex than most other car accidents. This is why you need to hire a car accident lawyer that can help you navigate this difficult type of case to get you the compensation that you deserve.

What is a T-Bone Car Accident?

T-bone accidents are also referred to as “side impact collisions”. These types of accidents can be pretty severe and cause potentially devastating and deadly injuries for the driver and passenger. There are a few things that make these types of car accidents different from others. First of all, there’s only the door and window that separates the person in the car from the vehicle that collided into them. It’s also unique because unlike other accidents, there’s no clear cut way to determine who is at fault like you can with a rear-end accident. Every T-bone accident is different, so you need to look at every individual case to determine fault.

Determining Fault in a T-Bone Car Accident

The primary factor is to determine who had the right of way when the accident occurred. But, just because you had right of way doesn’t mean that you didn’t have some part in the fault of the accident. It can be really hard, aside from having video evidence, to determine fault without any help of witness testimony. Typically speaking, the person who didn’t have right of way will always have fault in these types of accidents. The question becomes whether or not the person who did have the right of way or another 3rd party also has some blame in the incident.

T-bone accidents can occur in areas where there’s an intersection but they can also occur where there isn’t any intersection. This section will take a look at the different types of accidents where a T-bone accident can occur to help break down how to determine fault.

Accidents When Taking a Left Turn

When there’s a T-bone accident as someone takes a left turn, the fault could be on either party. If the driver took a left turn on accident because they thought they had the green light but didn’t, then the accident would be their fault. If the driver did have the right of way and was hit by someone who had a red light, then the other driver would be at fault. These accidents can be pretty severe because cars are generally going fast during these situations.

Missing/Running a Red Light

In this situation, the drivers are driving in a manner that they are perpendicular to each other so they will eventually cross paths. If both drivers think they have the right of way (the green light), it’s inevitable that these 2 cars will collide. This can also be very dangerous because cars are going faster. The driver that didn’t have the green light and right of way would be at fault.

Missing/Running a Stop Sign

There’s always the risk of a T-bone accident even in the case of a 4-way intersection with stop signs, but these are not as likely. The reason why these accidents are less likely is because the drivers come to a complete stop at the stop sign. This gives all of the drivers time to assess the situation and go when they feel safe. These can happen in situations where some people have stop signs and others don’t. In these cases the drivers who had the stop sign would be at fault since they didn’t have the right of way.

Parking Lot Exits

If you are driving and exiting from a parking lot without a traffic control device such as a stop sign, you need to be sure that the traffic is clear before leaving the parking lot. If you don’t, this can cause a T-bone accident.

Can I Be at Fault as the Driver Who Got T-Boned?

Even if your car was the one that got T-boned, you could still be at fault despite having the right of way. Having the right of way means that you still need to pay attention to the road and be cognizant of what the other drivers are doing or will do. Some ways that you can be at fault even if you have the right of way include:

  • If the car crossed multiple lanes of traffic and gets T-boned, the driver had plenty of opportunities to stop and make sure the traffic was clear before crossing that many lanes of traffic.
  • If you don’t have your headlights on in dark driving conditions/at night as this can prevent others from being able to see you.
  • If you were speeding.
  • Driving while on the phone or otherwise distracted, such as talking or listening to music.
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Brake failure caused by not getting proper maintenance.

Can a Third Party Be at Fault?

There are some other parties that can be at fault in a T-bone accident as well. Maybe your brakes failed because the shop didn’t properly fix them, not because you neglected to get them fixed. In that case, the repair shop would have some responsibility in the accident. If the stop sign that was supposed to be there wasn’t or the lights weren’t working, then the traffic control devices could also be to blame for this accident. If the lights were malfunctioning in a way where they were green at the same time, then neither driver would be at fault for the accident.





Proving Fault in a T-Bone Car Accident

There are some cases of T-bone car accidents that are pretty clear cut. This could be because the driver admitted their fault or because of how the side impact happened. But in most other cases of T-bone car accidents, the accident can happen at the fault of one driver, both drivers, and some other third party. To get compensation for your accident, you need to prove that you are not at fault or that some other party shares some responsibility in your accident.

As soon as you’ve been in an accident, be sure that you contact the police. They will create a police report and make a preliminary determination on which party or parties are at fault. They will then file a police report with this information as well as with witness statements of anyone who saw the accident. Take pictures but be sure that you don’t admit any liability as this can hurt your case.

Take note of what time it is, especially if you see the traffic lights are broken or malfunctioning. This may not always be exact but it does give the lawyer something to work with when you are trying to build a case against the party or parties at fault for your accident. If the other car malfunctioned, you need to get the information of the part’s manufacturer or the repair shop that fixed the car because they are also responsible for this accident.

Types of Injuries Caused by These Accidents

Common injuries that are suffered during this type of car accident include:

  • Back

T-bone accidents can cause a variety of different back injuries including pinched nerves, breaks, herniated disks, sprains, or some other spinal cord injury.

  • Neck

Since your body will typically cause your body to violently and suddenly jerk around, you are left susceptible to neck injuries like whiplash, sprains, breaks, and strains.

  • Broken Bones

Due to the nature of the impact suffered from a T-bone accident, the force of this type of car accident can cause such injuries as arms, pelvis, ribs, and hips.

  • Head

This type of car accident can cause your head to hit the side of the car door, air bags, or other debris, which can lead to injuries like brain contusions and concussions.

Compensation for a T-Bone Accident

T-bone collisions can be very serious, affecting your emotional health, physical health, and your financial health. You can be compensated for the damages that you suffered, such as:

  • Medical bills
  • Future medical treatments and other future medical expenses
  • Vehicle repairs
  • Medications and other medical supplies that you paid out-of-pocket for.
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost Wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Physical therapy
  • Wrongful death

Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you were in a T-bone accident, you can seek compensation for any damages sustained even if you have some fault in the accident. Our team can help you understand what your rights are during the process and advise you on the best way to move forward with your case. Because of our years of experience in this area, we can help you every step of the way to get you the compensation that you deserve. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.

The Injury Firm

1608 East Commercial Blvd. 
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33334

Phone (954) 951-0000
Fax: (954) 951-1000


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