T-Bone Accident Fault
Texas has a fault-based insurance system. This means that a driver that is at fault for a car accident is responsible for compensating injury victims for any and all accident-related expenses. This includes replacement income if the victim or victims are injured to the point where they cannot work.
Some items you should collect that can help build your case include:
- A police report
- Photos and videos of the vehicles at the time of the accident or before getting repairs
- Photos and videos of the accident scene
- Any witness accounts of the accident
What is a T-bone Accident?
A T-bone accident is sometimes called a broadside collision or a side-impact accident. One car hits the side of another vehicle with the front end of the vehicle. It is called a T-bone because the two vehicles typically form the letter “T” in this type of collision.
T-bone collisions can be very serious. Sometimes, they are caused by vehicles ignoring traffic signals. A common scenario is when a car turns, and another vehicle runs the stop light, resulting in a T-bone accident. T-bone crashes can be even more damaging and sometimes fatal if a motorcycle is involved.
T-bone Accidents are Very Dangerous
Broadside accidents can be particularly dangerous. A whopping 23% of vehicle occupant fatalities occur in T-bone accidents, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The consequences for children involved in T-bone accidents can be among the most severe.
Broadside collisions are fatal more often than rear-end collisions or head-on wrecks. Cars hit on the broadside protect their occupants far less since the only things separating them from the other vehicle are the car door and the window. This is particularly dangerous when there is a disparity between the size of the vehicles, e.g., a larger truck hitting the side of a smaller car.
T-bone accidents mean all occupants are at great risk of being hurt or killed, not only due to the impact, but also the secondary events that may occur. T-bone accidents may create a chain reaction and push the T-boned car into traffic, telephone poles, pedestrians, guardrails, parked cars, or off the road into whatever hazards are there.
T-bone Accident Injuries
While fatalities are not uncommon in T-bone accidents, many other injuries may occur. Listed below are some of the most common T-bone accident injuries:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Back and neck injuries
- Cuts, bruises, and abrasions
- Broken and fractured bones
- Internal injuries
- Crush injuries
- Puncture wounds
Side impact crashes leave passengers and drivers far more at risk of injury than other types of automobile accidents.
Right-of-Way and Insurance Claims
Several things are important to understand when thinking about T-bone car accidents, including the right-of-way and determining liability. Some important concepts to note:
- Oncoming traffic has the right-of-way. Making a left turn without having the proper space to advance can put you in direct contact with an oncoming vehicle, causing a T-bone accident.
- Follow the traffic signals. They will show you who has the right of way. When you have a green light, you have the right of way, but paying attention to what is happening around you is important. Pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcycles can potentially be in your path.
- Even when you have the right of way, you should pay attention. Drivers are required to practice a duty of care to avoid collisions.
- When approaching a yield sign, slow down or come to a stop. Merge into traffic as it becomes safe.
- Obey traffic laws, and yield to emergency vehicles.
- When you are at an intersection with another vehicle, the vehicle on the left yields the right of way to the car on the right. If one vehicle clearly arrived first, they have the right-of-way.
- If there are issues at the intersection, do not enter, even if the traffic signals say it’s time to go. Obstructions can cause traffic problems.
- When merging onto the highway or entering a road from a driveway, yield to moving traffic.
Frequent Causes of Broadside Collisions
T-bone collisions can be attributed to the at-fault driver who fails to yield or give proper right of way to the other drivers. Four-way stops can sometimes be confusing, causing someone to think it is their turn. Or, crashes can of course occur if someone chooses to ignore traffic signals and signs. There may be more than one at-fault driver in a T-bone wreck who can be found liable. Here are examples of other situations contributing to broadside crashes:
- Failure to acknowledge and adhere to traffic laws
- Poor infrastructure
- When traffic lights are not functioning because of a power outage, you can expect an uptick in the number of T-bone accidents that take place
When there are power outages, city and county officers are often sent to direct traffic to reduce the chances of T-bone collisions. When traffic lights are out of order, approach the intersection like you have a red light and then treat it like a four-way stop. Drivers often neglect this rule and fly through intersections at high speeds, which results in broadside accidents.
Large Truck T-bone Crashes
While any T-bone accident can be deadly, the chances of it ending very poorly increase when large trucks are involved. The passengers in the vehicle usually have far worse injuries in these cases.
Many cars feature side-impact airbags, which admittedly help. But, even if the airbags on the sides deploy, only the car door and window are between the passengers and the truck that hit them. This impact and the lack of a buffer can mean tragedy for those in the passenger vehicle.
Large trucks cannot increase in speed or come to a stop as quickly as a smaller vehicle could. This means that large trucks are not built in a way that supports them turning in front of oncoming traffic. Trucks trying to turn in front of oncoming traffic may wind up in a catastrophic car accident.
You May be Eligible for Compensation
Insurance companies would like to convince you that they owe you nothing. They may even try to blame you for the car accident. This can create a lot of anxiety surrounding the damages and expenses you have struggled with.
Listed below are some of the damages that you may be compensated for:
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of income
- Loss of future income
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Home alterations
- Mobility devices
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Physical, psychological, and occupational therapy
- Transportation costs
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Home healthcare
Bills stack up quickly when you have been in a car accident. While bills mount, the victim’s income often decreases, causing a stressful situation. An insurance company may make you a quick offer, but it is never the best they can do.
A personal injury attorney experienced with T-bone accidents can evaluate your crash and the damages you sustained. Our legal team has enough experience to recognize a good deal and to fight for maximum benefits.
Who to Contact After a T-Bone Accident
The car accident lawyers in Pearland at J.D. Silva & Associates have worked on motor vehicle collision cases of all kinds, including T-bone accidents. We know how to make the process easier for victims of car accident injuries.
If you or someone you know was hurt in any capacity in a T-Bone car accident, it’s important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. The Pearland car accident lawyers of J.D. Silva & Associates handle all personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning our clients owe us nothing unless and until we recover financial compensation for them.