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Who Is at Fault in a T-Bone Accident?

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A t-bone crash, also known as a broadside collision or side-impact crash, involves one vehicle crashing head-on into the side of another. Side-impact collisions generally occur at intersections, crossing a multi-lane highway, at a traffic light, or when a driver loses control of their vehicle.

A t-bone accident is unlike most traffic accidents because accident victims in t-bone collisions are only protected by a thin door and window. Although fault in a t-bone accident may seem obvious, it's not always that simple.

If you were involved in a t-bone car accident and you're unsure who was at fault, speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

In the article below, we will look at the possibilities of who might be at fault in a side-impact collision.

Table Of Contents


What Does T-Bone Mean in a Car Accident?

As we mentioned above, a t-bone or side-impact accident occurs when one motor vehicle crashes into the side of another. They are called t-bone car accidents because the shape of the two vehicles upon impact is similar to a "T."

T-bone accidents commonly happen at intersections when a driver runs a red light, fails to yield on a left turn at a green light, or fails to stop at a stop sign and crashes into the side of another vehicle.

Left-turn t-bone car accidents also occur if a driver misjudges traffic lights and turns left, thinking they have a green light. This often results in an oncoming vehicle crashing into the side of the vehicle that has misjudged the traffic lights.

Left-turn t-bone car accidents are more likely to cause serious injuries that require immediate medical attention because the oncoming vehicle will likely be driving at a high speed.

who is liable in a t-bone accident?

What Happens After a Car Accident That Is Not Your Fault?

First and foremost, when you are in any type of accident, strive to maintain your composure. See if anyone needs medical attention and contact emergency services for the injured party.

After a t-bone car accident, it's best not to transfer a wounded individual on your own. To avoid blocking traffic or causing another accident, move all involved vehicles to the side of the road.

If another driver was plainly to blame for the accident, that driver must report it. Evidence may be the only way to prove that the accident occurred. That is why, before leaving the scene, you should obtain information such as:

  • The at-fault party's name, address, and driver's license number. Take a photo of their license.
  • The name of the at-fault driver's insurance company and the number on their policy. Take a photo of their insurance card.
  • Witnesses' names, phone numbers, and addresses, as well as any remarks about the incident.
  • Photos of the accident scene, including the location of the damage.
  • Call the police. If it's unclear who caused the collision, filing a police complaint can help the insurance companies and your lawyer.
  • Make a note of the important elements of the accident. As time passes, it can become more difficult to remember small details.
  • Inform your auto insurance company about the accident.
  • Hire an experienced car accident lawyer to evaluate the accident injury claim. A lawyer is your best bet if you want to be awarded compensation for medical expenses and damages.

Potentially Liable Parties in a T-Bone Accident

Fault in any motor vehicle accident, including t-bone collisions, is almost always based on negligence by the drivers or the manufacturer of the car.

It's very rare for something else to cause a t-bone accident, such as an animal darting in front of a vehicle.

The negligent driver is liable to other drivers and passengers for damages incurred due to the crash.

Negligence is often based on violating a traffic law or failing to drive with due care. Fault in a t-bone motor vehicle accident depends on various factors, including road conditions, traffic signals, and vehicle defects.

The Drivers Involved

The main drivers involved in the collision are the most likely to be at fault for the accident. If a driver has the right of way and hits a vehicle that should have been stopped, the other driver may be at fault for the collision.

Multiple drivers can also be at fault for a t-bone accident. If two drivers have stopped at stop signs, not traffic lights, they must determine who has the right of way. Driver A and Driver B could both run their stop signs. Not paying attention to something so simple is a common result of distracted driving.

In a different situation, if Driver B wasn't distracted, they might have seen Driver A and tried to swerve out of the way, colliding with someone in the process. In this case, Driver B might have partial liability for the accident.

The Vehicle Manufacturer

Imagine you're approaching an intersection, and you hit the brakes, but nothing happens. Or maybe you're driving through an intersection, but your car comes to a dead stop.

If you're involved in a side-impact collision due to a mechanical failure by the vehicle's manufacturer or its auto parts, the manufacturer may have legal liability for making and selling a defective part. Now if your car is stopped because you ran out of gas, that is negligence on your part.

Another Driver

Sometimes the negligent decisions of another driver at an intersection can lead to a t-bone collision.

What if, to avoid being rear-ended by a distracted driver, you pull into an intersection only to t-bone another driver? You should not carry the full burden of someone else's distracted driving. A driver not involved in the actual side-impact collision may have partial responsibility for the accident in situations like this.

Proving Fault in Side Impact Accidents

A successful car accident claim demonstrates that a driver or another third party was negligent. It also demonstrates that because of the driver's negligence, the accident occurred, and because of that accident, you suffered an injury that caused you to suffer substantial financial damages.

To prove negligence in these types of accidents, your attorney needs to gather evidence from the accident scene. You will also need evidence like your medical bills and a diagnosis and evaluation from your doctor to demonstrate that the injuries you suffered resulted from the collision. You also need to prove that the medical care you received was necessary for your injuries.

Lost wages are another type of damage that accident injury victims can claim. You can submit pay stubs showing what you would have earned and the time you missed during recovery to prove lost wages.

Proving another person responsible in a t-bone collision can be a difficult task, especially if the driver at fault denies fault and places the blame on you. That's when having experienced accident lawyers fighting on your behalf against their insurance company can give you the advantage you need to obtain maximum compensation for your losses. 

Don't try to handle your t-bone collision case on your own, especially if you have severe injuries such as neck injuries, broken bones, internal injuries, internal bleeding, or traumatic brain injury. You risk incurring additional fault due to inexperience with the law. Let legal experts handle every detail of your t-bone accident case and guide you through the legal process.

how an attorney proves liability in a car accident

How Your Attorney Will Prove Liability

The sooner you seek legal assistance, the more likely you will receive fair compensation for your losses.

When it comes to T-bone car accident cases, your attorney will gather evidence like witness statements, take photos of vehicle damage, and speak with your insurance adjuster on your behalf to ensure that your legal rights are upheld.

Your accident lawyer will investigate your case thoroughly to ensure that the at-fault driver is held responsible in a personal injury lawsuit for the harm they caused you.

When you hire an accident injury lawyer to assist with your t-bone accident settlement, you can be sure that they will build the strongest case possible against the at-fault driver.


Damages Caused by a T-Bone Accident

  • Damages in a broadside accident are the losses associated with it. Damages can include property damage, injuries, and economic and non-economic compensatory damages.

    Economic damages have a clear dollar value. Things like medical bills or car repair expenses are considered economic damages.

    Non-economic damages can be more challenging to assess. The most common type of non-economic damage is pain and suffering.

    Compensatory damages in a t-bone collision can include:

    • Medical costs for short-term and long-term accident injuries
    • Vehicle repairs
    • Lost wages
    • Loss of consortium for a spouse or partner
    • Wrongful death damages like funeral expenses
    • Physical therapy
    • Medication and medical supplies
    • Future care and future medical treatment
    • Lost earning capacity
    • Emotional pain and suffering

Speak With An Experienced Attorney

All t-bone collisions are different. The only way to know which driver was at fault for the car crash is by conducting a thorough investigation and gathering evidence and facts about the accident. This can be a difficult task, especially if you are dealing with some of the common injuries sustained in an accident.

The thought of navigating the legal system can be nerve-racking. If you were involved in a t-bone car crash, you should call a personal injury accident law firm that will help you every step of the way.

Our legal team of personal injury lawyers at Helping the Hurt will take care of the complicated legal process of determining fault and filing an accident report. This allows you to focus solely on your physical recovery.

One of our experienced car accident attorneys will ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Our attorneys offer free legal advice to help you better understand the personal injury claim process. 

Crash victims should not wait to contact our office for a free consultation with one of our expert auto accident attorneys so we can get started on your compensation claim.

Click the link below to speak with an experienced lawyer today. 

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