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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

Liability in a T-Bone Accident: Who Is At Fault?

Any car accident can have disastrous effects, but a T-bone collision is especially treacherous. Unfortunately, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, roughly one-quarter of all fatal car crashes in the US are T-bone accidents.


What is a T-bone accident, who is at fault when they happen, and how do they usually occur? Understanding the causes and consequences of this type of accident helps people know how to react after an incident and how to prepare a successful car accident claim. As well as determining who is at fault for a parking lot car accident.


What Is a T-Bone Car Accident?

What Is a T-Bone Car Accident?


A T-bone car crash is a broadside accident- meaning it involves a side-impact collision. It is when one motor vehicle hits another on the door sides rather than the front or back.


Why Are T-Bone Car Accidents Particularly Dangerous?

Side impact collisions are more likely to lead to serious injuries or even death because of how cars are designed and how the impact affects the vehicle. Most motor vehicles are designed so that the front and rear will crumple and absorb the brunt of an impact if they are hit- protecting the person inside to a certain extent.


Sadly, that is not the case on the sides of the average car. When T-bone collisions happen, there is very little to protect the vehicle occupants, and depending on where the impact happens, they can end up taking most of the force themselves.


What Are Some Common Injuries in a T-Bone Crash?

Because of this lack of protection, severe injuries are often sustained in a T-bone car accident. Some of the most common T-bone accident injuries include:

  • Broken bones

  • Neck injuries and head injuries

  • Back injuries

  • Spinal cord damage and paralysis

  • Traumatic brain injury

  • Significant cuts and bruises

  • Burns (a broadside accident is more likely to cause a vehicle to catch fire)

  • Fatalities

How and Where Do Most T-Bone Accidents Happen?


A T-bone accident is almost always caused by a driver's negligence. The most common places where side impact collisions occur include junctions and intersections and usually involve one driver or more driving when they shouldn't. Some of the most common reasons this happens are:

  • Somebody running a red light

  • Failure to stop at a stop sign

  • Pulling out into oncoming traffic at an intersection

  • Driving instead of giving way

When this happens at high speed, the results can include catastrophic injuries and even death- leaving the at-fault driver liable for damages and potentially criminal charges.


Who Is At Fault in a T-Bone Collision?


Fortunately for victims, the fault is often clear in a T-bone accident because there are generally clear rules that stop a broadside collision from happening, and at least one rule is usually broken for the impact to occur.


The at-fault party is usually the driver who fails to yield, stop at a stop sign or traffic light, or loses control of their vehicle due to reckless driving.


Sometimes, more than one of the drivers involved can be partially to blame because they were both driving recklessly or breaking a road rule that led to the accident.


In some cases, neither of the vehicles involved is to blame, although this is quite rare. If there was a malfunction in the traffic lights and a green light was shown when it should not have been, the Department of Transportation could be liable. In T-Bone accident cases where poor road conditions or obstacles on the road cause someone to lose control of the vehicle, the party responsible for upkeep could be to blame.


There are also some instances where a broadside accident happens because of another vehicle that is not part of the collision. A driver may be at fault if their actions cause another vehicle to swerve into the side of someone else.


Proving Fault in a T-Bone Accident

It is vital for as much evidence as possible to be gathered at the accident scene to determine and prove fault in a personal injury claim after a T-bone collision. Several factors can lead to the accident, but without showing a clear breach of duty of care on the part of the other driver, it can be difficult to reach a fair settlement.


Like all car accident cases, a car accident attorney in Indianapolis must show that a person's actions directly caused the collision and prove that they are liable for the damages. Ways to do this include gathering evidence such as witness statements, traffic camera footage, photos of where the accident occurred, and pictures and videos of the accident scene.


Proving T-bone accident fault is vital in securing a settlement in any ensuing personal injury lawsuits.


What to Do After Being Involved in a T-Bone Accident

What to Do After Being Involved in a T-Bone Accident


Anybody involved in a T-bone collision should contact the police and emergency services immediately and stay at the scene until they arrive. If they are able to do so, they should gather evidence from witnesses and speak to the other driver to get their contact and insurance company information.


After speaking with a police officer and getting medical attention, the next thing to do is contact a trusted car accident lawyer. They can then begin working on the case by requesting the accident report, gathering medical bills, evidence, and other relevant details to put together a claim for a T-bone accident settlement. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also advise on liability in a single vehicle accident.


Whether the victim has minor injuries or significant injuries, they should still seek compensation from the at-fault driver of the other vehicle, as it can also cover the cost of vehicle damage, lost wages,

If a broadside crash leads to one or more vehicle occupant deaths, the direct family members can make a wrongful death claim on behalf of the accident victims for pain and suffering, funeral expenses, and punitive damages for the death of their loved one.


Speak With an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Today at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys


Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys go to war for Indy car accident victims to recover compensation and get the justice they deserve. Contact the team today for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can fight on your behalf.

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