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T-Bone Accident - Who Is At Fault?

Posted by Harlene Labrum | Mar 11, 2021

 The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that T-bone accidents accounted for 27% of total fatalities in vehicle crashes in 2018. Also known as “side-impact collisions” or “broadside collisions'', T-bone accidents occur when the collision between both vehicles is perpendicular, and where the front of one vehicle crashes into the side of another vehicle.

Determining liability in T-bone accidents is a complex legal issue, as multiple factors need to be considered. Sometimes, both the drivers may be at fault and the court might look at “comparative negligence” of both the parties. If you suffered injuries related to a T-bone accident, learn how a Tennessee T-bone accident attorney at Labrum Law Firm at (615) 338-9500 can help you with your case.

Causes of T-Bone Accidents

There are many reasons that a T-bone accident could occur on the roadways, including the following:

  • Disregarding or ignoring traffic signs and stop signs.
  • Distracted driving including using mobile phones while driving, or eating/drinking while driving.
  • Broken traffic lights and stop signs.
  • Driving above permitted speed limits.
  • Failing to give right of way to another vehicle.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Defective auto parts such as non-working brakes.

Injuries in T-Bone Accidents

Depending on the severity of the accident, a T-bone accident can lead to the following injuries:

  • Head injuries or brain damage
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Broken limb
  • Serious bruising
  • Internal tissue damage
  • Knee injuries
  • Hip injuries
  • Facial lacerations
  • Psychological trauma
  • Death

Additionally, the victims of T-bone accidents may also experience pain and suffering due to anxiety, stress, physical pain, and the emotional trauma of the T-bone accident.

Determining Liability in T-Bone Accidents

Determining which driver is at fault in a T-bone accident can be legally complex. Typically, the driver that fails to yield the right-of-passage to the other driver at a crossing or intersection is held liable in T-bone accidents. For example, a driver speeding at an intersection through a red light obstructs the right-of-passage of other drivers rightfully driving through the intersection. If an accident occurs, the speeding driver who failed to stop at the red light may be liable for the accident.

The driver who ignores the traffic rules or drives negligently or recklessly could also potentially be held liable for the accident. Sometimes, it may also happen that both the drivers are at fault. For example, when one driver ignores a red light and the other driver is distracted while driving. In such cases, the courts look at the comparative negligence of both parties.

If you suffered injuries or losses in a T-bone car accident, contact our legal team today to learn how a Tennessee T-bone accident attorney at Labrum Law Firm can help you understand all of your legal rights and options.

Avoiding T-Bone Accidents

The National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHTSA) requires car manufacturers to follow certain safety standards for “side impact protection.” These standards require car manufacturers to use new technologies to ensure head and improved chest protection in side-impact collisions. While purchasing a vehicle, owners should check vehicle safety ratings to know about the side-protection ability of their vehicles. Additionally, following certain safety measures while driving can help reduce the chances of a T-bone accident:

Wearing a Seat Belt

Wearing seat belts will not help avoid any accidnet, however, it can help avoid serious bodily injuries in an accident.

Following Traffic Rules

Most T-bone accidents happen because drivers fail to follow traffic rules. Stopping at red lights, following the speed limits, and paying attention to stop signs can help in avoiding T-bone accidents.

Avoiding Distractions

The chances of an accident are reduced when the driver is focused and attentive to the road. It also gives an increased reaction time to the driver. Avoiding distractions including texting, eating, or talking on the phone can help in avoiding T-bone accidents.

Avoiding Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol

Drug and alcohol use seriously impair a person's judgment and vision while driving. Avoiding any kind of influence while driving helps in reducing the chances of T-bone accidents.

Possible Types of Compensation in T-bone Car Accidents

The victim of a T-bone car accident can possibley claim compensation for the following expenses related to injuries and losses:

  • Medical and hospital bills related for past and future expenses.
  • Past and future loss of wages.
  • Loss of limb or total disability.
  • Damaged vehicle or other property damage.
  • Pain and suffering due to anxiety, stress, fear, depression, loss of companionship, and loss at work.
  • Wrongful death of a family member.

Steps After a T-Bone Accident

The victim or persons involved in a T-bone car accident should consider taking the following steps:

Seeking Medical Attention

If a victim suffers injuries in a T-bone accident, then he or she should immediately seek medical attention. This will also help in identifying any internal injuries that may have been caused due to the side-impact crash. In some cases, airbags and seatbelts themselves can be the source of serious injuries in a car accident.

Recording and Preserving Information

All information related to the accident should be recorded and preserved to make the victim's case stronger. Note down the date, time, place, and cause of the accident. Depending on the circumstances, attempt to take photographs of the damaged property if possible. Additionally, you should always keep a record of all medical and hospital bills.

Informing the Police

The police should be informed about the accident immediately. Also, you should always request a a copy of the police report.

Learn How a Tennessee T-bone Car Accident Attorney Can Help You After Your Accident

Proving fault and claiming compensation in a T-bone car accident can involve many complex stages. Drivers try to shift the blame to each other and insurance companies may not offer a fair settlement for the injuries suffered by a victim. If you suffered injuries and losses as a result of a T-bone car accident, contact our legal team today to learn how a Tennessee T-bone car accident attorney at Labrum Law Firm at (615) 338-9500 can help you with your case.


About the Author

Harlene Labrum

Harlene is focused and passionate about helping those injured in car wrecks.  She earned her J.D. at Nashville School of Law and her Bachelor's degree at State University of New York at Albany, awarded with the highest GPA and high honors.  Harlene began her career in law as a personal injury par...

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