Who’s At Fault in a T-Bone Accident?
T-bone accidents, also called broadside and side-impact collisions, can easily be catastrophic. Vehicle drivers and passengers can sustain serious and life-threatening injuries in T-bone accidents. Texas is a tort-based insurance state, making it necessary to identify the at-fault party before you can obtain compensation for a T-bone accident. You might need a personal injury lawyer’s assistance in determining fault after this type of auto accident.
What Type of Injury Is Commonly Associated With T-Bone Accidents?
A T-bone accident happens when one vehicle collides with the broadside of another, forming the shape of a T. Side-impact crashes can cause many serious injuries to all parts of the body. One of the most common injuries is whiplash. Whiplash is a soft-tissue injury of the neck that may involve a muscle strain or sprain. Whiplash is common in T-bone accidents due to the sudden jerking of the head and neck one way and then another. This jerking motion could be enough to strain or tear the tendons and ligaments of the neck. A T-bone accident could cause many different personal injuries.
- Cuts or lacerations from shattered glass
- Chemical rash from airbag deployment
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Nerve injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Burn injuries
- Head and skull injuries
- Traumatic brain damage
- Broken bones
- Crush-related injuries
A devastating T-bone accident could also cause emotional injuries, including mental anguish, anxiety, nightmares and psychological trauma. Victims with injuries from side-impact crashes in Texas may be eligible to recover financial compensation for their losses and damages. This could include compensation for medical bills, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and vehicle repairs. To obtain compensation, however, victims will need to determine and prove fault under Texas’ tort-based insurance system. This will take identifying the at-fault party.
How Do T-Bone Accidents Happen?
T-bone accidents in Texas occur most often when one or more drivers break the rules at intersections. Intersections are dangerous areas where it is imperative for all drivers to follow applicable traffic laws, including traffic signals and rights-of-way. If a driver breaks a rule at an intersection, it could place his or her vehicle in a dangerous position – such as directly in the path of an oncoming vehicle.
- Turning left in front of an oncoming vehicle
- Turning without the right-of-way
- Running a red light
- Rolling through a stop sign
- Driving drunk or drugged
- Driving distracted
- Texting while driving
- Making an unsafe or illegal U-turn
Most T-bone accidents stem from driver error. Some, however, relate to dangerously designed roadways and intersections. If a city planner did a poor job of designing a reasonably safe intersection and this contributed to a side-impact accident, the government could be responsible for paying victims’ damages. The law gives you the right to file a lawsuit if someone else caused your T-bone accident. Even if you partially contributed to the crash, you could still be eligible for compensation under Texas’ comparative negligence law.
Should You Hire an Attorney?
Litigating a T-bone accident claim can be difficult. The other driver might refute fault or his or her insurer might deny your claim to damages. The defendant may also allege your comparative negligence in causing the collision. The most effective way to combat insurance bad faith practices and prove another party’s fault for your broadside accident is by hiring a lawyer to represent you during negotiations.
Consult with a lawyer about your rights as soon as possible as the victim of a T-bone collision. You do not have an unlimited amount of time to bring a claim. Texas’ statute of limitations gives you no more than two years to file a lawsuit for your injuries. If you miss this deadline, your lawyer will most likely be unable to convince the courts to hear your case. The defendant could use the missed deadline against you to make your claim invalid. Contact an attorney right away after a T-bone accident in Texas.