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Who Is at Fault for a T-bone Accident?

Who Is at Fault for a T-bone Accident?

Broadside accidents, sometimes called T-bone collisions, happen when one driver fails to yield the right-of-way to another driver traveling on an intersecting road. In this scenario, the driver who fails to yield is at fault for the accident. Sometimes, a driver might run a stop sign, yield sign, or red traffic light.

The force of a T-bone collision may cause a vehicle on the intersecting roadway to overturn completely or spin around multiple times. As a result, the driver and passengers of that vehicle may suffer severe or even deadly injuries.

If you or a person you care about sustained injuries in a recent T-bone crash, seek the legal help you need immediately. Otherwise, you may inadvertently waive your right to recover monetary compensation and damages for your injuries.

A skilled car accident lawyer in your area can discuss your accident circumstances with you, review your legal options for moving forward, and help you decide on the best course of action for your case.

Your attorney can then file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, negotiate on your behalf, and, if necessary, file a lawsuit in the state court system for monetary recovery.

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How Do T-bone Accidents Usually Happen?

T-bone accidents typically result from one or more types of negligent driving. A driver is negligent when they drive in a careless, reckless, or unreasonable manner under the circumstances. However, negligent driving can take many forms.

Some of the most common types of negligent driving that lead to T-bone collisions include:

  • Traffic law violations – When drivers disregard common traffic laws, they significantly heighten their chances of causing a broadside collision. Some of the most common traffic law violations that lead to T-bone accidents include failure to yield the right-of-way, excessive speeding, and generally failing to observe the road.
  • Distracted driving – Distracted driving means ignoring the road. Instead of watching the road, a driver might listen to loud music in their vehicle, adjust the volume on their stereo system, roughhouse with vehicle passengers, text, or program a GPS navigation system. Any of these activities may cause a driver to lose focus and turn their eyes away from the road. Unfortunately, these negligent actions may lead to a severe car crash, including a T-bone collision, if the driver fails to see or appreciate an intersection traffic sign or light.
  • Road rage – Many drivers are in a hurry to reach their final destination and will frequently try and take shortcuts while on the road. For example, they may speed through a red light, cut other vehicles off of traffic, or try to get around other cars near a traffic intersection. These aggressive driving maneuvers may lead to a severe intersection accident that causes multiple injuries.
  • Intoxicated driving – Finally, some intersection accidents result from drunken or drugged driving. Most passenger vehicle drivers are under the influence of alcohol if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that reaches a level of 0.08 percent or more. Alcohol and drugs can alter a driver’s mindset, delay their reaction time, and cause them to make poor choices while on the road. Consequently, an intoxicated driver may resort to speeding, erratic driving maneuvers, and other reckless behaviors at or near a traffic intersection. Thus, a drunk driver might negligently cause their vehicle to hit another car, causing a T-bone crash.

If you recently suffered injuries in a broadside collision resulting from one or more types of driver negligence, immediately retain the legal help you need. A skilled car accident lawyer in your area can review the circumstances of your accident with you and explore all of your legal options for consideration. Your attorney can then file a claim and pursue the compensation you deserve through aggressive settlement negotiations.

Common T-bone Accident Injuries

Experience t bone accident accidentThe force of a broadside accident may cause an accident victim’s body to move around violently inside their vehicle. As a result, part of the accident victim’s body might strike the steering wheel, door frame, headrest, window, or other part of the vehicle, causing severe injuries. For example, if a driver hits their head on the steering wheel, they may suffer a traumatic brain injury, like a concussion.

In addition, victims of broadside accidents may suffer any of the following in their crash:

  • Soft tissue neck and back injuries
  • Rib fractures
  • Broken bones
  • Knee injuries
  • Shoulder injuries
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Full or partial paralysis
  • Death

Following one or more of these injuries in a T-bone accident, accident victims must follow a treatment regimen for their best chance of full recovery. Specifically, a medical provider may refer you to your primary care physician or a medical specialist, such as a neurologist, cardiologist, or orthopedic doctor.

In addition, you may need to undergo one or more medical procedures, such as surgeries or injections, and begin a physical therapy regimen soon after your accident.

By following through with your medical treatment regimen and refraining from excessive treatment gaps, you increase your chances of fully recovering from your injuries. In addition, by seeking ongoing medical care, you show the at-fault driver’s insurance company that your injuries are severe and that you deserve to recover appropriate compensation.

While your medical treatment is ongoing, your lawyer can start gathering medical documentation, obtaining copies of police reports and eyewitness statements, and assembling a settlement demand package on your behalf.

Upon completion of your medical treatment, your lawyer can begin the settlement negotiations with the insurance company and work to secure a fair settlement offer for your injuries.

Recovering Monetary Damages Following a T-bone Crash

If you sustained injuries in a T-bone accident that another driver caused, a knowledgeable car accident attorney can determine your eligibility for various monetary damages. In general, the more serious your T-bone crash, the higher your likelihood of recovering fair monetary compensation in your case.

Factors that may affect your total monetary award include:

  • The specific injuries you suffered in your accident
  • The medical treatment you had to undergo
  • The total cost of your treatment
  • The after-effects of your injuries on your life, including the pain, suffering, and inconvenience that you experienced

First, accident victims can recover monetary compensation for their related medical expenses. Past medical damages compensate accident victims for the costs they incurred between the date of their accident and the present time.

However, if a medical provider determines that you may need to undergo medical treatment in the future, such as future surgery or physical therapy, you can recover those anticipated medical costs as part of your personal injury claim or lawsuit.

In addition, if you missed time from work after your accident to attend physical therapy sessions or medical appointments, you can claim lost earnings. Similarly, if your injuries necessitated that you switch jobs and take a pay cut, you can bring a successful claim for loss of earning capacity.

In addition to the out-of-pocket expenses you experienced as a result of your accident, you may be eligible to recover monetary damages for your intangible losses. Specifically, you may recover compensation for all of your related inconvenience, mental distress, pain and suffering, loss of the ability to use a body part (such as paralysis from a spinal injury), loss of life enjoyment, permanent disfigurement or disability, and loss of spousal companionship.

Your attorney can help you determine which damages you can recover via a fair settlement offer or litigation result. Your lawyer may then set about pursuing the maximum monetary damages you deserve to recover in your case.

How to Prove a T-bone Accident Case and Recover the Compensation You Need

To recover any of these monetary damages following a T-bone accident, you must establish the various legal components of your case. Your attorney can help establish these legal elements by retaining an expert to testify on the witness stand at trial – or at a discovery deposition.

First, the accident victim has the sole legal burden of proof in a car accident claim. The driver who caused the accident or failed to yield the right-of-way in a broadside accident does not need to satisfy any legal burden or prove anything in the case.

First, the injured accident victim must establish that the other driver owed them a legal duty of care. This legal element is typically clear-cut since all drivers are responsible for driving safely, carefully, and in accordance with traffic laws and regulations. Drivers also have a duty to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and other vehicles when necessary.

Next, the injured accident victim must show that the other driver violated the law, such as by speeding or failing to yield the right-of-way at the appropriate time. In addition, the accident victim must establish that this negligent action or inaction caused the subject accident – and that they suffered one or more physical injuries as a direct result of the accident.

To help establish this legal burden of proof, a car accident attorney can retain an accident reconstructionist to testify in the case. Specifically, an accident reconstructionist can piece together the evidence and establish that another driver violated their legal duty.

On the other hand, a medical expert can testify that a causal relationship exists between the accident victim’s claimed injuries and the subject collision.

Filing a Personal Injury Claim Arising from a T-bone Crash

The first step to recovering monetary damages in any car accident case is to submit a valid legal claim, usually to the insurance adjuster for the at-fault driver.

Important pieces that your lawyer and the insurance company may use to evaluate a car accident claim include:

  • Copies of the police report
  • Statements from eyewitnesses to the accident
  • Medical treatment records and bills
  • Lost income documentation
  • Photographs of the car accident scene
  • Body camera footage that recorded the accident in real time
  • Pictures of the accident victim’s visible injuries

Your lawyer and the insurance company may then use all of these documents to approximate a value for the claim. The adjuster may also make an initial settlement offer and relay that offer to the accident victim’s attorney.

These opening offers are far below the real case value in many situations. Consequently, an attorney may need to aggressively negotiate on behalf of their client in an attempt to convince the insurance company to raise their offer significantly. If that does not happen, litigation may ensue, and the adjuster may gradually increase their settlement offer.

If a settlement increase is not forthcoming following the completion of litigation, the parties may need to resolve their case at a civil jury trial. In a trial, the parties and their experts may testify on the witness stand, and the parties may introduce evidence.

For example, the accident victim’s attorney may introduce copies of pertinent medical records and medical bills. The jury will then decide what monetary compensation to award the injured accident victim.

As an alternative to a civil jury trial, the parties may consider one or more types of alternative dispute resolution (ADR).

For example, the parties may take their case to a mediator for help facilitating settlement discussions. At other times, the parties may take their case to binding arbitration. A neutral, third-party arbitrator listens to the evidence, reviews the necessary documentation, and renders a damage award to the accident victim.

A skilled car accident attorney can help you decide whether settlement or litigation is the best option for your case. Moreover, your lawyer can help you decide between a civil jury trial or an ADR proceeding, given the facts and circumstances of your case.

Talk With a Skilled Car Accident Lawyer About Your Case Today

If you recently sustained injuries in a T-bone car crash that another driver caused, you should take legal action right away. Under almost all circumstances, accident victims only have two years from the date of their accident to seek monetary recovery for their injuries. Otherwise, the accident victim may waive their right to pursue and recover any monetary compensation in their case.

The sooner you involve experienced legal counsel to represent you, the higher your chances of obtaining a favorable monetary award, either through settlement or litigation.

Your personal injury attorney in Orange County can assist you during every stage of your case and can represent you in all legal proceedings, including at your civil jury trial. Your lawyer will aggressively advocate for you and maximize your total monetary compensation.

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