When one vehicle slams into the side of another, they form a “T” shape. That’s why this kind of accident – which occurs all-too frequently – is known as a “T-bone” accident. But there’s nothing funny about it. A T-bone wreck can have catastrophic results, leading to a lifetime of debilitation or death. Most of the time, negligent behavior on the part of one of the drivers is to blame.
Sand Law has a team of attorneys with a great deal of experience – and a long track record of success – helping people who have suffered devastating injuries in car accidents caused by the negligence of others. If you would like to learn how we may be able to help you, please schedule a free case review. You can use our online form or call 651-291-7263.
Here’s some information on the causes and consequences of T-bone accidents, how to establish liability, and why you’ll need to contact a car accident attorney as soon as you can if you or someone close to you has been injured.
What Causes T-Bone Accidents?
As with any other kind of car wreck, a T-bone accident can have many different causes. These are just a few of the more common ones.
- Icy roads
- Impaired drivers
- Reckless behavior
- Speeding or running a red light
- Driving while distracted
T-Bone Car Accident Injuries
T-bone wrecks can also lead to a wide range of injuries, including the following:
- Brain injuries
- Injuries affecting the spinal cord
- Extensive burns
- Internal organ damage
- Broken bones
The Consequences of a Side Impact Car Accident
Being hit from the side by another vehicle can result in long-term injuries that can rob you of our quality of life. It can actually be argued that a T-bone accident is worse than a head-on wreck. The reason is that when a vehicle is hit from the side, only a few inches of metal separate the driver or passenger from the oncoming vehicle. In a head-on crash, there are several components of a car that can absorb at least some of the force, such as the engine and other parts.
One of the worst injuries commonly associated with a T-bone wreck is a traumatic brain injury, or TBI. This can lead to extensive nerve damage that leaves the victim without the ability to move at all. Even in the case of a so-called “mild” TBI, a victim can have severe trouble with hand-eye coordination. This can lead to a loss of balance, and the loss of the ability to do even simple things like holding a spoon or a fork.
Who’s Liable for a T-Bone Accident?
A lot of T-bone accidents (just like car accidents in general) are fairly cut-and-dried when it comes to assigning blame. A negligent driver was either speeding, impaired or inattentive. But that’s not always the case.
There are many instances where it takes an extensive investigation in order to determine liability. This is just one of the many reasons why you need to hire an attorney as fast as you can if you’ve been T-boned by another vehicle. Your attorney may be able to obtain evidence, such as footage taken from nearby security cameras, that could provide the proof you need to obtain the compensation you deserve.
Here are a few of the different scenarios that could determine who should be held responsible for a T-bone accident.
- A completely different driver was to blame – Say someone who wasn’t involved in the wreck is actually the reason the accident occurred. It could have been a driver who changed lanes suddenly, or made an illegal turn, and disappeared. Both you and the driver who hit you could both file a claim against that hit-and-run driver.
- Both drivers are at fault – There are some instances where both drivers will share blame for a T-bone accident. Minnesota is what is known as a “comparative negligence,” or “contributory negligence,” state. This affects the amount of compensation each driver may be able to pursue. For example, let’s say you were assessed 20%of the blame. That means you’ll lose 20% of your compensation. If you have $100,000 in damages, you would only receive $80,000.
- Defective parts – There could be a chance that no one is to blame. The reason the accident happened could be that a driver’s brakes failed suddenly. If this is the case, then both drivers could potentially take action against the brake manufacturer.
Recovering Damages from T-Bone Accidents
The medical bills, lost wages and other expenses you’ve incurred due to the accident are known in legal terms as “damages.” In order to get the money to cover those damages, you’re going to have to prove the wreck wasn’t your fault. That means you’re going to need legal help.
An experienced attorney will know how to find the evidence needed to prove a client’s case. Skilled attorneys also know how to negotiate with insurance companies – and know how to present a convincing case in court should the matter go to trial.
Some people believe they can represent themselves in this type of legal matter, a decision that almost never goes well. When they do, they either receive much less money than they should, or they don’t receive anything at all. Insurance companies love it when people don’t hire attorneys. They hate it when they do.
Do I Need to Hire an Attorney After a T-Bone Accident?
The answer is hopefully obvious. If you are going to have the best possible chance of winning your case, you’re going to need the help of an attorney. The last thing you need is to have to deal with the harassment of insurance company adjusters, or a mountain of paperwork. Your attorney can take all of that off your shoulders so you can focus on getting better as quickly as possible.