T-bone traffic accidents, often referred to as side-impact collisions, typically come with serious injuries. They occur because of many traffic situations, and authorities could assign blame to either party involved in the accident. People often assume the driver who hit the side of another vehicle will be held accountable, but the driver broadsided could bear responsibility for the accident. What does a person need to know when they have been involved in an accident of this type?
The Severity of the Injuries
When two cars collide at a 90-degree angle, the injuries are often severe. If you are injured by another driver, you may suffer from whiplash or other neck injuries. Spinal and back injuries frequently occur with this type of collision, and a person might find they have a traumatic brain injury following the t-bone accident. Head injuries remain a concern, and people often learn they have hip, knee, ankle, or leg injuries. Internal injuries remain a concern following this type of accident, and every person in a t-bone collision should seek medical treatment to rule out injuries that aren’t readily apparent.
Why Do Side-Impact Collisions Lead to These Types of Injuries?
When a vehicle is involved in a head-on collision or rear-ended by another car, the occupants receive some protection from the engine or trunk. They have several feet of material between them and the other vehicle. However, when a person is involved in a t-bone accident, they only have a door and window protecting them. They may have the passenger seat between them and the other car, depending on the point of impact. However, the vehicle only needs to move through the door and window before entering the cabin of the vehicle.
Side-impact airbags blunt the force of the collision, but they aren’t enough to protect the individual fully. In addition, they must deploy to be effective.
As the occupants of the vehicle have less protection, it’s no wonder they are at risk of serious injuries or death. Approximately 23 percent of auto accident deaths each year occur as the result of a t-bone accident. Although all vehicles sold in the country must meet side-impact safety standards established by the federal government, they may not be enough to protect a person during a violent collision.
Proving Fault in a T-Bone Accident
People might assume the driver of the vehicle that collides with another vehicle on the side bears responsibility for the accident. However, this is not always the case. If a driver runs a red light and hits the side of another vehicle, authorities will find them at fault for the collision. However, if the driver has a green light and the car they t-bone ran a red light, the driver of the car that was hit is liable.
Additionally, if a driver makes an illegal turn in the path of another vehicle and that vehicle hits them, they are at fault for the accident. If they didn’t make the illegal turn, no collision would have occurred. For this reason, many people seek legal help when they are in an accident of this kind, as they want to make certain authorities hold the right party accountable. What does an attorney look at when determining who is responsible for a side-impact accident?
The process of gathering information begins at the scene of the accident. Law enforcement will probably come to the scene and collect information from both parties for the official police report. This report may provide information about who is responsible. It includes valuable information that may play a role in what happened.
A person should never admit liability for the accident without speaking to an attorney. It’s best to exchange information with anyone who was a witness to the collision, as they have first-hand knowledge of what occurred. Share this information with the attorney so they can learn more about the circumstances of the collision.
If possible, take pictures of both vehicles at the scene, any skid marks present on the road, the debris resulting from the accident, and the damage to the vehicles. Visual evidence becomes of great help in determining what happened and who was at fault. A person can never have too much information when filing a legal claim or pursuing legal action after a side-impact accident.
What many victims of a t-bone accident fail to realize is someone other than the driver that hit them may be responsible for the accident. For instance, the vehicle that caused the accident may have a defeat that contributed to the collision. For example, the accelerator may stick, preventing the driver from slowing or stopping the car. When this happens, the manufacturer could be held liable for producing a vehicle with a defective component if they knew of the problem and failed to issue a recall.
However, if the driver knew of this problem and failed to have the necessary work carried out on the car, they will be responsible for the accident and any injuries. At times, the driver may have taken the car to a mechanic to have the problem addressed. If the mechanic didn’t carry out the work or didn’t do the work properly, the auto repair facility could be named in a lawsuit.
An attorney looks at all facts of the case when determining who may be a party to the lawsuit. Drivers often don’t realize that the blame could be shared between multiple people or businesses. With the attorney’s help, they decide who may play a part in the accident and how best to seek compensation from them for any injuries sustained by those in the vehicles involved in the accident.
As the injuries seen in a side-impact collision tend to be severe, it’s best to retain an attorney to handle the legal aspects of the case. This allows the injured parties to focus on their recovery while knowing the matter is being handled. With the attorney’s help, a person can ensure they aren’t held liable for something beyond their control and they get the compensation needed for their medical bills, time lost from work, and more. The victim deserves nothing less.