Although there are all types of car accidents, some of the most dangerous are side-impact collisions, commonly referred to as T-Bone accidents. These accidents can occur in a number of situations, such as when one driver crossing an intersection with a green light is broadsided by another driver who ran a red light. Similarly, a driver who runs a red light could be struck by another vehicle crossing that same intersection with a green light. In any event, assessing liability in a side-impact collision ultimately hinges on determining which driver had the right of way.
J&Y Law Firm is the premier personal injury firm serving clients throughout Northern and Southern California. We routinely handle T-Bone accident cases and have a proven track record of helping our clients obtain meaningful compensation. If you or a loved one was injured in a side-impact collision, we will offer you knowledge, compassion and a superior level of personal service.
The Perils of T-Bone Accidents
Side-impact collisions are far more dangerous than other accidents because they are more likely to result in catastrophic injuries and death. In a rear-end collision, for example, the occupants of the vehicles involved are “protected” by several feet of steel, the bumper, trunk or the engine. In a T-bone accident, however, the only thing separating the occupants from the striking vehicle are a door and a window.
Although all vehicles sold in the United States must meet federal side-impact safety standards, and more recent models have side-impact airbags to protect passengers, T-bone accidents can still be deadly, particularly at high speeds. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 8,000 people are killed each year in T-bone accidents in the United States, and tens of thousands are severely injured.
Causes of Side-Impact Accidents
T-Bone collisions frequently occur when an at-fault driver fails to yield or give right of way to other vehicles. Side-impact collisions that occur at an intersection or a four-way stop, for example, are often the result of the at-fault driver’s failure to obey traffic signals or stop signs. Another scenario may involve another driver cutting ahead of a vehicle in an unprotected right turn, forcing the first car to hit the passing driver.
Additionally, power outages, traffic light failures and broken stoplights can also contribute to T-bone accidents. Nonetheless, when traffic lights in an intersection are out of service, state and local traffic laws require approaching drivers to proceed as if stop signs were functioning on all sides. They must stop, wait and then proceed when it is safe to do so. Many drivers are unaware of or ignore this rule, however, speed through intersections and cause side-impact accidents.
Determining Liability in a Side-Impact Collision
In some cases, liability may be obvious due to the nature of the collision and the other driver is plainly at fault. In many situations, however, the at-fault driver will claim that he or she had the signal or the right of way, and that the other driver was at fault.
With this in mind, if your are involved in a T-Bone accident, you should call the police since the reports of police and first responders will be critical evidence in determining who was at fault. If possible, it is also important to get contact information from potential witnesses. Additionally, take pictures of the accident scene and damage to the vehicle if you are able to do so. Above all, do not admit any liability to the other driver. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to use this evidence and information in developing a successful claim.
California T-Bone Accident Attorneys
Injuries sustained in a side-impact collision can be severe, and T-Bone accident victims are often left with lingering pain and suffering, significant medical bills, lost wages and other economic damages. For this reason, having the advice and counsel of an experienced car accident attorney is invaluable.
At the J&Y Law Firm, we have a well-earned reputation for providing our clients with aggressive legal representation. Our personal injury attorneys have the legal skills and resources that are essential for achieving successful outcomes in side-impact accident injury cases. We will conduct a thorough investigation to ascertain all the relevant facts and work tirelessly to prove the other driver’s liability. Depending on the circumstances, we may call upon accident reconstruction specials to support the claim.
Because car accident cases often involve dealing with an insurance company, we leverage our negotiating skills to reach settlements that are fair and reasonable. If the insurer fails to pay the full value of the claim, we are fully prepared to litigate the matter at trial. We know that being in a side-impact accident can be an overwhelming experience as well as a physical, emotional and financial burden. Our legal team is here to help lift that burden, and make sure our clients obtain meaningful compensation and the medical care that they need. If you or a loved was has been injured in a T-Bone accident, don’t go it alone. Call J&Y Law Firm today for a free consultation or complete the contact form on our website.