By: Whalen Hersh
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What is a T-Bone Accident and Who Is at Fault?
T-bone accidents are a common type of car accidents that occur when a vehicle collides into the side of another car, forming a “T” shape at the point of impact. This collision usually happens when one driver doesn’t give the other one the right-of-way. Different situations can result in a T-bone crash. For example, T-bone accidents often happen at an intersection, when one driver fails to yield to another driver after ignoring a stop sign, running or red light, or when a driver makes a left turn in front of another car.
Apart from intersections, T-bone accidents can also occur in parking lots or on a highway when drivers lose control. Typically, T-bone crashes are extremely dangerous. In 2019, car accidents took the lives of over 36,000 Americans, with more than a quarter of the fatalities involving T-bone collisions.
Who is at fault in a T-Bone Accident?
Although it might seem obvious that the colliding driver is at fault in this type of accident, the truth is that this is not always the case. Many factors can cause a T-bone accident, and determining who is at fault often requires adequate, factual evidence obtained from investigation and discovery.
Collecting as much information as possible, including clear photographs, videos, official police reports, and eyewitness statements is critical for evaluating T-bone collisions. To avoid missing critical evidence, hire a reputable personal injury attorney like Whalen Hersh LLP to assess your T-bone crash and determine liability.
Some of the at-fault parties in a T-bone accident include:
The Drivers Involved
The negligence of one or both drivers is almost always the cause a T-bone accident. It should be obvious that, based on right-of-way laws, traffic signals, and signs, drivers should not enter intersections at right angles simultaneously. However, two drivers often enter intersections at the same time, causing accidents and injuries.
- Distracted driving – such as when a driver is on a cell phone, eating, or messing with the radio—can cause drivers to fail to observe and follow red lights, stop signs, or yield signs.
- Sometimes a T-bone accident can occur when a driver fails to use proper turn signals.
- Driving while impaired due to fatigue, drugs, or alcohol is also a common culprit in in T-bone crashes.
- Speeding, racing, or intentionally blowing through an intersection without regard to traffic controls can often lead to injury or wrongful death from a T-bone collision.
The Vehicle Manufacturer of Service Company
Sometimes T-bone accidents can happen due to the vehicle manufacturer’s fault, or the fault of companies that performed service on the vehicle. For example, your brakes may fail while approaching an intersection due to a design or manufacturing defect, or due to negligence of a mechanic at a service station. These companies may have legal responsibility for your injuries and losses in you are injured in a T-bone accident.
Road Engineers and Designers
In other cases, road engineers and designers can take the blame for a T-bone accident. We have all heard people talk about “dangerous intersections” in their communities. Reports and studies often discuss intersections where accidents occur more often than they should. Some of the intersection features contributing to T-bone collisions include confusing layouts, inappropriate signage, and poor sightlines. Notably, the roundabout, used primarily in countries outside of the United States, can reduce traffic accidents at intersections significantly. While many countries have embraced the use of roundabouts, the United States has not.
In any event, whether a road engineer or designer can be sued for negligence is a complex inquiry that an experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand.
Get an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer to Help You Today
Based on the complex nature of T-bone accidents, you should not try to handle a car accident lawsuit that involves a T-bone collision on your own. At Whalen Hersh, we have an experienced team of Colorado accident lawyers who will handle the long, time-consuming process of pursuing legal claims, investigating and locating evidence against parties that contributed to your T-bone crash. Please give us a call today at (720) 307-2666 or contact us online to seek our top-shelf legal services.