Who Is At Fault in a T-Bone Car Accident?
David Muñoz | June 20, 2022 | Car Accidents
A T-bone car accident happens when one car drives directly into the side of the other so that the two vehicles together resemble the shape of the letter “T” at the time of impact. The nature of this type of collision means that even at lower speeds, an accident can be catastrophic.
T-bone car accidents are unique when it comes to determining fault. Often in car accidents, the vehicle that makes impact is considered to be at fault. However, T-bones are often the result of an illegal maneuver, which can shift the blame onto the driver who was hit.
Ultimately, who’s at fault in a T-bone car accident often depends on which driver had the right of way.
What Are the Dangers of a T-Bone Car Accident?
Each T-bone car accident comes with a high risk of serious injury. A T-bone collision often occurs at intersections, where neither driver is attempting to stop or slow down. Speed is an important factor, as higher speed causes a more forceful impact.
Research shows that when a T-bone accident involves two vehicles of different sizes, like a car and SUV, there’s a much higher risk of serious injury for the smaller vehicle’s occupants.
In a T-bone crash, the force of impact hits a moving vehicle directly in the side, creating a more jarring collision than one involving the same direction of travel.
Common injuries that occur in a T-bone include:
- Spinal injuries
- Brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Internal injuries
In addition to the high risk of severe injury, a T-bone car accident is likely to cause serious damage to the vehicles involved. After a T-bone accident, it’s common for both vehicles to be deemed total write-offs.
How is Fault Determined in a T-Bone Car Accident?
Ultimately, fault in any car accident in California comes down to a question of which driver was in the wrong. It’s a standard expectation that a driver shows attention and maintains control of their vehicle. This expectation is why it’s common for fault to automatically fall upon the driver whose vehicle hit that of another.
What makes T-bone accidents unique is that the accident can just as often be the fault of the driver who was hit. For two colliding vehicles to form a “T” shape, the car accident must happen where movement in two different directions is possible. Most commonly, this is at an intersection.
Since traffic control measures like stop signs and traffic lights work to ensure that cross-traffic won’t collide, a T-bone most often happens because one driver’s car was in a place it shouldn’t have been.
Reasons one driver may fail to yield the right-of-way to another can include:
- Distracted driving
- Reckless driving
- Driving under the influence
- Medical issues
Regardless of the cause, there’s a general rule for assigning fault in a T-bone accident. If the driver that took the impact had the right-of-way, the other driver is at fault. If the impacted driver was breaking driving laws, they’ll likely be found at fault (or partially at fault).
Why Does Fault Matter in a California T-Bone Accident?
Because of the high possibility of serious injuries, destroyed vehicles, and death, correctly determining fault after a California T-bone car accident is of immense importance. Once one driver is found to be at fault, they can be held legally liable for the damage that occurred from the accident.
When a T-bone accident has resulted in death, the at-fault driver can be the subject of a wrongful death claim. If injuries are life-altering or cause considerable medical expenses, the at-fault driver can be held responsible for lost earning capacity and pain and suffering.
Working with a car accident attorney is the best way to protect yourself from the serious financial consequences of being found at fault in a T-bone accident.
Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in San Diego Today To Get More Information
Mission Personal Injury Lawyers
2515 Camino del Rio S Suite 350, San Diego, CA 92108
We also serve the state of Texas. Contact our personal injury law office in El Paso for legal assistance today.