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Who is at Fault in a T-Bone Car Accident?

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Determining Fault in T-bone Accident

Determining Fault in T-bone Accident

Jan 18, 2021

Car accidents can range from minor fender benders and rear-end collisions to rollover crashes that result in catastrophic injuries. A common type of car accident involving a side impact collision is often referred to as a “T-bone” crash, as the two cars form a “T” shape at the impact point. Side impact collisions are also referred to as broadside crashes, and often occur at intersections.

Scenarios resulting in T-bone car accidents can include a driver failing to heed a red light signal and striking another vehicle traveling through a green light, or left turns at intersections when a light is changing. Failing to monitor the roadway due to texting or talking on a cell phone is another common factor leading to side impact or T-bone collisions.

Near-side and far-side T-bone car accident classifications

T-bone car accidents are classified as either near-side impact or far-side impact crashes. A near-side impact crash involves the opposing vehicle striking the other car on the side occupied by a driver or passenger. A far-side impact crash involves the opposing vehicle striking the side of the other car with an empty seat. Far-side impact crashes allow for a greater barrier between the driver/passenger and the point of impact, and the injuries sustained in near-side versus far-side impacts often range in severity.

Near-side impact crashes commonly result in the driver or passenger suffering chest injuries, as well as injuries to the lower extremities. Injuries to the head, abdomen, and pelvis are also commonly reported in near-side collisions. Far-side crashes typically result in head injuries, as well as chest lacerations or bruises.

T-bone car accidents can result in catastrophic injuries

Far Side Impact Crash configuration

T-bone car accidents can be quite dangerous, and pose a specific threat to children. A Study by the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine found that 23% of children involved in T-bone or side impact collisions sustained clinically significant injuries. The study also found that children age 5 to 9 who were involved in near-side impacts sustained injuries with a maximum Abbreviated Injury Scale (MAIS*) score of 2+ (a far greater rate than any other type of impact).

Far-side impact T-bone crash
What is shared fault in a T-bone car accident?
*The MAIS is an anatomical-based coding system used to classify and describe the severity of injuries.

The study concluded that “side impacts are the most substantial risk for children,” and noted that 35% of restrained children within the study with MAIS 3+ injuries were in a side impact collision.

The most common children’s body regions injured in the study were the face (29%), extremities (29%), and head (18%). 50% of the significant head injuries were sustained in crashes with either minimal or non-existent intrusion. 50% of significant head, face, and spine injuries (and 29% of abdominal and thoracic injuries) were sustained by children despite being appropriately restrained for their age and weight.

T-bone accidents frequently result in severe injuries or even fatalities due to the trajectory of the crash. Unlike rear-end or head-on collisions, side impact accidents leave the driver or passenger vulnerable to injury or death due to the limited space between the individual and the impact point. In a head-on or rear-end collision, the structure of the vehicle – engine, seating, trunk, etc. – serves as a barrier that can help protect an individual in an accident. In a T-bone collision, the door/window is all that stands between the driver or passenger and the oncoming vehicle. As a result, T-bone car accidents can often result in fatalities.

The Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) indicates that side impact collisions represent 27% of all occupant fatalities. Moreover, in a study analyzing police reported crashes, side impacts represented 19% of the incidents, but 32% of the fatalities. Nearly 10,000 Americans are killed every year in T-bone collisions.

Who is at fault in a T-bone car accident?

In a T-bone collision, at least one of the drivers must be at fault (although in some cases both drivers can share fault). As T-bone accidents are not always clear-cut, it’s important that injured victims take steps and gather evidence to help prove their case.

Firstly, if you’re injured in a T-bone car accident it’s imperative to immediately address your health. Seek proper medical attention and ensure that you follow your doctor’s guidance and instructions. Be sure to gather records of all of your medical care, including any rehabilitation or ongoing therapy that is required.

Once your health is properly managed, it’s important to collect any evidence that will help support your version of events and prove who was actually at fault for the T-bone accident. Supportive evidence can include photos or videos of the scene of the accident, closed circuit video of the location, police reports, witness statements, pictures of any injuries you sustained, and all available medical records and documentation.

Never, under any circumstances, admit fault following a T-bone or side impact collision. Before making any statement, it is recommended that you consult with a skilled and experienced personal injury attorney who has successfully handled a considerable volume of car accident cases.

Proving fault in a T-bone collision can be a difficult task, particularly in cases where the other driver denies fault and places the blame on you. In such scenarios, having an experienced personal injury lawyer fighting on your behalf can give you the advantage you need to win your case and recover the financial damages you deserve. Don’t try to prove your T-bone collision case on your own and risk incurring additional fault due to inexperience with the law. Let the experts at DLG handle every detail and guide you through the legal process following a side impact car crash.

Schedule an appointment online for a free consultation today, or call us directly to speak to our top-rated, expert car accident attorneys.

What is shared fault in a T-bone car accident?

California is a comparative fault state (also commonly referred to as comparative negligence). Under California’s comparative fault law, an individual can recover financial damages despite being partially to blame for an accident. As a pure comparative fault state, California residents who are victims of T-bone car accidents can recover some damages, even if they are 99% responsible for the crash.

Pure comparative fault law differs from modified comparative fault, which is applied in some other states. Under modified comparative fault, plaintiffs are barred from receiving damages if they are more than 50% at fault for a T-bone or other type of car accident. With California’s pure comparative fault law, car accident victims should not let fault (or a percentage of fault) in an accident deter them from seeking to recover financial damages for expenses like medical care, lost wages, psychological trauma, etc.

What is shared fault in a T-bone car accident?

However, given the difficulty in proving fault in a car accident case, particularly one involving a T-bone collision, victims are advised to confer with a leading personal injury attorney at Dordulian Law Group to ensure their rights are protected and they do not lose out on recovering damages to which they are entitled. Not having an experienced lawyer fighting for you can mean the difference between recovering substantial damages and being left with mounting bills and expenses.

Can I still recover compensation even if I was at fault?

California car accident victims are eligible to recover financial damages provided they are not 100% at fault for the incident. In other words, if the two parties involved in a T-bone accident share fault (whether it be 99% and 1% or 50% each), they are both eligible to recover financial damages relative to the amount of fault that they carry. For this reason, even if you are mostly at fault for an accident, it’s recommended that you still pursue a claim seeking to recover a percentage of the eligible damages (relative to the fault shared by the other party). Failing to pursue a claim when you are not 100% at fault means you are leaving money on the table that could help with medical expenses, physical damage to your vehicle, etc.

The laws pertaining to T-bone car accidents can seem complex and intimidating. However, if you were involved in a T-bone accident and are less than 100% at fault, you owe it to yourself to pursue a claim seeking to recover any compensation that you are owed. At DLG, we have decades of experience successfully helping injured car accident victims navigate the laws and protect their rights after a T-bone crash. The best way to ensure that your rights are protected and you recover any available financial damages is to contact a DLG car accident lawyer today. Keep in mind that acting quickly helps your case, as witnesses are easier to track down and evidence is easier to collect and preserve.

How much time do I have to file a T-bone car accident claim?

Under California law, T-bone car accident victims only have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. Acting immediately will give your case the best chance at success, which can potentially be the difference between – depending on the severity of the claim – hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.

Do not let the two-year statute of limitations expire without consulting a DLG attorney regarding your T-bone car accident case. We can help you determine whether or not you may have a solid claim and be eligible to recover financial compensation.

How much is my T-bone car accident claim worth?

How much is my T-bone car accident claim worth?
How much a T-bone personal injury case is worth depends on the amount of fault shared by the plaintiff and the amount of damages or harm that resulted from the accident. If you were not at fault (or only partially at fault) and sustained serious injuries that led to substantial financial losses or expenses, the value of your case will likely be commensurate with those expenses.

Expenses that commonly result from a T-bone collision can include:

  • Vehicle damage
  • Other property damage
  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages or earning potential
  • Psychological trauma
  • Rehabilitation and ongoing care
  • Reduced quality of life

If you were involved in a T-bone collision and suffered financial losses, a qualified DLG personal injury lawyer can help you file a claim and recover the compensation you deserve.

We have successfully handled countless car accident cases where we recovered maximum financial damagers awards for injured victims. To date, we have secured over $100 million in settlements and verdicts for our clients. We treat each case with professionalism, care, and discretion, and vow to fight aggressively for you from day one.

T-bone collision examples

T-bone car accidents can result in significant physical damage to vehicles, as well as catastrophic injuries to drivers, passengers, and even pedestrians.

Ready to file a claim and pursue justice through a financial damages award? Our expert attorneys are available online or by phone now.

Product liability lawsuits against the car manufacturer

T-bone car accidents often occur due to a product defect or malfunction impacting the vehicle that was driven. For example, faulty brakes, accelerator malfunctions, or defective airbags can lead to serious T-bone accidents or result in catastrophic injuries. You may have run through a red light and crashed into another car due to a malfunction with your brakes. Accordingly, you will need to prove that the malfunction actually caused the accident.

This is where a skilled and experienced DLG personal injury attorney can be extremely valuable. It can be difficult to prove whether the product malfunction was due to simple mechanical failure or perhaps an error on the part of a mechanic or dealership. When injured victims come to us following a T-bone car accident involving a product malfunction, we deploy our Chief Investigator, Detective Moses Castillo, to ensure every piece of evidence that can help prove your case is recovered.

Detective Moses is a former LAPD veteran who spent several years in the city’s elite Central Traffic Division, investigating and closing major cases involving hit and runs, rollover crashes, T-bone collisions, and much more. With DLG, you can be confident that you not only have a leading litigator handling your case – former Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles, Samuel Dordulian – but also an experienced detective investigating and gathering critical evidence on your behalf. Detective Moses is one of many examples illustrating how California car accident victims who choose DLG have access to key advantages that help their cases succeed.

In addition to product liability, T-bone collisions are often the result of road defects or improper signage. If you believe your T-bone crash resulted from a road defect, signage issue, or even an engineering or design flaw with the roadway, contact a DLG lawyer today to discuss your options.

Who is At Fault in a Broadside Car Accident?

What types of injuries are commonly associated with T-bone accidents?

What types of injuries are commonly associated with T-bone accidents?
Type of injury as well as extent of damage can vary considerably from case-to-case. Injuries that are commonly associated with T-bone car accidents include:

  • Whiplash – a neck injury resulting from forceful, back-and-forth movement (like cracking a whip)
  • TBI (traumatic brain injury) -an injury causing damage to the brain, whether due to blow, bump, or jolt to the head
  • DTI (deep tissue injury) – an injury to the soft tissue under the skin resulting from pressure and typically over boney prominence
  • Concussion – a mild form of TBI
  • Spinal cord injury – damage to the spinal cord resulting in loss of function or mobility
  • Paralysis – a type of spinal cord injury resulting in loss of function that is categorized as either monoplegia, paraplegia, hemiplegia, or quadriplegia

Get the DLG advantage to win your T-bone car accident case

When you’re injured in a car accident, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with all the ensuing issues, including mounting medical bills, damage to your vehicle, lost wages or earning capacity, and so much more. California’s personal injury laws are complex, and taking on opposing lawyers and insurance companies by yourself can be an intimidating and often daunting task.

With an experienced DLG lawyer on your side, you have access to every advantage that will help ensure your case reaches the most successful outcome, and you recover the maximum financial damages award under the law.

Visit our contact us page or call 818-322-4056 to learn more about why DLG is the best choice for T-bone collision injury victims. We’re available 24/7 to answer any questions you may have, and our consultations are always free and without obligation. Additionally, we believe that all Los Angeles T-bone car accident victims should have access to premier legal services without having to pay exorbitant out-of-pocket or upfront expenses. That’s why we offer a no fee guarantee to each and every client. With DLG, you don’t pay a penny until we recover financial damage for you.


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