Side-impact collisions, also known as t-bone collisions, follow head-on collisions as the second most deadly type of car accident. In 2019, over 5,000 deaths were reported as a result of side-impact collisions. Even if death does not occur, the injuries and damage sustained from these types of accidents can be quite devastating.
Unfortunately, determining fault in a t-bone collision can be challenging depending on the situation and how the accident occurred. Many people simply assume that the car that hit another car is to blame, but this is not always the case. For example, if someone runs a red light or a stop sign and gets hit, they could be the one at fault, not the driver who hit them. And in some cases, there may even be multiple parties to blame.
In these situations, working with an experienced attorney can help. They can guide you through the legal processes and assist you in gathering evidence and other information needed to prove fault and win your case. After a t-bone accident, you’ll want to have someone on your side, advocating for your rights, ensuring you get the compensation you deserve.
How Do T-Bone Accidents Occur?
T-bone collisions can happen in several ways. They almost always occur due to driver negligence, but the exact manner in which they occur can vary. For example, if someone fails to yield the right-of-way, another driver might accidentally run into them, or if someone is speeding through a stop sign or a red light, they could get hit, or they could hit another driver.
Common factors that contribute to t-bone collisions include:
- Running a red light or a stop sign
- Failing to yield the right-of-way
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Reckless driving
Determining Fault After a T-Bone Collision
Determining who is liable for causing a t-bone accident can pose somewhat of a challenge. There are any number of scenarios that can lead to these types of collisions, and one or even multiple parties can be responsible.
Potentially liable parties in t-bone collisions can include:
- The driver that hit you: If you did nothing wrong and another driver hit you, then they are likely the one that acted negligently and can be held liable. For instance, if you proceed through a green light and another driver runs a red light and hits you, they will be determined as the one responsible for causing the accident.
- Another driver: In some situations, the driver that hit you may not be the one to blame. There could be another driver that acted negligently, and their actions may have caused someone else to hit you. For example, if one driver fails to yield the right-of-way, they might cause another driver to swerve, and then that driver may end up hitting you.
- Other liable parties: In rare cases, a t-bone collision could be caused by a third party, such as a car manufacturer or a mechanic. If someone loses control of their vehicle and hits someone due to a faulty part or a negligent repair shop mechanic, the third party could be held liable as opposed to the driver.
- You: Of course, it is also possible that you are the driver to blame in a t-bone collision. Perhaps you were distracted or accidentally made a wrong turn—whatever the situation, you could also share some or all of the responsibility for causing a t-bone collision, even if you were the one that was hit.
Indiana is a comparative fault state. This means that fault and compensation are determined based on the percentage of responsibility. For example, if you and another driver both share some of the blame for causing a t-bone accident, the compensation amount you receive will depend on the percentage of fault. So if you are 10% responsible, the damages awarded to you will be reduced based on that percentage.
Proving Fault and Pursuing Compensation Following a T-Bone Accident
In order to file a claim against another driver, you must be able to prove that they were the one at fault or mostly at fault. To do so, you will need to take steps following the accident to provide proof and evidence that support your claim. These steps are as follows:
- Call 911: A police report will need to be filed to prove that the accident occurred. This will be used as evidence to support your claim.
- Seek medical attention: Evidence of your injuries can also help support a personal injury case after a t-bone accident. Even if you feel fine, you should always get checked out by emergency medical responders and follow up with your doctor. If your injuries are severe, go to the hospital as soon as possible and make sure to keep copies of your medical documents and receipts.
- Gather evidence: If you are able, you should take photos of the accident scene to help support your claim and prove who was at fault. This includes pictures of the scene as a whole and close-up shots of the damage and your injuries. You should also collect witness information so they can give statements on your behalf, if necessary.
Following the accident, you will need to contact your insurance company to report the accident as well and get a claim started. However, you should avoid speaking with the insurance providers of the other parties involved, as anything you say to them could be used against you to deny or reduce your claim.
In these situations, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney to handle your case. They can walk you through the process, helping you gather evidence and counseling you on how to speak with insurance companies and the authorities to avoid saying anything incriminating.
Our Indiana Personal Injury Attorneys Are Here to Help
At Crossen Law Firm, we have over 20 years of experience helping car accident victims prove fault and get the compensation they deserve. We understand how challenging and frustrating it can be trying to prove fault after an accident like a t-bone collision. Our experienced team is prepared to advocate for your rights and do as much as possible to ensure all guilty parties are held accountable.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident, contact us on our website or call us today at (317) 401-8626 for a free consultation!