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I Was in a T-Bone Accident – Who is At Fault?

Aftermath of a motorcycle and passenger car collision during the day

A T-bone accident can happen in the blink of an eye. One minute you are driving safely through an intersection and the next minute a truck or car runs a red light and slams into the side of your vehicle. As you can imagine the outcome of a T-bone crash can have disastrous consequences, including severe personal injury or even wrongful death.

For many T bone accident survivors, there is a feeling of “what do I do now?” as they sort out their affairs. Do you file an insurance claim? How do you get your car fixed? Who will pay for the medical bills? What happens if you have to miss work?

In this blog, we cover these and other questions and help you understand your legal rights. Determining liability after a T-bone accident is best left to an experienced trial lawyer who understands what it takes to secure justice for you and maximize compensation for your losses and injuries. The attorneys at Wisner Baum have decades of experience winning cases arising from severe auto and trucking crashes. Our trial teams handle cases throughout California and nationwide.

If you would like to discuss your T-bone accident case with an attorney, contact us or give us a call today to schedule a 100% free case evaluation. We are here to answer any questions you may have about pursuing a lawsuit and obtaining justice for your injuries.

What is a T-Bone Accident?

A T-bone accident, also known as a broadside, side-impact, or a sideswipe collision, occurs when one vehicle strikes another forming a “T” shape at impact. According to the Insurance Information Institute, T-bone accidents have accounted for more than 20% of all collisions in the United States over a nine-year period (2009-2018).

These types of accidents comprise a substantial portion of all accidents on U.S. roads. In 2020, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reported that side-impact crashes accounted for 23% of passenger vehicle occupant deaths. These types of accidents often occur at intersections when one driver goes through a stop sign or red light without realizing that the other car had the right of way. It is always important to use caution when driving through intersections and to make sure you are following all traffic laws in order to reduce the probability of a serious intersectional accident from happening.

Most Common Causes of T-Bone Accidents

Distractions, texting, driving while intoxicated, and driver fatigue rank high among the most common causes of T-bone accidents, but there are many other contributing factors at play as well. Recklessness or negligence on the part of a driver can also lead to an otherwise avoidable collision due to a failure to adhere to traffic rules.

Other common factors in T-bone crashes are vehicle-related. Defective brakes, steering issues, or other mechanical problems can lead to T-bone crashes.

Whatever the cause, an experienced trial attorney will immediately investigate the crash, gather evidence, and, in so doing, build as strong a case as possible in order to maximize your recovery.

Injuries in a T-Bone Accident

Personal injuries resulting from T-bone or side-impact collisions can range from mild to severe. Some of the most common include traumatic brain injury (TBI), spinal cord injury, neck trauma, fractures, sprains, low back, and pelvic injuries. Whatever the injury, it is important for victims of T bone crashes to seek medical attention as soon as possible in order to ensure full recovery and reduce the risk of further injury or complication.

I Was in a T-Bone Accident Today. What Should I Do?

The first thing to do is check yourself and your passengers for any injuries that may have occurred. If needed, call 911 for medical assistance. After that has been done, check to make sure that all involved have obtained each other’s necessary information such as name, contact number, insurance provider, and license plate number.

It is also important to take photos of the damaged vehicles, their positions on the roadway, and any visible physical injuries. In any car accident situation, it is always best to get yourself checked out by a doctor in case you need help recovering from any unseen damage from the incident. We have represented clients who suffered whiplash injuries and did not realize the extent of their medical issues until weeks later, so please make it a priority to get medical attention, even if you do not think you are seriously injured.

Who is at Fault in a T-Bone Accident?

The responsible party in a T-bone accident is typically determined by examining the circumstances that led to the crash, including the behavior of the drivers involved. If the at-fault party is the other driver, fault can be imposed on them for disregarding the rules of the road or not using reasonable care to prevent a collision. However, if there is evidence that a vehicle manufacturer may be implicated due to a defect in design or manufacture that contributed to the crash, then the vehicle manufacturer may be held liable for losses or injuries attributable to the defect. A thorough and professional investigation can determine if a mechanical failure due to an automotive defect caused or contributed to the wreck.

Do I Need a Lawyer for a Minor T-Bone Accident?

If you or a family member was involved in a T-bone accident and are wondering if you need to hire an attorney, the answer is probably “yes.” Even minor T-bone crashes can be complicated when it comes to liability. If the crash involved a tractor-trailer (also known as a semi-truck, 18-wheeler, or big rig), retaining an attorney who is experienced in handling trucking cases is your best chance to obtain justice and accountability.

In almost all cases, an experienced trial lawyer will help you get the compensation that you need to cover medical expenses, damage to property, and any other associated losses due to the accident.

An attorney will take over all of the communication with the insurance companies and any other party involved in the wreck, making sure that your rights are suitably protected at all times. We believe that “going it alone” without the guidance and counsel of an attorney is a risky gambit. Instead of taking the risk, consult with a legal professional about your situation. Wisner Baum offers free and confidential case evaluations, and we can answer questions you may have about your claim.

How Much is My Case Worth?

One thing we can say for certain: If you decide to pursue your case without an experienced trial attorney or if you retain legal representation that does not specialize in this kind of case, you may be missing the opportunity to maximize your compensation and recover all of the damages you may be entitled to.

It is incredibly hard to make a guess about case value for a T-bone accident. Anyone who tells you otherwise is simply misguided. No two cases are exactly the same. T bone settlements often vary widely, from a few thousand dollars to potentially millions.

Legal damages that a T-bone accident victim may be eligible to pursue include:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages and lost earning capacity
  • Costs of repairing or replacing property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium (wrongful death or severe debilitating injury to a spouse)
  • And in certain circumstances, even punitive damages

Without question, your case is best left in the hands of a trusted, experienced trial attorney with decades of experience in claims associated with car or truck crashes.

Do I Need an Accident Lawyer Near Me?

T bone accident cases are often complex, requiring the seasoned hand of an experienced legal team. When a car or truck crash happens and you need an attorney, it is natural to start your search by looking for local law firms near where you live. At Wisner Baum, we have several offices and the backing of a nationwide firm with resources and experts to strengthen your claims. We have what it takes to build the best possible case on your behalf, even if our office is not in the same city.

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Hiring an experienced trial lawyer with proven results in similar cases provides you with the best opportunity to fully exercise your legal rights without sacrificing time and effort that would be better spent healing from your injuries. At Wisner Baum, our mission is not just to earn maximum compensation on your behalf; it is also to hold any negligent parties accountable for the harm they caused you and your family.

An Accident Lawyer Can Help Get You the Justice and Compensation You Deserve

At Wisner Baum, our experienced injury trial lawyers understand what it takes to thoroughly investigate the circumstances of your accident and prepare a strong case that will maximize your compensation. We have decades of experience holding defendants accountable for causing preventable crashes, including T bone accidents involving cars and trucks. With over $4 billion recovered on behalf of our clients across all practice areas, we know what it takes to win your case and obtain justice for you and your family.

Some of our noteworthy settlements and verdicts stemming from car and truck accidents include:

  • $20 million commercial vehicle verdict for wrongful death against Ride the Ducks International
  • $15 million settlement reached for a fatal accident involving a major truck company.
  • $8.5 million verdict in a truck accident trial.
  • $6.9 million truck accident settlement during trial against a major truck company.
  • $6 million truck accident recovery in a wrongful death case.
  • $3.5 million truck accident recovery in a wrongful death case.
  • 75 truck crash lawsuits settled for $1 million or more.

Contact us today for a 100% free case evaluation.



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