A side-impact collision—also referred to as a T-bone—is a type of motor vehicle accident where the front of one car strikes another on either the driver’s or passenger’s side. Side-impact collisions often cause more damage than other car accidents because the sides of an automobile typically do not have much reinforcement or protection as the front or rear.
Some injuries you could suffer in a T-bone collision include whiplash, spinal cord damage, broken bones, and traumatic brain injury. These crashes also pose a significant risk of dying from the impact.
Victims of side impact accidents in the Bay Area can employ the help of a San Jose side-impact collisions lawyer to get the justice and restitution they deserve. You can call the team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC, today at 800-959-1444 to review your options with a member of our team.
Liability in Side-Impact Collisions
Determining who was at fault in a T-bone collision depends on the circumstances surrounding the accident. For instance, if the crash happened at an intersection, it could result from someone running a red light, causing them to ram into the vehicle that had the right of way. It could also happen when a car exits a driveway and gets hit as they entered the public road.
A car accident lawyer can help search for evidence to determine the cause of the collision, including accessing traffic camera footage, police accident reports, and interviewing eyewitnesses.
Moving violations can serve as further proof of the other party’s liability. A San Jose side-impact collisions lawyer has studied the local vehicle codes and can check if the other motorist broke city or state traffic laws. For example, they could discover that the other driver violated Chapter 11.34 of the San Jose Municipal Code regulating cruising or received a speeding ticket.
An attorney can also determine if other parties contributed to the accident. For example, if a car’s brakes did not work and caused a collision because a mechanic did not fix it correctly, the repair shop may also face liability for your injuries.
For a free legal consultation with a side-impact collisions accidents lawyer serving San Jose, call 800-959-1444
Legal Actions for Compensation
Although your insurance policy can help cover your expenses, you might also want to make the other driver pay for their mistake. The Department of Motor Vehicles outlines the state-required liability coverages that the at-fault driver must carry. You can file a third-party claim against their policy, but if a claim does not cover all your damages or the other driver has no insurance, you can opt for a civil lawsuit instead. In a trial, the judge and jury decide if your evidence sufficiently proves the other driver’s liability and you deserve compensation.
The office of Ben Crump Law, PLLC, can assign a San Jose side-impact collisions lawyer to assist in developing your case. Besides forming your legal strategy, they can represent you when negotiating with insurance providers or taking matters to trial. For more details, you can call the team today.
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Receive Compensation Via Damages
Filing an auto accident claim or a lawsuit is necessary to help you get the compensation that could cover your losses. Either can include your hospital and medication expenses, the wages lost while recovering from the injury, and car repair bills. The defendant could also pay you for the trauma, disabilities, and other inconveniences you suffered because of the crash. If the accident results in your loved one’s death, a wrongful death claim could reimburse you for funeral and burial costs, loss of future income, loss of consortium, and more.
Depending on the verdict, you might also receive punitive or exemplary damages. These act as a form of punishment if the defendant acted in an egregiously reckless manner or harmed you on purpose.
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Comparative Fault Rules Affect Recoverable Amount
California courts follow a comparative negligence rule when deciding how much you can receive in side-impact accident cases. The judge and jury will review both sides’ arguments and evidence to establish how much liability they have for the collision. If they find you partially at fault for the crash, your total recoverable damages will get reduced based on your percentage of the blame. For instance, if the court decides that you are 35 percent at fault and you initially received an award of $20,000, you will now only receive 65 percent of that amount, or $13,000.
Unlike many states, California law allows you to receive compensation even if the judge or jury finds you more to blame for the crash than the defendant. Having as much proof as possible of the other party’s responsibility will help you recover a more satisfactory amount. To calculate your damages more accurately, a personal injury attorney can compile records of your accident-related expenses, such as medical bills and repair invoices.
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Complying with the Statute of Limitations
As with many auto accident lawsuits, a T-bone collision can involve injuries, deaths, and property damage. The filing deadlines for these suits vary in California. CCP § 335.1 sets a two-year time limit on personal injury and wrongful death claims, while property damage suits have three years per CCP § 338.
Furthermore, the statutory timer can pause in some situations, one being if a victim is a minor. In their case, the clock does not start until they reach 18 years of age. Also, if the at-fault driver leaves the state to escape the law, the state will not include the duration of their absence in calculating the filing deadline.
Making sure to file your lawsuit before the statute of limitations runs out can prove more complicated than you initially thought. Also, while you have a few years to work on your lawsuit, other responsibilities can preoccupy your life and keep you from filing the suit on time. A San Jose side-impact collisions lawyer can help determine your deadline and work on your case to ensure that you submit within the time limit.
We Offer Legal Assistance
With decades of experience in personal injury cases, the San Jose side-impact collisions lawyers at Ben Crump Law, PLLC, know what steps to take when preparing an auto accident lawsuit. The team is well-versed at taking on lawsuits that involve side-impact collisions and is not afraid to tackle challenging cases. They can also help you fight for the compensation you deserve when negotiating with insurance adjusters or arguing your case in court. Call us today at 800-959-1444 for a free case evaluation with a team member.
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