Any number of parties may share fault in a T-bone accident under the principle of comparative fault. These parties may include either driver in the crash, the vehicle manufacturer, or another driver not involved in the collision itself.
No matter how your t-bone accident occurred, the evidence at the scene will go a long way toward determining who shares responsibility. If possible, you should document as much as you can, which may include taking pictures, recording videos, and collecting statements and contact information from eyewitnesses.
How T-Bone Accidents Happen
A t-bone accident occurs when the front of one vehicle strikes the side of another, forming the shape of a “T” at the point of impact. They can happen at intersections when one driver disregards a stop sign or red light and drives through the intersection at the same time another vehicle traverses the intersection. A bad judgment call on a green light can also cause a t-bone accident.
T-bone accidents do not only occur at intersections, though. They can happen on a highway or interstate when a driver loses control of their vehicle and skids sideways. T-bone accidents also happen in parking lots. A driver could be backing out of a parking space, for instance, when another vehicle comes along and strikes from the side.
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Potntially Liable Parties in a T-Bone Accident
Numerous scenarios can result in a t-bone collision with more than one party at fault. A personal injury lawyer may help to evaluate your t-bone accident and determine liability.
Some of the parties they may look at include:
The Drivers Involved
If a driver crosses an intersection on a green light at the same time another driver runs the light and strikes them from the side, then the driver at the bottom of the “T” must assume fault. If the driver who got hit from the side is the one who ran the light, while the other vehicle had green, then the driver at the top of the “T” is at fault.
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, any of the drivers in a t-bone collision may share fault. The drivers involved may dispute who had the right of way. Obtaining a lawyer to collect key evidence to prove can help you meet the requirements for your t-bone accident case.
The Vehicle Manufacturer
If one or more of the vehicles involved in a t-bone collision contained faulty components that contributed to the crash, such as bad brakes or a stuck accelerator, the vehicle manufacturer may share partial or full liability for your losses and injuries.
Under product liability laws that exist in many states, injury victims can hold manufacturers liable for damages caused by their products. Your car accident attorney might investigate your crash, including the condition of the vehicles involved at the time of the accident to help determine if the manufacturer shares in the liability.
Sometimes the at-fault driver in a car accident evades the collision itself. As an example, a driver might make an improper left turn in front of an oncoming car, causing that driver to swerve to avoid a collision, only to end up striking another vehicle. The driver who started this chain of events with the illegal turn holds responsibility, even if their vehicle did not actually hit any of the others.
In scenarios such as this one, the driver who caused the accident has a legal obligation to remain at the scene, but that does not mean they will. By talking to witnesses and documenting the immediate aftermath of your t-bone collision, you may help your attorney identify any liable party that might not have stuck around to take responsibility.
How Your Attorney Will Prove Liability
Your car accident lawyer will prove liability by using evidence that shows the percentage of fault each party had in the crash. Some of the most valuable evidence will need to be gathered at the scene, but you will also need paycheck stubs to show your lost wages, your medical bills, and anything else that can show how your life has been affected by your injuries.
Damages Caused By a T-Bone Accident
A t-bone car accident can leave the victims with many expenses. Any costs you can prove are related to the wreck can be included in your claim. These may be expenses related to your:
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Future medical costs
- Pain and suffering
You’ll want to keep all documentation related to your expenses in a folder where you can easily access it and share it with your attorney.
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How a Car Accident Injury Lawyer Can Help
A personal injury lawyer may help you protect your rights and help you collect compensation after a t-bone accident. A lawyer could gather evidence to show that another party caused the wreck and then pursue that party and their insurer for compensation.
After receiving the immediate medical attention your injuries may require, scheduling a consultation with a law firm should be your next step. You need the guidance of a professional who can stop the at-fault party’s insurers from taking advantage of you during the settlement process.