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What Does “T-Bone” Mean Regarding a Car Accident?

Published on Nov 19, 2021 at 2:27 pm in Car Accidents.

Crushed headlight of car

What exactly is the meaning of “T-bone” in a car accident? Let’s look at some of the most frequently asked questions about T-bone car accidents. If you have more questions about car accident law, or if you need a car accident lawyer after a collision, please reach out to an attorney at Golden Law Office.

What’s a T-Bone Car Accident?

Many drivers are familiar with the phrase “T-bone accident,” but aren’t sure what it really implies. A T-bone car accident is one in which the shape of a “T” is formed when the front of one vehicle strikes the side of another. This type of car accident is sometimes called a broadside collision, a side-impact collision, or can be referred to in conversation as “getting T-boned.”

T-bone accidents most frequently occur at intersections. You may be aware of T-bone car accidents that happen when a driver runs a red light, blows through a stop sign, or fails to give another driver the right of way. T-bone car accidents are almost always preventable and are usually caused by driver error or negligence. It can be truly terrifying to envision another car slamming unexpectedly into the side of your vehicle. Knowing what causes T-bone accidents can help you practice defensive driving—operating your vehicle in as safe a way as possible to avoid this type of collision.

What Causes T-Bone Accidents?

As we have seen, this type of vehicle collision often involves two cars at an intersection with a stoplight or stop sign. As car accident attorneys who have handled many cases involving T-bone accidents, we have found that most side-impact collisions result when a driver:

  • Fails to yield
  • Wrongly assumes the right of way
  • Makes a left-hand turn when it’s not safe to do so
  • Runs a red light
  • Doesn’t stop at a stop sign
  • Speeds through an intersection
  • Is distracted or multitasking while driving
  • Is drunk or under the influence of drugs

There could be scenarios in which a T-bone accident is caused by another factor—for example, bad weather, poorly-maintained roads, badly-designed intersections, broken traffic signals, or a mechanical failure like malfunctioning brakes or faulty steering.

But because T-bone accidents are usually caused by driver error, it’s important to have a car accident lawyer represent you if you were injured by another driver’s negligence. The fact that these accidents are so preventable gives us even more incentive to work towards holding liable parties accountable and preventing future occurrences. A careless mistake can lead to deadly consequences. But a simple act of prevention can stop a fatal accident before it happens.

What Happens When a Car Gets T-Boned?

When one car collides with the side of another vehicle, there can be serious consequences. A T-bone accident can result in vehicular damage, airbag deployment, and personal injury. Depending on the side of the vehicle that is struck, T-bone accidents can severely injure drivers or passengers. Based on the most recent information published by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), side-impact collisions account for nearly one-fourth of all passenger vehicle car accident deaths.

Injuries and vehicle damage can be even more substantial if the at-fault driver is speeding at the time of impact. T-bone accidents involving cars driving over the speed limit are the ones most likely to be fatal. Additionally, if any of the drivers or passengers in the collision were not wearing seatbelts, there is an even greater risk of serious injury or death. One additional issue to consider is the involvement of pedestrians and bicyclists. Because T-bone accidents often occur at intersections, there may be people on foot or bike using crosswalks in the vicinity of the crash.

Who’s At Fault in a T-Bone Car Accident?

Like all vehicle crashes, determining T-boned car accident fault depends on many factors. T-bone collisions are often caused by a traffic violation, in which case your lawyer will need to gather evidence to prove the other driver’s negligence. Knowing who is at fault if you get T-boned is important so that the at-fault party is held liable and you are not forced to bear the financial burden.

If it is found that a driver was drinking or violating texting and driving laws in Kentucky and caused a T-bone car accident, they will likely be at fault. Similarly, a driver committing other traffic law violations like speeding or making illegal turns will be the at-fault party in most cases. If the other driver’s speed led to the accident, your lawyer will need to find evidence to prove the other driver was speeding at the time of the collision. As we saw earlier, many of the main causes of T-bone accidents are broken traffic laws. Some of the most common traffic violations leading to T-bone accidents are:

  • Speeding
  • Failure to yield
  • Disobeying traffic signals and signs
  • Reckless driving
  • Illegal turns
  • Drinking and driving

If your T-bone collision was caused by another driver’s negligence, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your losses. Golden Law Office has represented many car accident victims, helping them win settlements that were essential to post-accident recovery.

How Much Is a T-Bone Accident Settlement?

A T-bone car accident settlement will be calculated based on the damages sustained by the injured party through the fault of the negligent driver. Those damages can be both economic (calculable, like medical bills) and non-economic (less-tangible, like emotional anguish). In some cases, it may be decided that punitive damages (damages meant to punish the negligent party) may be applied. This decision will only be made in rare cases in which it is determined that the at-fault driver was grossly negligent, such as serious cases of drunk driving.

Damages following a T-bone car accident may include:

  • Medical bills and hospitalization
  • Cost of prescription medications, physical therapy, or in-home care
  • Lost wages or loss of future income
  • Damage done to vehicles or other property
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Wrongful death, in the case of a fatality
  • Punitive damages when applicable

Your lawyer will work hard to take all factors into consideration to ensure that you receive the maximum compensation to which you are entitled by law. The bills that quickly pile up following a car accident are immense and can cause great financial stress. The compensation a car accident victim needs to recover after an injury-causing accident may reach hundreds of thousands of dollars or more.

Whether or not you are able to receive the compensation you need to recover will depend on the strength of your case. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you have a competent lawyer who cares about your case outcome. A good lawyer will take the time and effort to look to multiple sources to find the evidence necessary to win your case. That could include:

  • Photographs of damage done to vehicles
  • Photographs of the accident scene, roadways, weather conditions, and lighting
  • Police reports made at the scene
  • The testimony of a credible car accident witness
  • Traffic camera footage
  • Dashcam footage
  • Expert witness statements
  • Physician reports detailing the injuries sustained

It may seem obvious to you that the other driver made an error and caused the accident. But the nature of the law requires that there is adequate evidence to back up your claim. Your word is not enough, especially when the other driver denies fault. In some cases, an insurance company may try to deny compensation by claiming your injuries were not suffered in the collision. There may need to be extra steps taken to prove your injuries were caused in the car accident.

And if you were in an accident caused by a food delivery driver, a commercial truck driver, a driver without insurance, or another specialized vehicle driver with specific regulations, your case may be even more complex. Make sure to speak with your car accident attorney as soon as possible after the accident.

At Golden Law Office we offer free case evaluations to those injured in T-bone accidents caused by a negligent driver. We are highly experienced in handling the complexities associated with car accident cases. We know how to get you the compensation you need to recover. Contact our office to schedule a no-obligation consultation to discuss how we may be able to help you.

Golden Law is a local, Kentucky Law Firm, attorneys/lawyers in Fayette County, Kentucky, working in the fields of personal injury, auto accidents, car and truck wrecks; medical malpractice: doctors, hospitals & nursing homes; senior living abuse: neglect, physical abuse, emotional abuse, dehydration, bedsores, catastrophic injuries, and broken bones. If you are considering a lawsuit, call us at 859.469.5000 for a free consultation. We are located at 771 Corporate Dr. Suite 800/ Lexington, Kentucky 40503. We handle cases all over the Commonwealth of Kentucky. We have represented and trained people in major insurance companies & major trucking companies. We have first hand experience and know the ‘inside of the insurance business’ … that’s a distinction that no other law firm can make. We’re Your Advocate. Dale Golden, Laraclay Parker.

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