What Are T-Bone Accidents?
T-bone accidents are also known as side-impact collisions and are some of the most fatal accidents on our roads. The victims are only separated from the colliding vehicle by a thin door and window. The window may shatter on the impact, showering the victim in shards of glass and putting their life at risk. The injuries can be life-threatening and may even cause wrongful death.
The thin sheet of metal that makes the car door may also crumple like paper, leaving the accident victim without a shield from the impact. Although it may seem that the colliding driver is at fault for the accident, that’s not always the case. The best thing would be to work with lawyers from a Houston personal injury law firm to look into the issue.
How Do T-Bone Accidents Happen?
T-bone accidents, like other car accidents, happen due to the negligence of one or more parties involved. Some common behaviors that contribute to the collisions are:
- Speeding above the recommended limit
- Road rage
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Distracted driving, such as texting while driving
- Loss of control of the vehicle
- Running a stop sign or red light
Skilled car accident lawyers in Houston, TX, can investigate the circumstances that led to the accident and determine the factors that contributed to the crash. Upon identifying the liable party, they can help you file a lawsuit to pursue compensation for the injuries and other damages.
How Will My Car Accident Lawyer Determine Liability?
Determining liability in car accidents is always challenging, but experienced lawyers from a personal injury law firm in Texas know the strategies to navigate the issue. Texas uses the principle of comparative negligence in civil cases, meaning that several parties could share responsibility in a T-bone accident.
Under this principle, each party involved in the accident is held accountable for their percentage of fault. If the court determines that you were partially responsible despite being the claimant, your damage award is reduced by your percentage of fault. Skilled Houston car accident attorneys can help you calculate how much you can recover in compensation.
Proving Who is at Fault
Texas laws stipulate that all drivers have a “duty of care” to other road users. Motorists must be careful, looking out for the safety of other drivers and pedestrians. Failure to do so is considered negligent behavior. Your lawyer can collect solid evidence to prove the other driver’s negligence or recklessness, including the following:
- Medical records that show the injuries you sustained
- Official written police record
- Eyewitness report or statement
- Photos of the accident scene showing bodily injuries, debris from the collision, traffic control devices, and property damage
- CCTV surveillance footage
With these pieces of evidence, your lawyer can create a strong case that proves the following elements:
- The at-fault driver had a “duty of care” to drive safely
- The driver breached this duty by being negligent
- You suffered injuries and other damages as a result of the negligence
- The breach was the cause of the accident, and your injuries
Either Driver May Be at Fault
T-bone accidents often happen when one driver doesn’t give the other driver the right of way. If you had the right of way and another car that should have stopped at a red light at an intersection crashed into yours, the other driver may be at fault for the accident.
In other situations, more than one driver may be at fault. For example, at an intersection without a stop sign or traffic light, if one driver T-bones another driver who was distracted at the time of the accident, they may both be held liable for the damages. The distracted driver may have had the right of way but was too distracted to prevent the collision.
Under Texas laws, the negligent party may recover compensation for the damages they sustain if they are less than 50% responsible for the accident.
Other Parties May Be at Fault for the Accident
Knowledgeable Houston car accident attorneys understand that other parties could be at fault for a T-bone accident. Other parties that could be held liable depending on the findings of the accident are:
- Another driver not involved in the accident: Consider a situation in which a driver makes an illegal turn, misses the accident but causes an oncoming driver to collide with a third car. The negligent driver that caused the chain reaction leading to the T-bone accident holds responsibility despite not being directly involved in the accident.
- A manufacturer: Factors like a faulty braking system or a sticky accelerator may have contributed to the accident. If your car accident lawyer can prove this, the manufacturer may be held liable for damages, and product liability laws may be applicable in this case.
What Damages Can I Recover in a T-Bone Accident?
T-bone accidents often result in immense financial and emotional strain for the victim. When pursuing a claim, your car accident attorney may help you fight for economic and non-economic damages.
These include the following:
- Hospital costs and rehabilitation expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Property damage, repair, and replacement costs
- Emotional trauma
- Mental distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium and enjoyment of life
Skilled Legal Guidance to Help You Maximize Your Compensation
Determining liability in a T-bone accident can be complex, but skilled personal injury lawyers in Texas can investigate the case. They can gather the necessary evidence to prove negligence on the part of the at-fault driver. Depending on the outcome, they can help you pursue compensation for your injuries and fight to ensure you get a fair amount.
Our law firm has been providing legal representation for clients in Houston, Dallas, and the surrounding areas for many years. Our experience and knowledge in personal injury law give us an edge in fighting for the most favorable outcome for our clients. If you sustained injuries in a T-bone accident, let us help you show the jury exactly what happened. Contact us today to begin your recovery journey.