Understanding T-Bone Accident Fault in California
T-bone accidents result in approximately 8,000 fatalities each year in the United States alone, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Such an accident can cause life-altering injuries that may affect the victim’s ability to continue working, raising a family, or even living independently.
If you’re a T-bone accident victim, you may be unable to afford to pay your medical bills, meet your financial obligations, repair your vehicle, or live life normally. If you or your loved one has been injured in a T-bone accident in California, it is vital to seek legal representation as soon as possible to recover compensation for your damages.
Understanding T-Bone Collisions: What Are They?
Also known as a side-impact or broadside collision, T-bone accidents occur when two vehicles collide, and one strikes the other from the side. These collisions often result in severe damage to both cars, which can lead to significant injuries.
The driver of the vehicle that’s hit from the side usually suffers the worst injuries, including broken bones, internal organ damage, brain trauma, spinal cord injuries, and neck injuries. The driver of the other vehicle also faces similar risks.
Understanding Scenarios Where T-Bone Accidents Happen
Here are a few common scenarios that may lead to you getting T-boned in a car accident:
- Failure to yield the right-of-way: When motorists fail to yield the right-to-way to oncoming traffic, they place themselves and others around them at risk of severe injuries.
- Running red lights: If a motorist runs a red light at an intersection, they risk colliding with a vehicle traveling with the right-of-way.
- Ignoring stop or drive slow signs: Motorists should always obey all traffic signals and signs meant to warn them against cross-traffic.
- Texting while driving: The law forbids texting and driving, and this behavior is especially risky when approaching an intersection with heavy traffic.
Establishing T-Bone Accident Fault: Who May Be Responsible?
For a plaintiff to establish fault in a T-bone accident injury case, they must prove that the defendant was negligent. Negligence refers to failing to act as a reasonable person would have acted under the same circumstances.
When determining who is responsible for a T-bone accident, the investigators usually examine the following forms of evidence:
- Traffic camera footage
- Presence of stop signs and other traffic signals
- Eyewitness statements from the observers of the incident
- Statements from both drivers
- Skid marks
- The findings of the police report, if available
Note the burden of proof rests with the plaintiff and not the defendant. Hiring a personal injury lawyer is an important decision that any accident victim should make to collect and compile every last piece of evidence.
While one driver may be at-fault in a T-bone crash for breaking traffic laws, in other circumstances, both drivers may be at fault.
At-Fault Driver Breaking the Law
As we mentioned earlier, several scenarios may lead to a T-bone accident. Most of these situations involve the at-fault driver breaking the law. Below are a few examples of laws the at-fault driver may have broken:
- Entering the intersection illegally
- Running the red light or rolling through the stop sign
- Failing to yield the right-of-way when making a left turn
- Mistakenly thinking the light is green and cruising through
- Drunk driving or distracted driving
Both Drivers At-Fault
In certain circumstances, you may share liability with the other motorist in a T-bone crash. For instance, if you were speeding but the other driver failed to yield the right-of-way, the prosecution may find both of you responsible for the incident. Since California is a comparative negligence state, you may still collect compensation for your T-bone accident injuries even as you bear partial fault for the collision.
Contact LA Century Law If Injured in a T-Bone Accident in California
It is vital to seek legal representation from determined attorneys with considerable car accident experience. Our team at LA Century Law will help you recover maximum compensation for your injuries. We know how to navigate the complex court and insurance system and ensure that you receive fair treatment throughout the process. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
T-Bone Accident Fault FAQs
Why does fault determination matter?
Determining fault in a T-bone accident is a must, as it helps establish whether the other motorist is directly liable for the crash. Also, it helps determine the percentage of how much money of your settlement or award you should get paid for your injuries.
How do I prove fault in a T-bone car accident?
You need to gather all the evidence possible to support your claim. These include witness statements, police reports, medical records, photographs, etc. The more information you have, the better.