Have you sustained severe injuries and extensive damage to your car as a result of a T-bone accident? Such an accident can dramatically put your life on pause. With such injuries, you can’t go back to work, you can’t pay your medical bills and you can’t be able to repair your car because you don’t have the financial capabilities. In such a situation, you are probably asking yourself so many questions like:
- How am I going to pay my bills?
- How severe are my injuries?
- How will I get out of this situation?
You can get answers to this and other questions by contacting the compassionate car accident attorneys at Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney. We are dedicated to giving you advice on the best course of action to take. With such auto accident cases, it is important for you to seek legal help as soon as possible to increase the chances of success. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. Call us today at 424-231-2013 or fill the online contact form. Our dedicated legal staff is standing by, ready to help you.
What Makes an Accident T-Bone?
T-bone collisions, also known as side impact collisions or broadside crash, are among the most common and dangerous auto accidents in California. T-bone crashes take place when a car is hit on its side by the front end of another car. This type of collision results in the two cars forming the letter ‘T’ or a right angle. The number of such collisions has increased on California roads over time due to the increase in the number of SUVs. The severity of T-bone collisions to the hit car is determined by the speed of the vehicle when the impact occurred, the size and weight of the vehicle as well as the presence of safety features. Although side airbags as a safety feature may offer protection to the vehicle occupants, the force of the impact may elicit subsequent crashes by causing the T-boned vehicle to strike other cars, pedestrians, and stationary objects.
Common Causes of T-Bone Accidents
Side impact collisions in most cases occur in intersections and are often as a result of negligent motorist behaviors which include:
- Running a red light or stop sign
- Driving while intoxicated or otherwise impaired
- Reckless or aggressive driving
- Over speeding which does not allow for sufficient distance needed to come to a stop
- Making ill-advised turns
- Failing to come to a complete stop at a four-way intersection
- Distracted driving
Although T-bone crashes are often caused by driver error, they can also be as a result of other factors such as bad weather conditions, traffic lights failure and brake system failure.
The Destructive Effects of T-Bone Collisions
When a car drives into the side of another, it can directly impact the passenger compartment. If the force of impact is strong enough, the side barrier of the vehicle can be crumpled completely, causing severe injuries. Some of the most common injuries resulting from T-bone collisions include:
- Spinal cord damage
- Hip displacement
- Traumatic brain injury
- Ear damage and hearing loss
- Neck and back injuries
- Chest injuries
- Separated and fractures shoulders
- Facial lacerations
- Fractured pelvis and broken limbs
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
Unfortunately, T-bone accidents often result in catastrophic injuries or death of unsuspecting vehicle occupants. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries from a broadside auto accident, contact Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney at 424-231-2013 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced T-bone accident attorney.
Factors that influence injury types
There are several factors that can determine the degree and type of injuries sustained by victims of a T-bone accident. These factors include:
- Position of the occupant in the car
The position where the victim is sitting at the time of the impact greatly determines the type of injuries sustained. Individuals sitting on the side of the car that is struck can get severe injuries when they are hit by the door panel. Those sitting on the non-struck side are pushed and in most cases, they hit their heads against the pillar of the door.
- Age of the casualty
In the event of a T-bone collision, children and smaller adults are more likely to sustain significant injuries than adults and may be seriously injured even in low impact collisions.
- Use of restraints
When a collision occurs, the car occupants may hit against the interior of the car and even in extreme cases be thrown out of the car. However, this worsens if restraints are not appropriately used. Children should use appropriate child or booster seats for their age, height, and weight. Failure to use seat belts increases the risk of sustaining serious injuries or even death in a T-bone collision.
What You Should Do To Prepare For Your T-bone Accident Claim
For an auto accident claim to go through successfully, strong evidence should be produced by the plaintiff. Before leaving the scene of the accident, you should be able to collect necessary information that will support your claim. This information should include:
- The date, time and location of the accident including the street, the direction that you were going, and the lane that you were in
- Contact information of the other driver
- Liability insurance information of the other driver
- Contact information of any witnesses to the accident
- Photographs of the scene of accident and visible physical injuries
- Details of how the accident occurred
- The weather and traffic conditions at the time of the accident
It is also advised to call the police for them to do their investigations and compile a report about the accident. Your attorney can then ask for the police report to aid in further investigation and give more information on the collision.
Seeking Medical Treatment after a T-Bone Collision
How about treatment? Should you wait to talk to a lawyer first or should you seek immediate medical treatment if you are in pain? The answer to this is very simple. You should get a medical evaluation as soon as possible especially if you are in pain. Additionally, it is vital for all parties involved to go to the hospital for a checkup because some injuries may be internal while others may take time for symptoms to show. If you or someone else is severely injured, you should consider calling 911 for an ambulance. Going to the hospital is also critical because the medical records that will be made can be used by your attorney to evaluate the severity of your injuries and determine the amount of settlement that you should seek. Deny the other party the chance to prove that the injuries were not as a result of the accident.
T-Bone Collision Settlements
The type and value of compensation an injured person receives after a side impact accident depends largely on the facts and circumstances surrounding the case. This involves looking at the severity and extent of the injuries, whether the accident caused lasting physical disability and the projected loss of earnings. Individuals suffering because of the actions of a negligent driver are entitled to seek compensation for both economic and non-economic losses which may include:
- Past, present and future medical bills
- Reduced or impaired earning capacity
- Loss of wages
- Life care expenses
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Emotional distress
- Permanent disability
Since T-bone collisions can also lead to the wrongful death of a loved one, the surviving family members are also entitled to seek compensation for losses such as medical expenses, funeral expenses, loss of compassion and love and loss of financial support if they were depending on the individual. At Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney, we believe that careless or inattentive drivers should be held accountable for the injuries and damages that they cause. Our aggressive T-bone attorneys will take on negligent drivers and their insurance companies to ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your injuries and vindication for your loss. Call us today at 424-231-2013 to schedule a free consultation appointment with one of our experienced auto accident attorneys.
The Biggest Mistakes That Can Hurt Your Claim in a T-Bone Accident Case
Giving a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance before hiring an attorney is the first biggest mistake that you can make. One thing that you should understand is that insurance claim adjusters are paid to make profit for their employers and reduce the amount of compensation to something less than you deserve. The other driver’s insurance will come to you asking questions and without knowledge of how these things work, you might give them information that will be used to incriminate you. For instance, if you tell them that your injuries don’t hurt that bad, then they will take advantage and offer you a very small amount that may not even cover all the medical expenses.
The other mistake is related to the collection of information at the scene of the accident. Having insufficient information about the other driver and their insurance policy may require additional information to support your claim. If you only have liability insurance coverage and the other driver has inadequate or no insurance, you might be out of luck.
Failure to follow all the instructions and treatment recommendations given by the medical provider is another mistake that you don’t want to do. Maybe you could be having family obligations or you are caught up in a work situation. However, the truth of the matter still remains that failing to go for a checkup or following your doctor’s instructions can greatly hurt your claim. If the insurance company gets hold of the medical records and discover this pothole, they can use it to incriminate you on the basis that you are partially responsible for your situation.
T-Bone Accidents Facts
According to the National Transportation Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 8,000 people are killed every year in T-bone collisions in the United States. There are also tens of thousands of others injured in these types of accidents. A broadside accident is more deadly than a rear-impact or head-on collisions and often, the individuals involved endure far worse injuries which could result in permanent impairment. In a T-bone collision, the occupant is only separated from the oncoming vehicle by a thin door and glass- no framing or reinforcement. For this reason, T-bone crashes are often fatal.
Who is at Fault
Determining fault in a T-bone collision is not necessarily easy. In some cases, one driver is considered completely at fault while in others, one driver is primarily at fault and the other one is considered to have contributed to the crash to a lesser degree. According to the American Bar Association, there are three legal conditions that must be met to determine the driver responsible for the accident. This includes:
- A duty of care
- breach of the duty of care
- the breach being the main cause of the accident and consequent injuries
Proving liability requires strong evidence in form of witness statements, photos of the skid marks and debris and intersection camera footage. The statute of limitation for filing T-bone collision claims in California is 2 years from the date of accident and 6 months if the accident involves a government entity. Therefore, it is important to contact an attorney before the deadline expires.
Aggressive Legal Representation
In order to determine cause and liability for damages caused by T-bone collisions, you need an attorney with extensive experience in complex car wreck cases. We can review your case and discuss the options that you have with you. If we come to a conclusion to proceed with the case, we will conduct an investigation of the vehicles involved and the accident scene to ensure that you have the strongest claim possible. We do this with the help of accident reconstruction experts, medical experts and other specialists relevant to your case. Our attorneys will present a solid case to achieve a fair settlement.