What to Do After T-Bone Accident
A T-bone or broadside collision happens when the front of one vehicle strikes the side of another traveling on an adjacent roadway. These accidents are common at traffic intersections, where a negligent driver tries to beat a red or yellow traffic light. When they don’t make it through the intersection in time, their vehicle might strike an oncoming vehicle, causing it to overturn or at the very least, spin around rapidly.
A driver or passenger’s body can abruptly move forward or backward in the vehicle, resulting in serious injuries. This is especially true if a part of the accident victim’s body strikes the headrest, window, door, steering wheel, or dashboard due to the impact. Sometimes, a T-bone accident can kill a driver or passenger.
If a T-bone car accident that resulted from someone else’s negligence injured you, you are not alone. In addition to seeking prompt medical treatment after your accident, speak with a knowledgeable car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer can guide your claim through the filing process and negotiate a settlement offer for you.
If the insurance company refuses to compensate you adequately, your lawyer can litigate your case in court and, if necessary, take your case to a jury trial or arbitration hearing. Your lawyer can help you decide on the best course of action that will maximize the compensation you recover in your case.
Common Injuries in T-bone Accidents
T-bone accidents can lead to severe injuries. This is especially true if the accident occurs at high speed. For example, if an accident victim’s head strikes the steering wheel or headrest at the time of impact, they can suffer a traumatic head or brain injury that can have lifelong consequences. At other times, victims of broadside collisions can sustain bone fractures, soft tissue injuries, bruises, abrasions, internal injuries, spinal cord injuries, and paralysis, depending on the impact force and how the crash occurs.
Following a T-bone accident, seek prompt medical treatment at an urgent care center or local hospital emergency room. Preferably, you should follow up on the same date as your accident. This is because, in many instances, symptoms do not appear until days or weeks following the car crash. This is especially common with closed head injuries.
Therefore, if you wait to seek medical care, the untreated condition can worsen, resulting in far more severe complications than had you initially sought treatment. Moreover, if you fail to seek initial medical treatment, the insurance company adjuster handling your claim will become skeptical.
The adjuster may assume that your injuries were not all that serious and that you did not make your medical treatment a priority following your accident.
In addition to seeking same-day medical care, follow through with the healthcare provider’s treatment recommendations, treat continuously for your injuries, avoid long gaps in treatment, and do not discharge yourself from a facility. By treating continuously, you increase your chances of recovering fair monetary compensation through either settlement or litigation.
While you complete all of your medical treatment, your lawyer can start handling your case’s legal components. Specifically, they can gather up your lost income statements, police reports, impact statements, and medical records and begin assembling those documents into a settlement demand package. After you finish treatments, your lawyer can send a demand package to the insurance company adjuster, who will review everything. If the insurance company accepts liability for your accident, settlement negotiations can begin in your car accident case.
How do T-bone Accidents Occur?
Broadside collisions typically happen because a driver is negligent under the circumstances.
Some of the most common types of negligence that lead to a T-bone accident include speeding, failing to yield the right-of-way to another driver at the appropriate time, intoxicated driving, and distracted driving.
- Speeding – The purpose of speed limits is to help drivers operate their vehicles safely and carefully. When drivers violate speed limits, especially near traffic intersections, they are more likely to cause an accident. Moreover, when a driver speeds through a traffic intersection to beat a red traffic light or run a yield sign or stop sign, they may strike a vehicle traveling in an adjacent direction, resulting in serious injuries.
- Failing to yield the right-of-way to another vehicle – Broadside collisions also happen at intersections when drivers fail to yield the right-of-way to an adjacent vehicle. In addition to running a solid red light or stop sign, the driver might fail to yield the right-of-way when turning left. A driver who turns in front of an oncoming vehicle or fails to yield the right-of-way to the oncoming vehicle might cause a T-bone collision and severe injuries. Negligent drivers may also cause a broadside collision when they merge onto a highway at an angle and fail to yield the right-of-way.
- Intoxicated Driving – Alcohol can severely impair a driver’s ability to operate their vehicle safely. A driver is legally drunk if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.08 percent. Commercial vehicle drivers, including truckers and those under 21 years old, must follow stricter legal standards. However, even a driver with a lower BAC can still experience the effects of alcohol impairment. Alcohol is a depressant and slows down a person’s reaction time. It can also prevent them from thinking clearly and processing basic information. Finally, it can lead to physical symptoms, including blurred vision. A driver who is under the influence of alcohol may experience impaired judgment. Consequently, they might run a red light or stop sign, thinking they can get through the intersection safely. They may not realize that they cannot do so until it’s too late, and a broadside crash happens.
- Distracted Driving – A distracted driver ignores the road. The driver might be looking at a cellular device, such as a GPS or cellular phone, or listening to loud music in the car while driving. Similarly, the driver might have their head turned to discipline young children seated in the back or roughhouse with vehicle passengers diverting their attention away from the road. A distracted driver may not even see a vehicle moving in an adjacent direction, causing a T-bone collision and serious injuries.
Suppose you suffered injuries in a car crash that resulted from another person or entity’s carelessness or recklessness. In that case, you should speak with a car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer can undertake the necessary investigation to determine if you have a viable legal claim to assert. If you do, your lawyer can file the claim and begin the settlement negotiation process for you.
Filing a Claim Following a T-bone Accident
A car accident claim starts when your lawyer submits a demand package to the at-fault party’s insurance company.
The demand package typically includes:
- A formal settlement demand letter
- Copies of medical records and lost wage documents
- Photographs of property damage to the involved vehicles
- Photographs of injuries
- Police report
- Expert investigation report
- Eyewitness statements
- Victim impact statement
When the insurance company adjuster handling the claim reviews this information, they will decide whether to admit fault for the crash. If they accept responsibility, settlement negotiations will begin.
In most instances, a car accident lawyer must negotiate with the insurance company adjuster several times to reach a fair settlement offer. The insurance company at least initially will typically offer as little money as possible to resolve the claim.
If settlement negotiations are unproductive, the accident victim’s lawyer can file a lawsuit and litigate the case to a conclusion in the court system. As an alternative to a jury trial, the parties might consider mediation or binding arbitration to resolve the claim more amicably.
Pursuing Damages for Your Accident-related Injuries
T-bone accident victims who establish the legal elements of their claim are eligible to recover damages. To recover monetary compensation, an accident victim must show that someone else behaved unreasonably under the circumstances and that their T-bone crash occurred as a result.
In addition, the accident victim must demonstrate that they suffered at least one injury as a direct result of the T-bone crash. In other words, the accident must have been at least one cause of the injury or injuries that the accident victim claims.
To prove the legal elements of a car accident claim, the accident victim might need to retain several experts. First, they may need an accident reconstructionist to determine how the T-bone crash likely occurred. This is especially true if no witnesses saw the crash. In addition, the accident victim will probably need a medical expert who can causally relate their claimed injuries to the T-bone crash.
Damages vary from case to case; not all accident victims will recover the same types and amounts of damages. The damages that a car crash victim will recover typically depend on their injuries, the types of medical treatment they underwent, and the pain and suffering they endured.
Common damages in T-bone accident cases include compensation for lost wages, loss of earning capacity, inconvenience, mental distress, pain and suffering, permanent disability, loss of use of a body part, loss of life enjoyment, loss of spousal consortium, and loss of family support.
Your lawyer can determine which damages you can recover as part of your car accident claim or lawsuit. Your lawyer can advocate on your behalf and work to recover the damages you need.
The MNH Injury Team Gets Results
We get you the results you need and provide legal advice through the whole court process. Don’t be unprepared when you could have one of the best legal teams out there to assist you. Reach out to us today to get your consultation.
Filing a Timely Claim or Lawsuit after Your T-bone Crash
Victims of T-bone car accidents have a limited time to bring a claim or file a lawsuit for damages. Specifically, they have two years from the date of the accident to file their claim.
If they do not file a timely lawsuit in the court system within those two years, absent an infrequent exception, they waive the right to recover damages for their injuries. Therefore, contact a car accident lawyer near you immediately after your T-bone crash. Your lawyer can file a timely claim or lawsuit on your behalf and work to recover the compensation you need for your injuries.
Talk With a Car Accident Lawyer Today
Victims of T-bone crashes often suffer severe injuries that leave them in significant pain and discomfort. On top of that, they usually have legal questions and don’t know where to turn. When it comes to filing a claim and negotiating a settlement with the insurance company, you should never go at it alone. It is best if you have skilled legal representation in your corner every step of the way.
In addition to filing a claim, negotiating it, and possibly litigating it in the court system, your lawyer can answer all your questions and be a sounding board for all major case decisions.
If your case has to go to court, your lawyer will represent and aggressively advocate for you in all legal proceedings.