What Causes T-Bone Accidents?
Although most types of car accidents cause trauma, T-bone accidents can cause severe injuries and can even be fatal. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), T-bone accidents make up over 46 percent of all fatal car accidents.
A T-bone car accident is when one vehicle crashes into the side of another car, forming a t-shape. According to the NHTSA, they make up over 30 percent of all multi-car crashes. Because T-bone accidents often involve two drivers who are traveling at high speeds, they are incredibly dangerous. Furthermore, unlike rear-end collisions where the person behind is almost always at fault, it is more difficult to determine who is at fault for a T-bone accident.
T-bone car accidents usually occur in intersections when someone fails to yield the right-of-way. Some causes of T-bone accidents include:
- A driver making a left turn in front of oncoming traffic, either rushing to get through it or not seeing the other side of traffic.
- A driver blowing through either a red light or a stop sign then hitting another driver.
- A driver pulls out of a parking lot or side street onto the highway without yielding to oncoming traffic.
Not only do T-bone accidents cause serious injuries or death, but it can be difficult to determine who is the liable party:
- One or both drivers: Normally in a T-bone accident, one person is solely to blame. However, there are times when both drivers can be held liable for the accident. For instance, one driver could be speeding through an intersection while the other driver makes a left turn in front of them before making sure it is safe.
- Third driver: A third driver could act so recklessly that it causes one or two drivers to swerve and cause a T-bone accident. Even though the first driver may not have hit anyone, they could be partially responsible for the accident.
- Mechanical failure: Although rare, it is possible for a driver to experience a mechanical failure in their vehicle, such as brake failure when they are coming to a stop, causing them to drive into oncoming traffic.
Modified Comparative Negligence in Delaware
Delaware is considered a modified comparative negligence state, meaning that if the plaintiff shares more than 50 percent of the blame, they are not eligible to receive compensation.
Every driver owes a duty of care to other drivers. All drivers must be responsible and drive safely. They must follow traffic laws to protect themselves and others. Should the driver breach that duty of care, then they are seen as negligent. If the accident results in injury or property damage, the plaintiff may be able to seek compensation.
What Should I Do After a T-Bone Accident?
After a T-bone accident, you should do the following:
- Check on everyone: If possible, make sure to check yourself for injuries and see if your passengers are okay as well.
- Pull over: If your car is still drivable, pull over onto the shoulder of the road or in a safe area, away from traffic.
- Get help: Call 911 right away and report the accident or have a witness do it for you. Even if you do not feel injured, you want to be completely sure, so get medical attention immediately. Especially in a T-bone accident, a myriad of injuries can occur, and most could be serious, such as a concussion, broken bone, fracture, or lacerations.
- Police report: A police report is extremely important after a T-bone accident, as the police will take both drivers’ accounts as well as the witnesses.’ The police report could be helpful in a personal injury
- Contact a lawyer: After any serious collision, you want to have the right lawyer on your side.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me After a T-Bone Accident?
T-bone accidents will likely require extensive investigation to determine who is responsible for the accident. Hiring a lawyer can help prove who is liable. A lawyer can help in the following ways:
- Contact any eyewitnesses and get full statements.
- Get security or surveillance footage of the accident either from traffic cams or from surrounding businesses.
- Get advice and testimony from a traffic accident reconstructionist and piece together the events of the crash and its cause. An expert can take the facts of the case and observe photographs and videos to reconstruct the accident to determine the cause and liability party.
- Determine if other third parties are involved in the case, such as a mechanical failure or manufacturing defect.
Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Help Those Injured by Reckless Drivers in T-Bone Accidents
Our Wilmington car accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. can help you if you have been severely injured in a T-bone accident that was caused by a negligent driver. Call us today at 302-656-5445 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we proudly serve clients in Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.