A t-bone collision involves one car hitting the sides of another car. This is one of the most common types of car crashes and, unfortunately, a type of accident that can cause severe and long lasting effects.
This type of car accident can cause more severe injuries than head on collisions. Even though the car being hit may have side airbags, there is significantly less stuff between the driver and passengers and the other car.
In a head-on or rear-end collision, for example, cars are designed with several feet of crumple zones in the hood and the trunk of a car in order to protect the occupants of the car.
With a side impact collision, on the other hand, there usually are only mere inches of metal protecting you from harm. Even your seat belt will do little to protect you, based on the direction of the impact.
How do I prevent t-bone crashes?
Statistically, most t-bone car crashes occur at intersections. As a motorist, you should stop, not just slow down, at every stop sign and red light and slow down, rather than speed up, at yellow lights. Drivers who fail to yield at intersections are one of the leading causes of broadside collisions.
In general, you should follow all traffic laws – stick to the speed limit, and don’t act aggressively on the road. Bring your frustrations about other drivers somewhere else, like the boxing gym. Remember – you, and everyone around you, is piloting a several ton vehicle capable of incredible physical damage to others.
On the flip side, you should also expect other drivers to break traffic laws. When the light turns green, wait a moment in case someone coming the other way runs the light. When approaching intersections, keep your eyes open for other drivers who may not yield the right of way or forget to use their turn signals.
If it’s dark, rainy, or hazy, you should slow down to compensate for decreased visibility. Never text while driving and keep phone calls to a minimum. Don’t get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking or using drugs.
How do you determine who is at fault is a t-bone collision?
Typically, the question of “who is at fault’ in this type of car accident is resolved by looking at who has the right of way. If you have the green light and the other guy runs a red light, you will typically win, and he will typically lose. This isn’t always the case, so discuss your chances of success with your personal injury attorney.
An experienced car crash attorney will put on their investigative cap to look for security cameras, dash cams, and witnesses that can show who had the right of way at the time of your crash. However, often this evidence is lacking and a case can turn down to a “he said, she said” argument.
Another thing to consider is that Arizona is a “comparative negligence” jurisdiction. This means that a jury will determine what percentage of the accident was caused by each party’s negligence. If 20% of the accident was your fault, for example, you can only receive 80% of the damages.
What kind of damages can occur from t-bone accidents?
Typically, the drivers and passengers of the car being hit face the gravest injuries because of the high speeds involved in this type of accident. Victims are left with broken bones on the collision side, head injuries, whiplash, neck, back, and head injuries. Windows often break, causing bleeding from severe cuts and lacerations.
In addition to the physical injuries, survivors of side impact crashes can also face high medical bills, lost wages due to extended recovery period, and significant pain and suffering while they heal.
You may have another financial hit – it’s highly possible your car might be totaled and that you will have to invest in a new vehicle. Even if the accident isn’t your fault, if the other driver isn’t insured, you could be stuck with some of these bills. Talk to your insurance broker to make sure you have enough coverage if you end up facing an uninsured motorist.
What should I do if I’m in a t-bone crash?
If you or a loved one is in a t-bone car crash, make sure you get the medical attention you need. Keep track of every medical bill you receive, the car accident police report, and all the paperwork from the insurance companies involved.
Also consider writing down your version of what happened, as soon as possible. Make sure you include every detail – time of day, weather, location. Don’t assume you’ll remember the important details months afterwards that could make or break your case.