Getting into a car accident is often a terrifying experience. This is especially true when the car that hits you strikes from the side, potentially exactly where you are a passenger are seated. When you are involved in a t-bone car accident (also known as side impact), the resulting injuries can be severe – even fatal. If you have been in this type of serious car accident, you may speculate about how much compensation you may receive in a lawsuit or insurance claim.
This article details the factors involved in the average T-bone car accident settlement. It also discusses what to look for in a T bone accident lawyer, and related matters.
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A side impact or T-bone crash is one of the most serious car accidents. These terrible accidents often come out of the blue. You likely followed the rules of the road. Suddenly, another car runs a stop sign or red light and slams into the side of your vehicle. Injuries in these side impact crashes can be severe. This is because there is very little impact-absorbing material in a side impact wreck. With a rear end or head on crash, they car itself can absorb more of the forces.
In a side impact crash, the person on the side of the wreck usually has the most serious injuries. However, both parties can be injured. Common T-bone accident injuries include:
Traumatic brain injuries, such as concussions and worse
Neck injuries that may include a herniated disc, spinal cord injury, or whiplash
Back injuries including spinal cord damage, paralysis, and/or nerve damage
Chest, pelvic and abdominal injuries
Broken bones, dislocated joints
Soft tissue injuries, such as torn tendons, muscles and ligaments
What You Should Do After a T-Bone Car Accident
A T-bone car accident is where the front of one vehicle slams into the side of another vehicle. T-bone accidents, also referred to as a broadside accident, often happen at intersections where one drive does not stop at a traffic light or stop sign.
T-bone collisions often lead to severe injuries, including brain injuries, broken arms, and legs, and spinal fractures. If you are injured in a T-bone car crash and the other is at fault, it is important to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney as you may be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries.
T-Bone Car Accidents Aren’t Unique, But They Can Be Very Dangerous
Broadside car crashes lead to serious injuries largely because the vehicles are knocked off course and have a second collision. The T-boned vehicle is pushed violently sideways, possibly toward the side of the road or into oncoming traffic.
The force of the crash may spin one vehicle into the other vehicle that was in motion. Once a car has deviated from its intended path, there is a much higher risk of trauma and collisions, including hitting other vehicles, telephone poles, and guardrails.
T-bone accidents also cause devastating injuries because the person being hit broadside only has the door between him and the other vehicle. When a car hits you from the front or rear, there are many feet of the bumper, steel, trunk, engine, and seats cushioning you from the impact. But if the car is T-boned, there is just the door and window to protect you.
Not stopping at stop signs. Failing to come to a complete stop at an intersection is a violation of traffic laws.
Failing to yield: When stop signs are placed at a four-way stop, each driver needs to yield to the other. When two or more vehicles come to the intersection at the same time, it can be difficult to figure out who needs to go first. Most states require the driver on the left side to go first.
Running a light: This is illegal and an obvious sign of negligence. Many drivers increase speed to get through a light before it turns red, so T-bone crashes can be especially deadly.
Turning across traffic: Drivers in the turn lane must wait until it is safe to cross
Cell phones: Texting and driving or talking on a cell phone is illegal in all states. Cell phone records can be accessed by the police to determine if either driver was on a cell phone during the accident.
In many cases, side impact accidents are caused by the driver of one vehicle not yielding to the other at an intersection. Thus, the driver who did not yield is often at fault. But not every one of these cases is so clear.
How to Prove Fault in a T-Bone Car Accident
Because T-bone crashes can lead to such severe injuries, it is important to determine if the other driver was at fault so you can receive proper compensation in a lawsuit or settlement.
In some cases, liability is quite obvious based on how the crash happened. One driver may have simply run a red light and slammed into your car’s side. But in other situations, the driver may claim that they had the right of way and you are liable for the accident.
But the fault for these accidents cannot always be determined by which driver T-boned the other. Rather, liability in these accidents hinges on which car had the right to be moving forward. This is known as right of way. The car that did not have right of way will be assigned fault in a T-bone collision.
Proving Fault Starts at the Accident Scene
You may have just been in a side-impact accident and are at the accident scene, wondering what is next. The rules for a T-bone accident are the same as for other car crashes.
First, call the police. They will come to the scene and write a police report, which will likely make an early determination on who was at fault.
Next, obtain the contact information of any eyewitnesses who saw the crash. Eyewitness testimony can be especially important to determine who had the right of way. Do not admit liability to anyone. Take pictures of the accident scene, car positions, and damages, if possible.
Some T-bone accidents may involve questions about the traffic light. For example, you may have had a protected green light but the other driver says they had the right of way. If this is happening, try to note when the accident happened. While this will not certainly protect you, it may be possible to compare your accident time against the light’s programming.
For example, if the car accident happened at 11:30 AM, that time might be compared to the light’s programming to prove that oncoming traffic always has a red light at 11:30 AM. This is not a surefire solution, but it can offer your personal injury attorney a helpful tool to show you did not cause the accident.
A common wrinkle in T-bone accident investigations is where there were defective parts in one of the vehicles. The other driver may have blown through a stop sign because their brakes failed. But was the brake failure due to a manufacturer’s defect or the driver’s failure to get their brakes maintained?
Or maybe the injuries are severe because the crash tore a seatbelt, damaged the side-impact airbags, and they could not deploy. In this scenario, it may be wise to get the auto manufacturer or repair shop involved. These parties may share some liability for the car accident or the severity of your injuries.
Evidence to Prove Fault in a T-Bone Accident
Your attorney can be a big help in proving fault in the accident with some or all of this information:
Traffic light programming
Traffic camera footage
Surveillance video footage from other businesses
Physical evidence from vehicles
Electronic data from vehicles
Expert witness testimony
Can I File a Lawsuit If I Was Partially To Blame for the T-Bone Car Accident?
In a T-bone collision where both drivers share the blame for the accident, you still may be able to recover damages, depending on the state. California, for example, has a ‘comparative fault’ law where the at-fault driver can still obtain damages even if they were partially to blame for the accident. But the damages received may be reduced based on that person’s level of fault.
Get Legal Help For a T-Bone Car Accident Settlement
Unfortunately, if you were injured in a T-bone car accident, you will probably need the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. Even if the police came to the scene, the responding officer may not make a proper determination of fault for the crash, or they may make no determination of fault. It does not take much for the other driver to blame you for the accident.
It always is a smart move to have a T-bone car accident case reviewed for free by a personal injury attorney to determine next legal steps.
Average T-bone Car Accident Settlement
Below are some real T-bone car accident settlements and verdicts from across the US in recent years:
$230,000: Woman was hit in a broadside accident at a busy intersection in California. Suffered herniated disc that necessitated spinal fusion surgery.
$186,000: Man with a pre-existing lumbar fusion was hit in a low speed, side impact wreck. Suffered neck and low back injuries.
$150,000: Man was hit from the side by a garbage truck, killing him instantly. Policy limits reached in wrongful death lawsuit.
How much your car accident settlement will be is difficult to predict; accident injuries vary so widely. There is no precise formula that can calculate your possible settlement. One of the key areas that insurance companies examine when determining how much to pay you is what they call ‘special’ damages. These damages include the financial losses that you incur due to the crash, such as lost wages and medical bills.
The goal of the insurance company is to determine roughly what a jury would give you if the side impact accident went to trial. One of the most important parts of determining the final compensation for your car accident settlement is to put a number to your pain and suffering from the crash. As noted earlier, side impact injuries can be very serious, and pain and suffering can be substantial in these cases.
Consult a T-Bone Car Accident Settlement Attorney
Every car accident will involve different scenarios, people and vehicles. Recovering as much money as possible for your accident injuries means that liability has to be proven. Selecting an experienced personal injury lawyer will greatly enhance your chances of receiving a t bone car accident settlement.
Our best lawyer tips:
Choose an attorney who goes to trial often. Many attorneys who do personal injury law usually settle out of court. It is true that most cases do not go to trial. But in a T-bone accident case with serious injuries, it is important to have an attorney in your corner who goes to trial often, and wins. The insurance company will know if your attorney is good in the court room.
Choose a lawyer with a history of large settlements and verdicts. If you have a serious head and neck injury from your accident, you are facing large medical bills and months out of work. It is important to have an attorney who has a demonstrated record of success.
Get an attorney with resources. Does the attorney have the cash and line of credit to prepare your case? Expenses in a major personal injury case can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Find a lawyer who belongs to the State and National Trial Lawyer Groups. Serious attorneys in personal injury law talk to and network with other attorneys. Your attorney should be up to date with the latest techniques and tricks in the legal field. Belonging to these groups is a good way for an attorney to stay on top of the field.
Find an attorney who has many good testimonials. Your lawyer should have many past clients that you can talk to. They should be able to provide proof that the lawyer can produce when it counts.
If you keep in mind all of the above information, you should be better prepared if the worst happens and you are in a T-bone car accident.
T-bone accidents tend to involve larger levels of compensation. When the car is broad sided, the person on that side takes a very violent hit. Even with several airbags, there is only a car door and window to slow the other car before it strikes you and the others in the car.
In this type of severe accident with so little protection, it is possible you can suffer severe whiplash, fractures, organ damage, brain damage or death.
Because of the severe injuries often involved, the compensation in a t bone accident can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. First, your attorney will help you to add up the following:
Costs for medical care, therapy and rehabilitation
Out of pocket costs for drugs
Lost earnings and wages
Once those have been added up, your attorney will negotiate with the insurance company to determine what your pain and suffering amount should be. Typically a multiplier from 1-5 will be used. A 5 is for the most serious, long term, life changing injuries, such as serious brain damage. Less severe injuries might rate a 2 or 3. So, your compensation for a t bone accident could range from the tens of thousands of dollars into the millions for the worst cases.
If you have serious injuries that greatly affect your life for weeks and months, such as broken bones, head fracture and or internal injuries, you should be entitled to a serious settlement for a T-bone accident. If you have serious injuries, and the insurance company only uses a ‘2’ multiplier to determine your pain and suffering, you are being low balled. Bring in a good personal injury attorney to get you the pain and suffering compensation to which you are entitled.
A T-bone accident is one of the most serious types of car crashes. The problem is when a vehicle slams into the side of your at high speed, you have little protection from the resulting forces other than the thin metal and plastic of the door, as well as the side air bags. In a T-bone accident, the person who is on the side of the crash could have very serious injuries. How much the settlement can be for a T-bone accident varies so much based on the speed and size of the vehicles involved. One of the areas the auto insurance company will look at when determining what to pay is ‘special damages.’ These are economic damages that include your losses financially were due to the crash, including medical costs and lost wages. Once it is decided how much you have lost in economic damages, that number will usually be multiplied by a number from 1 to 5 to represent your pain suffering. Depending on that number, your settlement could range from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Running a red light is seriously dangerous and can likely result in a t-bone collision. If someone has run a red light they have broken the law. If you are the driver who t-bones the negligent driver who ran the red light, the fault of the accident is placed on the driver who ran the light. It is very important to cautiously enter any intersection for this very reason. Negligent drivers can speed through a light hoping to make it through in time so be sure to watch for traffic entering the intersection even if you have a green light. The careless driver is responsible for the other drivers damages as well as their own.
Side impact collisions are also known as t-bone accidents. There are many unique factors that involve every accident but when it comes to determining fault for a side impact collision there are a few guidelines to follow. You can determine the faulted party primarily based on how the cars collided. If one car is the recipient of the t-bone collision, they are usually not at fault. However, many other factors can prove the car that is the one getting t-boned is at fault including speeding, running traffic signals, distracting driving such as texting or being under the influence and tire marks in the road. Eyewitness statements and street cameras (if available) are also very important when providing evidence to determine the fault.
Side impact collision settlement values vary due to each accident and their unique variables. In order to get an estimated value on your t-bone collision, the best way to do so is by using our t-bone accident calculator. Generally, there is a simple formula used by adding up all of the following:
Property damage to the vehicle
Medical bills if injures are present
Future medical bills
Wages lost due to the absence of work
Once you have determined the value to the damages above you then must apply a multiplier which is generally a number 1-5 that represents the pain and suffering from the injuries sustained due to the accident. If the pain is continuous and extremely severe affecting the victims’ everyday activities, the number will be on the higher scale such as a 4 or 5. If the pain and injuries are less severe and are capable of quick recoveries, the multiplying number will be lower such as a 1 or 2.
Intersections can be a bit confusing when cars pull up to stop signs at the same time. Stop sign accidents usually result in t-bone collisions and are typically caused by distracted drivers. You may file a claim as long as you can prove the other party was at fault. When it comes to stop sign intersections, there is generally one rule you must always remember. If you pull up at the same time as another vehicle, the vehicle to your right always has the right of way and the vehicle to the left must yield. If you are involved in a stop sign accident and are looking to file a claim it is important to provide proof to show you are not at fault. To prove the other party is at fault it is important to provide evidence against them such as:
Few vehicles offer the safety features that help protect the passengers in a t-bone collision. Because of this, side-impact crashes have been reported as the deadliest for children and deaths rates continue to rise because of expanded travel speeds and increased number of larger vehicles on the road. It is common to sustain head, neck and spine injuries in these types of crashes. According to the insurance institute for highway safety, 25% of fatal accidents are t-bone collisions and about 8,000-10,000 people are killed each year.
All types of car accidents can cause serious injuries especially side impact crash. Side impact accidents consistently cause serious injuries to the victims involved and are especially dangerous due to the lack of protective safety features on the sides of the vehicle. These accidents frequently occur at intersections while both vehicles are attempting to cross resulting in devastating damages due to both vehicles colliding at full speed. Cars are designed with a great amount of safety features such as bumpers and air bags and are intended to withstand damages caused from a front-end or rear-end collision. However, there is an absence of protection while enduring a side-impact crash.
T-bone accidents are also known as side impact crashes. These side impact collisions occur when a driver crashes into the side of another car, head on causing the accident to appear t-shaped. Side impact collisions tend to have devastating outcomes due to the lack of safety features protecting the sides of the vehicle. There are many reasons T-bone accidents can occur including such as:
Driving under the influence
Running stop signs/stop lights
Failing to yield
These types of accidents are more severe due to both cars typically colliding at full speed, which is why the damages done are generally more significant than a minor fender bender.
T-bone auto collision injuries have a tendency to be considerably more extreme than those maintained in a front-or backside crash. The reason being is due to the high-speed impact and minimal airbag security from the sidewalls of the vehicle.
Head injuries/traumatic brain injuries
Chest injuries- lung trauma and esophageal injuries
Broken bones- arms, pelvis, legs
Neck injuries- whiplash, broken neck
Cuts and bruising
Back injuries- broken back, herniated disks, spinal cord injury
If you or a loved one is suffering from injuries from a t-bone car accident, be proactive and do some research regarding your situation and contact your local personal injury attorney to find out what compensation you may be owed.
A t-bone accident settlement is much the same to other personal injury settlements. The sum will rely upon various unique factors to the case like the severity of the wounds, regardless of whether it worsened any prior wounds, and whether the offended caused the mishap themselves. There is no exact answer how much money a t-bone car accident victim may be owed however; here are some different factors that go into deciding the settlement amount such as:
After a t-bone car accident, you may have genuine wounds and a large amount in hospital expenses and different misfortunes. Your vehicle might be destroyed and now you need to make sense of how to recover it in your current financial situation. When you have solid proof that the other vehicle is to blame in the t-bone mishap that prompted your injuries, at that point you can seek after compensation for your physical and other damages. Some cases where compensation was owed includes:
Woman compensated $1 million after being t-boned and suffering ankle and heel injuries as well as mild traumatic brain injuries.
Man was compensated $175,000 after being t-boned by a man who fell asleep at the wheel, causing lower back injuries requiring surgery.
Woman was compensated $99,000 after being t-boned and sustaining neck and back injuries.
Woman compensated $5 million after a car blindsided her leaving her with severe brain injuries and a broken back
Accident victim awarded $700,000 after being t-boned from a negligent driver running a stop sign.
When being involved in a t-bone car accident, there are a few various circumstances that cause this type of accident to occur. In t-bone car accidents, determining the at-fault party involves providing an official police report, evidence such as photos and testimonials from a third party such as a witness. Commonly, in a t-bone car accident the driver who has collided into the side of the other car is typically found at-fault. However, scenarios such as a driver running a red light or a stop sign causing the other driver to crash into that negligent driver will be determined at-fault.