the truth about t-bone traffic accidents

A traffic accident is always a terrible event. No matter how an automobile strikes another, there is great potential for serious damage. However, some collisions have a higher rate of severe injury or death than others. For instance, when a vehicle is hit in the front, there are several feet of steel and engine between the passenger and the impact. While this doesn’t eliminate the risk of serious injury, it does create more of a buffer. Conversely, in side-impact collisions, also known as T-bone accidents, there’s often only a door and a window between the victim and the other vehicle. In some cases, there also may be the passenger seat buffering the impact, depending on which side of you’re hit.

DID YOU KNOW: Recent data shows that out of 37,133 motor vehicle crash deaths in 2017, 64% were passenger vehicle occupants.

Deaths due to by side-impact crashes have increased by 20% over the past 20 years. Many experts attribute this to the increase in travel speeds on roadways, plus the growing prevalence of SUVs. Additionally, 20% of vehicles involved in deadly crashes in the state of Florida were first impacted on their sides.

All cars sold in the United States must meet specific federal safety standards regarding side-impact collisions. Still, T-bone accidents are some of the most serious accidents on the road. Tragically, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, side-impact collisions are frequently the deadliest for children. If you have been the victim of a T-bone accident, you may be entitled to compensation.

causes of side-impact collisions

Side-impact collisions typically take place at intersections, traffic lights or signs. Most often than not, the cause of this kind of crash is because of driver negligence. While this may not be intentional, there are many driving behaviors that most commonly end in catastrophic side accident collisions.

Typically, the cause for side-impact collisions revolves around compliance with traffic rules. Ignoring signs or aggressive driving not only puts the driver at risk but also everyone else on the road. Some of the primary behaviors that lead to T-bone accidents include:

Distracted Driving

One issue that is becoming more and more prevalent is driving while distracted. With the use of smartphones, people spend far too much time paying attention to their screens while driving. Taking the focus away from the roadway is extremely hazardous in any situation. Driving while distracted reduces the driver's ability to predict dangers on the road and avoid them. Additionally, distracted drivers are more likely to miss important road signs or signals, leading to side-impact collisions.

Failure to Obey Traffic Signs or Signals

These are some of the most blatantly dangerous actions that lead to serious side-impact collisions. Mistakes such as failing to:

  • Fully stop at an intersection
  • Yield at a stop sign
  • Stop at a red light

When failing to pay attention to these signs or signals, drivers run the risk of running directly into crossing traffic.

Failure to Heed Right-of-Way

If a driver fails to accurately heed the right-of-way to oncoming traffic when turning, they can easily smash into the side of a vehicle, or have the other vehicle collide strike their side. Conversely, oncoming traffic should also heed turning traffic.

Severe Weather Conditions

Adverse conditions on the road are also a major contributing factor to side-impact collisions. When roads are wet, icy, and slippery it can deteriorate a driver’s ability to control their vehicle. Therefore, drivers should always be ready to adjust their speed and maneuvering to meet these conditions.

who is at fault in t-bone accidents?

Of course, the cause of the T-bone accident will be a key element of determining who is at fault. In many cases, driver error is pretty obvious. Hopefully, the other driver will even admit fault. Sadly, in the majority of cases involving side-impact collisions, the other driver will claim that they had the right of way, which would cast fault onto you.

In most cases, a careless driver is responsible for a T-bone accident. As mentioned above, drivers who do not obey traffic laws are often liable for their actions and any injuries resulting from their unsafe driving.

Negligence is the failure to act as a reasonably prudent person would act under the same circumstances. To prove that a driver was negligent, victims of side-impact collisions much be able to show:

  • Duty of care

Florida law stipulates that drivers owe a duty of care to all others on the road. Therefore, each driver has an obligation to follow the rules of the road.

  • Breach of care

Next, the victim must prove that the driver breaches their duty of care by failing to act with reasonable care. When drivers fail to acknowledge traffics signs and signals, or oncoming traffic, they are in breach of their duty of care.

  • Causation

Victims must be able to provide sufficient evidence that their injuries are the result of the other driver breaching their duty of care.

  • Damages

A plaintiff must show actual damages for their injuries. This can include medical expenses, lost wages, or even pain and suffering.

Once a victim is able to establish the at-fault driver's negligence, they may be able to recover damages for their injuries. Additionally, Florida is a comparative negligence state. This means that the defendant may claim that the victim is at least partly responsible for their injuries. However, Florida will allow you to recover damages in proportion to your degree of fault. So even if you are found partially liable, you still have an opportunity to recover damages.

the NEXT steps after a side-impact collision

Side-impact collisions can be extremely dangerous. Even if you come out of a T-bone crash without any severe injuries, can still be a traumatizing experience. In the aftermath of an accident, it is hard for anyone to know what to do to protect their rights. Luckily, lowercase created a helpful system to remind yourself of the next steps to take following an accident.

First, if possible, move yourself or your vehicle to safety. Then, follow these NEXT steps:

lowercase law: NEXT steps graphic

why you need a lowercase lawyer

If you or a loved one are the victims of a side-impact collision, do not wait to seek legal representation. Florida requires that you file your claim within four years from the date of the car accident. By failing to file within this time period, you may lose the ability to seek compensation. Having an adept and professional attorney on your side from the start can make all the difference important. The sooner a lawyer can start investigating the details of a case, the quicker you can start exploring potential legal options.

The accident lawyers at lowercase have comprehensive experience with representing clients from all across South Florida. Our knowledgeable staff works with compassion and integrity to pursue your claim. We know how to work with insurance companies to negotiate a more favorable settlement, and we believe in seeking justice for the victims of unlawful negligence.

call us today

A lowercase personal injury lawyer will provide you with legal guidance to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 833-LOW-FEE5 (833-569-3335).

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