T-bone accidents are a particularly serious form of auto collision that can lead to real harm for drivers and passengers alike. In these situations, it is important for your physical and financial recovery to prove who was responsible.
Assigning blame for a T-bone accident will require an assessment of each driver’s behavior behind the wheel. Depending on the circumstances, either driver involved in a T-bone accident could be at fault. In fact, some cases fault may be allocated to both parties.
To find out more about proving fault in your blame recent T-bone accident, reach out to the Indiana car accident attorneys at Wruck Paupore. Call (219) 322-1166 today to get your free initial case assessment.
A “T-bone” accident refers to collisions involving the front of one vehicle colliding with the side of another vehicle. The positioning of the two vehicles involved in the collision resembles the letter-shape bone in a T-bone steak, hence the name.
T-bone accidents are among some of the most dangerous ways that collisions can occur. Because the force of the impacting vehicle is so close to the people inside the vehicle, there is less natural protection from the force of the collision in the form of crumple zones, which are normally engineered into the front and back of a vehicle. In particular, T-bone collisions that impact the driver’s side almost always create contact less than a foot from the person driving the car.
The force of the collision is not the only concern in T-bone accidents. Depending on the types of vehicles involved, there may be penetration to the impacted vehicle’s body that could strike individuals inside, as well as shattered glass that turns into dangerous shrapnel during the collision. T-bone accidents also often catch the driver and passengers of the impacted vehicle off-guard, which does not provide the opportunity to brace for the impact of the collision.
You might assume that the driver of the impacting car in a T-bone accident (or the vehicle that forms the bottom of the “T”) would be the one at fault, since their vehicle is the one that actually causes the impact. However, this is not always the case. In actuality, T-bone accidents are often some of the most difficult situations for assigning blame.
All drivers owe a duty of care to other motorists with whom they share the road. Meeting this duty entails driving reasonably and taking care to avoid causing harm to others. When a driver breaches their duty, they are most likely at fault for an accident that results from this breach.
Breach of duty in the context of driving can occur in a variety of ways. The most straightforward of cases involve violations of traffic code, such as driving through a red light, speeding, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. However, a driver’s actions do not have to be against the law for them to be at fault for an accident. If you are not sure who was at fault for your accident, you should discuss the situation thoroughly with your Indianapolis car accident attorney.
Because determining who was to blame for a T-bone accident is so difficult in some situations, it may be helpful to explain how this process works through a few examples.
Let’s say that the driver of Car A arrives at an intersection with stop signs. Car A comes to a full stop before proceeding through the intersection. Car B arrives at the intersection after Car A from the right but does not stop at the stop sign and collides with Car A while they are driving through the intersection. In this situation, Car B would be at fault for failing to stop at the stop sign and therefore causing the accident.
In this situation, Car A arrives at a red light but is running late and decides to accelerate through it. Car B, which is perpendicular to Car A, has the green light and the right of way. But when Car B proceeds through the intersection, Car A is already out in front, and Car B is unable to avoid impact with the broad side of Car A. This would place blame for the accident squarely at the feet of Car A for running the red light, even though Car A was the one that was hit.
Not every case points the finger at one party exclusively. Using the situation from Example 2, let’s say that Car A again ran the red light, and Car B had the right of way. However, the driver of Car B was distracted by looking at their phone at the moment of impact, and the court determines that the driver of Car B could have reduced the force of the collision or even avoided it had they been paying attention. In this case, both parties would share some proportion of the fault.
If your recent accident resembles something closer to Example 3 above, you may be wondering if you can still recover compensation even if you were partially to blame. Fortunately, Indiana uses a theory of comparative negligence that still allows personal injury plaintiffs to recover compensation even if they shared a small portion of the blame for the accident or the resulting injuries. To account for the shared fault, the number of damages that the plaintiff can recover will be reduced proportionally to their percentage of responsibility as determined by the court.
Unfortunately, many who are not aware of the laws in Indiana feel like their case is hopeless and decide to abandon it, potentially leaving a substantial amount of monetary recovery on the table. Always reach out to your Hammond, IN car accident attorney before giving up on your case.
If you sustained harm in an accident because of another driver’s negligence, reach out to the seasoned Fort Wayne car accident lawyers at Wruck Paupore for your free initial case evaluation. Call us today at (219) 322-1166.
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Don is a founding partner and one of the nation’s top-ranked personal injury litigators. He is a member of the Multi-million Dollar Advocates Forum, which includes less than 1% of the nation’s trial lawyers, and awarded the highest ranking given by Martindale Hubbel and AVVO.
More importantly, Don understands representing personal injury victims is about more than recovering the best settlement: it’s about helping clients get back on their feet and supporting them in every aspect of their recovery.
In nearly all cases, our clients seek compensation from the wrongdoer’s insurance company. Before forming Wruck Paupore, Jason worked for a prominent law firm representing some of the world’s largest insurers. This experience gives Jason a deep understanding of the insurance industry and the strategies it uses to pay injury victims as little as possible.
Jason -- and our entire team -- put this inside knowledge to work to force insurance companies to pay what is actually owed. Often, we use the insurance company’s own tactics against them as we fight for the full compensation our client deserves.
For more than four decades, Keith has been fighting for injury victims. During that time, he’s watched the insurance industry change, with insurers now more interested in protecting their stock price than treating injury victims fairly.
Since the beginning, Keith has put people first. From his childhood in Gary, Indiana during the 1960’s and working his way through law school, Keith has risen to become one of the Midwest’s most respected trial lawyers. He has never forgotten that being a lawyer is about helping people -- and seeing injury victims through struggles in a way that could change their lives forever.
Over the decades, Keith, Don and Jason have fought relentlessly for clients, even when other lawyers have said the case was impossible to win.