T-Bone Collisions

March 19, 2024 | Steve Fields
T-Bone Collisions
T-Bone Collisions

T-bone collisions, also known as side-impact accidents, can result in severe injuries, property damage, and even wrongful deaths. Every car accident can be a disorienting, traumatizing experience that leaves you confused and searching for answers. A car accident lawyer will value the cost of your accident, lead your insurance claim or lawsuit, and demand fair compensation from liable parties.

You shouldn’t settle for simply completing an insurance claim. You should demand the complete financial recovery you deserve. Your Minnetonka car accident attorney will fight for all the money that insurance companies or other liable parties owe you.

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T-Bone Collisions, Explained

A T-bone collision is named for the T-formation in which one vehicle strikes another. This kind of collision usually happens when the front of one vehicle strikes the side of the other. This is why T-bone accidents are also known as side-impact collisions.

Potential Causes of T-Bone Accidents

There are many possible reasons why a motorist might strike the side of another vehicle. Scenarios that may lead to a side-impact accident include:

  • A motorist runs a light or stop sign: Side-impact accidents often happen at intersections because motorists are traveling in opposite directions. A T-bone collision may result if one motorist legally crosses or turns at an intersection when another motorist runs a stop sign or traffic light.
  • Traffic lights are out of commission: If an intersection lacks functioning traffic signals or other directional cues, motorists may have to use their own judgment about when to cross or turn. The lack of direction may contribute to a side-impact accident.
  • A motorist crosses or turns into oncoming traffic: If a motorist is crossing a street or turning into traffic but fails to account for oncoming vehicles, one of those oncoming vehicles may strike the crossing motorist’s automobile on its side.

Whenever vehicles travel in opposite directions, there is a risk of a side-impact collision.

Risk Factors That Increase the Likelihood of Side-Impact Accidents

T-Bone Accidents

T-bone accidents, like most auto accidents, typically result from negligence. Some common types of negligence that may have factored into your collision are:

  • Unsafe road conditions: There is a heightened risk of side-impact accidents whenever intersections lack adequate signage or functional traffic lights. Other dangerous road conditions, like potholes, can also contribute to auto accidents.
  • Negligent driving actions by motorists: Motorists who engage in dangerous driving, like knowingly running stop signs or entering traffic dangerously, pose a risk of causing a T-bone accident.
  • Defective vehicles: Certain vehicle defects, like defective brakes, can lead to side-impact collisions. 
  • Driver impairment: When motorists are drunk, under the influence of drugs, tired, or impaired in other ways, they may make irrational decisions that cause T-bone accidents.
  • Driver distraction: Motorists distracted by conversation, phones, their own thoughts, or other distractions risk striking other vehicles (or making dangerous moves that cause another motorist to strike them).

Your car accident attorney will determine what caused your accident and who is liable for your damages.

Who Is Liable for a Side-Impact Collision?

Liability varies from one accident to the next. In side-impact collisions, evaluating all evidence and witness accounts is vital to establishing who is at fault.

Either the motorist who strikes another vehicle, or the motorist whose vehicle is hit on the side, can be liable. Your attorney will consider all relevant information when determining who is responsible for your accident-related damages.

Who Is at Risk During a T-Bone Collision?

Anyone involved in a side-impact collision can suffer serious injuries. This includes:

  • The motorist whose vehicle strikes another
  • The motorist in the vehicle hit by another
  • Passengers in either vehicle

While vehicle manufacturers must install side curtain airbags and other safety mechanisms to blunt the force of a side-impact collision, victims often suffer severe injuries.

Injuries That Result from T-Bone Accidents

Research suggests that individuals seated on the side of the vehicle struck during a side-impact collision face the greatest injury risk, with common injuries including:

  • Aortic or organ shear injuries
  • Pelvic fractures
  • Neck fractures
  • Clavicle fractures
  • Skull fractures

Burns, severe cuts, internal injuries, and other health ailments can also result from side-impact accidents. Your attorney will ensure you receive all the medical attention you need and document your injuries as part of your case.

Do I Need to Hire an Attorney After a T-Bone Collision?

You should always consider hiring a car accident lawyer to represent you after a side-impact accident. A lawyer can support you in the following ways:

  • The law firm will provide financial support for your case: Your attorney and their firm will cover expert fees, filing costs, and other expenses associated with your case. Law firms structure fees to provide clients with financial relief. This is one of several benefits of having a law firm handle your case. 
  • You’ll be able to focus on recovery with a lawyer leading the case: Time is always limited. When you have a potentially lengthy recovery journey ahead, it can help to have a lawyer take your case off your hands.
  • Attorneys have experience: Your auto accident lawyer will bring years of experience to your case. They will understand the complex process of securing fair compensation for clients’ injuries. Such experience is priceless when it comes time to secure your financial recovery.
  • Your case may go to trial: Some side-impact accidents go to trial rather than settling. If liable parties do not offer a fair settlement, and a trial becomes necessary, you will want to have a lawyer representing you. Trial is a significant undertaking, and your lawyer will provide the services and resources necessary to complete the trial. 

In most cases,

An attorney’s role is to gain a detailed understanding of a client’s accident-related damages. Typically, T-bone accident lawyers will evaluate:

Pain and Suffering

Auto accidents often cause fear that can have lasting effects. Injuries may also diminish the accident victim’s quality of life, and your pain and suffering may include:

Your lawyer won’t evaluate your pain and suffering alone. They will consult experienced mental health professionals to diagnose your pain and suffering, establish a treatment plan, and determine the cost of such damages.

Lost Income, Diminished Earning Power, and Other Professional Damages

Side-Impact Collision

Injuries from T-bone accidents can rob victims of their livelihood. Some types of professional harm that can result from side-impact collisions include:

  • Lost income
  • Diminished earning capacity
  • Lost performance bonus opportunities
  • Lost promotion opportunities 
  • Lost benefits
  • Loss of the psychological and emotional benefits of working (including the sense of financial stability)

Your lawyer can speak with your employer, gather employment records, and take other necessary measures to document your professional damages.

Property-related costs are a certainty when a side-impact accident happens. Such costs may include:

  • Repairing your vehicle
  • Replacing a totaled vehicle
  • Securing temporary transportation 
  • Replacing any other property damaged during the accident

Every damage matters during a T-bone accident case. Even if your injuries and pain and suffering may seem more pressing, your lawyer will demand fair compensation for all property costs.

Medical Costs

Your attorney will seek compensation covering all of your accident-related medical bills, including the cost of:

  • Emergency medical transport
  • Emergency services
  • Hospitalization
  • Medications
  • Surgeries
  • All doctor appointments (including any specialist appointments you require)
  • Rehabilitation 

Your medical services will be specific to your injuries and symptoms. Your side-impact accident lawyer will work alongside your doctors to detail your injuries, understand your treatment plan, and value the cost of your medical care.

Treatment Costs for Pain and Suffering

Auto accident victims who seek relief for pain and suffering should receive payment for treatment costs. If you take medication, seek counseling, or undergo any other treatment for pain and suffering, your lawyer will include the costs in your claim.

How Attorneys Fight for T-Bone Accident Victims’ Financial Recoveries

Victims’ Financial Recoveries

Law firms enable their clients to focus on recovery. This means your attorney will lead every step of your insurance claim or lawsuit, requiring them to:

  • Deal with insurance companies: Your attorney will need to contact insurers shortly after accepting your case. Insurance companies may need statements from you, and may ultimately offer a settlement for your losses. Your attorney will handle communications with insurers so nobody can violate your rights. 
  • Obtain evidence of negligence: Your lawyer will seek witness accounts, video footage, and other evidence suggesting who is at fault for your accident. 
  • Document your damages: Your lawyer will detail your damages using medical records, income statements, invoices for vehicle-related services, and any other documentation proving the cost of your T-bone collision.
  • Identify a fair settlement value: Your attorney and their experts will calculate the financial value of your economic and non-economic damages. They will account for your current damages and any damages you might suffer in the future. 
  • Negotiate your settlement: Attorneys usually try to settle T-bone accident cases. A settlement can provide the accident victim fair compensation, but liable parties must agree to pay the settlement first. Your attorney will present evidence of fault, documentation of your damages, and their calculation of your case value when seeking a settlement,
  • Discuss a possible trial (if necessary): If your attorney completes settlement negotiations without securing a fair offer, they will talk to you about going to trial.

If going to trial suits you, your attorney will take your case to court. Trials generally require questioning witnesses, presenting evidence, and persuading a jury to award the accident victim fair compensation. Your attorney may have a lengthy history of completing cases at trial, and they will be ready to fight your case in court if necessary.

What Makes a Qualified Auto Accident Attorney?

Your choice of attorney is not one to take lightly. You should find an attorney who:

  • Makes a strong impression during your consultation: Law firms offer free consultations so prospective clients can familiarize themselves with the firm. You can ask questions about the firm and gauge whether the firm will give your case due attention.
  • Has an impressive record of case results: Many law firms publish case results, and you should consider these results when choosing an attorney. You should look specifically at results in cases similar to yours.
  • Has rave reviews from former clients: Consider what former clients have to say about the firm. These reviews give you a valuable inside look at the law firms you are considering for your case. 
  • Shows a strong knowledge of auto accident cases: As you research firms, look for one that prioritizes auto accident cases. This will indicate that the law firm knows how to complete cases like yours.

Only you can determine which law firm best fits your case. Gather as much information as possible about a law firm before choosing them to fight for your financial recovery.

Know the Challenges You’ll Face If You Handle Your Own Case

If you still do not know whether to hire a car accident lawyer, consider the risk of leading your case without an attorney. Handling an insurance claim or lawsuit without a lawyer can:

  • Diminish your mental health, which may already be in a fragile state
  • Jeopardize your physical health
  • Place you at risk of insurance companies’ bad-faith tactics
  • Cause you to spend lots of time and effort building your case

You may find it challenging to compose a winning case while you have suffered an injury and are in a diminished mental state. These risks are among the many reasons why side-impact accident victims hire a lawyer.

Reasons to Hire Your Car Accident Attorney as Soon as Possible

Your lawyer will secure evidence from your accident as soon as possible. They cannot do so until you hire them, so don’t wait to find your car accident lawyer today. Once the right attorney begins building your case, you can focus on your physical recovery with greater peace of mind.

Seek your free case evaluation today to start seeking the compensation you deserve. 

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Steve Fields

Founder | CEO | Principal | Attorney

Steve Fields founded Fields Law in 2001 and quickly established a reputation with his Personal Injury clients for being a lawyer who truly cares. After more than 20 years, those clients continue to refer their friends and family whenever they have been injured or become disabled.

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