Being involved in a car accident can have both immediate and long-lasting impacts on your life and the lives of your loved ones. In the case of a T-bone accident, you may have never seen the other vehicle coming, and had no time to swerve or even brace yourself for the crash. T-bone accidents are some of the deadliest car crashes, with a higher likelihood of debilitating injury or fatalities than other types of accidents.
After the shock of the initial collision, you may face the ongoing stress of healing from physical and emotional injury while simultaneously dealing with legal and insurance issues. The experienced T-bone accident lawyers at MAJK Law have helped countless victims of T-bone crashes. We’ll fight hard to pursue the maximum compensation to which you are entitled, while you focus on recovering and moving on.
What is a T-Bone Accident?
T-bone, or side impact, car accidents occur when the front of one vehicle hits the side of another vehicle, forming the shape of the letter “T”. The point of impact is typically one or both doors on the driver or passenger side, which are not designed to absorb impacts as well as the front or back of the vehicle. Also known as broadside collisions or right-angle collisions, this type of crash can have devastating impacts to the vehicle’s passengers, particularly those seated on the side of the vehicle that sustains the impact. If you are T-boned by a large truck or SUV, or a vehicle traveling at high speeds, the chances of debilitating injury or even death are increased.
Following a T-bone accident, insurance companies are generally interested in saving money and time—not in covering the full extent of your injuries and loss. You may be tempted to accept what the insurance company offers so that you can begin to move on. The skilled legal team at MAJK Law will calculate the true cost of your injuries and fight for the full compensation to which you are entitled.
Causes of T-Bone Collisions
T-bone collisions can happen for a variety of reasons, but the most common causes include:
- Distracted driving. Drivers who are talking or texting on their phones, or are otherwise distracted while operating their vehicles, often take their eyes from the road and may not see other vehicles or signals to stop.
- Running red lights or stop signs. Anything that causes a driver to miss a signal to stop their vehicle can lead to a T-bone collision, because it typically involves an intersection where the cars traveling perpendicularly have a green light or other right of way and often proceed without looking.
- Driving while intoxicated. Drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs may be less alert or have delayed reaction time, increasing their risk of collisions.
- Malfunctioning brakes. There may be incidents where the driver is aware of the need to stop, but a malfunctioning part of their vehicle prevents them from stopping or slowing down in time. In these cases there may be additional parties at fault in the accident, including the brake or vehicle manufacturer.
- Malfunctioning traffic lights or stop signals. Power outages, mechanical failures, and maintenance and other issues can result in intersections that do not properly signal for vehicles to stop. This may result in additional at-fault parties, although drivers may still have a duty to stop at intersections where the lights are not functioning.
Common T-Bone Car Accident Injuries
The injuries sustained in a car accident vary widely, from bumps and bruises that appear minor, to severe disfigurement and even death. The severity and type of injury sustained in a T-bone collision depends on many factors, including the person’s age, where they were sitting, and whether they were wearing a seatbelt or using a car seat.
Some injuries are particularly common to T-bone accidents, including:
- Broken bones
- Back and neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Other internal injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Even injuries that seem minor may have long-term consequences. Some injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, may have no immediate symptoms but develop over time. In the aftermath of a car accident, as with any serious emergency, life-saving measures are often prioritized over full medical evaluations.
If you have been in any type of car accident, seek a comprehensive medical evaluation immediately, and then contact a T-bone accident lawyer as soon as possible. California’s statute of limitations for car accidents limits the time you have to file a claim in most cases to two years after the date of the accident—it is critical to identify and address injuries as soon as possible to maximize your chances of recovery.
California T-Bone Law: Who’s at Fault
At the scene of the accident, it may seem obvious who caused the T-bone accident, and yet if you are seeking to file a claim or lawsuit, it may be your responsibility to prove who is at fault. An experienced T-bone collision lawyer can help establish who is at fault for the accident. This may involve gathering and reviewing some or all of the following:
- Police reports
- Witness statements
- Photos of the damage
- Medical reports
- Crash reconstructions
- Expert reports or testimony
Establishing fault is a required part of filing an insurance claim or lawsuit. California is a comparative fault state, which means not only that multiple parties can be at fault for an accident, but that you can still recover damages even if you are partially to blame. For example, if you are found to be 40 percent at fault, and the other driver is found to be 60 percent at fault, the other driver is responsible for paying 60 percent of the damages that result. Even if you are more at fault than anyone else in the accident, if their negligence contributed in any way, you are entitled to recover damages at the percentage of their fault.
Because the laws governing fault for car accidents in California are complex, do not miss out on compensation you deserve by attempting to navigate the fault determination on your own. Contact an experienced side-impact collision attorney immediately to ensure that your interests are protected.
Statute of Limitations for a T-Bone Collision
In California, you generally must file an injury claim within two years of your accident. A claim for property damage may be filed up to three years from the date of the accident.
If you fail to file a claim within the time allowed by the statute of limitations, you may lose the ability to seek compensation for your injuries. For certain claims, including some brain injuries or others that may not be immediately apparent, the two-year period may have a later start date. Determining when the statute of limitations will run out on your claim is not always easy. If you have any doubts about the amount of time you have to file a claim, talk to a t-bone accident lawyer immediately.
Compensation for T-Bone Accident Injuries and Damage
The amount and type of damages you can recover after a side impact collision depend on the specifics of the accident, the severity of injuries and damage, and the determination of fault. Common types of compensation for a T-bone accident in Los Angeles include:
- Medical bills and expenses, current and future
- Lost income, current and future
- Vehicle repair expenses
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Alternate transportation costs
- Wrongful death
Economic damages, such as medical bills and the costs of vehicle repair, are relatively straightforward to show. However, noneconomic damages are more challenging to calculate—and often account for the more significant portion of the total compensation you may receive.
It is in the interest of the insurance company to settle your claim at the lowest possible cost, and as quickly as possible. Additionally, any other parties involved in the accident may be pursuing compensation—or seeking to reduce the amount of compensation they may owe you. It is critical to have a Los Angeles T-bone accident attorney by your side to advocate effectively for your interests.
As with any personal injury claim, the amount of recoverable damage depends on the specific facts of your case and the quality of your legal team. Seeking the counsel of a qualified Los Angeles T-bone accident lawyer can help ensure an accurate determination of fault, and the potential for the maximum compensation to which you are entitled.
Contact a T-Bone Collision Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one have been injured in a T-bone accident in Los Angeles County or the surrounding areas, the skilled legal team at MAJK Law can help. Even apparently mild injuries can have serious impacts to your physical, emotional, and financial well-being. From determining fault and calculating an appropriate settlement amount, to negotiating with insurance companies, to defending your interests in the courtroom, we’ll work hard to pursue the maximum settlement amount. Let us navigate the legal process so that you can focus on recovering and getting back to your life. Contact the experienced T-bone accident lawyers at MAJK Law today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.