If you’ve experienced a T-bone car accident, chances are that you’ve been left with a variety of questions. The experience is often painful, traumatic, and upsetting. If another’s negligence contributed to the accident, you may be entitled to compensation for any resulting damages.
T-bone car accident victims may not even know where to begin when it comes to recovering from their injuries. The idea of worrying about compensation is typically not a priority when you are focused on regaining your physical health. Locating a trustworthy personal injury attorney to help you navigate the personal injury claims process may help ease some of your stress. When appropriate, an attorney may assist injured victims in identifying responsible parties and seeking compensation. While an attorney handles the legal complexities of your case, you can focus on your wellbeing.
Demonstrating which parties are at fault is a critical aspect of any successful personal injury claim. A variety of factors may determine the types of evidence required to prove fault. In addition, the types of injuries you suffer and their impact on your life will affect the decisions you make throughout the legal process. Below, we discuss some basic information concerning fault and recovery as they relate to T-bone car accidents. While reading, you should consider your unique circumstances.
Examples of Severe T-bone Accidents
By their very nature, T-bone accidents have a high probability of causing serious property damage and severe injuries. Because T-bone accidents involve one vehicle hitting the side of another vehicle, they have a high likelihood of causing occupant fatalities.
Some T-bone accidents, however, can be even worse than others. Like any other accident, numerous factors can affect the severity of a T-bone collision. The size of the vehicles involved can greatly influence the severity of the collision.
For an extreme example, a T-bone accident involving a semi-truck can be particularly devastating. Commercial trucks loaded with cargo can weigh as much as 40 tons. The sheer size and weight of these vehicles can cause extensive property damage and serious or even deadly injuries. A passenger car T-boned by a semi-truck is much more likely to undergo significant damage than one T-boned by a similarly-sized sedan.
How to Prove Fault in a T-bone Car Accident
You must establish fault to seek compensation. State and federal courts, as well as insurance companies, rely on stringent requirements for determining fault. To ensure your personal injury claim is successful, you must have a strong case proving that the other driver was at fault.
When the damages exceed the coverage offered through your PIP or PDL insurance, you should consider filing a personal injury claim. Experienced attorneys regularly assist injured victims in identifying who was at fault after they sustain injuries in a car accident.
To establish that another driver was at-fault for the accident, injured victims must prove:
- The driver performed a dangerous or negligent action OR
- failed to perform a certain action which causes dangerous circumstances AND
- The driver breached their duty to operate their vehicles as required by the standard of care.
Every driver is obligated to operate their vehicles in accordance with the standard of care. Drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles in a way that will ensure the safety of other drivers. Negligent and reckless driving behavior is a breach of this standard of care, and the driver may be liable for causing an accident.
When appropriate, personal injury lawyers may need to use several forms of evidence to build strong proof of the other driver’s fault. If necessary, an attorney may team up with industry experts who can provide testimony to support an injured party’s claim. Experts in the medical, automotive, and insurance fields may be helpful when proving fault. Depending on the specific circumstances of your case, the following types of evidence may be necessary:
Videos and Photos
If at all possible, it is ideal to take photos and videos of the scene of the accident. However, the legal system understands that many accident victims sustain injuries that make it impossible for them to move about the scene. If you can’t document the scene of the accident, you will not be penalized. On the other hand, if you are able, photos and videos can provide valuable evidence of fault.
Many car accident victims lack the understanding of the law and experience that personal injury attorneys utilize to build strong cases.
Experienced lawyers regularly fight for the rights of injured victims to seek the compensation they are entitled to. Through years of practice, they have developed a keen sense of knowing which small details can make a big difference.
Beyond pictures of the damage to your vehicle, it may also be helpful to document:
- Skid marks in the road (to indicate uncontrolled or panicked driving)
- CCTV footage from nearby establishments
- Videos or photos from witnesses
Don’t be afraid to reach out to any witnesses who observed the accident or nearby businesses. Personal injury attorneys may help injured victims acquire evidence that could prove critical to their cases.
Witness statements can help resolve disputes regarding fault in court. The science behind human nature teaches us that witness statements are not always accurate. However, they can still help to corroborate your version of how the accident occurred. Collect contact information from any witnesses at the scene of the accident.
If at all possible, you should ask witnesses to provide a statement of how the accident occurred immediately following the accident. Human memory of an event is much more accurate right after it occurs. As time passes, our memories inevitably begin to fade.
Car Accident Report
When a police officer responds to the scene of an accident, they will compile an accident report. The report will include information about the accident, including the vehicles involved, the injuries sustained, and whether any citations were issued. You can obtain a copy of the accident report from the local police department.
Potential Serious Injuries You May Experience After a T-bone Car Crash
As mentioned, the side impact that is characteristic of T-bone accidents makes them particularly dangerous collisions. The average passenger vehicle weighs over two tons. When one vehicle strikes the side of another, only thin metal doors protect the occupants. Because passengers are vulnerable, the injuries they sustain are commonly more severe than other accidents.
Some of the most serious car accident injuries include:
- Limb loss and amputation | Limb loss and amputation are undoubtedbly physically traumatic to the body. In addition, limb loss and amputation been linked to a wealth of psychiatric disorders. Victims who suffer these injuries during a car accident must cope with immense physical and significant emotional distress.
- Paralysis and spinal cord injuries | Our brains and spines can easily be injured in a car accident. The brain and the spinal cord communicate with each other to ensure our bodies are functioning properly. Car accidents victims who suffer spinal cord injuries may experience muscle spasms, loss of motion, sexual dysfunction, and more.
- Head and brain injuries | Head and brain injuries obviously have the potential to devastate the human body. Numerous head and brain injuries regularly lead to severe long-term consequences and, in some cases, death.
What to Expect Physically After Your T-bone Car Accident
In the aftermath of a traumatic car accident, vitctims often feel confused, frightened, and overwhelmed. Injured victims should prioritize their physical health and focus on progressing toward recovery. Although your symptoms may not be immediately apparent, it is extremely important to seek a medical evaluation following an accident.
Watch out for Delayed Symptoms
Some of the most serious injuries commonly do not display immediate symptoms. For example, symptoms of a traumatic brain injury may not appear until days or weeks after the accident. A medical professional can perform diagnostic testing to rule out injuries that could be potentially life-threatening if left untreated. Pay attention to your body in the days following the collision. If you experience any delayed symptoms, seek a medical evaluation as soon as possible.
The most common symptoms of injury that may be delayed, include:
- Headaches | In many cases, headaches are an expected consequence of a car accident. This is especially true if the accident resulted in an impact to your head. Even though headaches are common, oftentimes they are signs of more serious underlying damage. It may be helpful to keep detailed notes of your daily symptoms and pain levels. Be aware of any patterns or inconsistencies, so you can differentiate between residual pain and delayed symptoms.
- Behavioral changes | Just as headaches may indicate traumatic brain injury, behavioral changes may also signify brain damage. Like other internal injuries, brain injuries are particularly difficult to diagnose. In some circumstances, behavioral changes may be signs of mental afflictions, such as PTSD, which can be common among victims of devastating crashes.
- Neck or shoulder pain | Neck and shoulder pain tend to be common after vehicle collisions. A common car accident injury, whiplash, occurs when the head and neck move violently in a back and forth motion. Neck and shoulder pain are common symptoms of whiplash, however, they may also signal more serve spinal cord injuries.
What if I Contributed to the Accident?
Don’t make that assumption—fault may lie with the other driver, a government that failed to maintain roads or traffic signals, or a defective car part. Thus, even if you believe your actions may have contributed to the accident, keep these tips in mind:
- Never apologize for the crash or anything that occurred. Of course, you do not have to ignore other parties involved in the crash, but be careful not to implicate the crash was your fault. We can all be helpful and empathetic without saying the words “I’m sorry.” Seemingly innocent conversation can be misinterpreted as an admission of fault.
- Call the police as soon as possible to ensure that emergency medical services will respond soon and a police will file a report to document critical evidence at the scene. Police officers will collect evidence to compile an accident report that could be critical to your personal injury claim later.
- Note witness contact information.
- Take photographs.
- Contact your insurance company to inform them that you were involved in an accident. The law mandates that you must call your insurance company to notify them that you were in a collision. However, you should avoid telling your insurance company every detail. Insurance companies are motivated to payout the least amount possible for any claim. An experienced attorney regularly helps injured victims communicate and negotiate with insurance representatives. You may consider hiring an attorney before providing a statement to your driver’s insurance company, and definitely before talking with the other driver’s insurance carrier.
How a Car Accident Attorney Can Help You
If you or a loved one were injured in a T-bone car accident, you deserve empathetic and informed legal counsel.
You may be entitled to pursue compensation that could help account for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and physical damage to your possessions.
The process of bringing or settling a case can be complex, however, a skilled lawyer with the skills to help simplify and expedite personal injury claims can help you understand your options every step of the way and fight to seek the compensation you deserve.
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