You are on your way to work, listening to your favorite song. As you come to an intersection, the stoplight is turning yellow. Since you are close enough to the line, you decide to keep your speed and go through the light. Suddenly, you are jolted and your car begins to swerve because another vehicle has struck you from the side. Dazed, you realize that a T-Bone accident has just occurred and now you are fretting about who is liable for the accident. Can you claim compensation for the damages and the injuries that are likely to come from the accident? Or are you going to be the one held responsible? Here is how to tell liability for a T-Bone Accident:
What Are T-Bone Accidents?
T-Bone accidents are car accidents that occur when one vehicle strikes the side of another, making a T shape with the cars. This kind of accident, also known as side-impact collisions, can result in serious life-threatening injuries and even wrongful death. Unlike head-on collisions or rear-end collisions, when the impact happens on the side of the vehicles, there is very little padding between the occupants and the collision itself. When a car strikes the side of another, the only thing protecting the driver or passengers is a thin door with glass. The glass of the windows of these collisions often shatters, sending a rain of glass onto whoever is closest. This results in many injuries, such as glass getting stuck in the skin or eyes.
Who Is Liable for the Collision?
T-Bone accidents can have either one driver liable or both drivers. It all depends on the circumstances leading up to the accident. Let’s look at the scenario painted at the beginning of this blog and unpack how one or both drivers can be held liable:
One Driver Is Held Liable
If driver one is close enough to go through the intersection when the light is still yellow, he/she technically has the right of way. This means that the second driver decided to jump the green light and crashed into the first driver. This results in the second driver being responsible since he/she technically ran a red light, causing the accident.
However, if driver one was turning left and the left-turn light was blinking yellow for a yield to the right of way, but they failed to stop or even look at traffic and the second driver hit them, then driver one is responsible. This is because T-bone accidents can only occur when one driver refuses to give the right of way to the other. Whichever driver isn’t paying attention and/or breaks the law is typically the driver at fault.
Both Drivers Are Liable
Let’s say the intersection the drivers came to was a four-way stop indicated by stop signs. Both drivers have a duty and responsibility to pay attention as they come up to the intersection. If the first driver is singing along to their music or texting on their phone, failing to pay attention to the stop sign, and strikes the second driver who did stop but failed to notice the first driver coming through, then both drivers would be held liable for the accident. It is the duty of both drivers to ensure that themselves and each other get through the intersection safely.
This is known as comparative negligence. The state of Texas follows the modified comparative negligence principle. This principle states that a plaintiff cannot recover damages if they are found to be more than 50% at fault for their accident. The deeming of liability for both parties lies with the judge or the jury presiding over the case.
Evidence of Who Was at Fault
Negligence can be proven through evidence that helps illustrate what happened during the accident. This evidence, which can consist of witness accounts, the official police report, photographs of the accident, and personal statements from the drivers, can help determine who is liable.
A personal injury attorney can help ensure that you have the evidence necessary to show the negligence of the other party and help you claim the compensation you deserve. Hernandez Law Group, P.C. is dedicated to doing just that. We work endlessly to ensure that all of the information is in order so that way the judge or jury knows exactly what happened. Our staff is filled with dedicated and knowledgeable attorneys who put our client’s needs first. This is why we have a no-win, no-fee contract which takes away the risk of seeking compensation. Contact us today to get in touch with aid attorneys such as Juan Hernandez, one of the 2% of personal injury attorneys who are Texas Board Certified and committed to fighting for you!