When it comes to car accidents, T-bone collisions are some of the most dangerous collisions that anyone can be involved in. While the driver who hits the other vehicle may be protected by the front-end crumple zones and airbags, the occupants in the vehicle that is hit are often the ones who suffer the most severe injuries.
If you’ve been injured in a T-bone accident, attorney Paul Pfeifer
and the others at the Pfeifer Law Firm want to help. Paul is a Little Rock native who’s been certified to practice law before every state and federal court jurisdiction in Arkansas, as well as the federal 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. Paul’s dedication to helping his clients has earned him an AV Preeminent
rating from Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest ranking the agency offers.
What Is a T-Bone Accident?
A T-bone accident occurs when the front end of one vehicle strikes the side of a second vehicle, usually at a perpendicular angle. They’re called “T-bone” accidents because the vehicles are often left in a “T” shape following the crash. They’re also sometimes called broadside collisions or side-impact accidents.
Most T-bone accidents occur at traffic intersections. The two most common ways that T-bone accidents happen are:
- One driver runs a stop sign or red light and then hits another vehicle traveling perpendicular to them through the intersection
- One driver makes an unsafe or illegal left turn and is then hit from the side by another vehicle that’s traveling through the intersection.
Why Are T-Bone Accidents So Dangerous?
T-bone collisions are more dangerous than other kinds of accidents because anyone in the car that is struck has much less protection than they would if the accident happened under different circumstances.
If a car is struck head-on or from behind, the front and rear-ends of the car can absorb much of the impact. That’s not the case in a T-bone accident since the doors of a vehicle are thin and can’t absorb as much energy. In this type of collision, there is little room between the side of the vehicle and the driver’s or passengers’ bodies.
Common Causes of T-Bone Accidents
While many T-bone accidents are similar at a glance, there are a number of ways in which a driver’s negligent actions could cause a collision. A few common causes of T-bone crashes include:
- Distracted driving (talking on the phone, sending or receiving a text message, etc.)
- Drivers abusing alcohol, drugs, or both
- Drowsy driving
- Speeding and other kinds of reckless driving
- Inexperienced drivers
- Drivers failing to yield the right of way
- A driver having some kind of mechanical defect with their vehicle
- Malfunctioning traffic signals
- Weather affecting the roads
- Poor road conditions
Common Injuries From T-Bone Collisions
Because drivers on the receiving end of a T-bone accident have such little protection, these kinds of crashes are much more likely to result in major injuries. A few common injuries from T-bone accidents include:
- Deep bruises and severe lacerations
- Bone fractures
- Tearing of muscles, ligaments, and tendons
- Internal organ damage
- Back and neck injuries (i.e., whiplash)
- Spinal cord damage, including paralysis
- Head injuries and traumatic brain injuries
Proving the Other Driver Was At-Fault for a T-Bone Accident
The issue of fault is key in any T-bone accident claim. To obtain compensation for your injuries, you will have to show that the driver who hit you acted negligently and should be held liable for the accident.
Additionally, you will have to show that the other driver was fully responsible for your injuries if you want to claim the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries. Arkansas uses a comparative negligence doctrine for personal injury claims, which means that while you can claim compensation for your injuries if you were partially responsible for an accident, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
For example, if you file a claim against the other driver for $100,000 and the courts find that you are 20 percent responsible for causing the crash, you would lose out on 20 percent of the compensation, or about $20,000.
You can see why establishing fault is so crucial for a T-bone accident claim. Here’s some of the evidence you can use to show the other driver was at fault:
- Photos and other evidence from the scene – If you’re able to do so, it’s always a good idea to take some photos from the scene of a car accident. They can help tell the story of what happened as well as help to substantiate your injuries.
- The police accident report – An accident resulting in major injuries will nearly always trigger a police investigation. The accident report may shed light on what caused the crash, including if the driver was negligent in some way, such as by driving while intoxicated.
- Witness testimony – If another driver or some other witness saw what happened, they can testify as part of your case to help establish how the other driver is responsible for your injuries.
- Traffic cameras – Surveillance footage from traffic cameras is a valuable source of information when it comes to establishing fault. These cameras can offer a clear visual record of what occurred to help build a case against the other driver in a crash.
- Forensic investigation – Specially trained investigators can look at the scene of a crash and reconstruct what happened to offer a clearer picture of what happened. They can look at skid marks, tire patterns, and other evidence to shed light on the crash if other evidence is unavailable or unclear.
Contact a Little Rock T-Bone Accident Attorney Today
To make sure you don’t fall victim to Arkansas’ three-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims, it’s best to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. Our experienced legal team at the Pfeifer Law Firm will help you understand your rights and legal options. Get a free case review today by calling (501) 374-4440 or visiting our contact page