Who Is At Fault for a T-Bone Car Accident in California?

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A T-bone accident is among the most dangerous types of crashes. A T-bone crash (also known as a side-impact car accident) is when the front of one car strikes the broad side of another car. Both drivers and any passengers may be seriously injured in the accident. If you or a loved one was hurt in a T-bone collision, call the California car accident attorneys at Sargent Law Firm for help.

T-Bone Crashes Are Very Dangerous (and Can Be Deadly)

For the front driver, a T-bone crash has a similar amount of force as a head-on collision because it is the front of the car making the impact. If the other driver is hit on the driver’s side door, their body will suffer serious physical trauma from the force of the crash and the fact that the car collapses where they are sitting. Cars do not have the same robust level of protection from side-impact crashes.

Why and How T-Bone Crashes Happen

T-bone crashes almost always happen because one driver, who has the legal obligation to yield the right of way, fails to do so. These accidents occur because one driver is in a place where they should not be because they have broken the law.

T-bone accidents can happen in the following situations:

  • A driver has run a stop sign or a red light.
  • One driver tries to cross a busy street in the face of traffic, and they are struck by an oncoming car.
  • A driver loses control of their vehicle.
  • The brakes fail on one vehicle, and the driver cannot stop in time.

Determining Liability After a T-Bone Accident

The police will show up at the scene after the accident and write a report. Your hope is that it was very apparent what happened and that the other driver did something wrong. Based on witness testimony and the officer’s observations, they may even issue a traffic citation. That may be enough to persuade the insurance company of liability. If the driver pleads guilty to a traffic offense, it can also be evidence of their responsibility in the civil case.

Almost always, the responsible party will be one of the two drivers. There may be a split of liability between them. For example, if one car ran a stop sign, but the other driver was speeding, both may bear some part of the blame. In some rare circumstances, you can sue the manufacturer of the auto part or the car itself because of the brake failure.

Particular Challenges of T-Bone Car Accidents

T-bone car accidents may present a particular challenge when it comes to determining liability. Your best hope is that there were witnesses who saw the crash or other forms of evidence that can prove who was to blame. If there was nobody else around, you might end up in a situation where you are in a “truth contest” with the other driver. Each driver may claim that the other driver was the one who had the legal obligation to yield the right of way.

You will need an experienced car accident attorney to help prove liability in the crash. Your lawyer will gather the evidence necessary to show that someone else was negligent and caused the accident.

How to Get Financial Compensation After a T-Bone Car Accident

Once you have the required proof, you can seek financial compensation. After a car accident, there are two ways to pursue financial compensation:

  • You can file a claim with the responsible driver’s insurance company.
  • You can file a lawsuit against the responsible driver in court.

Either way, you will likely be dealing with the insurance company and negotiating a settlement. The problem is when the other driver’s insurance company absolutely refuses to accept liability for the accident, which they may do when both drivers have completely different stories.

Your car accident attorney may need to fight hard just to put you in a position to receive financial compensation. Even when you can prove what happened, it is still a long way until you can reach a settlement agreement. The insurance company will still try to lowball your settlement in the face of what can be serious injuries. You will also need to work hard to get the money that you deserve. If you cannot agree to a settlement, you may have no other option but to take your case to trial and let the jury decide the matter of compensation.

Contact a California Car Accident Attorney Today

The Sargent Law Firm helps car accident victims seek the financial compensation that they deserve after they have suffered an injury in a T-bone collision. It is always better to call an attorney right after your accident, especially when there may be a question of who was responsible for the T-bone accident. We will work to gather evidence and maximize your settlement. Call us today at (844) SARGENT or message us online for a free consultation.

Car Accident Case FAQs

How do I win a car accident lawsuit?

You need to prove that the other driver was negligent, meeting all four elements of the legal test.

Do I need a car accident lawyer?

There is no legal requirement for an attorney, but your case will be far more difficult if you try to handle it on your own.

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