T-bone accidents, sometimes referred to as side-impact or broadside collisions, occur when the front of one vehicle strikes the side of another. These collisions frequently take place at intersections and often involve some kind of traffic violation, such as running a red light or failing to yield to oncoming traffic. In addition to pain and suffering, injured victims may be left facing costly medical bills and lost wages. If you were injured in a T-bone collision caused by another driver, the personal injury lawyers at Butler Kahn are ready to fight for your right to full and fair compensation. Our knowledgeable team of attorneys has a long and successful track record advocating for injury victims throughout Georgia. We are ready to put that experience to work for you. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Why Are T-Bone Accidents So Dangerous?
In a head-on crash, the front of a car works as a buffer between occupants and the other vehicle. The trunk or bed of a passenger vehicle works similarly in a rear-end collision. Airbags also offer added protection to riders in the front seat. By contrast, the sides of most passenger vehicles provide very little insulation from the full impact of a crash. In the event of a T-bone accident, the only buffers between the full force of an oncoming vehicle and the passengers about to be struck are their car doors and windows. These disadvantages are present in virtually all passenger vehicles and go a long way in explaining the high fatality rate associated with side-impact collisions. The closer passengers are to the point of impact, the more likely they are to suffer severe injuries and death.
Common Causes of T-Bone Accidents
Side-impact collisions are involved in more traffic accidents, injuries, and fatalities than you may think. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), there were 24,019 passenger vehicle fatalities nationwide in 2020. Side-impact collisions accounted for approximately one in four of these deaths. The numbers break down as follows:
- Car Occupants – 3,524 deaths
- Pickup Occupants – 797 deaths
- SUV Occupants – 1,103 deaths
Though many factors may conspire to give rise to a T-bone accident, some form of driver error is normally involved. The most common causes of side-impact collisions include:
- Running red lights and stop signs
- Failure to come to a complete stop
- Failure to yield to oncoming traffic
- Intoxicated driving
- Distracted driving
- Fatigued driving
- Inclement Weather
- Poor road conditions
Who Is At-Fault in a T-Bone Accident?
Determining liability for a T-bone accident normally requires showing that someone was negligent, meaning that they failed to take reasonable precautions to avoid causing an accident. Often, a motorist who plows into the side of another vehicle will be clearly at fault. Depending on the circumstances of the crash, however, either driver could be held liable for the accident. In many cases, they may even share responsibility. In these situations, the legal doctrine of comparative negligence will come into play. Under this rule, an injured victim in a car accident may still be entitled to compensation from the other driver even if they were partly responsible for the crash. However, if they contributed 50% or more to the cause of the accident, they will be barred from receiving any compensation. Illustration – Imagine that you are approaching an intersection and, as the light turns yellow, you speed up. A few seconds before your light switches from yellow to red, another driver blazes through their own red light and crashes into the side of your vehicle. You suffer $1 million in injuries and losses. In this scenario, if a jury finds that your failure to slow down when you saw the yellow light contributed 25% to the accident, your compensation will be reduced proportionately to $750,000. However, if it finds that you were 50% or more at fault, your compensation is reduced to zero. In all cases, each side will try to shift as much blame to the other as possible, and convincing a jury that the percentages you calculate are more accurate than the opposing parties can sometimes be tricky. The best way to ensure that you enter the arena with the strongest case possible is to consult with an experienced injury attorney soon after the crash.
What Compensation Is Available for a T-Bone Accident Claim?
The amount of compensation you receive in a T-bone accident claim will vary widely depending on the severity of your injuries and the extent of your losses. That said, you may recover compensation for both the financial and non-financial impact of the accident on your life. At Butler Kahn, we can help you secure compensation for things like:
- Medical expenses, including hospital stays, doctor visits, physical therapy, medical equipment, and medications
- Lost income if you cannot work while recovering from your injuries
- Reduced earning capacity if your injuries cause long-term disability
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Wrongful death
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Damaged or destroyed personal property
Is There a Time Limit for Filing a T-Bone Accident Lawsuit in Georgia?
Georgia’s statute of limitations sets a two-year deadline for most personal injury cases, including those involving auto accidents. The deadline is strictly enforced, and the countdown begins on the date of injury. If you fail to file your claim before the two-year window closes, courts will be barred from hearing your case. Even though most personal injury cases are settled in out-of-court negotiations, it is still essential that you comply with the two-year deadline. This is because your ability to sue in the event a reasonable settlement cannot be reached will act as your primary source of leverage during negotiations with the at-fault party and their insurer. If you lose this ability, the other side will have little incentive to make you a fair offer, and you will have little to push back with when they do.
Contact Our Atlanta Accident Lawyers Today
If you were hurt in a T-bone accident in Atlanta, contact Butler Kahn today for a free, no-risk consultation. We have the skills, resources, and experience to thoroughly investigate your accident, gather evidence to establish liability, and build the strongest possible case on your behalf. Reach out to us today to discuss your case and review your legal options with an experienced injury attorney near you.