Matthew Minner | January 17, 2023 | Car Accident
T-bone accidents are named for the unique T-shape formed by two cars when one collides head-on into the side of another. T-bone car accidents typically involve higher speeds and sudden impact, which can easily lead to serious injuries.
Whether you’re found at fault for a T-bone accident can determine whether you gain financial support for the ensuing injuries — or whether you’re left paying for the damage to the other driver.
T-bones are high-stakes accidents, and it’s essential to protect yourself both legally and financially when one occurs. If you’ve been involved in a T-bone accident, the smart move is to consult a car accident lawyer before you speak to an insurance agent.
Common Reasons for T-Bone Accidents
T-bone accidents can happen only when two cars are driving perpendicular to one another. This means that T-bones naturally occur most often at intersections and entrances to driveways and parking lots.
The situations most likely to involve a T-bone car accident include:
- One car runs a stop sign or red light and hits a car in the intersection
- One car makes a left turn into oncoming traffic and hits an oncoming car
- One car attempts to pull out of an exit and is hit by an oncoming vehicle
T-bone accidents happen for a wide variety of reasons. Some of the most common include:
- Driver misjudgment
- Reckless driving
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence
- Loss of control of the vehicle
How and why a T-bone accident occurs is of central importance when it comes to determining fault for the accident.
Determining Fault in a T-Bone Accident
In many types of accidents, the car that makes an initial impact is often found to be at fault. T-bone accidents are a little different in this respect.
For example, if a driver attempts to pull out of a parking lot, misjudges the speed of upcoming traffic, and is hit by an oncoming car, the driver who exited the parking lot is most likely to be found at fault. That’s because the oncoming driver had the right-of-way.
Fault in a T-bone accident nearly always comes down to the question of which driver had the right-of-way. However, sometimes special circumstances can make the question of fault more complicated. If the driver with the right-of-way was speeding or under the influence, they might be found at fault.
Similarly, sometimes an accident is out of both drivers’ control, and the fault lies with a third party, such as when a traffic light is malfunctioning or a construction crew has mislabeled road signs.
Why Fault for a Lexington T-Bone Accident Matters
After a T-bone car accident in Lexington, KY, the question of which driver was at fault is of central importance. Even minor accidents tend to lead to traffic tickets for the at-fault driver. In more serious situations, the at-fault driver can even face criminal charges.
In addition to the potentially serious legal consequences of being found at fault for a T-bone, fault directly impacts which driver qualifies to have the costs of the accident covered by the other’s insurance.
When an accident victim is left with permanent or life-altering injuries, they may face consequences like:
- The need for lifelong care
- Ongoing medical procedures
- Chronic pain
- Inability to return to work
- Inability to support dependents
T-bone accidents tend to do serious damage to both vehicles, and they come with a high risk of severe injuries like spinal injury and traumatic brain injury. Injuries like these can be very expensive to treat. They also come with a high risk of life-altering consequences.
The greater the physical and financial impact a T-bone accident has, the greater the cost — and the at-fault driver can be the one who pays the price.