T-Bone Car Accident Lawyers
T-Bone Car Accident Lawyers
It can happen in an instant. One minute, you’re driving, and the next thing you know, another vehicle has crashed into yours from the side. You never even saw them coming.
T-bone car accidents, also known as side-impact or broadside collisions, are unfortunately an all too common occurrence in Houston. In fact, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that side impacts accounted for 22 percent of passenger vehicle occupant deaths in 2021.
These accidents can lead to catastrophic injuries and damages, including traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, internal injuries, and significant property damage.This page will cover common causes of T-bone accidents, injuries, damages, and how fault is determined so you can be better informed and take the necessary steps if you or a loved one is involved in such an accident.
What Is a T-Bone Car Accident?
A T-bone car accident, often referred to as a side-impact or broadside collision, occurs when the front of one vehicle collides with the side of another, forming a “T” shape. This type of accident is particularly dangerous because the sides of a vehicle offer less protection than the front or rear.
Unlike head-on or rear-end collisions where there’s a buffer of the engine or trunk, the only thing separating a driver or passenger from the colliding vehicle in a T-bone accident is a door and a window. This lack of protection can lead to severe injuries, especially if the impacting vehicle is traveling at a high speed or is larger in size, like a truck or SUV.
Common Causes of T-Bone Car Accidents
T-bone accidents can happen for a variety of reasons, but some common causes include:
Running Red Lights or Stop Signs
One of the most frequent causes of T-bone accidents in Houston is when a driver runs a red light or a stop sign. This reckless behavior can lead to severe side-impact collisions, especially at busy intersections.
Failure to Yield the Right of Way
At intersections without traffic signals or in parking lots, drivers must yield to vehicles already in the intersection or to those coming from the right. Failing to do so can result in a T-bone crash.
Using a phone, adjusting the radio, eating, or any other distractions can divert a driver’s attention from the road. Even a few seconds of inattention can lead to a driver missing a stop sign or failing to notice a vehicle approaching from the side.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs significantly impairs judgment, reaction time, and coordination. An impaired driver may not recognize or react appropriately to traffic signals, leading to potential T-bone collisions.
In conditions like fog, heavy rain, or at night, a driver might not see another vehicle approaching from the side, especially if the other vehicle’s lights are off or malfunctioning.
Faulty Traffic Signals
Sometimes, a malfunctioning traffic light can display green signals in all directions. In such cases, drivers from different paths might enter the intersection simultaneously, leading to a collision.
Understanding the common causes of T-bone accidents can help drivers be more vigilant and take precautions. However, if you find yourself a victim of such an accident, seeking legal advice is crucial to understand your rights and potential compensation.
Common Injuries from T-Bone Car Accidents
T-bone car accidents are a jarring experience, and the physical aftermath can be just as shocking. The sudden impact, the disorienting moments right after, and the rush of concern for everyone involved can be overwhelming. Beyond the immediate shock, the injuries sustained can vary widely and can have lasting effects. Here’s what you might encounter:
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Brain injuries from T-bone accidents can vary from mild concussions to severe trauma. The sudden impact can cause the brain to shift, leading to potential bruising or swelling. Symptoms might include headaches or even behavioral changes. It’s crucial to seek medical attention after an accident, as some symptoms may develop later on.
Spinal Cord Injuries
The spine is especially vulnerable in side-impact collisions. Injuries can range from herniated discs to more severe spinal cord damage, potentially leading to paralysis. The location and severity of the injury can determine the extent of mobility and sensation loss. The emotional and physical journey of recovery can be long and requires support.
Fractures and Broken Bones
T-bone collisions often result in broken bones, affecting areas like the ribs, pelvis, and limbs. The severity can vary, with some needing surgery. Beyond the initial pain, there’s the healing process, possible physiotherapy, and daily life changes during recovery.
The force of a T-bone collision can cause internal organs to be bruised or even rupture. Organs like the spleen, liver, and kidneys are particularly vulnerable. Word of caution— these injuries can be deceptive. Injuries like internal bleeding can occur, which might not be immediately evident but can be life-threatening. It is crucial to seek medical attention after any significant impact.
Whiplash and Neck Injuries
The sudden head and neck movement during the collision can lead to whiplash, a common injury characterized by neck pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion. If not treated promptly, it can lead to chronic pain and complications.
Chest and Abdominal Injuries
The impact of a T-bone accident can lead to significant chest and abdominal injuries. This can result in broken ribs, punctured lungs, and damage to internal organs.
If you’ve been injured in a t-bone car accident, it’s vital that you seek immediate medical attention— even if you feel fine initially. Early diagnosis and treatment can make a significant difference in recovery outcomes.
Common Damages From T-Bone Car Accidents
T-bone car accidents can lead to a myriad of damages, both immediate and long-term. The aftermath of such an accident can be overwhelming, with victims facing physical, emotional, and financial challenges. Here’s a breakdown of the potential damages:
The cost of medical care following a T-bone accident can be substantial. The bills can quickly add up from emergency room visits and hospital stays to surgeries, medications, and physical therapy. For some victims, ongoing medical treatments related to the accident might be necessary, further escalating the costs.
Beyond the physical injuries, victims of T-bone accidents often experience emotional and psychological distress. The trauma of the accident can lead to conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression. Many victims require rehabilitation to regain their strength, mobility, and function after the accident. This can include physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other specialized treatments.
Victims who choose to pursue legal action to recover damages might incur legal fees, especially if the case goes to trial. Injuries sustained in the accident might prevent victims from returning to work, leading to lost wages. In severe cases, the injuries might permanently affect one’s ability to work in their chosen profession, reducing their future earning capacity.
The vehicles involved in a T-bone collision often sustain significant damage. Repairing or replacing a vehicle can be costly. Additionally, other personal property inside the vehicle might get damaged or lost during the collision.
Understanding the potential damages from a T-bone car accident emphasizes the importance of seeking both medical and legal advice promptly. Being informed can help victims navigate the challenges ahead.
Determining Fault in a T-bone Accident
Determining who was at fault in a T-bone accident is crucial in Texas due to its fault-based insurance system. In this system, the party responsible for causing the accident is also responsible for covering the expenses of those injured. Typically, the at-fault driver’s insurance company compensates the victims for their medical bills, lost income, and other accident-related costs.
However, it’s not always straightforward. Insurance companies, in their bid to minimize payouts, often play a significant role in deciding who’s at fault. Even if you believe you weren’t responsible for the accident, the other driver’s insurance might argue otherwise, attempting to shift some or all of the blame onto you.
Figuring out who caused a T-bone accident can be tricky. There are a few things that can help decide who’s at fault. These things include who followed or didn’t follow traffic lights and signs, where the cars got damaged, what people who saw the accident said, and what the police wrote in their report.
All this information helps tell the story of what happened during the crash. A good lawyer can help collect and show this information to prove who was responsible.
How Can Johnson Garcia Help You Get Recovery for Damages Resulting from Your T-Bone Car Accident?
Experiencing a T-bone car accident can be overwhelming, both emotionally and financially. At Johnson Garcia, our T-bone car accident lawyers are here to support you. With over 35+ years of experience, we specialize in navigating the intricacies of car accidents, ensuring you get the compensation you rightfully deserve. Dive deeper into the various car accidents we handle here.
Our commitment is unwavering. If negotiations with the other side stall or seem unfair, our personal injury attorneys are prepared to file a lawsuit and even take your case to trial. While our primary focus is on personal injury claims, it’s important to note that we do not manage property damage claims.
If you’ve been impacted by a T-bone car accident in Houston, don’t hesitate. Call us at 832-844-6700 to get in contact with an expert Houston car accident lawyer. We’re here to help you navigate the aftermath of your accident.