T-bone accidents, otherwise known as side-impact or broadside crashes, are one of the most common and dangerous types of car accidents in Houston. They happen when one motorist crashes head first directly into the side of another vehicle and can leave all parties involved suffering serious and potentially life-threatening personal injuries. 

As experienced Houston car accident lawyers, we are dedicated to helping victims in these cases get the compensation they need to recover. In order to do so, we must first answer one important question, “Who is at fault in a t-bone car accident?” The answer involves understanding exactly how the accident happened and the underlying factors involved. 

T-bone accident statistics

According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), roughly 25 percent of all car accidents that happen each year involve t-bone crashes. These claim the lives of more than 8,000 drivers and passengers while leaving tens of thousands of others with serious personal injuries. 

T-bone accidents rank second only to head-on collisions in terms of the damage they cause and are estimated to result annually in more than $200 billion worth of medical expenses, lost productivity, and other costs. 

Factors that make t-bone accidents so dangerous compared to other types of crashes include: 

Compared to the front and rear end of most cars, side doors and panels provide less resistance in a crash. Side airbags and other safety precautions are also less common. While automobile manufacturers may offer them on newer vehicles, they are not yet mandated by law.

As t-bone accidents commonly occur at intersections, drivers involved are often traveling at higher rates of speed and may have little advanced warning, giving them less time to apply the brakes prior to impact.

Bumpers on the front and tail end of cars not only provide cushioning but also help to disperse impacts more evenly throughout the vehicle when a collision happens. In a t-bone crash, the impact is focused in one area and even at relatively slower speeds, it can have the same effect as being struck by a 20-pound object.  

T-bone car accident injuries

While injuries are likely to be worse for the driver or passenger in the impacted vehicle, side-impact crashes can cause serious harm for all parties involved. Common types of t-bone car accident injuries that our Houston car accident attorneys can help you seek compensation for include: 

  • Back and neck injuries, such as whiplash and fractured vertebrae;
  • Broken bones and multiple fractures;
  • Burn injuries, due to contact with hot engine fluids or parts;
  • Crushing injuries, causing damage to the face, limbs, and internal organs;
  • Deep cuts and lacerations, resulting in permanent disfigurement;
  • Head injuries, such as concussions, skull fractures, and traumatic brain injuries;
  • Soft tissue injuries, resulting in torn muscles and tendons;
  • Spinal cord injuries, causing partial or complete paralysis. 

Common causes of t-bone car accidents

red traffic light
Driver beware: Running red lights and stop signs are a leading cause of T-bone car accidents.

Determining the cause in a t-bone car accident is key to identifying who or what is at fault and getting the compensation you need to recover from your injuries. In most cases, the reckless actions of other motorists are ultimately to blame. These can include: 

  • Distracted driving, which can include talking on cell phones, texting, or engaging in any type of behavior that causes you to take your hands off the wheel or diverts your attention from the road;
  • Driving under the influence, which may involve alcohol, illegal ‘street’ drugs, or medications;
  • Running red lights and rolling through stop signs, which is one of the leading causes of t-bone car accidents;
  • Speeding, which increases the likelihood of car accidents in general. 
  • Failing to make a safe U-turn or left turn.


Other factors that can contribute to t-bone crashes include bad weather conditions like snow and ice that can cause a vehicle to skid and collide with another, and vehicle malfunctions such as faulty brake systems.

As experienced Houston car accident lawyers, we will fully investigate the accident, identifying any reckless driving behaviors or other factors involved, to determine who is at fault in a t-bone car accident.

Injured in a t-bone crash? Contact our Houston car accident lawyers

At Johnson Garcia LLP, we have more than three decades’ worth of experience investigating car accidents, including T-bone crashes. You can count on us to provide the personalized service you deserve and the professional legal representation you need to demand full compensation for your injuries. Give us a call or contact our Houston car accident lawyers online and request a free consultation today.