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Who Is at Fault for a T-Bone Collision?

T-bone accidents, also called side-impact collisions, are some of the worst that we see here at RMD Law. Motorists can suffer devastating injuries, with many dying as a result of the crash. If you have been T-boned, a car accident lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve.

Why are T-Bones so Dangerous?

In a side impact collision, a vehicle strikes the door of another car, forming a “T.” The reason these accidents are so dangerous is that only the door acts as a barrier between the passengers and the car that struck them. In other collisions, a fender will absorb much of the force generated by the collision.

In a T-Bone accident, unfortunately, many victims bear full brunt of the crash, which is why they are among the deadliest car accidents.

Who is at Fault?

Fault is not determined by who hit who. Instead, fault is assigned by who was negligent, i.e., careless. When a driver’s carelessness causes an accident, they are responsible regardless of whether they actually struck the other vehicle or were struck themselves.

Often, drivers cause T-bone collisions because they do not give another vehicle the right of way. For example, a driver might be going through an intersection when another driver runs a red light and slams into them.

In other situations, the driver who was struck could be at fault. For example, they might have had the red light but still tried to sneak across the intersection. In this case, the driver who had green could be surprised to suddenly see a vehicle in the intersection and end up colliding with them.

Can More than One Driver be at Fault?

Yes. California law acknowledges that sometimes more than one driver is responsible for a collision. For example, a driver might have been pulling out of a parking lot when it was struck by a car travelling down the road. Although the car on the road had the right of way, the driver might have been reading a text message and speeding at the same time. If so, he bears some of the responsibility for the accident. This is called comparative fault.

What happens if both drivers are at fault? Under California law, an injured motorist can receive compensation even if he is 99% responsible for an accident. But the amount of compensation he can receive will be reduced by his percentage of fault.

In the above example, a jury might find the driver who pulled out of the parking lot is 50% responsible for the crash. If his injuries are worth $20,000, he can only receive half that–$10,000.

Evidence to Establish Fault

Sometimes car accidents become “he said, she said” situations where the drivers disagree as to who caused the accident. Nevertheless, an attorney can analyze a variety of evidence to help establish fault, such as:

● Eyewitness accounts. Did someone see the accident? If so, they can state who is responsible.
● Your own testimony. You can tell the police officer who arrives at the scene what happened. The other driver should also offer their own testimony.
● Physical damage to the car.
● Video. A video camera might have caught the collision, especially if it happened at an intersection.

Based on the evidence, an insurance adjuster can reach a conclusion about who is to blame.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer at RMD Law

Motorists injured in T-bone accidents have only one law firm to call. At RMD Law, our Orange County car accident lawyer has fought for favorable settlements for our clients. With thousands of cases under our belt, we understand T-bone collisions inside and out and can provide exceptional advice.

For more information, please reach out to us today. You can call (949) 335-7337 or contact us online.

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