Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Injured in a T-Bone Car Accident

A T-bone car accident occurs when a vehicle collides with another vehicle at a 90 degree angle, usually in the center of the car being hit. The shape of the two vehicles creates a resemblance to the letter “T”. This type of collision is also known as a sideswipe, side-impact, or broadside collision.
The reason this type of accident has formed its own slang term is because of the sheer damage and dangerousness the collision creates. T-bone collisions are more likely to be fatal than front-end or rear-end collisions of similar force. This is because of how unprotected the passengers of the vehicle are when hit from the side.
In other types of collisions involving the front or rear, a bumper and a significant amount of material are between the passengers and the impacting vehicle. If hit from the front, hundreds of pound of steel engine and parts—plus the bumper—protect the passengers. If hit from the rear, all of the trunk space, plus the backseat—if not occupied—protect the passengers. Not only does this material and space physically protect the occupants, but it also absorbs some of the impact force before it hits the people in the car.
In a T-bone collision, the only thing protecting the passengers is a thin, 8 inch hollow door. And some glass. Because of this, those involved in side-swipe collisions have a higher chance of fatality or serious injury.
Keeping this in mind, it’s not surprising that side impact collisions kill between 8,500 and 10,000 Americans a year. All cars sold in the United States must meet certain federal side-impact safety standards. However, these standards are growing more out of date each year, which may bring into question whether these standards are really that safe. Click here for a report on the proposed improvements to those standards. Some manufacturers do offer side airbags, however they mostly protect the passengers’ heads from slapping against the interior side of the vehicle. Or rather, cushion the impact when they do. Despite these efforts, T-bone impacts are still the most dangerous type of collision behind head-on crashes (which are remarkably rarer—2% of all road collisions).


Most T-bone collisions happen when a driver runs a stop light or stop sign, colliding with the vehicle who has the right-of-way. As the vehicle enters the intersection, the side of their vehicle is exposed. The oncoming vehicle moves through the intersection and impacts the unsuspecting car directly in the side.
This impact can happen at other places besides the center doors. Impact in either the trunk or hood area will cause a serious spin out, possibly into other traffic. A collision in the center creates a large amount of force as the victim’s car absorbs thousands of pounds of steel going 30+ mph.
Unexpectedly, another common way to be involved in a T-bone, involves your hitting the other driver. It involves another driver cutting you off while you make a turn, causing you to T-bone them. In both scenarios the other driver is at-fault.

Here is a list of other scenarios in which a T-bone may occur:

  • Failing to come to a complete stop at a four-way intersection.
  • Two drivers stop, but then go through a four-way stop simultaneously.
  • One driver runs a red light, perhaps trying to beat a yellow light.
  • Turning left across traffic lanes while yielding to green light.
  • Pulling out in front of oncoming traffic when making a right turn at an intersection.
  • Recklessness and aggressive driving, creating an above scenario.
  • Talking on cell phones or texting, creating an above scenario.
  • Driving while intoxicated or impaired, creating an above scenario.
  • Vehicle malfunction, most likely braking or steering failures.
  • Bad weather, like fog or rain, especially in Florida.

Determining Fault

Sometime liability is obvious in a T-bone scenario. For example, if you clearly had a green light and the other driver wasn’t paying attention and ran a red light. This could easily be proved with witnesses or traffic cameras. But, all scenarios are not that clear cut, especially when the other driver claims something different about what happened. For example, they may claim that it was their turn to go or that they had a green light (the right of way) and you were at-fault. These disputes can be tough to prove one-way or the other.
Some intersections have traffic cameras and data recorders in or near the traffic lights. In these cases, fault is much easier to prove. But accidents don’t always happen in a TV crime-like scenario. They may happen on a back road or away from a recording intersection. Sometimes there may be witnesses and other times there may be nobody in sight. This is why it is crucial to hire a personal injury attorney who has the resources to reconstruct the scene of the accident and to investigate all the details. You can count on the insurance company to use similar resources and lawyers against you.
Another potential complication in side impact collisions is defective parts, as mentioned in the list. The other driver may have run the red light because of their brakes. But who does the blame lie with? The driver? Manufacturer of the brakes? Manufacturer of the car? Past mechanic?
Needless to say, there are lots of scenarios that can complicate and confuse the events that surround T-bone collisions. Clearing up what happened is why we use experienced investigators and employ a reputable staff.

Types of Injuries

Lacerations , contusions, and abrasions
Fractured or broken bones
Sprained or torn ligaments, tendons, or muscles
Hip or shoulder dislocation
Fractured or bruised ribs 
               Skull fractures or trauma 
Traumatic brain injury, like a concussion

Dolman Law Group
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries as a result of a T-bone collision due to a negligent driver, you may be entitled to compensation. Our aggressive auto accident attorneys at Dolman Law Group work zealously for our clients. We will do everything in our power to hold the negligent party responsible for their actions. Whether you were hit by a truck or car, or while on a motorcycle, our accident investigators and attorneys will work for you to figure it out. Don’t let the insurance companies use you to increase their profits. Hire an attorney and get a deal that is actually fair for everyone involved.
Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation on your T-bone collision, or any other personal injury, case at 727-222-6922 or via our online contact form.
Dolman Law Group
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712
(727) 222-6922


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