Liability in T-bone Car Accidents

Posted on: December 23, 2019

Most people are familiar with T-bone accidents, which occur when one vehicle crashes into the side of another. Also called side-impact or broadside collisions, the aftermath can result in significant injuries and damages. Common sites for these accidents include intersections and parking lots.

T-bone crash injuries are often worse than in rear-end and head-on collisions, since a car’s side may have less protection than its front or back. Injured passengers can also be trapped inside if the doors are smashed, so it can take longer for emergency personnel to reach them. Victims can suffer broken bones, whiplash, or even death.

How T-bone Accidents Occur

Like other crashes, T-bone accidents are caused by someone driving under the influence, or exhibiting reckless behaviors, such as driving while texting, speeding, or being distracted. Other contributing factors include poor weather conditions, slippery roadways, and poor visibility. Defective traffic signals and vehicles can also lead to T-bone accidents.

Determining Fault

Like all motor vehicle crashes, determining fault in T-bone accidents is based on negligence. The liable party will be responsible for damages that resulted from the collision. In order to find out if a driver is at-fault, it is important to obtain a police report, gather evidence from the scene, and interview any witnesses that were present.

If it is shown that a driver failed to yield the right of way, was driving under the influence, speeding, made an unsafe turn, ran a red light, or was distracted, they may be held responsible. It can be difficult to prove liability in these types of crashes, and a qualified car accident lawyer can help with this.

Comparative Negligence

Most New Jersey auto insurance policies specify that the driver who caused the crash must pay compensation to the injured party, especially if there is bodily injury liability insurance. New Jersey follows the comparative negligence rule, which is used to indicate how much fault each person involved in a crash contributed to its cause. The auto insurance companies will investigate T-bone accidents in these cases.

Comparative negligence does not apply to individuals seeking reimbursement from their own insurance companies under their collision coverage. When pursuing a claim against another driver, that person’s insurance company is tasked with determining this. According to New Jersey statutes, fault is decided on a case-by-case basis.

Collecting Damages

Once the facts are gathered, the claims adjuster will release a report that shows the degree of negligence for both parties in the T-bone accident. Per the law, if the person seeking damages is assessed more than 50 percent liability for the crash, they cannot collect compensation. In some situations, the person seeking damages may not agree with the insurance company’s determination of fault.

Oakhurst Car Accident Lawyers at the Falcon Law Firm, LLC Help Victims of T-Bone Accidents

If you were involved in a T-bone accident, the Oakhurst car accident lawyers at the Falcon Law Firm, LLC are on your side. For a free consultation, call us at 732-660-1200 or complete our online form. We will fight to obtain the compensation you rightfully deserve for your injuries. Located in Oakhurst, Parlin, and Aberdeen, New Jersey, and Doylestown, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Belmar, Deal, Ocean Township, Point Pleasant, West Long Branch, Sayreville, Middlesex County, and Monmouth County, New Jersey, as well as Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

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