Who Is at Fault in a T-Bone Car Accident?
Anderson Injury Lawyers | September 6, 2022 | Car Accident
A side impact car accident is sometimes known as a T-bone collision due to the shape the vehicles involved typically make after impact. Frequently observed at intersections, these wrecks can cause significant damage to the vehicles involved as well as severe injuries to the occupants.
The occupants of the vehicle that is broadsided in a T-bone crash are at an elevated risk of harm. This is because many vehicles do not have the same safety features on the sides as in the front. However, just because the driver of a broadsided vehicle may suffer greater injuries does not mean they are not at fault for the crash.
Traffic Crash Statistics in Texas
The Texas Department of Transportation recorded a total of 32,022 crashes in Dallas during 2020, the most recent year for which crash data is available. This includes approximately 200 fatal traffic wrecks. Overall, the state experienced 475,132 crashes.
Failing to yield the right-of-way is a common contributing factor that leads to T-bone crashes. In 2020, approximately 70,000 total crashes were caused by a driver failing to yield the right-of-way under a variety of circumstances.
Determining Fault After a Side Impact Crash
In Texas, the driver whose negligence caused a traffic crash of any type bears the financial responsibility for other motorists and passengers who may have been hurt in the wreck. The at-fault driver or their insurance company could owe compensation to others involved in the crash.
One cannot always determine fault in a side-impact collision by looking at the crash scene itself. Either driver may have committed careless or reckless acts that contributed to the wreck. In unraveling the crash and determining fault, you must consider the following factors.
Traffic Control Signs and Signals
Traffic lights, stop signs, and yield signs are some of the most common traffic control signs and signals observed at intersections. These signs and signals typically give the right-of-way to traffic in one direction. Cars and trucks traveling in other directions must then wait until the traffic with the right-of-way has cleared the intersection.
Drivers who try to speed through traffic lights or who do not observe stop or yield signs may be at fault for causing a collision. There may also be temporary signs erected in construction zones, for example, that may alter the normal flow of traffic and change who has the right-of-way at an intersection.
Failing to Watch for Cross-Traffic
Right-of-way laws are not the end of the inquiry, however. If a driver who would have the right-of-way does not pay attention to other traffic in the intersection, they might inadvertently collide with cross-traffic that is proceeding. Having the right-of-way does not excuse a driver from being aware of other traffic on the road.
Violating Traffic Laws
Even a driver who has the right-of-way at an intersection is responsible for obeying other traffic laws. For example, drivers who don’t have the right-of-way may misjudge the amount of time they have to clear an intersection if another driver is speeding.
Turning without signaling may also cause another driver to misjudge what they must do in the moment to avoid a crash.
Investigating T-Bone Crashes in Dallas
Because fault in side impact collisions is not always apparent, it can be helpful to have legal assistance in investigating your situation. With an experienced attorney at your side, all of the factors and circumstances that played a role in the accident can be thoroughly looked into and fault appropriately determined.