Side-Impact Crashes: Understanding T-Bone Accidents

All car accident cases are complex, but T-bone accidents are even more challenging when it comes to proving liability. This is why you should consult with an experienced Greenville car crash lawyer as soon as possible after you are injured.

Let us explain in detail what you need to know about side-impact or T-bone crashes.

What Are T-Bone Accidents?

A T-bone collision occurs when one vehicle hits another perpendicularly from the side. According to statistical data, these accidents occur most frequently in intersections and represent around 10% of all types of car accidents.

This is also the third worst type of traffic accident, resulting in many fatalities, especially among passengers in the back seat. It is made worse if the vehicle causing the collision is a large truck. As per the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), passengers in personal cars represent the largest number of fatalities in such crashes.

Impact of the Collision on Occupants Depends on Their Seating Position

Going more in-depth with the classification, T-bone accidents are of two types:

  • Near-side, when the occupants in the car are seated on the side struck by the other vehicle
  • Far-side, when the occupants sit on the opposite side of the area of the impact.

In general, near-side side collisions are the most severe, having the highest risk of catastrophic injury or death.

Common Causes of Side-Impact Collisions

In most situations, a side-impact crash is caused by driver negligence. This takes many forms, such as:

  • Running a red light
  • Failure to yield the right of way
  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

What to Do After a T-Bone Accident

Although it may appear that the driver who crashed into you must be at fault, things are not as simple as that when it comes to proving liability to an insurance adjuster. Remember that South Carolina applies a modified contributory negligence principle to all personal injury cases – including car accidents.

Thus, to have the right to file a claim, you have to be 50% or less at fault for the crash. Also, the recoverable value of the damages will be reduced by an amount representing your percentage of fault.

An experienced Greenville car wreck attorney recommends the following course of action.

always report car accidents to the police

1. Report the Accident

You should report the accident to the police as soon as possible and remain at the accident scene until the police officers arrive to investigate the crash. Also, ask for an ambulance if anyone is injured.

If anyone suffers very severe injuries, their safety comes first. They will be taken to the hospital immediately, even if the police have not arrived to ask them about the crash.

2. Document the Scene and Look for Eyewitnesses

If you can, use your phone to take photos and videos of the accident scene. Focus on:

  • The position of the vehicles immediately after the crash
  • Any traffic signs and signals in the area
  • Your injuries
  • The damage to your car
  • Skid marks, potholes, and other obstructions on the road.

At the same time, find any eyewitnesses and ask them to give you a short recorded statement of what they saw and their contact details.

3. Seek Medical Care Immediately After the Crash

Even if you believe that you were lucky and suffered only minor injuries, you should still go to the nearest hospital for a check-up. In the first moments after a shocking event, such as a T-bone accident, your body releases adrenaline, which numbs the pain.

Also, some severe injuries are not immediately visible:

  • Internal bleeding
  • Organ damage
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Spine injury.

Last, but not least, your attorney will need proof that you suffered the injuries in the car crash, not elsewhere. The only way of establishing clear causation is to have your initial medical checkup date and time as close as possible to the moment of the accident.

4. Talk to an Experienced Greenville Car Crash Lawyer 

Finally, as soon as your condition allows it, contact a skilled Greenville car crash lawyer and bring all the evidence you have to the initial consultation. The attorney will tell you if you have a solid case.

We represent clients on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay no fees until we win your case. You also benefit from a free case review, so call us at 864-310-7897!