What Is a T-Bone Car Accident?
When one car strikes another on the side of the vehicle, it is known as a side-impact collision or a “T-bone” accident. T-bone accidents are fairly common, usually involving one driver failing to yield to a driver that has the right-of-way. According to IIHS, across the nation in 2019, there were 3,726 fatal T-bone accidents, accounting for 30 percent of all fatal vehicle accidents in the United States. LSU data reports found that in 2021 in the state of Louisiana, there were 3,835 T-bone accidents that resulted in injury and 21 T-bone collisions that resulted in one or more fatalities.
In Orleans Parish, there were 748 T-bone crashes that resulted in injury in 2021 and 5 that resulted in one or more fatalities. If you have been involved in a New Orleans T-bone accident, it is important that you seek legal representation to ensure your rights and your future are properly protected. Contacting a New Orleans T-bone accident attorney from New Orleans Legal is the right thing you can do for you following the accident. We will fight for you and for a fair settlement that fully covers your medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and other damages.
How Do New Orleans T-Bone Car Accidents Occur?
The most common cause of T-bone accidents is when one driver makes a left turn at an intersection, believing the oncoming car will stop at a yellow or red traffic light. One driver might run a red light, causing the other driver to crash into them as they travel through the intersection. In some cases, a T-bone crash is caused when one driver blows through a stop sign. Distraction can cause any type of car accident, including a T-bone accident. Texting while driving, eating and drinking, talking on a cell phone, changing car controls, setting a GPS, turning around to see what’s going on with the kids or pets in the back seat, talking to a passenger, or simply daydreaming can all result in a T-bone accident. T-bone accidents can occur in parking lots when the driver backing out fails to see a car behind them, backing into the side—however, these low-speed accidents tend to result in less severe injuries.
Other causes of T-bone accidents include driving while drowsy, driving while impaired, driving recklessly or carelessly, bad weather conditions, and poor roadway design or maintenance can also be the cause of a T-bone accident. While one or more of these issues might be present, in the vast majority of T-bone accidents, one driver fails to give the other driver the right of way or illegally drives through a red light. Counting on another driver to slow at a yellow light or even stop at a red light is not always the best course of action—always check to make sure the intersection is safe, and cross-traffic has fully stopped before you turn. Sure, it could cost you a few extra seconds (and the ire of the drivers behind you) but could also save you from a serious T-bone accident.
Who Is at Fault in a T-Bone Car Accident?
A driver who runs a red light or a stop sign will virtually always be at fault for a T-bone car accident, whether that driver hits another vehicle or is the vehicle hit. The drivers involved may dispute who had the right-of-way, absent witnesses or a definitive police report, an investigation by the insurance company and/or the attorneys hired by the respective parties may be required to determine fault. In a small number of T-bone accidents, if one of the vehicles contained dangerous or faulty components that contributed to the crash (a stuck accelerator or brake issue), the manufacturer of the vehicle or vehicle part may share partial or full liability.
In some cases, the driver who is at fault may actually evade being part of the collision. Say, for instance, a driver makes an illegal left turn in front of an oncoming car, which causes that driver to swerve, hitting another driver. Although the first driver is at-fault, that driver may not have even stopped even though they have a legal obligation to do so. If this is the case, it may require more to hold the at-fault party responsible. Witnesses must be interviewed, any surveillance cameras located, and a full investigation carried out. Your New Orleans T-bone car accident attorney will prove liability by using evidence that clearly shows who was at fault for the accident, then will prove your damages.
What Are Common Injuries Following a New Orleans T-Bone Car Accident?
When you are T-boned by another vehicle, your body will essentially go through three impacts. The first impact is when the at-fault driver strikes your car, jolting your body forward. The second impact is when your vehicle stops abruptly due to the collision, causing you to strike the airbag, steering wheel, windshield, or other interior parts of the vehicle. The third impact occurs inside your body as your tissues and organ are smashed into internal body cavities or when your brain is jolted inside your skull. The most common injury from T-bone accidents is blunt force trauma, particularly to the chest and the head.
While seatbelts absolutely save lives, they can also cause tears to vital organs during a T-bone accident impact. Bone breaks and fractures of the neck, pelvis, clavicle, and skull can occur as well as soft tissue injuries seen when the ligaments, muscles, and tendons are damaged during the accident. Concussions, as well as traumatic brain injuries, may be the result of a T-bone accident. Traumatic brain injuries require immediate medical attention—and even then, may cause lifelong cognitive deficits as well as emotional and physical issues.
The sudden force of a T-bone accident gives your body no time to adjust to the impact, potentially causing spinal injuries, as well as injuries to the back and neck. Whiplash, a soft tissue injury, can resolve within a few weeks or can, in some instances, cause lifelong symptoms, including chronic headaches and neck or back pain. Fractures of the cervical bones in the neck and spinal cord injuries can cause paralysis or even death. Internal injuries, internal bleeding, facial lacerations resulting in scarring, and vision loss are all potential injuries from a T-bone accident.
How a New Orleans T-Bone Accident Attorney Can Help
Having an experienced New Orleans T-bone accident attorney like Peter J. Diiorio from New Orleans Legal can make a significant difference in the outcome of your accident. Peter fights for his clients every step of the way, ensuring they receive fair compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and other damages associated with the T-bone accident. When you choose New Orleans Legal, you can expect to be treated honestly and fairly. We will never ignore your phone calls and will always ensure you are fully informed regarding the progress of your claim. Contact New Orleans Legal today for a free assessment of your car accident by attorney Peter J. Diiorio.