Also known as a broadside collision or side impact collision, a T-bone accident happens when a car hits the side of another vehicle. Typically, the broadside collisions take place at intersections, mainly when a driver is unable to control a vehicle. When a T-bone accident happens, the resulting injuries are often more severe than injuries arising from other types of car accidents. The side of the vehicle does not offer an ample shield between the vehicle occupants and the outside of the vehicle. When a broadside collision happens, it is common for the victims to remain held inside the vehicle, making the situation more severe. It is not always easy to determine who is at fault in a T-bone accident. If you or a loved one has been involved in a T-bone accident, Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney Law Firm can help establish fault.
When proving fault in a T-bone accident, the focus is on identifying the negligent party. The negligent party is liable to the victims, including other road users. The law requires the liable party to compensate the accident victims for the injuries and damages sustained because of the accident. A driver may be negligent if he/she fails to obey the traffic laws or if he/she recklessly operates a vehicle.
When establishing fault in broadside collisions, the prosecutor considers other factors besides the actions of the driver. Fault in a broadside collision may vary depending on various factors, including vehicle defects, road states, road signage, and traffic signals. However, T-bone accidents may also occur due to external factors, or when one or more drivers act negligently.
For a victim to prove the negligence of a driver in a broadside collision, the victim must prove several factors. First, the victim has to confirm that the driver owed him/her a duty of care. It is easy to determine that the driver owed the victim a duty of care. In Nevada, all drivers owe a duty of care to other road users, including other road users.
The victim must also prove that the driver breached his/her duty of care by negligently operating the vehicle. The negligence of the driver should have been a significant factor in causing the injuries of the victim. While running a car in Nevada, failure to use reasonable care is negligence. The law requires the driver to exercise the due duty of care by being careful while driving. The driver has to look out for obstacles, pedestrians, and other vehicles. The driver must also control the speed and the movement of his/her vehicle.
Leading Causes of T-bone Accidents
T-bone accidents typically occur at intersections when one vehicle hits the side of another car. When a broadside collision happens, vehicle occupants may suffer catastrophic injuries or even death. T-bone accidents may occur due to various factors, including:
If a driver is driving beyond the recommended speed limit in a specific neighborhood, it may be hard for him/her to stop at an intersection. While driving at high speed, the driver may not have ample time to think and to break upon arriving at a stop sign or traffic signal. Therefore, the driver may drive right to the side of another vehicle leading to a T-bone accident. Speeding is a form of reckless driving in Nevada, and therefore, in case of an accident, the speeding driver is liable.
Running the Red Light
A broadside collision may also occur if a driver runs the red light. Running the red light refers to a situation where a driver passes through the traffic light when the red light is illuminated. Running the red light may cause more significant injuries than other forms of accidents. When a driver runs the red light, he/she moves through an intersection at a higher-than-average speed. This may result in angular collisions, which often lead to severe injuries and fatalities to the occupants of the vehicle hit on its side.
Failure to Yield
A T-bone accident may also occur due to failure to yield. Yielding the right of way is a fundamental Nevada traffic law, and if a driver fails to yield right of way, the driver is negligent. A driver should yield to oncoming traffic whenever he/she is making a right or a left turn. The law also requires drivers to yield right of way at a stop sign. A driver must also follow the rules of proceeding at a four-way stop.
Engaging in Distracted Driving
It is common for T-bone accidents to occur when drivers engage in distracted driving and fail to pay attention to the roads. A driver may engage in distracted driving if he/she operates his vehicle while calling or texting on the mobile form. Distracted driving may also entail eating or drinking while driving and any other behavior that may take the attention of the driver.
While engaging in distracted driving, a driver is not likely to realize that he/she is about to cause a T-bone accident.
Driving under the Influence
A T-bone accident may also occur if a driver operates a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Intoxication may impair a driver's vision, judgment, and reaction time. While intoxicated, a driver is likely to engage in reckless behavior like swift lane changes, traveling the wrong way, misjudging safe turns at spotlights, and speeding.
In a T-bone accident, it is not always easy to identify the party at fault. In some cases, more than one party may be responsible for the collision. For example, one driver may be liable for failing to stop and instead of rolling through a four-way intersection. However, the driver of the vehicle hit during the accident may also be responsible if he/she was engaged in distracted driving during the accident.
Common Injuries in a T-bone Accident
When a T-bone accident happens, several injuries are likely to occur. The injuries a plaintiff suffers in a T-bone accident may vary depending on several factors. The injuries vary depending on the vehicle speed at the time of the collision. If the vehicles involved in the side-impact crash were moving at high speed, the resulting injuries might be severe.
The injuries sustained by the victims will also vary depending on the impact angle and the vehicle type. The availability of safety features like airbags in a vehicle will influence the nature of injuries sustained by victims. If a driver was using a seatbelt during the collision, he/she might not suffer severe injuries.
The availability of certain safety features like side-curtain airbags can lower the likelihood of serious injuries when a broadside collision happens. Victims may suffer fewer injuries in vehicles with high side impact standards/ ratings. Even in cars with high safety ratings, certain types of injuries are common.
T-bone accidents tend to have more devastating effects on the human body than other types of car accidents. The majority of road accident fatalities in Nevada result from broadside collisions. Even when vehicles are moving at low speeds of around 30km per hour, a side impact crash would have detrimental impacts on the occupants of the struck vehicle.
Many modern vehicles come with numerous safety features, including airbags, seatbelts, and bumpers. However, when a broadside collision happens, it leaves the vehicle occupants relatively unprotected. While some vehicles offer protection by having side curtain airbags, the majority of vehicles do not provide any protection against broadside collisions besides the car door.
The injuries resulting from a T-bone accident may vary significantly and often include head injuries, back injuries, neck injuries, and rib injuries. It is common for ear injuries to occur due to broken glass and airbags. For the people riding on the struck side of the car, they may suffer detrimental injuries on the neck, followed by the head, chest, legs, abdomen, and the pelvis. For the people sitting on the side not struck by an oncoming vehicle, head and chest injuries are common.
The injuries on the head, neck, and spine differ depending on the force and the speed of the impact. Suffering injuries on the neck and the spine may lead to chronic pain, shock, and in some instances, paralysis. When the body of a vehicle occupant experiences the impact of a collision, the head remains static. This causes the neck to absorb most of the force. The excessive force stretches the neck muscles and ligaments beyond their natural limits.
When the head begins a lateral move to its original position, it pulls the neck in the opposite direction. These back-and-forth movements, commonly known as whiplash, lead to injuries to the discs in the cervical spine and the nerve roots. Other than harming the neck and the spine, whiplash also leads to concussions.
When a victim suffers a minor concussion, he/she may not be unconscious but may experience confusion and inability to think clearly. A moderate concussion may also not lead to unconscious-ness but may lead to confusion and memory loss for a short period. If a victim suffers a severe concussion, he/she may become unconscious, lose memory, and experience problems while thinking. Concussions may not be life-threatening. However, their effects may be severe, leading to lifelong implications.
Injuries suffered by victims in a T-bone accident may get worse if the victims remain trapped in the vehicle after the accident. After a broadside collision, it may be difficult or impossible to open the door. If victims are trapped in the vehicle, it may be impossible to seek immediate medical attention after an accident. The victims may only be able to get out of the vehicle wreckage when emergency responders arrive.
Emergency responders may use tools like jaws of life to cut the vehicle open and release the trapped victims. Remaining in the car after an accident may increase the risk of more harm or even death. After a collision, it is common for vehicles to burst into flames. If some people remain trapped in the car, they may die in case the wreckage burns.
You Were Partially at Fault
You might be wondering whether it is possible to seek compensation if you are partially to blame for the T-bone accident. It is common for both drivers to be partly to blame for the broadside collision. At times, the drivers may be unsure about who caused the accident. Nevada follows the modified comparative fault rule. This means that the injured party can be able to get compensation as long as the fault of the victim does not reach 51%. If your fault in the accident does not reach 51%, you will get compensation reduced by the degree of your responsibility.
In some instances, the law may consider you negligent even if you are not responsible for causing the accident. The party responsible for causing the accident might point out that the plaintiff is liable if the plaintiff was not in a seatbelt during the accident.
The victim might be liable if his/her vehicle had working seat belts during the accident. It should be evident that under the circumstances, a careful and reasonable individual may have used the seatbelts. It also must be apparent that the plaintiff failed to wear the seatbelt. It should also be evident that the injuries would have been less severe or avoidable if the plaintiff was in a belt during the accident.
It may be challenging to apportion fault when several parties are liable for a broadside collision. Each party will have its side of the story, and this makes it hard to point the party at fault. You should work with an experienced personal injury attorney to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.
The Driver at Fault is Uninsured
The state of Nevada requires drivers to have a minimum level of vehicle insurance coverage. In Nevada, insurance companies provide uninsured as well as underinsured insurance coverage. However, the uninsured and the underinsured coverage is not mandatory. When the driver is to blame for the T-bone collision, but he/she is not insured, the victim's uninsured policy may cater to the damages. The underinsured coverage will come in when the insurance coverage of the driver at fault is not enough to cover all the costs.
If you suffer injuries in a T-bone accident and the driver at fault is uninsured or underinsured, you might have to file a lawsuit against the car driver. However, most drivers without insurance may lack adequate income to meet the damages and the costs of medical bills in case of an accident.
Why You Need an Attorney
After involvement in a T-bone accident, you are better off working through an attorney instead of choosing to handle the case on your own. The insurer may deny you compensation or offer lower benefits than you deserve. In most cases, insurance companies keep delaying settlements until the injured parties accept their offer. You should be aware of the fact that the insurance company is in business and is therefore not acting with the interest of the victims.
Do not accept the insurance company's offer or sign any document before you speak to an attorney. A personal injury attorney is better placed to understand T-bone accidents, causes of the accidents, the possible injuries, and how to deal with the insurance companies. With the help of an attorney, you can be able to get maximum compensation with minimum stress.
When Your Loved One Dies in a T-bone Accident
If your loved one dies in a T-bone accident, he/she will not be around to file a lawsuit and seek compensation. However, under Nevada's wrongful death rules, you might be able to file a lawsuit and seek compensation for your loved one. This provides a means for you to seek justice from the person responsible for the demise of your relative.
After a lawsuit in Nevada, some of the available damages include funeral and burial expenses and compensation for lost financial earnings the deceased individual may have survived if he/she had not died. The remaining family members may also get compensation companionship loss and loss of support.
Certain family members can file a lawsuit for wrongful death after the loss of their loved one. Some of the people who may file a lawsuit for wrongful death include the spouse or the registered domestic partner of the deceased. The child or victim's children may also file a lawsuit for wrongful death. If the children of the deceased are not alive, the grandchildren of the deceased may file the wrongful death claim. Any person entitled to the estate of the deceased, according to Nevada's intestate succession laws, may file the wrongful death claim.
Damages Available in T-Bone Accidents in California
Damages refer to losses associated with an accident. If you sustain injuries in a vehicle accident, the available damages will include compensation for both property damage and injuries sustained. You might file a personal injury lawsuit and seek compensation for the damages. You might get compensation for the following.
According to Nevada law, the person responsible for wrongfully causing an accident or injury is liable for the injured victim's medical bills. The party responsible may meet the medical costs directly or have his/her company or insurer pay the medical bills. In most cases, the responsible parties are never willing to pay the bills right away. You might have to rely on other sources to have your medical bills paid as you wait for the personal injury case to go to trial or to settle. You might depend on your private healthcare or government healthcare insurance to settle the bills as you wait for the settlement of the case.
When considering the payment for medical costs, you have to include the past, the present, and the costs you are likely to incur in seeking future treatment for your injuries. For instance, you might require many months of physical therapy after incurring the initial cost of treatment. Ensure that you also consider the medications you will need until you recover.
Vehicle Repair Bills
After getting involved in a T-bone accident, you will require money to repair the damaged vehicle. You might have several options for paying vehicle repair bills after a broadside collision. You might seek compensation from the auto insurer or the other driver. You might also rely on your own uninsured or underinsured policy or collision coverage. You might also recover the vehicle repair costs directly from the other driver.
It is important to note that just because the other party is at fault does not mean that he/she will pay up the vehicle repair costs without challenges. You can rely on an experienced personal injury attorney in Nevada to fight on your behalf and ensure that you get all the compensation you deserve.
Nevada laws allow a plaintiff to recover lost wages in personal injury cases. Lost wages include the income you might have made if you did not suffer injuries due to the wrongful acts of the defendant. The alternative name for lost wages is back pay or back wages.
The Nevada law also allows the victims to recover the expected future losses of income, commonly known as lost earning capacity. You can recover both lost wages and lost earning capacity as compensatory damages due to the negligence, recklessness, or the intentional wrongful acts of the defendant.
Loss of Consortium
If you suffer injuries in a T-bone accident, your spouse or your registered/legal domestic partner may seek compensation for loss of consortium or companionship. You might no longer provide the intimate companionship to your spouse after suffering injuries in a T-bone accident.
Failure to Enjoy Life
After suffering injuries in a T-bone accident, you might no longer be able to take part in social activities and sporting events. You shy away from social events to avoid displaying your injuries to people. You might not enjoy life the same way you did before the accident. You are entitled to compensation for loss of enjoyment/happiness in life.
Find a Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney near Me
After suffering injuries in a T-bone accident in Las Vegas, Nevada, your life may never be the same. You might incur hefty expenses in seeking medical treatment and meeting vehicle repair costs. Also, you might incur losses due to lost wages and lost earning capacity. If you or a loved one has sustained injuries in a car accident due to the negligence of another party, contact the Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney Law Firm team at 702-996-1224. We will help you seek compensation for the damages.