Broadside or T-Bone Collisions
There are many different types of car accidents, and there are many reasons that these distinct collisions occur. Sometimes crashes happen when another vehicle plows into the rear of your vehicle. In other cases, a truck might drift across a lane while heading in the opposite direction, leading to a head-on lane-departure accident. One common type of accident that our San Diego car accident lawyers often see is the broadside collision. Broadside collisions are also known as side crashes or T-bone crashes, the latter named for the way in which a vehicle might be struck in a perpendicular “T-bone” form by another automobile.
According to a fact sheet from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), broadside collisions are extremely dangerous. “Side crashes account for about a quarter of passenger vehicle occupant deaths in the United States.” Who is responsible for a broadside or T-bone collision, and what can you do if you have been injured because of another driver’s negligence? An injury attorney at our San Diego firm can answer your questions today.Who is Liable for a North County Side-Impact Crash?
Liability for broadside or T-bone collisions, or side-impact crashes, can be difficult to prove. Unlike rear-end car accidents, where we often know that the driver who struck the vehicle from behind is likely to carry at least some of the blame, broadside accidents can be more complicated.
For example, imagine that there is a four-way intersection with traffic lights. In one hypothetical scenario, imagine that Car A has a green light, and ninety-degrees from her at another point in the intersection, Car B has a red light. If Car B runs the red light, Car A might crash into the side of Car B. Then, alternatively, imagine that the cars are approaching the same intersection, but Car A has a red light and Car B has a green light. This time, Car A runs the red light and again crashes into Car B. In both scenarios, Car A strikes the side of Car B, but liability appears to vary quite drastically in the two cases.Understanding Comparative Negligence in California
Given the complicated fact patterns of most broadside collision cases, you might be wondering: What will happen if I suffer injuries caused by the other driver’s negligence, but I was partially to blame? For instance, imagine that a plaintiff sustains serious injuries after being involved in a T-bone crash with an impaired driver who ran a stop sign. However, the plaintiff’s injuries may have been less severe if she had paid attention to a recall for her driver’s side airbag. Since she did not have the defective part repaired, her injuries may have been worse than they otherwise would have been.
California law follows a theory of “comparative fault.” It states that, as long as a plaintiff does not bear all of the responsibility for her injuries, then she can recover. Her recovery is then offset by the percentage of her responsibility. In the above case, a jury might say that the plaintiff was 10% responsible. As such, her recovery from the defendant would be reduced by 10%.Seek Advice from a San Diego Lawyer
If you were injured in a t-bone car accident, the attorneys at Walton Law Firm would be glad to help you navigate the post-accident insurance claims and legal process. For more than 20 years, Walton Law Firm has been helping residents of North County and throughout San Diego obtain the compensation they deserve for auto and motorcycle accident caused by another. All consultations are free, and home or hospital visits are available. Call today to learn your rights. 760-571-5500.