Houston T-Bone Accident Lawyer
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A T-bone accident occurs when the front end of one car hits the side of another. These broadside collisions can cause serious injuries and property damage in Houston. The Krist Law Firm is here to help. We will hold the at-fault driver accountable and recover the compensation you deserve.
How Deadly Are T-Bone Accidents?
T-bone accidents are responsible for thousands of fatalities a year. Despite improvements to the frame and structure of automobiles, the sides of a passenger car are often vulnerable to being pushed in where occupants are sitting.
How Prevalent Are T-Bone Accidents in Houston?
According to a study by Auto Safety Expert:
- Approximately 8,000 people are fatally injured in T-bone accidents each year
- More than 69,000 suffer critical and debilitating injuries
Injuries and deaths attributed to T-bone accidents are projected to increase over the next decade. More than ever, larger and heavier SUVs are being purchased; however, the sides of many vehicles remain without adequate protection from a direct hit.
Why Are T-Bone Accidents So Dangerous?
T-bone accidents are also known as side-impact collisions. A side impact causes significantly more damage than other types of car accidents.
Generally, motor vehicles are built with certain safety features in mind. The front and back of most passenger cars are designed to absorb or disperse the force of a collision.
However, the sides of a vehicle are structurally weaker than the front and back. When a car plows into the side of another, the frame and doors are forced inward, crushing drivers and passengers. Drivers and passengers are left vulnerable to traumatic brain injuries and crush syndrome.
Common T-Bone Accident Injuries
Victims of T-bone accidents can suffer a wide range of serious and debilitating injuries. Some of the most common injuries our clients face involve:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Internal organ damage
- Broken, fractured, or dislocated bones
- Amputation or limb loss
- Crush injuries or crush syndrome
- Lacerations and burns
- Soft tissue damage
After a traffic collision, seeking immediate medical care is always in your best interest. Delaying or refusing medical treatment can jeopardize your health and hurt your personal injury claim.
Who is At Fault in a T-Bone Accident?
Fault may not be easily determined in a T-bone accident. Several factors can affect liability. In addition, there may be more than one person legally responsible for the collision. Determining who is at fault and to what extent depends on the cause of the accident, among other factors.
The Driver Who Hit You
Most T-bone accidents are due to driver negligence. The following are the most common scenarios where the other driver is at fault:
- Distracted driving: Distracted driving has been increasing in recent years, claiming over 3,000 lives in the last reporting year. If a motorist is calming children in the back seat or changing the station on the radio, they are more likely to run a stop sign and fail to yield the right-of-way in an intersection.
- Speeding or reckless driving: Speeding and other acts of reckless driving are major factors in T-bone accidents. At high speeds, vehicles need additional time and distance to come to a complete stop. Many T-bone crashes occur because a negligent driver could not stop in time.
- Driving under the influence: Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol significantly reduces a driver’s reaction time. Motorists may hit another car entering the intersection because they fail to see the stop sign or notice the light is red. In other cases, a person may pull onto a busy street without looking for oncoming traffic.
- Fatigued driving: Drivers driving while fatigued exhibit many of the same impairments as drunk drivers. According to an article by the National Safety Council, driving after more than 20 hours without sleep is equivalent to driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent. Statistics show a person is three times more likely to be involved in a car accident if they are driving while fatigued.
In addition to the other driver, there may be other parties responsible for a T-bone auto accident.
Third Parties Who May Be Held Liable
While driver negligence is often the cause of a T-bone accident, other parties may share liability. For example:
- If a commercial truck driver causes a T-bone accident and it is found they did not carry the appropriate credentials, the trucking company may be liable
- If a person takes a new medication that fails to adequately warn of potential side effects, the manufacturer of the drug may be held liable
- If an auto repair shop performs an inadequate repair of a vehicle, they may be added as a responsible party to a personal injury lawsuit
An experienced T-bone accident lawyer will examine the details of your car wreck and hold all liable parties responsible for your injuries.
Motor Vehicle Manufacturers
Mechanical failure and degradation also contribute to T-bone accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than two percent of traffic collisions can be attributed to a defective or degraded auto part.
If your T-bone accident is the result of an auto defect, you may have a claim against one or more of the following parties:
- The manufacturer of the defective auto part
- The manufacturer of the vehicle
- Other companies involved in the supply chain
- The company in charge of servicing or maintaining the vehicle
For example, suppose a tractor-trailer T-bones a car due to a brake system failure. Large commercial vehicles are required to be serviced regularly. An investigation will need to be conducted to determine whether the brake failure was due to poor service and maintenance or a malfunctioning part.
Municipalities and Road Designers
In some cases, poor road design or a lack of signage may be responsible for a T-bone accident. Liability is often more challenging in these scenarios. Local municipalities and other government workers can be held responsible for a traffic accident in certain circumstances.
Some examples where a municipality or road designer may be at fault involve:
- Poorly planned layout: Roads should be planned and laid out according to efficiency and safety. However, sometimes towns and cities grow at such a rate that roads are hastily built or modified. For example, an existing road may be widened to accommodate the influx of drivers. However, if the road fails to adequately mark where to make a left turn out of a development, it can lead to driver confusion and serious T-bone collisions. In addition, if a two-way street is modified into a one-way-only road without proper notification or signage, the road designer may be held liable.
- Obscured view: Drivers should be able to see the signs, traffic signals, and enough of the road to assess oncoming traffic. Before entering a road or intersection, motorists must be able to judge the distance and speed of other cars on the road or else risk pulling out in front of someone. If the view of the road is obstructed, a driver may pull onto the street and be hit by oncoming cars.
- Poorly designed signage or signals: The most important safety features of a road or intersection are the traffic signals and signs. Signs must be easily understood in a split second. Drivers rely on signs to warn them of upcoming dangers or unique hazards. Traffic signals alert drivers of incoming emergency vehicles, oncoming traffic, or whether they should yield or stop. If a traffic signal malfunctions and two cars enter the intersection at the same time, deadly T-bone accidents can occur.
T-bone accidents can involve multiple factors. Speaking to a knowledgeable side impact collision attorney can help determine the best course of action for your injury claim. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may have a viable claim against multiple parties.
Why Delaying Medical Treatment Can Hurt Your T-Bone Accident Claim
First, adrenaline is known to mask pain and other symptoms. T-bone accident victims may not feel hurt for hours or several days. These delayed injuries can be significant.
For example, head injuries may not present with symptoms for days. A person may feel fine, then slowly start to experience headaches, trouble sleeping, and fatigue. If left untreated, head injuries can develop serious cognitive consequences.
In addition, a person may not be entitled to their full compensation if they forego medical treatment. Personal injury claims are based on physical and emotional injuries. If an accident victim refuses medical treatment at the scene, there may not be a way to prove the head injury came from the car accident. An insurance company may use it to deny a legitimate claim.
What Compensation Can a T-Bone Accident Attorney Help Me Recover?
The types of monetary compensation you are entitled to depend on the circumstances of your case. Our T-bone accident attorneys have recovered the following damages on behalf of our clients:
- Compensation for medical expenses related to the accident
- Lost wages if a victim is unable to work
- Loss of future earning potential
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering damages
- Emotional distress damages
- Disfigurement or disability
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Possible punitive damages
Car accidents are unique. Speak to a personal injury lawyer to determine which damages your claim may qualify you to receive.
How A Houston T-Bone Accident Attorney Can Help
The Krist Law Firm has years of experience helping those injured by negligent drivers. Our skilled personal injury trial attorneys work hard to understand the full impact of your injuries and how they affect your daily life.
If you or a loved one have been hurt in a traffic collision, contact a T-bone car accident lawyer today. We will fight to recover the compensation you deserve. Call to schedule a free consultation. We can discuss the details of your case to determine the best course of action.