T bone accidents, also known as broadside or side-impact collisions, are the second most dangerous type of collision, next to head-on collisions. Every year, around 5,000 people die due to t bone accidents. For those accidents where fatalities do not occur, victims still often suffer from severe injuries that can result in long-term complications.
If you or a loved one are injured in an Indiana t bone accident, a personal injury claim can help you recover compensation for the damages you have suffered, such as medical bills, lost wages, and even emotional distress. Our team at Poynter & Bucheri Accident Recovery can review your case and offer you guidance to ensure the best possible outcome.
The term “t bone” comes from the shape or configuration made by two cars in a broadside collision. The front of one car crashes into the side of another, essentially creating a “T” shape.
These collisions often occur at intersections when one car fails to yield the right-of-way and proceeds through the intersection when it is not their turn to go. This results in one of the drivers crashing into the side of the other in a perpendicular manner.
Again, t bone accidents are almost always the result of driver error when one driver fails to yield the right-of-way. And they typically occur at intersections where there is a traffic light or a stop sign, but they can occur in other places as well, such as parking lots, entrances and exits for businesses or buildings, and driveways in residential areas.
The precise reasons t bone accidents occur can vary greatly. In most cases, it is due to some form of negligent behavior or action. Some of the most common causes of t bone accidents include the following:
- Distracted driving, such as using a cell phone or grooming in the mirror
- Driving while sleep deprived or fatigued
- Speeding, especially through intersections
- Running red lights or blowing through stop signs
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Aggressive driving
- Looking at the GPS while driving
- Driving recklessly when the roads are icy or slippery
Injuries resulting from a t bone collision can be severe, especially for those who are seated closest to the point of impact. In head-on or rear-end collisions, the vehicle is designed to absorb much of the impact. But the sides of a car are not as sturdy, which means in a t bone accident, the driver and/or passengers are going to be more affected by the force of the impact.
Some common t bone car accident injuries include:
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Whiplash and other neck injuries
- Back injuries, such as herniated discs and pinched nerves
- Spinal cord damage
- Internal organ damage and internal bleeding
- Crushed limbs
- Puncture wounds
- Severe fractures and broken bones
Many of the injuries listed can be life-threatening, and even if they are not fatal, they can still lead to life-long pain and other complications, such as disability or even paralysis if the spinal cord is affected.
This is why winning a settlement is so crucial, as the compensation can help victims cover their medical costs and other accident-related expenses. A t bone car accident settlement can also compensate the victim for things like physical pain & suffering, emotional distress, or even wrongful death if the family is filing on behalf of a deceased loved one.
Indiana is an at-fault state, which means car accident victims can file claims or lawsuits against another party. However, you must still be able to provide evidence proving the fault or negligence of another driver if you intend to file a claim against them.
When you file a claim, you are filing against the other driver’s insurance company, and their insurance company will only pay you if you can prove that their client is at fault. Unfortunately, proving fault after a t bone accident is not always easy.
The driver who made the error should be the one at fault, but which driver is the one who actually made the error is not always apparent right away. For instance, the driver that struck the other car is not necessarily the one at fault. They could have been proceeding through an intersection legally when they hit another driver who was not supposed to be in the intersection.
And, of course, the opposite can also be true. The car that is struck might be innocent, while the driver that hit them could be the one at fault. This is where evidence and proof of what happened become crucial.
Such evidence that an attorney can help you obtain to prove who was at fault in a t bone accident may include:
- Police reports
- Accident reconstruction reports
- Video surveillance footage
- Dashcam footage
- Photos from the accident scene
- Eyewitness statements
In some cases, both parties involved could share in liability. Indiana is a comparative fault state, meaning you can still file a claim for compensation so long as you are no more than 50% to blame. For example, if you were speeding, but the other driver ran a stop sign, you can both share in the liability for the t bone accident.
If you are partially at fault, your claim will simply be reduced based on your percentage of fault. So, let’s say you are awarded $50,000 in the settlement, but if you were 20% at fault, your settlement award would be reduced by 20%, meaning you would only receive $30,000.
Average settlements for t bone accidents can vary based on the individual case. If your injuries and damages are minor, you might only recover a few thousand dollars, whereas if your injuries are severe and life-altering, you could receive hundreds of thousands and even into the millions.
The primary factors that will affect the payout for a t bone accident are the damages the victim suffers as a result of the accident. These damages can include:
- Medical bills
- Future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Reduced or loss of future earning capacity
- Property damage
- Physical pain & suffering
- Emotional distress
- Permanent impairment
- Loss of enjoyment of life or reduced quality of life
- Loss of consortium
If the victim is survived by family members and loved ones, they may be able to file a claim for wrongful death benefits, which can help cover the cost of funeral expenses and other losses suffered.
If you or a loved one are injured in a t bone accident in Indiana, our compassionate and experienced team of personal injury attorneys can help.
At Poynter & Bucheri, we understand how devastating a t bone accident can be and are prepared to do what we can to ensure our clients are fully and fairly compensated for their losses.