Accidents that involve a truck are some of the most deadly crashes on the road. Though no two truck accidents are the same and the resulting damages are often dependent on the circumstances of the collision, one particularly dangerous kind of trucking accident is the T-bone collision.
T-bone accidents are known to result in catastrophic injuries, debilitating pain, and astronomical medical expenses that can forever change a victim’s life. Below, we will go over the common causes of T-bone truck accidents, the legal remedies you may have following a T-bone accident, and how an experienced truck accident lawyer can help you fight for the compensation and justice you deserve.
What Exactly Is a T-Bone Collision?
A T-bone accident is another name for a broadside collision, which occurs when the front of one vehicle strikes the side of another. From an overhead perspective, this crash looks like the vehicles form the letter T.
These types of accidents frequently occur at intersections when a driver disregards a stop sign or red light and drives through the intersection at the same time as another vehicle is making a left turn. These crashes can also occur on highways or interstates when a driver loses control of their vehicle and skids sideways. T-bone accidents are also frequent in parking lots when one motorist backs out of their spot and strikes the side of an unseen vehicle behind them.
What Makes T-Bone Crashes so Dangerous?
One particular concern regarding T-bone collisions is that the side of a vehicle has much less protection for the car’s occupants than the front or rear. In truth, most victims of a T-bone crash are only separated from the colliding motor vehicle by a window and a thin door. As a result, when an automobile crashes into the side of another vehicle, anyone sitting on that side is vulnerable to devastating and often fatal injuries.
That is why when these types of crashes involve large, heavy trucks, such as tanker trucks or semi’s, the consequences are often catastrophic. Plus, if these trucks carry cargo and the cargo spills, the crash can result in numerous additional accidents due to these secondary hazards.
Common Causes of Truck T-Bone Accidents
Though most trucking T-bone crashes tend to occur because of driver error, many other things cause these debilitating and tragic accidents, including:
- Failing to stop at a stop sign or red light
- Failing to yield to the right of way
- Distracted driving, which often includes texting and driving, eating and driving, or any other activity that causes a driver to take their eyes off the road
- Failing to make a safe left turn
- Operating a truck under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- A defective truck or trucking parts, such as broken brakes or a flawed steering system
- Failing to account for poor weather or road conditions
Although this list contains some of the more common causes of a T-bone accident, it is not exhaustive. That is why, if you suffered devastating injuries in a truck T-bone accident for a reason not listed above, you should still reach out to an experienced truck accident lawyer. Your lawyer can promptly review your accident, determine if you have a viable case, and help you fight for the damages you are entitled to.
Common Injuries Resulting From a Truck T-Bone Accident
Generally, when it comes to injuries resulting from a truck T-bone crash, the motor vehicle driver and passengers are more likely to get hurt, or even killed, in these types of accidents.
Though these injuries will often range in type and severity, depending on the circumstances of the collision, some of the more common injuries that result from a truck T-bone accident include:
Who Is Liable for a Truck T-Bone Accident?
Multiple parties can be at fault for a truck T-bone accident. For example:
- The Liable Truck Driver: If the truck driver was not paying attention to the road or operating their vehicle recklessly or negligently, and these actions caused a T-bone accident, the truck driver can be held liable. They would then be obligated to pay monetary damages for any resulting losses and injuries.
- The Trucking Company: If a truck driver caused an accident, the trucking company employing the driver may also be liable. For instance, if the trucking company acted negligently in hiring a dangerous driver, failed to maintain the truck, or failed to supervise the truck driver, they too can be held liable.
- Manufacturers: If the T-bone crash was due to a truck part that malfunctioned or was defective, then the manufacturer of that defective part can be held liable for the resulting injuries and losses.
- Government Agencies: If a T-bone collision was due to a lack of traffic signs or poorly maintained roads, then certain governmental agencies responsible for road design and maintenance can be held at fault.
- Other Liable Third Parties: Third parties such as other motorists, motorcyclists, pedestrians, employers, and even mechanics can be held liable for a T-bone collision depending on whether their actions contributed to the accident.
However, determining which parties can be held liable for a T-bone accident is not always easy. For these reasons, following a T-bone collision, you should reach out to a skilled truck accident lawyer as soon as you can. Lawyers can investigate the accident, determine who was liable for the truck T-bone collision, and hold all those at fault accountable for your injuries.
The Damages You Can Pursue Following a Truck T-Bone Accident
If a T-bone truck accident harmed you due to another person’s wrongful, negligent, or reckless actions, you may recover compensation.
This compensation typically includes both economic and non-economic damages, such as:
- Medical bills related to your hospital stay, surgeries, emergency services, doctor visits, medications, labs, and medical assistive devices
- Lost wages and lost earning capacity
- Personal property repair and replacement costs
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
In addition, you might receive punitive damages. However, the court will only award these damages if a victim’s lawyer can show with clear and convincing evidence that the defendant was personally guilty of intentional misconduct or gross negligence.
The Things You Should Do Following a Truck T-Bone Accident
Following a truck T-bone accident, the last thing you want to worry about is what you need to do to seek restitution. However, establishing liability following a T-bone crash often requires you to collect and present detailed and relevant evidence before you can obtain compensation for your harm and losses. As a result, the best way to protect your legal rights and ensure you remain safe after this accident is to follow the following steps:
#1. Contact the Police Immediately
After a truck T-bone accident, you should call 911 immediately. This is the fastest way to get your accident on record, alert the police of the crash, and notify emergency medical personnel that you or another individual needs immediate medical attention. Once the police arrive, they can investigate the impact and write down details regarding the accident in their police report. If you decide to pursue legal action, this report can provide you and your lawyer with valuable information.
#2. Gather Evidence From the Scene
Following a truck T-bone accident, it is likely that you will require emergency medical treatment and will not be able to collect evidence from the accident scene. However, in the rare instance where your injuries are not that severe, you should try to collect as much evidence from the crash scene as possible.
This includes taking photos and videos of the vehicles involved, their placement on the road, your visible injuries, skid marks, road defects, weather conditions, and traffic signals near the area. Collect any other evidence that can help show what happened.
Yet, if you cannot obtain this evidence, do not worry. Once you hire an experienced truck accident lawyer, these attorneys can work on gathering this evidence for you.
#3. Exchange Information with the Others Involved
If possible, try to exchange details with all those involved in the accident, including names, phone numbers, insurance information, and driver’s license numbers. However, as you talk to these people, you also want to watch what you say.
This means you want to avoid making any definitive statements about the incident, apologizing for anything that happened, or taking the blame for the crash. These types of comments can end up coming back to hurt your case, often impacting the amount of compensation you receive.
#4. Look for Witnesses
If there were individuals at the crash scene who saw what happened, try to get their names and contact details. Their statements can often provide you and your lawyer with helpful information regarding the accident and also help back up your claim.
Following a Truck T- Bone Accident, Reach out to an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer and Get the Legal Help You Need
To bring a successful personal injury claim following a truck T-bone accident, you need to be able to present relevant evidence and provide strong legal arguments proving your claim. However, after this type of crash, a lawsuit is probably the last thing you want to worry about. Fortunately, when you work with an experienced truck accident lawyer, you will not have to deal with this legal battle on your own. Rather, these lawyers can provide you with the legal help you need while you focus on what matters most—your healing and recovery.
To try to get you this successful outcome, your lawyers can:
- Evaluate your claim, determine if you have a valid legal case, and help you figure out which legal options you should pursue.
- Answer all of your questions and concerns regarding the incident and the legal proceedings involved with your case.
- Thoroughly investigate your truck T-bone accident and gather the evidence needed to show what happened and who was at fault.
- Bring in the experts such as accident reconstructionists, doctors, and engineers to validate your claim.
- Ensure that your legal motions and documents are prepared correctly and filed before critical deadlines.
- Tackle all the negotiations and the discussions with the opposing lawyer and fight for a just settlement offer.
- Prepare for trial if the opposing lawyer is not willing to negotiate fairly and pursue the maximum financial recovery you deserve.
For these reasons, if a truck T-bone accident harmed you, do not wait to get the legal help you need. Instead, contact an experienced and knowledgeable truck accident lawyer today for a free case evaluation. Let these legal professionals show you how they can fight for your rights and the justice you deserve.