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Who Is at Fault for a T-bone Accident?

T-bone car accidents, also known as broadsides, happen when the front of one vehicle crashes into the side of another. This collision is common when two cars pass through an intersection at different angles at the same time, and one driver makes a mistake. When a driver passes through an intersection when they should have stopped, they often collide with another driver rightfully in the intersection.

A T-bone car accident case is one of the most dangerous car crashes. There is less safety protection on the sides of vehicles, so occupants on the side of the collision can suffer a direct impact.

Roughly one in every five car accident fatalities occurs in a T-bone crash, and these accidents also leave drivers and their passengers with serious injuries.

Injuries from T-bones can be costly in many financial, physical, and emotional ways. You deserve financial compensation if the other driver injured you. However, the other driver and their insurance company can complicate life for you, making the services of a car accident attorney critical.

Begin protecting your legal rights and financial future by consulting with an experienced Denver car accident lawyer near you. Case evaluations are free.

Common Causes of T-Bone Accidents

Here are some leading causes of a T-bone car accident:

  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding
  • Reckless driving
  • Drunk driving

Drivers can have both eyes on the road and still cause a T-bone accident. They might be inexperienced or careless. All it takes to cause an accident is one momentary lapse of attention or judgment. A driver in an unfamiliar area may not expect a stop sign. They may think they have enough time to make it through an intersection, only to learn that they misjudged it.

Common Injuries from a T-Bone Crash

Experienced Lawyers for T-bone Accidents in Denver Co area
No matter what the cause of the crash, drivers and passengers may suffer:

  • Broken bones
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Internal injuries
  • Head and neck injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Organ damage

Your injuries may require extensive medical care and rehabilitation, if you can even recover. Someone else’s negligence or carelessness can completely change your life. You can hold them liable for your losses.

T-Bone Crashes Can Be Extremely Dangerous for All Involved

Here are some reasons why T-bone car accident crashes are so dangerous:

  • One driver is completely surprised by the unexpected presence of the other car, and they do not have the opportunity to take any evasive action or do anything to mitigate the effect of the crash.
  • T-bone crashes often occur at higher speeds, leading to more force of impact for both drivers.
  • The impact can be similar to a head-on collision for one driver since they are striking the other with the front of their car.
  • For the other driver (or their passenger), the impact can strike the part of the car where they are sitting.

You Need to Begin Immediately to Prove that the Other Driver Was at Fault

Your legal battle should start right after the car accident. You cannot afford to wait to begin the legal process. As you will see, you must overcome several hurdles before discussing money with the insurance company. If you do not hire a lawyer, you may not even reach the point where you can negotiate a settlement agreement. The insurance company can flat-out deny your claim. Even worse, you can even find yourself facing blame for the accident.

In any car accident case, you must prove the other driver’s negligence to receive financial compensation. You need to meet a four-part test to demonstrate negligence successfully.

The elements of negligence are as follows:

  • The other driver owed you the duty of care.
  • The driver failed to live up to their duty of care by doing something that a reasonable driver should not do.
  • You suffered an injury.
  • You would not have suffered an injury had it not been for the acts or omissions of the other driver.

The Driver Who Failed to Yield the Right-of-Way Would Be Liable

A T-bone accident should never happen if both drivers upheld their duties of care. Two drivers heading in different directions should never wind up in the same space.

The most critical question in a T-bone accident is which driver was in the wrong place—in other words, who had the right of way. The insurance company may also want to know if the other driver broke the speed limit at the time of the accident.

When a T-bone accident occurs at a two- or four-way stop sign, the first driver to the stop usually has the right of way. The other driver must stay stopped until the first driver passes through the intersection. The driver who ran the stop sign bears responsibility for the accident.

T-Bone Accidents Involve Truth Contests

No matter how much you assert that you had the right of way, the other driver may say that you ran the stop sign.

You may end up in the middle of a truth contest. If they do not think that anybody can contradict their story, many drivers may lie to avoid liability after a car accident that can raise their insurance premiums and risk their assets.

If the accident occurred at a stop sign or an unsigned intersection, the other driver may say that you failed to yield the right of way. They think that if nothing can disprove what they say, they can escape liability for the accident. That’s why you need a car accident lawyer.

How to Break the Legal Stalemate When the Other Driver Says the Opposite Thing

You will have difficulty breaking the stalemate in a truth contest without a lawyer for a car accident to gather the evidence you need. You will need your knowledge of how to investigate and obtain evidence to have what you need to prove your case. Most people cannot gather proof about their case, especially when dealing with physical injuries at the same time.

You must prove negligence by a preponderance of the evidence. You do not have to prove that the other driver did something wrong with 100 percent certainty. Still, you need to prove that your story is more likely than not. In numerical terms, you must tip the scales in your favor to 51 percent.

Evidence Your Attorney Might Use in a Car Accident Case

When another driver swears up and down that they were not to blame for the accident, you must come up with the evidence that proves them wrong.

Here is what your lawyer may use to evidence your side of the story:

  • Testimony from third-party witnesses who saw the actual accident (people who were in your car may not carry much credibility because they may have the same interests as you)
  • Pictures of the scene of the accident or video of the actual crash (there is a possibility that an intersection camera may have picked up the crash)
  • The police report in which an officer reached their conclusion about who was to blame (you cannot use the police report at trial because it is hearsay)
  • Testimony from an accident reconstruction expert who gives their own professional opinion about which driver caused the accident

Of course, objective third-party witnesses who saw the crash can provide effective evidence. Someone with no financial interest in the result of the case will have no motivation to tell anything but the truth.

However, as time passes, witnesses can become harder to find, and their recollections may fade. Your attorney can track them down and interview them as soon as possible.

How an Accident Reconstruction Expert Can Help You

If there were no witnesses, your lawyer can hire an accident reconstruction expert to:

  • Analyze the clues left from the accident, both at the scene and from the wreckage
  • Recreate the accident in a step-by-step manner based on their own experience
  • Borrow principles from math and physics to reverse engineer the accident
  • Create a written report or even a 3D model of the accident

The accident reconstruction expert’s purpose is to give their opinion about which driver failed to yield the right of way. Your expert’s testimony in a T-bone crash case can make the difference. If the other driver is sticking to their own story, they may have their expert witness backing them up with testimony.

Your attorney should have experience working with expert witnesses when liability for a car accident is in question.

You Need to Act Now to Prove Your Case

It can be challenging for a lawyer and an accident reconstruction expert to launch immediately into an effective investigation months after the car accident. Clues at the scene may last only for weeks or days. You cannot expect a lawyer to pick things up well into the future and prove your case. You cannot afford this disadvantage.

Get legal help as soon as possible after the crash. If you cannot call an attorney, have someone call them for you. If you are in the hospital or cannot travel due to your injuries, many car accident lawyers will come to your home or hospital room to speak with you and begin work on your case.

Money Should Not Stop You From Seeking Legal Help

You do not need to spend money from your bank account to get legal help. You need to use that money to hold you over until you can get financial compensation.

Your attorney will not ask for money upfront, and they will not send you hourly bills. Instead, they only receive legal fees if you win your case. Thus, you do not have to worry about your legal costs. Just find the right personal injury attorney in Denver for your case and hire them as soon as possible.

Lauren Varner, Personal Injury Attorney

Lauren is a Personal Injury Attorney. She is Colorado native who became involved with the field of personal injury long before she became an attorney. Lauren’s professional philosophy centers around good old fashioned hard work, producing quality work product, and treating others professionally, with dignity and respect at all times.

Awards and as featured on

National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40 Included in TOP 40 Under 40 by The National TRIAL Lawyers in Centennial CO Varner Faddis Top Lawyers Denver Badge – 5280 Magazine American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys 10 Best Attorney Top 40 Under 40 5280 Denver Top Lawyers
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