A T-bone car accident is a particularly dangerous type of wreck that often results in severe and potentially life-threatening injuries. If you were injured in a Florida T-bone accident, contact an experienced car accident lawyer for help right away. At Personal Injury Attorneys McQuaid & Douglas, our skilled T-bone collision attorneys have recovered more than $145 million for accident victims in our community. Contact us today for your free evaluation, where we can help you understand your legal options.
What Is a T-Bone Car Accident?
A T-bone accident, also known as a “broadside” accident, is a type of side-impact collision where the front end of one vehicle crashes into the broad side of another. These crashes are known as T-bone accidents because the shape of the resulting vehicle wreckage looks like a letter “T.”
T-bone crashes are especially likely to occur in locations where vehicles traveling in different directions intersect, such as the following:
- Stop signs — Many T-bone accidents occur at three- or four-way stop sign intersections when negligent drivers purposely run stop signs or miscalculate who has the right of way.
- Traffic lights — Distracted and impaired drivers frequently run red lights and cause devastating T-bone crashes at intersections with traffic lights. T-bone accidents can also occur near traffic lights when drivers, pedestrians, or other road users fail to yield the proper right of way.
- Unmarked intersections — Many residential and rural areas feature unmarked intersections with no traffic control signs, lights, or devices. T-bone crashes can easily occur at unmarked intersections when drivers don’t pay attention.
- Roundabouts — Drivers are significantly more likely to cause T-bone accidents in roundabouts if they do not understand who has the right of way as they enter the traffic circle.
- Merge zones — Drivers who fail to check their blind spots, signal their change in direction, or merge too quickly can cause T-bone accidents due to negligent maneuvers in merge zones.
Why Do T-Bone Car Accidents Happen?
Like most other car accidents, various contributing factors could lead to T-bone collisions. Many T-bone accidents happen as a result of the following:
- Distracted driving — When drivers are focused on phone calls, text messages, or other distractions, they are more likely to overlook imminent road hazards. A distracted driver can easily drive through an intersection without paying attention and cause a T-bone crash.
- Driving under the influence (DUI) — Drivers impaired by alcohol, illegal drugs, or other intoxicants tend to have trouble with judgment, reaction time, and coordination. Impaired drivers cannot operate vehicles safely, causing a greater risk of T-bone wrecks.
- Drowsy driving — According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Research suggests drivers operating on just 24 hours of sleep deprivation are equally impaired as drivers with blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) over the legal limit. This means drowsiness is just as likely to contribute to T-bone crashes as DUI.
- Driver inexperience — Many T-bone accidents occur due to negligent turning maneuvers and failure to yield the right of way. Teen drivers and those with limited experience are more likely to cause T-bone crashes if they have trouble executing turns safely or recognizing when others have the right of way.
- Defective car parts — Manufacturers may sell faulty car parts, or drivers may fail to keep their vehicles properly maintained. These defects can lead to the failure of critical components, such as brakes, tires, airbags, and steering systems. If a defective car part fails in transit, the driver can experience a loss of control and end up T-boning another vehicle.
- Poor road conditions — Poor road conditions such as inadequate drainage, excessive potholes, or missing signage can contribute to T-bone accidents caused by loss of driver control. When poor road maintenance plays a part in a T-bone crash, the government agency responsible for maintaining the road may be partially at fault.
Common Injuries in T-Bone Car Accidents
Many vehicles offer occupants far less protection from side-impact crashes than front- or rear-impact crashes. Due to the relative lack of protective crumple zones or airbags on the sides of most cars, common T-bone car accident injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Partial or total paralysis
- Dislocated or fractured bones
- Crushing injuries
- Traumatic amputations
- Back and neck injuries
- Burns, lacerations, and puncture wounds
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Wrongful death
Determining Fault in a Florida T-Bone Collision
Determining who is at fault in a T-bone car accident can be difficult. Just because one driver runs into the side of another vehicle does not automatically mean they are responsible for the wreck.
To establish which driver was at fault in a T-bone crash, investigators need to determine who had the right of way when the accident occurred. Generally speaking, more than one driver can’t have the right of way in any given scenario. So when two drivers are involved in a T-bone crash, it’s nearly always because a driver failed to properly yield the right of way.
Although it may seem obvious to you that you had the right of way in a T-bone crash scenario, it’s not always evident to investigators who were not at the scene when the accident happened. Things can get even more complicated when both you and the other driver deny responsibility.
This is why strong evidence is so important in a T-bone accident case. Investigators and attorneys typically use evidence such as photographs, video footage, accident reports, and eyewitness statements to determine what happened and who should be held liable after a Florida T-bone crash. A T-bone collision lawyer can help you gather this evidence to prove you’re not at fault.
Contact Our Experienced T-Bone Collision Lawyers in St. Petersburg, FL Today
Were you injured in a St. Petersburg T-bone collision? If so, don’t hesitate to reach out to the trusted T-bone collision lawyers of Personal Injury Attorneys McQuaid & Douglas. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you pursue the results you deserve in a free initial case review.