A T-bone accident happens when the front of a vehicle slams or collides with another vehicle at the side doors or panels. The result is a “T” shaped collision. Sadly, T-bone accidents often cause catastrophic injuries for passengers in the vehicle hit in the side.
Therefore, you must establish who is at fault for an Austin T-bone car accident. Since Texas is an at-fault state for personal injury claims, the injured party has the burden of proving fault. If you cannot prove fault, you cannot recover compensation for injuries and damages.
Who Had the Right of Way Before the T-Bone Accident Occurred?
Many T-bone accidents in Texas are caused by failure to yield the right of way.
For example, a driver enters an intersection against the light and crashes into a car that has the right of way. Failing to stop at stop signs can also cause a side-impact crash.
Another example is left-hand turns across oncoming lanes of traffic. For example, a driver turns left in front of another vehicle to enter a driveway, parking lot, or side road. The driver turning left T-bones the other vehicle that had the right of way.
Speed, distraction, and misjudging the distance/speed of other vehicles can also contribute to the cause of a T-bone accident in Austin.
Proving Fault for an Austin T-Bone Car Accident
Texas is an at-fault state. Therefore, all drivers have liability car insurance to help pay for damages when they cause an accident. However, you can also sue the driver to obtain a personal judgment for damages.
The first step is to prove fault for the car accident. Texas traffic laws define when a driver has the right-of-way at intersections when turning, and in other driving situations. If a driver fails to yield the right of way, the driver who violated the law is at fault for the accident.
You have the burden of proving fault. Evidence that might be used to prove fault includes, but is not limited to:
- Video of the accident from surveillance cameras and traffic cameras
- Statements from the drivers, passengers, and eyewitnesses
- Data collected from onboard vehicle recorders
- Testimony and opinions from accident reconstructionists and other expert witnesses
- Evidence collected from the accident scene
In some cases, a third party could be partially to blame for the cause of a T-bone accident. For example, defective brakes could result in a crash. If so, the manufacturer could be liable under product liability laws.
An Austin car crash lawyer investigates the cause of the collision to determine fault. An attorney can also help you fight allegations of contributory negligence.
Insurance companies often try to shift blame for the accident to the other party. Texas contributory fault laws reduce the compensation you receive for your damages by your percentage of fault for causing the T-bone accident. If your percentage of fault is 51% or more, you cannot receive any money for damages.
Therefore, it is always best to speak with an Austin personal injury lawyer before talking to an insurance adjuster or other party about the accident. The statement you make to the insurance company could be used to deny or undervalue your car accident claim.
What Damages Can I Receive for a T-Bone Accident?
During a side-impact accident, the person sitting in the seat closest to the impact is at high risk for catastrophic injuries. There is not as much protection from the impact as there would be if the vehicle were struck from behind or the front. Even with side airbags, victims can sustain life-threatening and permanent injuries.
The damages for a T-bone crash include compensation for your financial losses. These economic damages can include:
- Property damage
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Loss of income, including future lost wages and earning capacity
- Medical bills and expenses
- Nursing care and physical therapy
- Assistance with household tasks and personal care
In addition to the monetary losses, a victim can receive compensation for non-economic damages. These damages compensate the person for the pain and suffering they experience because of the T-bone car accident.
Examples of non-economic damages include:
- Permanent disabilities and impairments
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Physical discomfort
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Diminished quality of life
- Emotional distress
Punitive damages are only awarded in a small number of personal injury cases. The jury awards these damages to “punish” the defendant for egregious behavior. Our experienced car accident lawyers in Austin evaluates each case for all types of damages to accurately assess the value of your claim.