Who is at fault in a T-bone accident in Texas?
T-bone accidents are among the most dangerous crash types on Texas roads. According to 2021 data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 33% of all crashes involving two or more vehicles are T-bone car accidents, yet they make up about 45% of fatal accidents. Those who survive often deal with serious injuries like broken bones, brain injuries, or spinal cord damage.
To get fair compensation, you’ll need to prove that you weren’t responsible for the wreck. Unfortunately, it’s not always clear which driver was at fault in a T-bone collision. You’ll need to know who had the right of way at the time of the crash—and the other party (and their insurance company) will probably disagree with your assessment. If there are no witnesses to support your side of the story, the case can quickly become “my word against yours.”
So, even if you did nothing wrong, it might be hard to get fair compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and the physical and emotional impact of your severe injuries.
If you’ve recently been in a T-bone crash, particularly if you’re being blamed and it wasn’t your fault, don’t lose hope. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you gather the evidence you need to prove liability and fight for the compensation you deserve.
A quick overview of Texas fault laws
When a personal injury lawyer talks about “fault,” they are referencing the legal concept of negligence. To prove that the other party was negligent (and responsible for your financial losses, pain, and suffering), you must prove these three things:
- The at-fault party had a duty to care for the injured person. We all have an obligation as drivers to follow the rules of the road and look out for the safety of other road users.
- They failed in that duty. The at-fault driver failed to exercise reasonable care and caution that would be expected of a driver in that scenario.
- That failure caused injury to another person. The at-fault driver caused the injuries you’re claiming (or caused existing injuries to worsen). Insurance companies often try to blame symptoms or medical treatment on injuries unrelated to the crash, particularly if you have a pre-existing medical condition.
The role of comparative negligence
T-bone accidents aren’t always caused by just one driver or the other. Both could share liability.
For example, imagine that a person pulling out of a driveway is T-boned by a car traveling 15 miles per hour over the speed limit. However, the injured driver was texting and didn’t check that the way was clear. A court could assign some of the blame to the speeding driver and some of the blame to the distracted driver. Either one could have avoided the accident had they exercised reasonable caution and care.
Texas uses a modified comparative negligence standard when multiple drivers or parties are at fault. If you’re filing an injury claim, you can get compensation from a partially at-fault driver as long as your own share of the fault is 50% or less. However, the amount of damages you get will be reduced by your proportion of fault.
So, if you suffer $100,000 in damages, but were 30% at fault, you’ll only be entitled to $70,000 in compensation (the total award minus 30%).
Determining fault in a Texas T-bone car accident
To prove liability, you need to collect a lot of evidence. The problem is that evidence disappears quickly at an accident scene, and if you don’t act quickly, you might lose important information. To prevent this, you should speak with a car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Here are some of the ways a good attorney can help you establish fault in T-bone case.
Review of the accident scene
Your attorney will review photos of the crash (or, ideally, get an investigator out to the scene if you contact them soon enough). Photos of the vehicle damage, debris patterns, and skid marks can provide important clues about who was responsible.
Your attorney will also examine the location where the accident took place. They may determine whether factors such as mistimed traffic signals, poor visibility, or confusing intersection layouts could be at least partly to blame.
Following up with eyewitnesses (and the other driver)
Hopefully, you or the police were able to collect statements and contact information from other eyewitnesses to the crash. The more people who saw the accident and can corroborate your version of events, the better. Your attorney will follow up with anyone who may have been a witness.
We will also conduct careful written and in-person interviews with the at-fault driver. On many occasions, Crosley Law’s attorneys have caught at-fault drivers giving contradictory statements during these depositions, due to our careful questioning.
Working with an accident reconstructionist
An accident reconstructionist is an expert who uses details like crash photos, intersection layouts, witness statements, and more to piece together the facts of the crash.
For example, in one recent case, we represented a young mom named Jennifer who was injured when a van driver ran a red light and T-boned her family’s vehicle. Our accident reconstructionist calculated the speed of the van based on the after-crash movement of Jennifer’s car, and also reviewed the timing of the light cycle at the intersection. The accident reconstructionist concluded that the van driver must have been distracted (and not looking at the light signal) for a minimum of five seconds before the impact.
CLIENT SUCCESS STORY: Crosley Law Wins $900K for Mom and Family – Crosley Law
Obtaining other sources of evidence
Sometimes, security camera footage from a nearby residence or business, or dash cam footage from an involved or nearby vehicle, took a recording of the accident. Since footage like this typically gets deleted and overwritten quickly, it’s important to find and preserve this evidence (if it exists) as soon as possible.
Another possible source of evidence is a “black box” data recorder from the involved vehicles. These recorders save crucial information, such as how fast the vehicle was traveling at the moment of impact, when (or if) the brakes were applied, or if the vehicle attempted to swerve away from the collision.
We also regularly obtain cell phone metadata records of the at-fault drivers to determine whether they were likely talking on the phone or sending and receiving text messages around the time of the crash.
How does Crosley Law help T-bone car accident victims?
When you work with the team at Crosley Law, we will obtain all the investigative reports and documentation related to the accident. We will also conduct our own investigation using every resource at our disposal, including:
- Detailed reviews of relevant medical records and accident reports
- Nationally and regionally recognized experts and physicians
- Crash reconstruction experts
- Crash data from the vehicles involved
- Digital crash simulations
- Multimedia presentations
- Advanced medical imaging
- Cutting-edge recordkeeping databases
- Jury focus groups
These legal and technological assets help us to prove that the negligent driver in your T-bone accident case caused your injuries. In addition, they allow us to put a precise dollar figure on every cost and loss that you’ve suffered because of the negligent party’s reckless or illegal actions.
We also act quickly. We know the insurance company will try to delay your claim as much as possible, hoping that you’ll cave and take a lowball settlement. You can’t wait for help and compensation. That’s why our car accident attorneys do everything in their power to push our clients’ cases forward and prepare every case as if it’s going to trial from day one.
Car crash? Call Crosley
If you or someone you love has suffered T-bone accident injuries, reach out to Crosley Law today. Contact our firm to schedule your free consultation by calling 210-LAW-3000 | 210-529-3000 or completing this brief form. Let us put our experience to work for you!
National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. (2023, August 28). Traffic Safety Facts 2021: A Compilation of Motor Vehicle Traffic Crash Data. Table 29: Crashes, by First Harmful Event, Manner of Collision, and Crash Severity (p. 67). U.S. Department of Transportation. Retrieved from https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/813527
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.
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