Your life could change for the worse within minutes because of a car accident. While being cautious and alert while on the road can decrease your chances of getting in a car accident, your chances of being involved in an accident are not completely eliminated.
What is a T-Bone Accident?
A t-bone accident can be one of the most devastating types of accidents on the road today. This type of accident happens when a vehicle traveling in an intersection strikes another vehicle on its side, near or toward its rear end. When this occurs, it is typically the smaller car that bears the brunt of the damage since it is hit on the side, where there is no structural reinforcement.
T-bone accidents can be fatal. For example, in 2014, one San Antonio t-bone accident resulted in the death of an elderly driver and injured her passenger. The fatal t-bone accident occurred on Highway 281 near Old Fredericksburg Road when a woman driving northbound crossed over into oncoming traffic and struck another vehicle.
Some of the most common and dangerous accidents are T-bone accidents. This type of accident occurs when the front of a vehicle strikes the side of another. This is what forms the “T,” hence the name of the accident. You may also hear of this type of accident being referred to as a broadside collision. They are viewed as more dangerous in accident types because of the point of impact. Unlike other types of vehicles like head-on-collisions or rear-ends, the amount of vehicle between the crash victims is minimal. Rear-ends have the trunk of the car and the front with the engine, and head-on-collisions have both front ends of the vehicles between the victims, so each about a car length of space for impact. Broadside collisions are only separated from the point of impact by a thin door and window.
According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), roughly 25 percent of all car accidents that happen each year involve T-bone car crashes. It is stated that these dangerous accidents claim the lives of more than 8,000 drivers and passengers and leave others tens of thousands of accident victims with serious personal injuries.
This type of accident is ranked second, right after head-on-collisions, in terms of the damage they cause. They are estimated to result annually in more than $200 billion worth in medical expenses and lost productivity for the accident victims and other costs.
What makes a Texas T-Bone Accident so Dangerous?
Typically, when a driver crosses an intersection, they must yield to oncoming traffic; if there is no traffic approaching, then they are allowed to go through — which means that in Texas (and most other states), if an accident occurs in the intersection, it is very likely that the other driver was at fault.
However, if a car has stopped in an intersection and you find yourself headed toward them, be sure to slow down or stop to avoid hitting them. Such accidents are often referred to as “right-of-way” collisions.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), there were 123,169 car crashes in 2014. This is a significant decrease from the 2013 crash figure of 191,081. Of these accidents, 5,338 resulted in fatalities and 104,145 resulted in injuries. These figures equate to about 3 percent of all road traffic accidents resulting in death and approximately 7 percent resulting in injury.
We already know that this type of motor vehicle accident is one of the most dangerous accidents. As we mentioned above, these accidents are very different from most other motor vehicle accidents. The point of impact is the main reason.
Other factors that make these t-bone accidents so dangerous compared to different types of car accidents include lack of protection, the speed at which they frequently occur, and the force of impact.
Compared to the front and rear end, the side doors and panels provide much less resistance in a car crash. While some vehicles do have side airbags and other safety precautions, it is not nearly as common as standard airbags located in the vehicle’s front for the driver and passenger.
T-Bone accidents occur more in intersections. Many intersections have a tendency of being busy with high traffic. With that, it is easy to assume that drivers are usually traveling at higher rates of speed and may have little to no advanced warning. With little to no warning, drivers have less time to apply brakes before impact, causing more severe damage.
The force of impact is always a significant factor in the severity of these dangerous car accidents. Motor vehicles are equipped with bumpers on the front and rear end of them. The bumpers on the front and rear end provide cushioning. More importantly, these bumpers help disperse the impacts more evenly throughout the vehicle when a collision occurs. In T-bone accidents, the impact is more focused on one area. Even at relatively slower speeds, these accidents can have the same effect as being struck by a 20-pound object.
How Texas T-Bone Accidents Happen
A T-bone accident is always the result of a driver’s carelessness and negligence. They can result from:
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Running a red light
- Dangerous left turns -assuming the other driver will stop at a yellow light
Another big reason T-bones occur is that the driver is distracted instead of focusing on the road and staying aware of their surroundings. There are many distractions.
- Texting and Driving
- Looking up directions on your phone
- Lack of sleep causing fatigue
- Eating and drinking while driving
- Changing the radio station
The road is not safe when drivers’ eyes or minds are not focused on the task at hand – driving. Aside from distracted driving, other possible causes of broadside collisions include the following:
- Operating a defective motor vehicle on the road
- Driving recklessly
- Driving while intoxicated with drugs or alcohol
- Driving a motor vehicle with bad brakes or a broken steering component, while uncommon, could also be a possible cause.
Determining Who is at Fault in a Texas T-Bone Accident
Because of how T-Bone Accidents occur, with one driver failing the yield of right of way, or running through a red light, it’s pretty obvious and extremely easy to determine who is at fault for the accident, or so one may think.
The truth is, many different components go into the determination of who is at fault for accidents. Some accidents require the use of evidence. Evidence used may include photos, traffic camera footage if available, eye witness accounts, and of course, the official police report. In the time immediately after the accident, you will want to take as many photos as you can.
The photos you will want to take are the damage to both vehicles from multiple angles and the area in which the accident occurred. It would also be wise to take a video recording of the traffic flow and traffic light sequence.
The police report will provide details about the collision that can be used to determine fault as well. Helpful details may include whether any local ordinances were broken. However, when law enforcement is dispatched to the scene of a T-Bone collision, the officer may not always decide fault. At times officers might even make an incorrect determination. Some eyewitnesses may have different stories as to what occurred. The at-fault driver may even try to accuse you of being at fault for the accident they caused. With all things considered, such serious accidents would benefit from being handled by an experienced attorney at a reputable law firm. They will be able to build a strong case for you to create the best outcome for you.
Common Injuries in a Texas T-Bone
With T-bone accidents being very damaging, there are almost always serious injuries. In side-impact accidents, the other motor vehicle driver is protected by standard safety devices such as a seat belt, an airbag, and front-end chassis. Hopefully, they are wearing their seat belt. Once their airbags deploy as they should, they are more likely to suffer from minor sprains and injuries to their neck. Lacerations to their face are also possible.
However, the victims of the car that the negligent driver hit will sustain much more devastating injuries as a result of the accident. The injuries that the victims of this kind of accident could be broken bones, internal bleeding, traumatic brain injury (TBI), spinal cord injury, as well as other severe conditions, just to name a few. These are the more common physical injuries vehicle passengers and drivers may have when hit from the side by another vehicle.
T-bone accidents may result in a number of different types of injuries, including:
· Whiplash. This is a neck injury that typically occurs as the result of a sudden movement or impact to the head and neck.
· Broken bones.
· Head trauma. In severe cases, this can lead to memory loss, vision problems and other long-term issues.
· Internal bleeding. This can lead to death if not treated promptly.
Experiencing such accidents will often cause other psychological injuries as well. Once one has gone through such a traumatic event, there will more than likely be emotional damage. The violence and shock of the accident will likely leave a long-lasting emotional and psychological trauma for all those involved.
Aftermath of T-Bones
Dealing with everything after an auto accident is not an easy task. In more severe cases, the accident victims will have to undergo a range of invasive medical procedures just to survive the crash. After these invasive procedures, the victims will have to stay in the hospital for some time for the doctors to monitor them as they progress and heal until they recover. The recovery time will depend on the severity of the injuries and the number of procedures they underwent. After surgeries and procedures, the crash victims will still likely need to go through therapy or rehabilitation. With the time spent in the hospital and rehab, the victim will likely need medication to deal with the pain of the injuries. There may also be secondary conditions that develop as a result of the initial injuries. Needless to say, it is a long and stressful road to recovery for the injured crash victims.
With such a long road to recovery, victims will most likely have a significant financial burden. Medical expenses will begin to pile up from day one of being in the hospital and likely after that. The loss of income may arise for those affected. Some may even lose their job from having to be out so long or possibly unable to return to their job. This is due to the injuries sustained from an accident.
How An Experienced Texas T-Bone Accident Attorney Can Help
When one is involved in a traumatic event, like a side-impact accident, the last thing on their mind is getting all the facts from the accident. The injured party is lost and scared. They could even be unconscious as a result of the impact. An experienced Texas T-Bone accident attorney can help by acting quickly to obtain and preserve evidence, contact and speak to eyewitnesses. They can also obtain the black box in the vehicle to get more data about the incident. These things will be crucially needed to determine fault and build a case on their behalf. All of this is to be done while the victim is in the hospital, focusing on recovering. Time is of the essence when it comes to T-Bone accident cases.
Herrman and Herrman is a company built on trust and compassion. The attorneys are experienced in tackling even the most complicated accident cases for their clients. Choosing an attorney who you can trust and rely on in a stressful and challenging time does not have to be complicated. Herrman and Herrman has offices located in Brownsville, McAllen, San Antonio, and Houston. We also have four different offices throughout Corpus Christi. For a free consultation, contact Herrman and Herrman’s attorneys so that they can assist you with your Texas T-Bone car accide. You can call one of our offices or schedule an appointment to speak with an attorney in person.
Our firm is equipped with over 100 years of combined experience handling personal injury cases across Texas. Our outstanding record of favorable settlements and verdicts includes over 20,000 successfully resolved cases. As a result, we are relentless, and you can rely on us to pursue full compensation for you.
- You can trust our attorneys to be compassionate and professional.
- We will fight hard to obtain a fair settlement for you.
- Our firm represents the injured and families who have lost a loved one due to others’ negligent acts.
- We serve as counsel in various injury cases – including car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle, pedestrian accidents, premises liability cases, product liability cases, and medical malpractice claims.
We have the ability to dispatch the Herrman & Herrman Accident Investigative Team to the crash scene to start an investigation and preserve critical evidence.
Contact Our Texas Collision Attorney
Contact our dedicated accident attorneys at Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C. for help. You want the experience of our accident attorneys on your side.
The quicker we start working on your truck case, the better able we will be to protect your rights to seek full compensation. Contact us at (361) 882-4357 for a free initial consultation.