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T-Bone Car Accident Lawyers

If a car slams into the side of your vehicle in an intersection, it is probably a T-bone accident. Occupants of a vehicle hit in a T-bone accident are highly likely to suffer catastrophic injury and even death. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reported that T-bone accidents are 23% of all passenger car deaths in the US in 2020. That year, T-bone crashes caused 5,475 deaths in the United States.

If a T-bone car crash injured you or your loved ones, our T-bone car accident lawyers at Nix Patterson are merely a phone call or email away. We’re ready to defend your right to total compensation if another driver caused the T-bone crash.

What Is a T-Bone Car Accident?

A T-bone car accident means the front end of a vehicle slams into the side of another vehicle at a 90-degree angle. These crashes are sometimes called broadside accidents or side-impact collisions.

T-bone crashes can be especially dangerous to occupants of the vehicle being struck. The doors and sides of passenger vehicles have less mass and protection than the front, so injuries may be more severe and sometimes fatal.

Common Causes of T-Bone Car Accidents

Most T-bone accidents happen because of driver error. Some of the most common reasons are:

  • Distracted or drowsy driving. The driver may be distracted by a cell phone or fall asleep, run a stop sign or red light, and slam into another vehicle.
  • Drunk driving. Driving under the influence leads to poor judgment, coordination, and reflexes and contributes to many car accidents, including side-impact crashes.
  • Running stop signs or red lights. Not stopping when you are supposed to can lead to a dangerous T-bone crash.
  • Not yielding right of way. Like running a stop sign or red light, ignoring a yield sign can also cause a severe accident.
  • Improper merging. Merging unsafely can lead to many auto accidents, including a T-bone crash.
  • Poor weather. Slick roads can make it harder to stop and can cause a T-bone crash at a busy intersection.

Common Injuries from T-Bone Car Accidents

T-bone crashes are among the most dangerous of all auto accidents. The reason is simple: The front and rear of most passenger vehicles offer plenty of insulation from the impact of many front-end or rear-end crashes.

But the sides of most vehicles offer little protection in side-impact crashes. The only things between car occupants about to be hit from the side are the doors, windows, and side-impact airbags. The limited protection means the massive impact force can devastate the people on that side of the vehicle. Common injuries in these dangerous collisions are:

  • Severe head and neck injuries, including brain trauma and spinal cord injuries
  • Dental and facial trauma
  • Airbag and seatbelt injuries
  • Organ damage and internal bleeding
  • Puncture wounds and lacerations
  • Road rash
  • Burns
  • Disfigurement and scarring
  • Crush injuries and amputations
  • Depression, anxiety, and PTSD
  • Soft tissue injuries, including whiplash and back injuries

Side-impact collisions also can cause the following specific traumatic injuries:

  • Aortic dissection. When the aorta, the largest vessel from the heart, tears, blood pours through the tear and can cause the middle and inner layers of the vessel to separate. This dissection injury is often fatal if the rupture happens outside the aortic wall. This dangerous injury might not be evident after the accident, so always go to the ER to be checked out.
  • Organ shear. Seat belts are often lifesavers, but the seat belt can cause severe injuries in a T-bone accident. Organ shear refers to tears in critical organs, such as intestines, bowel walls, liver, pancreas, spleen, etc.
  • Fractures. Broken bones specific to side-impact crashes often involve the pelvis, neck, skull, and clavicle.

Why Are T-Bone Car Accidents So Dangerous?

As noted earlier, the sides of passenger vehicles lack the mass and crash insulation offered by the front and rear. In a side-impact crash, there is little between the oncoming vehicle and the other vehicle’s occupants. Also, three stages of a side-impact crash can lead to severe injuries:

  • The initial impact is when the oncoming vehicle strikes the other in the side, jolting the occupants of the second vehicle to the side.
  • The second impact is when the hit vehicle suddenly stops, which can cause the passengers to strike each other, windows, cabin interior, etc.
  • The third impact occurs inside the passengers’ bodies when the side impact potentially causes tissues and organs to slam into each other and internal cavities.

After any side-impact crash, it is vital to be checked by a doctor at the ER. Not only is this vital to your well-being, but you must also have the accident as part of your medical record if you need to file a claim or lawsuit.

Common Damages from T-Bone Car Accidents

If you are seriously injured in a T-bone collision caused by another driver, you could be entitled to damages in a claim or lawsuit. The type and amount of damages depend on your injuries but may include:

  • Medical bills in the past and future
  • Lost earnings and lost ability to earn an income in the future
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Mental and emotional anguish

Your Nix Patterson car accident lawyer will carefully review your injury and medical report from your doctors to determine how much compensation to demand in a claim. If settlement negotiations do not bear fruit, Nix Patterson is fully committed to taking the case to trial and making a solid argument to the jury.

Determining Fault for a T-bone Accident

It’s possible but not definite that the driver who hit the other vehicle is responsible for the T-bone crash. Like most car accidents, determining who was at fault means understanding who had the right of way. Two vehicles cannot have the right of way simultaneously. Whoever did not yield as required is usually liable for a T-bone crash.

In many accidents, who did not yield is obvious, but this is not always so. If you were injured in the T-bone crash, you and your car accident attorney will need ample evidence to prove your case. Possible critical evidence to prove liability may be:

  • Law enforcement reports
  • Video footage and photos of the vehicles and accident scene
  • Footage from traffic and surveillance cameras
  • Road and weather condition evidence
  • Tire marks on the road
  • Data logs that show traffic light status when the accident occurred
  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Signs of malfunctioning brakes, airbags, turn signals, etc
  • Testimony from expert witnesses, such as doctors and accident reconstruction experts

Legal Options After a T-Bone Car Accident

After a T-bone crash with injuries and property damage, several options exist. First, you can contact your health insurance provider to cover your injuries. However, you will be responsible for any deductibles and copays, and your health insurance will not provide lost earnings and other compensation. If your healthcare provider pays your medical bills and another driver causes it, the company will demand reimbursement from the other party.

Second, if you reside in a no-fault state with personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, you could tap your personal auto insurance policy to cover some medical bills and lost earnings up to a policy maximum. If your injuries and losses exceed your policy maximum, you may file a lawsuit against the liable driver.

Third, if another driver caused the crash, you can file a claim or lawsuit against the driver. This usually means dealing with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. It could offer you a settlement but might not provide fair compensation for your losses. In that case, you could talk to a personal injury attorney to negotiate for you and possibly file a lawsuit if negotiations break down.

Our T-Bone Car Accident Lawyers Are Here for You

Were you T-boned in your vehicle recently? Do you have serious injuries, medical bills, lost earnings, and pain and suffering? You don’t have to handle this ordeal alone if the other driver is at fault. Nix Patterson’s car accident lawyers have years of proven results obtaining injured clients the financial justice they deserve. Contact our car accident attorneys today for a complimentary consultation.


Nix Patterson only works on a contingency fee basis. Our clients pay us nothing unless we win. Schedule a free consultation today. Call 512.328.5333 or complete the form below. 

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