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T-Bone Truck Accidents

If another vehicle slams into the side of your car in a T-bone accident, it’s always scary and dangerous, but the results could be catastrophic if the crash involves a massive tractor-trailer.

The sides of passenger cars offer limited protection in a crash, so this type of accident can cause devastating or even fatal injuries. If the truck driver or company was liable for the accident, you could receive compensation in a personal injury lawsuit.

What Is a T-Bone Truck Accident?

A T-bone accident is one of the most dangerous and severe on the roads. This crash happens when a vehicle crossing an intersection smashes into another vehicle on its side at a 90-degree angle. If a tractor-trailer T-bones your car, it can be obliterated. Most truck T-bone accidents involve severe injuries, including head and spinal cord damage, shattered bones, internal injuries, burns, lacerations, and more. Some T-bone accidents are fatal.

T-Bone Accident Statistics

Crash research shows that T-bone accidents involving all vehicles account for 13% of all auto accidents in the U.S. Also, 18% of all deadly car accidents involve a T-bone collision. The National Transportation Highway Safety Administration states that 8,000 people die annually in the U.S. in T-bone crashes.

Side-impact crashes are the deadliest for small children. Over the last 20 years, deaths from T-bone crashes have risen by 20%. This may be because more SUVs and other large vehicles are on the road, increasing the force involved in T-bone accidents.

The Insurance Institute For Highway Safety (IIHS) found in 2021 that 3,662 people died in T-bone accidents, representing 25% of all auto accident fatalities. Unfortunately, a side-impact blow is often more fatal than a head-on impact.

That’s because, in a side-impact crash, the only thing separating the person from the other vehicle is the door. Some T-bone accidents cause the vehicles to be thrown into other vehicles. This is especially common when a tractor-trailer hits a much smaller vehicle.

Where Do Most T-Bone Accidents Occur?

Most T-bone accidents involving trucks occur at intersections where one vehicle runs a red light or stop sign or fails to yield. They also can happen when a truck makes a left turn and fails to yield to oncoming traffic.

Brake failure is another common cause of T-bone truck accidents. Drivers and their employers are supposed to maintain their vehicles so they are safe on the road. But sometimes, they don’t keep the truck’s brakes in good repair, leading to brake failure at the worst times. If the truck was improperly maintained and caused a T-bone accident, your Nix Patterson attorney will find the necessary evidence to hold them accountable.

Causes of T-Bone Truck Accidents

Most T-bone truck accidents are caused by the truck driver failing to obey right-of-way rules on the road. Most T-bone accidents involving trucks are caused for one or more of these reasons:

  • Running a red light or stop sign
  • Misjudging oncoming traffic speed when making a left turn
  • Misjudging gap in oncoming traffic
  • Not checking blind spots
  • Distracted driving, including cell phone use
  • Aggressive or reckless driving

Many T-bone crashes involving trucks are caused by speeding, running red lights, or driving recklessly. But large trucks cannot stop quickly like smaller vehicles; it can take a semi-truck twice as long to stop from 55 MPH as a regular car.

If you were in a T-bone accident because of a trucker’s negligent actions, don’t hesitate to call one of our truck accident attorneys today.

Common Injuries Sustained in a T-Bone Truck Accident

Most modern motor vehicles are equipped with airbags and reinforced side-impact bars that help to protect drivers and passengers in T-bone collisions. However, the provided protection is not the same as in a front-impact crash. Plus, the tremendous weight and force of a tractor-trailer hitting the vehicle can cause severe injuries, including:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spine injuries, including spinal cord damage
  • Neck and back injuries, such as whiplash and ruptured discs
  • Broken or crushed bones
  • Chest trauma
  • Internal injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Scrapes, cuts, and bruises
  • Wrongful death

You should receive prompt medical assistance if you suffered severe injuries in a T-bone truck accident. Then, speak to a truck accident attorney to determine your next legal steps.

Who Is Liable in a T-Bone Truck Accident?

Many T-bone accidents happen at intersections where the truck driver fails to yield the right of way or doesn’t stop at the red light. It may seem obvious that the truck driver was at fault. If that is the case, Nix Patterson’s truck accident attorneys will collect all of the evidence and prove that the trucker or his company caused the accident.

However, there are many factors to determine who caused a T-bone truck accident. Evidence that may be collected to determine liability could include photos, traffic camera footage, eyewitness accounts, and the official police report.

If the evidence shows that the other driver was at fault, you could file a claim or lawsuit against the driver. However, if a trucking company employs the trucker, the legal theory of respondeat superior could apply. Respondeat superior means that an employer may be liable for an employee’s negligent actions. Most commercial trucking companies must carry large liability policies, so you could sue the employer for your injuries and other damages.

Some trucking companies will say that their truck drivers are independent contractors, hoping to avoid accident liability. Respondeat superior applies solely to employment relationships, not those between a company and a contractor. Your Nix Patterson attorney can review the case and the employment relationship between the driver and the company to determine your legal options.

Also, be aware that even if the truck driver is clearly at fault, it’s common for the insurance company to blame the victim. If you are on the phone with the trucker’s insurance company, don’t let them intimidate you into signing anything. You should always have your case reviewed by a truck accident attorney first.

Contact a T-Bone Truck Accident Attorney Today

Were you or a loved one injured in a truck accident recently? You shouldn’t have to pay your own medical bills and other expenses if another party caused the crash.

Nix Patterson’s T-bone truck accident attorneys are standing by to assist you. If you have a case, they could help you obtain critical funds for your recovery and your future. Contact us today for a free consultation about your accident case.


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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