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T-Bone Car Accidents

The most common type of car accident is also one of the most terrifying and deadly. T-bone accidents make up 44.9% of all car accidents in the United States and 18% of fatal car accidents. In 2022 alone, there were 8,800 fatalities from T-bone car accidents in the U.S. Survivors of this type of accident commonly face serious injuries. T-bone collisions most commonly occur in intersections and may cause injuries to motorists in both vehicles, but the most severe injuries typically occur to those in the vehicle hit broadside in the collision.

What Is a T-Bone Car Accident?

T-bone accidents are also known as angle collisions or broadside collisions. In a T-bone crash, the front of one vehicle hits the side of another vehicle, forming a T shape. More serious injuries occur to the occupants of the vehicle struck on the side because the sides of cars lack the buffer zones of the hood and engine in the front or the trunk in the rear. During a T-bone accident, only the relatively thin vehicle doors and sides come between the motorists and the direct impact of the crash.

Who Is At Fault in a T-Bone Car Accident?

It may seem as though the driver whose car hits the side of another car is always the one at fault, but this isn’t always the case. For example, suppose a driver has the right of way during a green light and enters an intersection from one direction and a driver at a right angle runs a red light and enters the intersection at a substantial speed. In that case, the vehicle with the right of way may collide with the side of the vehicle that does not have the right of way. 

Determining who is at fault for a T-bone accident can be challenging and often takes a thorough investigation, including examining traffic camera video and speaking to eyewitnesses.

Can Both Drivers Share Fault in a T-Bone Collision?

Many states, including Georgia, have fault-based insurance systems. In a modified comparison negligence insurance state, an investigation could show that both parties in a two-vehicle collision, such as a T-bone accident, may have each contributed fault. As long as a driver is less than 50% at fault in an accident they may still recover a portion of compensation for their damages like medical expenses and lost wages. According to Georgia Code §51-11-7:

Under the rule of comparative negligence, failure to exercise ordinary care on the part of the person injured before the negligence complained of is apparent or should have been reasonably apprehended will not preclude a recovery, but will authorize the jury to diminish the damages in proportion to the fault attributable to the person injured.”

In other words, if one driver ran a red light and hit another vehicle, but the driver of the second vehicle was exceeding the speed limit by 10 miles per hour, both drivers could share fault. The insurance company of the driver who ran a red light could assign 20% of the fault to the driver who was speeding. If the injury victim’s damages equal $100,000, the insurer would only have to pay $80,000. Unfortunately, this sometimes incentivizes insurance companies to assign an undue percentage of fault to lower a payout on a claim.

Call the T-Bone Accident Lawyers at Piasta Walker Hagenbush, LLC for a Consultation

Determining liability in an angle collision is challenging. If you were injured in a T-bone collision in Georgia, you may need an experienced car accident attorney in Atlanta to investigate the accident, document evidence of liability, and make a compelling case for your full compensation.

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