T-bone accidents, also known as side-impact collisions, often occur at intersections and involve the front of one vehicle striking the side of another, forming a “T” shape. When these car accidents are caused by negligence, you can recover compensation through Virginia’s legal system.

Our attorneys at Tronfeld West & Durrett have 50+ years of experience helping accident victims seek justice through personal injury claims, and in this article, we’ll cover all you need to know about determining fault in T-bone accidents.

How T-Bone Accidents Happen

T-bone accidents commonly involve failures to yield or disregard traffic signals. For example, when a driver fails to yield the right of way or runs a red light or stop sign at an intersection, they’re significantly increasing the likelihood of a T-bone collision.

Reckless behaviors like these often result from practices like distracted driving, speeding, or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Virginia law outlines the duties of drivers in the Virginia Code § 46.2-8-11. This states that if you’re in an accident that causes injury, death, or damage to attended property, you must stop close to the scene, avoid obstructing traffic, and provide your details to the police and the other party involved.

Failure to follow these rules (for example, causing a hit-and-run accident) can result in serious penalties, including felonies or misdemeanors, depending on the severity of the damage or injury caused. You must consult with a lawyer as soon as possible after the accident to avoid mistakes that could jeopardize your claim.

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Potentially Liable Parties in a T-Bone Accident

According to statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), side impacts accounted for 22% of passenger vehicle occupant deaths in 2021. After an accident, accurately determining fault is crucial to pursue compensation. Some common liable parties include:

Negligent Drivers

Driver negligence, such as distracted driving, speeding, running red lights, and driving under the influence, often causes T-bone accidents. For example, a driver texting at an intersection might miss a red light, causing a collision.

Vehicle Manufacturers

Defective vehicle parts or faulty designs, such as malfunctioning brakes or steering defects, can lead to T-bone accidents. If an investigation shows a vehicle defect caused the accident, the manufacturer can be held liable under product liability laws. These cases often require expert testimony to link the defect to the collision.

Local Government Entities

Poorly maintained roads, unclear traffic signs, and malfunctioning traffic signals often contribute to accidents. If a hazardous road condition directly causes an accident, the responsible government entity may be held liable.

How Your Attorney Will Prove Liability

To handle T-bone accidents, the team at Tronfeld West & Durrett employs a thorough investigation and a strategic approach, utilizing various resources and techniques to establish fault and demonstrate the extent of damages. Some key factors include:

Gathering Evidence

Proving liability in a T-bone accident requires compelling evidence, so we work to obtain as much as possible to support your claim. Together, these elements create a comprehensive narrative that highlights the negligence of the at-fault party.

On the one hand, police reports provide details such as officer observations and issued citations, while witness statements help corroborate the sequence of events and support your version of the accident. On the other hand, recovering surveillance footage from traffic or security cameras can capture the moment of impact and driver behavior.

Expert Testimonies

In complex cases, expert testimonies are invaluable to scientifically favor your version of events. We engage, for example, with accident reconstruction specialists, who recreate the accident scene, offer insights into the collision dynamics, and identify contributing factors. 

Additionally, other experts like medical professionals can document the extent and cause of injuries and establish a direct link between the accident and injuries sustained. Their testimonies help demonstrate the long-term impact on your health and quality of life, reinforcing your compensation case.

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Damages Caused By a T-Bone Accident

When pursuing legal action for a T-bone accident caused by negligence, you can recover both economic and non-economic damages in Virginia. To ensure fair compensation, the attorneys at Tronfeld West & Durrett work to thoroughly include all aspects of your losses in your claim.

Economic Damages

Economic damages refer to tangible financial losses, such as:

  • Medical expenses: Covers emergency treatment, surgeries, hospital stays, and rehabilitation.
  • Property damage: Covers vehicle repair or replacement and other personal property damage.
  • Lost wages: Includes time missed from work and loss of future earning capacity due to injuries.

Non-Economic Damages

On the other hand, non-economic damages address intangible losses that include:

  • Pain and suffering: Compensates for physical pain and emotional distress.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life: Addresses the impact on daily activities and overall well-being.

Tronfeld West & Durrett’s experience reflects in the substantial outcomes we’ve helped past clients reach. For example, one notable case involved a $1 million settlement for a woman who suffered a heel injury in a T-bone collision. If you trust your case to us, we can provide the same level of representation.

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Contact a Virginia T-Bone Accident Lawyer Today

Experiencing a T-bone accident and pursuing legal action afterward can seem overwhelming. However, with the right legal support, you can secure the compensation you deserve. Trust Tronfeld West & Durrett to guide you through this challenging time!

With over 50 years of experience serving Virginia, we provide the expert legal representation you need on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay nothing unless we win your case. So, don’t hesitate to contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation!

Call or text 800-321-6741 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form