Who is At-Fault in a T-Bone Accident?


Being injured in a car wreck is difficult enough, recovering from being hurt, but having to worry about whose fault the T-Bone accident you were just in too can be overwhelming!

Understanding whose is at-fault in a side impact collision begins when you call the NYC Injury Attorneys, David Resnick & Associates to get started.

What is Considered a T-Bone Car Accident?

First, understanding what kind of car wreck you have had is most important. One of the most common auto injuries in NYC, called the Side-impact or T-bone car accidents are among the most serious car crashes that can occur. The sides of vehicles offer less crumple room to protect passengers from the impact of a crash than the front or rear of a vehicle does.

When a vehicle runs into the side of another vehicle, (forming a T and, hence, a T-bone crash), the occupants on the side of the car that has been hit are likely to suffer serious impact injuries, such as broken bones (particularly in the arms, hips and legs), head injuries and internal injuries.

What Should I do if I just got Side-Swiped?

As car accident attorneys in New York, we at David Resnick & Associates work to assist the victims of car crashes caused by others’ negligence. We investigate the accident to determine who should be held at-fault and seek compensation to make our client financially whole.

T-bone crashes are also known as side-impact, or getting side-swiped, will broadside you and cause right-angle crashes. Below are some of the factors we consider as we investigate who is at fault in a T-bone car accident in New York.

Where & How Often Do T-Bone Accidents Occur in NYC?

T-bone accidents in New York City generally occur at intersections where vehicles are converging from different directions. When lanes of traffic run perpendicular to one another and cross, side impact accidents happen when one or more drivers disregard traffic signals or fail to yield the right of way.

Side-impact crashes typically occur when one vehicle violates another’s right of way at an intersection, such as by:

  • Running a stoplight or stop sign or failing to yield at a yield sign.
  • Turning left across a lane of traffic into the side of an oncoming vehicle.

2018 study of intersection accidents by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says 96 percent of crashes were caused by driver error. The most common causes of intersection crashes are:

  • Not looking adequately before turning
  • Falsely presuming the other driver’s action or intention
  • Turning with an obstructed view
  • Illegal maneuvers such as running a light or stop sign
  • Distracted driving
  • Misjudging the distance between vehicles or the speed of an oncoming vehicle.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) says side-impact crashes account for about 25 percent of passenger vehicle occupant deaths in the United States. Side airbags, which are standard on most new passenger vehicles, are helpful, but strong vehicle structures that work well with airbags are also crucial for safety.

Determining Fault in a T-Bone Accident in New York

To obtain compensation for serious injuries suffered in a T-bone car crash, you need to show that the other driver was legally responsible for the accident. Proving legal responsibility involves showing negligence and causation. Negligence means the other driver broke a safety rule or was unreasonably careless or reckless in his or her driving. Causation means the driver’s negligence was a direct cause of the crash, which was a direct cause of your injuries.

There is a variety of evidence that may demonstrate fault in a car crash. This includes police reports (which may include charges against one driver and witness statements). A collision at an intersection in New York City may have been captured by a camera.

New York City has red-light cameras at 150 intersections among the city’s five boroughs. Red-light cameras tend to be at or adjacent to major, multi-lane, arterial streets that carry high volumes of vehicles and display a high frequency of red-light-running violations. City staff also look at intersection crash histories to determine the placement of cameras.

When a vehicle runs a red light at a camera-monitored intersection, sensors in the roadway trigger a camera, which captures a series of photographs showing the vehicle before and after it enters the intersection, with the traffic signal displaying a red light in each photo. The resulting photos show the vehicle, the intersection, and the traffic signal all in one frame.

While 150 intersections are only about 1 percent of the City’s 13,200 signalized intersections, we would immediately check whether the City has captured photos of your accident. At intersections that do not have red-light cameras, we can check for other security cameras, such as at ATMs or convenience stores, and determine whether they have captured the crash that caused your injuries.

Other potential sources of evidence, which may indicate what a driver was doing or what condition they were in at the time of the crash, include:

  • Cellphone records, including text messages, which may indicate distracted driving
  • Debit or credit card records, which may indicate recent alcohol purchases (and probable consumption)
  • Social media posts, in which drivers may incriminate themselves.

Once we have evidence that demonstrates the other driver’s responsibility for the T-bone crash and we have calculated the full extent of your medical costs and income losses, we can contact the appropriate insurance companies to begin aggressively negotiating a proper settlement for you.

What Settlement Can I Expect From a T-Bone Car Accident?

Every car accident claim is different. It is not possible to project a proper settlement prior to an investigation.

Because of New York’s no-fault insurance law, a car accident victim’s own liability insurance provider is to compensate them for economic damages (medical bills, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket expenses) up to a certain amount regardless of responsibility for the collision. If the victim suffered “serious” injuries as a result of a side impact collision, he or she may be entitled to pursue additional economic damages as well as noneconomic damages for pain and suffering through a traditional personal injury lawsuit.

There are numerous factors that can affect what you may recover in a T-bone accident claim. Because the New York City car accident attorneys at David Resnick & Associates understand how each of these factors affect claims and how insurance and personal injury law apply, we can work to maximize what you recover in a claim.

If you have been seriously injured in a T-bone car accident in New York City that was not your fault, contact David Resnick & Associates, P.C., for a free initial evaluation of your case today.

Author: David Resnick

Founder of David Resnick & Associates, P.C., a New York personal injury law firm in charge of providing exceptional and personal service to each of our clients in various areas including car accidents, slip and fall, wrongful death, construction accidents, and premises liability. David Resnick founded the firm in 1998 after working in large law firms where he saw a need for greater client communication and more personal care.

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