T-bone accidents are among the common types of accidents on highways and road junctions. This type of accident occurs when the front of a vehicle hits the right or left side of a different car. These can cause fatal accidents and even death of occupants in both cars. T-bone accidents are common at intersections or traffic lights. According to a report by the NHTSA, about 3000 vehicles engaged in an accident in 2015 had a side impact first. In Florida, 20% of vehicles that were involved in fatal accidents in 2017 were first hit on their sides. Therefore, it is crucial to have an experienced and qualified personal injury lawyer in case you or your loved one becomes a victim of a T-bone accident, and we at the Clay County Personal Injury Attorney are here to help you.
T-bone Accident Liability
In most cases, T-bone accidents are caused by careless drivers that ignore various traffic rules, such as observing traffic lights. Important to note is that such drivers should be held accountable for their actions as well as any injuries sustained because of their reckless driving. Negligent drivers are the primary cause of these accidents because they fail to function as a prudent individual would perform in a similar situation. In case you or your loved one sustains injuries because of T-bone accidents, Clay County Personal Injury Attorney is your best partner to ensure you get the maximum possible compensation. Our first move will be to investigate the likelihood of negligence on the driver responsible for the accident. In Florida, the prof of negligence requires the victim to demonstrate the following:
- Duty of care – Drivers are obligated to obey all the traffic rules and avoid any acts that can harm other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. A valid claim requires the victim to prove that the driver breached his or her duty of care.
- Breach of care – A driver who does not yield the right way and speeds across an intersection breaches their duty to exercise care. A victim needs to prove that the driver responsible for the T-bone accident violated his or her responsibility to act with reasonable care.
- Causation – The victim should be injured as a direct result of the driver’s actions.
- Damages – A valid claim also requires the plaintiff to prove actual damages for his or her injuries. Some of these include lost medical bills and lost wages.
After establishing the defendant's negligence, the plaintiff then proceeds to seek compensation for the damages sustained. Worth noting is that a defendant can also claim that a plaintiff was partially responsible for the injuries sustained. However, a court in Florida will not prevent you from the recovery of damages, regardless of the degree of fault. Considering Florida uses the principle of comparative negligence, one can recover damages proportionate to the percentage of fault. Florida law requires the victim to file the claim within four years from the date of the accident. Failure to this jeopardizes his or her chances to get full compensation for economic and non-economic damages sustained. However, other specific lawsuits would require different statutes of limitations. Please contact your lawyer as soon as possible for advice on when to file a lawsuit.
In case you get T-boned in Florida, you might have the opportunity to get full or partial compensation by completing a personal injury claim against the driver at-fault. In Florida, the pure comparative negligence principle notes that you are entitled to compensation even if you are 99% to blame for the accident. Various damages might occur as a result of the T-bone accident. For example, your vehicle can suffer significant damages, and it is advisable to take photos of such damages and acquire a written estimate for fixing the car. It is also vital to keep all the receipts for charges incurred because of the accident, such as towing and rental car usage. As the claimant, it is pertinent to preserve any medical bills and records and maintain clear documentation of missed work as well as lost wages. Other possible damages that might occur because of a side collision accident include future medical bills, pain, and suffering, future lost wages, as well as permanent disfigurement. You should always have a personal injury attorney who can assist you file a claim and get full or partial compensation for your loss.
If you are caught up in a Florida T-bone accident, it is pertinent to consult with a personal injury attorney, from Florida. The role of the attorney is to investigate the accident and determine the damages you suffered and then work to establish a case against the at-fault driver.
Injuries Caused by a T-bone Accident
Side collision accidents can result in different types of injuries. Neck and spinal injuries are among the common because they occur because of the side impact of the accident. The individual seated at the side of the car is the most vulnerable because he or she experiences the initial effect of the force that causes a motion that is unnatural to the body. Traumatic brain injuries are also common types of injuries that are associated with T-bone accidents. The immediate impact of the force can rock the brain within the skull that tears and bruises the brain matter, and this can cause permanent brain damage. Research notes that concussions and head trauma are also prevalent injuries caused by T-bone accidents. These occur from blunt trauma to the head, especially when the brain strikes the hard skull. The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control CDC identifies concussions as a form of traumatic brain injury. After a T-bone accident, any kind of head injury or trauma should be reported to the emergency room health practitioners.
Other common types of injuries caused by T-Bone accidents include shoulder, hip, and pelvic fractures. Scars, and burns and other disfigurement are also common injuries caused by these side collisions. In worst-case scenarios, T-bone accidents result in paralysis and even death. T-Bone accidents are deadly, and it is advisable to seek immediate diagnosis and medical treatment. It is also critical to hire a skilled personal injury attorney to deal with claim and compensation and focus on your recovery.
Statute of Limitations
The state of Florida implements the Statute of Limitations, which is the law that offers a time frame within which an individual has to file a claim in court. According to this statute, a person has up to four years to file the claim since the date of the accident. Rare cases involved when the injury is not discovered soon enough, and the limitations commence from the time of discovery.
Florida adheres to the 'no-fault' insurance policy regarding vehicle personal injury lawsuits. The notion means that after the occurrence of the accident, the injured individual's insurance company is entitled to cover all medical costs and damages with no reference to was at fault. The negligent driver cannot be held liable for a fault unless a severe injury threshold is met. However, a victim can file a lawsuit if he or she has experienced permanent injury, disfigurement, as well as permanent scarring. According to Florida law, every driver should possess $10,000 in personal injury protection. In this case, you can file a lawsuit against the insurance company for injuries and property damage incurred after a T-bone accident.
Florida Damage Caps
In Florida, damage caps are integrated to impose a restriction on the amount of compensation that an injured person gets. In most cases, Florida law limits punitive damages to three times the amount of compensation or $500,000 (whichever is greater). However, there are no additional damage caps for standard injury claims. If you have suffered a personal injury because of another party's actions, it is essential to consult with a Florida personal injury attorney to evaluate the recovery of any losses you might have incurred.
Causes of a T-bone accident
As mentioned, the common cause of a T-bone accident is the driver's failure to adhere to traffic laws. However, researchers have also found other common causes of this type of accident, including obstructed view, misjudging the gap in traffic, as well as misjudging the speed of on-coming traffic. Additional causes include insufficient surveillance, distractions from cell phones, and reckless driving. Side impact collisions reconsidered as the fatal accidents for children and statistics from the NHTSA notes that the prevalence of these accidents has escalated from 31% to 51% within two decades. The escalation of these accidents is attributed to higher travel speeds, as well as the increase in the number of SUVs and trucks on the road. Arguably, SUVs are more robust than other passenger cars, and this makes them dangerous to car occupants in case of a collision.
As mentioned, T-bone accidents commonly occur at intersections, especially when a negligent driver runs a red light or ignores a stop sign and collides with another vehicle. Such accidents also happen when vehicles are crossing on a multi-lane highway and merge into traffic. Besides, a car might skid and hit another car on the side, which can cause it to turn or spin from its original position. In some instances, a side collision causes the vehicle to roll over, and this might injure or even kill the nearby pedestrians. While new model cars have side-impact airbags, these accidents often result in multiple impacts. In this case, the airbag is deployed on the initial impact and immediately deflates and provides no protection on subsequent effects.
According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), over 50% of accidents involving passenger vehicles are T-bone crashes. Besides, more than 2.3 million accidents occur at intersections annually, which translates to 40% of the total annual auto wrecks. IIHS also demonstrated that about 165,000 people are injured or killed each year because of drivers who fail to yield by running a red light. Passenger-car drivers have a higher likelihood of getting killed in T-bone accidents compared to SUV drivers. These statistics demonstrate that there is a need to have an experienced personal injury attorney to help you in recouping the compensation for either economic or non-economic damages incurred.
Proving Fault in a T-bone Car Accident
In some cases, driver error is definite and evident, considering how the side collision accident occurred. Some drivers might even admit fault. However, there are different instances where police expertise might be needed in proving who is at fault.
After the accident, the first step is to call the police who are responsible for making preliminary assessments on who was at fault. It is also prudent to acquire contact information from anyone who witnessed the accident. You should not admit liability to the other driver. As mentioned, taking photos of the scene goes a long way in providing evidence. At stop signs, drivers have the responsibility to yield the right of way to all other traffic pedestrians who have stopped before them or are in motion.
When vehicles arrive at an intersection at the same time, the driver on the left should yield the way. The failure of a driver to yield the right of way causing an accident makes them liable, and the injured victims can file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver. It is crucial to hire an experienced personal injury attorney who will conduct thorough investigations into the traffic cameras, photos, as well as eyewitness stories. The experienced team at Clay County Personal Injury will go further to investigate the skid marks at the scene to get a clear picture of the incident. This goes a long way in evaluating the maximum possible compensation for the damages incurred.
What to Do If You Are Involved in a T-bone Accident
Regardless of whether they occur, car accidents entail many factors. Annually, Florida has a record of about 400,000 car accidents, and therefore, it is crucial to know what you should do after you are involved in one. According to Florida law, after the occurrence of an accidental, the involved parties should remain at the accident scene. If you are not hurt, you should assist other occupants in your vehicle or the other car.
You should also call law enforcement officers immediately, despite how minor the accident seems. Police reports will help in filing property damage insurance claims.
You should also gather vital information about the driver, including insurance companies, contact data, and names.
Seeking medical help is another crucial step in accidents. Regardless of how the injuries seem, you may be having neck or internal injuries. Thus, seeking prompt medical check-ups may help determine such injuries. The shock experienced, and the adrenaline might surpass your symptoms of pain. It is the physician's responsibility to assess whether you are in good health after the accident. Please also keep the medical records and bills since they are crucial in determining your settlement.
While at the scene, keep documents of all the property damage, such as broken windows. These are factual pieces of evidence in your case. It is also a protective move against malicious individuals that might provide false statements.
After the occurrence of the accident, it is essential to be alert to avoid scams. For instance, you may be confused and unsure of what to do, and tow truckers and insurance officers may convince you into easy settlements or damage of evidence.
Contact an attorney as soon as possible. If you are not sure about what to do, your attorney will be there to help you. For instance, we advise you not to admit fault of the accident, regardless of how the other parties pressure you to do so. Remember that admitting fault or signing any documents might compromise your case to your disadvantage unless your attorney is present at the scene.
Wrongful Death Claim After a T-bone Accident
In case you lose a family member in a T-bone accident, you can recover the damages by filing a claim for wrongful death. In such a case, it is possible to recover for your deceased relative's medical expenses, burial bills as well as the loss of companionship. At Clay County Personal Injury Attorney, we have years of experience and hence the necessary prowess to represent victims of side-impact collisions. The team is prepared to provide an aggressive legal representation that you need to get the maximum possible compensation. We are keen to review the case facts with you and focus on your legal rights.
As mentioned, a wrongful death claim after a T-bone accident is filed after losing a family member because of the accident. If a victim dies, the Florida law allows particular family members of the deceased to recover damages that result from the death. Before recovering any compensation for the damages, the family member must first establish the defendant's liability. Notably, wrongful death claims are also based on negligence and the plaintiff needs to show various things. First, he or she must demonstrate that the at-fault driver had a duty to observe reasonable care. The victim's relative also needs to prove that the defendant failed to exercise the duty of care and that this breach caused the victim's death. Ultimately, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the survivors suffered damages because of the death.
Particular survivors are also eligible for other specific damages. For example, a spouse who has lost his or her partner in a T-bone accident may recover for lost companionship, protection, as well as pain and suffering. Children with no surviving parent may recover for lost parental companionship, guidance, pain, and suffering. A parent can also recover for pain and suffering if the deceased is a minor. While the law provides a maximum of four years for victims to file personal injury claims, it provides up to two years for victims to file wrongful death claims. In such a case, it is advisable to contact the wrongful death attorney, who will take essential measures to ensure at-fault parties are held accountable.
The Role of a Personal Injury Attorney After a Car Accident
Your lawyer should handle everything regarding your personal injury claim, from the investigations to compensation. We want you to recover from the injuries without going through the stress of handling the claim alone.
The first duty of the attorney is to investigate and evaluate your claim to prove that the other party was at fault and was liable. If the driver of the other vehicle is not the driver, it is the role of the personal injury attorney to find the relevant contact information. As the victim, you have limited or no time to deal with insurance agencies. It is the role of the attorney to assess and determine all the insurance policies that are available for your injuries. The personal injury lawyer should also cooperate with your doctors to ensure that they have the financial assurances they require to reinstate your health. In this case, the attorney negotiates with the insurance company to get the full monetary value for the T-bone case. This happens after the team has conducted a thorough independent investigation of the accident to uncover the actual value of your case. In other words, the dollar amount covers the damages caused in the accident. Therefore, it is significant to have an experienced and skilled personal injury lawyer by your side.
Find a Clay County Personal Injury Attorney Near Me
If you or your loved one has been involved in a T-bone car accident, you need a good attorney by your side. You need a skilled and experienced attorney who is professionally capable of conducting the necessary investigations and evaluating the total damages sustained and help you get the maximum possible compensation that you deserve. At Clay County Personal Injury Attorney, we will walk with you every step of the process. Call us at 904-494-8242 if you are in Clay County, FL, and let us help you file for the compensation claim you deserve.