After a traumatic T-bone collision, California’s best car accident lawyers help you pursue successful compensation.
Imagine driving through an intersection like you’ve done a million times before, but this time someone hits you square in the driver’s side door. This is a T-bone collision, and it puts your life at risk.
T-bone collisions are side-impact traffic crashes that cause severe car accident injuries. It could take surgery, rehabilitation, and months of doctors’ visits before you feel the least bit recovered from being T-boned.
Although an accident like this is the stuff of nightmares, you can turn to the dream team at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We have a long history of helping injured Californians secure the compensation they need after T-bone collisions.
Don’t wait until you’re suffering under an enormous mountain of medical bills before contacting us. We can use legal techniques to minimize your chances of going to court and maximize your monetary award. We’re expert negotiators who will demand what you deserve from the person who T-boned you and their insurance company.
Learn more about California T-bone collisions below or go ahead and contact us now to start your free case evaluation.
Understanding and Protecting Your T-bone Collision Claim
T-bone collisions are also called broadsides or side-impact crashes. The medical experts at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have been studying this type of collision for decades due to the high rate of side-impact fatalities, especially when large SUVs and trucks are involved.
Here in California, victims of T-bone collisions have well-established rights under the law. After a T-bone collision, your next steps play a major role in determining whether you can claim the compensation you’re due.
Stay Safe and Stay Healthy
If you’re injured in your T-bone collision, you’ll likely be headed to a hospital in San Francisco, Los Angeles, or somewhere else nearby. That ambulance trip won’t be cheap, but it’s important to protect your health immediately after the accident and your medical bills could be covered by a compensation claim.
Even if you don’t travel by ambulance, go to the ER right away to report your injuries and start a record of your treatment. People who don’t feel injured sometimes delay medical care, but this is a huge mistake. You can’t evaluate your injuries and determine whether you have an unseen injury like a concussion or internal organ damage.
Getting excellent medical care is the first step to building a car accident claim that leads to a valuable settlement. You’ll need to follow the instructions from your care provider and keep records that show you did everything the doctors recommended. Later, you can pursue compensation for your financial losses and the impact on your lifestyle.
Save Photos and Evidence From Your T-bone Collision
The next step, gathering car accident evidence, is crucial to accomplish before it’s lost forever. You’ll need videos and photos from the scene of your T-bone collision, including any road signs, skid marks, or debris nearby.
Gather the other driver’s insurance information and any eyewitness contact information, but don’t get into debates with them about what happened. The longer it takes to secure this info, the more likely it is that people will forget or decide not to talk about what happened. Your lawyer can help with this process.
Obtain a copy of the police report, which will become a key element of your case. Also, snap some photos of your injuries and any scarring you may have as a result of the car wreck. Start a journal of your emotional injuries and record the deep mental scars the accident left on you.
Before the Insurance Adjuster? Talk to a Lawyer
Don’t be surprised if the insurance company is very eager to talk to you about your T-bone accident. They’ll be interested to see what you have to say about the accident and use this information against you.
It’s important to keep in mind that an insurance company’s main goal is to save money and avoid making a large payment. They might rush you into agreeing to things or put pressure on you to give up on your claim and go away. Don’t do it! Talk to your lawyer first.
Also, the insurance company might request a recorded statement and try to get your private information, like your social security number. You can decline this and the law is on your side. Simply tell them, “Call my lawyer.”
No Instagram, No Facebook, No TikTok
We understand that it’s tempting to talk about what happened on social media, but please avoid the urge to do so. Don’t use social media because anything on the internet can be used against you later.
Insurance companies and lawyers routinely scan social media to find things that support their version of events, rather than yours. Before your words get twisted and your photos get used against you, lock down your accounts, stay off of social media, and only share things with your lawyer.
Why T-bone Car Accidents Happen in California
Certain situations just seem to be T-bone accidents waiting to happen. Here are some common ways T-bone collisions tend to take place here in California.
Poorly-Lit and Poorly-Marked Roads
When the roads aren’t maintained well, T-bone collisions can happen. Maybe there was construction debris nearby, large potholes in the road surface, or rocks in the road that had fallen from the sides of a California canyon. A government entity may hold some responsibility.
The same goes for traffic lights and signs that are malfunctioning or missing. When this contributes to a T-bone collision, it matters. And it’s the city or county’s responsibility to provide safe paths of travel.
Bad Weather and Low Visibility
What about bad weather? Was it too foggy or stormy to see another vehicle coming toward you at a 90-degree angle?
It’s every driver’s responsibility to ensure they can drive safely in bad weather. Slow down or wait it out when there’s bad weather. But if the weather was a contributor to your T-bone collision, make sure you discuss this with your lawyer.
Alcohol and Drug Use
Driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs is a crime and is no excuse for T-boning someone. Intoxication sets the stage for driving mistakes that hurt others on the road.
Over 1,000 Californians lose their lives every year due to drunk driving and 50% of all drivers killed in our state’s road accidents test positive for some type of intoxicating substance. And here’s an infuriating fact: Up to 77% of drunk driving fatalities involve repeat offenders.
When an impaired person hurts you, there’s likely a strong legal case to be made against them. so make sure you talk to a lawyer about the details of your accident. Talk to your lawyer if you suspect drug or alcohol use – including legal or illegal drugs – was a factor in your T-bone crash.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says nearly 2,800 deaths and 400,000 injuries arise due to distracted driving every year in the U.S. Texting and driving is a huge problem, but other distractions also include food, music, navigational devices, in-car entertainment, passengers, and even pets.
Car and Truck Maintenance Failures
Did you know semi-trailer brake failures are a common cause of road accidents, including T-bone collisions? When a big rig is out of control and unable to stop, the other motor vehicle takes the impact of a horrific crash.
It’s difficult to prove that poor vehicle maintenance was the culprit, however. You’ll need a lawyer’s help to demand the records needed to show negligence, especially if a big trucking company is involved.
Common T-bone Collision Injuries
When two vehicles collide at a 90-degree angle, the results are often catastrophic injuries. You could have any or all of the following injuries:
- Bruises and scratches
- Knee and ankle injuries
- Wrist and hand injuries
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries
- Torn muscles and ligaments
- Neck injuries like whiplash
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Internal organ damage
- Crushing injuries to your ribcage
- Loss of feeling or numbness in the limbs
- Limited range of motion
- Problems with balance
- Nerve damage
- Chronic pain
- Emotional and psychological damage
It’s important to seek a mental health evaluation as soon as possible and talk to your lawyer if you have emotional injuries. For example, you might have nightmares, a fear of driving, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, avoidance, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Your treatment might be completely covered by an accident claim.
Dealing With Insurance After a T-bone Collision
We’d like to offer you some free tips for handling insurance after your T-bone collision. This isn’t a substitute for a free online case evaluation that’s specific to your case, but the information below will help you avoid making mistakes that harm your chances at compensation.
First, keep in mind that a fast offer for T-bone collision compensation is probably a lowball offer. Your lawyer could likely negotiate a much higher amount to more fully cover your losses. Also, never make the mistake of thinking the insurance rep is your friend. They’re only looking out for themselves and their company!
Before making any statements to the insurance company, tell them to talk to your lawyer at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. That means you shouldn’t admit fault, make unclear statements, or argue with them about anything. Even your most innocent comment could be used against you later.
Yes, There’s a Deadline for Starting an Accident Claim
Some people mistakenly think you can take your time filing an accident claim. Don’t wait! There is a strict time limit on filing a car accident lawsuit under California’s statute of limitations.
Generally, this period is within two years of the date of the T-bone collision. That might sound like a long time, but every day that passes is a chance for evidence and memories to be lost. Plus, some claims automatically have a shorter time frame.
When your T-bone accident involves a governmental entity like a city, county, or state agency, you only have six months from the date of the accident. Then the government entity has 45 days to take action on the claim. If your claim is then rejected, which isn’t too unusual, you then have just six more months from the date the claim is rejected to file a lawsuit.
How is Fault Assigned After a T-bone Crash?
Here in California, we live in what’s known as a comparative fault state for car accidents. That’s not a bad thing – it just means the blame is assigned proportionally and any award you receive will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
Comparative fault means there will be an investigation into your accident to assign the percentages of blame. This assigning of responsibility also helps everyone understand what happened in your T-bone crash, which is usually a big relief.
There are many factors involved in crashes like yours and many different parties who need to evaluate what happened. The California car accident lawyers, the insurance companies, or even a judge or jury might be deciding what truly happened and how you should be compensated.
Relevant factors in your T-bone crash could include:
- Relevant laws and ordinances
- Location of the T-bone collision
- Witness statements from their point of view
- Any additional expert witness testimony
- The relevant damage to each vehicle from the crash
- An accident reconstruction from a professional reconstructionist
- Whether there was drunk, drugged, or distracted driving
- Video footage available from vehicle dash cams and local businesses
- Police reports and testimony from the officers
- What the weather and road conditions were like
Who Else Could Be Involved in My T-Bone Collision?
Strangely enough, there could be parties involved in your crash that weren’t physically present when it happened. Maybe your crash includes a commercial trucking company or driver for FedEx, UPS, or the U.S. Postal Service.
There are delivery vehicles all over California’s roads. You could’ve been T-boned by someone driving for a delivery company like DoorDash or GrubHub. Maybe a rideshare driver for Uber or even a driverless Uber crashed into you.
One of the big bonuses of hiring a lawyer is that they’ll do an investigation in addition to the police investigation. You might not even know the whole truth about your T-bone accident until your lawyer investigates what happened and explains what they uncovered.
You could even discover a special situation that completely shields you from blame. One example we’ve encountered before is that our client is covered by California’s emergency doctrine. It’s a rule that states when you’re suddenly confronted by a danger you didn’t create, you may have low to no responsibility for what happens next.
Let’s say someone T-boned you in a chain reaction collision, causing you to ram into a group of stopped cars. Not your fault! You didn’t create this situation, so you might be protected from liability. Of course, you’ll need a lawyer’s help to understand and apply something special like the emergency doctrine.
Hire a T-bone Collision Lawyer Right Away!
If you’re hesitant, we can understand that. But please let us explain why you need our services as soon as possible after being injured in a T-bone collision. Waiting could harm your case immensely.
First, consider how stressful it is to interact with an insurance company and the difficult person who caused your crash. While you’re trying to recover and heal, you have drama and legal questions to deal with. Instead, a lawyer relieves your burden and handles the heavy lifting of the legal work.
Plus, people tend to get lowball offers when they don’t have lawyers. Insurance companies are experts at this game! Will they truly value your emotional damage, lost earnings, or the impact on your family? They should, and a lawyer can stand up for what you deserve.
There’s also the issue of pain and suffering, which can be a large portion of your claim. It tends to be undervalued without a lawyer’s help, but you’re entitled to fair and full compensation for this type of loss.
When you look at the big picture, having a lawyer is well worth it after a T-bone collision. Your lawyer from the team at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers won’t take any fee until the conclusion of your case. That minimizes your risk so you don’t have to worry about your finances at a time that’s already stressful.
If you have additional questions about accident compensation, please contact us for a free consultation. We care about the trauma you’ve suffered and we’re here to listen to your story and help you get to the bottom of what happened in your T-bone collision.
We Handle Your T-bone Accident Claim So You Can Focus on Your Life
After your T-bone collision, contact the car accident attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many areas of the law, including car accidents that involve T-bone collisions. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering while we handle the legal details.