If you suffered injuries or a close relative passed away in a T-bone crash, you may be wondering how fault is determined in a side-impact accident. The law will evaluate these collisions the same way it does for any other kind of car crash.
We will have to prove all four factors of liability with credible evidence. Once we can do that, we can pursue compensation for your losses.
What Are the Four Factors We Have to Prove to Establish Liability for a Side-Impact Accident?
We will have to show all four of these elements before the court will hold someone legally liable for the harm caused in the collision:
One – the Defendant Owed the Injured Party a Legal Duty of Care
Everyone who drives a car, truck, or another motor vehicle on public streets has a legal duty to exercise caution and follow the traffic laws.
For example, all drivers must yield the right of way when appropriate, obey stop signs and traffic signals, pay attention when behind the wheel, and refrain from driving when impaired by alcohol or other drugs.
When everyone follows the rules of the road and drives cautiously, accidents rarely happen. When there is a collision, we look to the facts of the situation to determine fault, starting with the legal duties of the parties.
Two – the Defendant Breached the Duty of Care
When a person’s conduct does not live up to the requirements of the legal standard, that party is negligent. Speeding, driving drunk, running stop signs and red lights, and taking selfies while driving are all examples of careless conduct that violates the legal duty of care.
Three – the Defendant’s Negligence Caused the Harm the Plaintiff Suffered
Negligence alone does not confer legal liability. Many people make mistakes while driving without getting into a collision or harming anyone. If a party’s carelessness does not result in an accident, the law applies a sort of “no harm, no foul” approach.
Law enforcement could not possibly ticket everyone for every minor infraction. Our courts would be impossibly backlogged if every mistake resulted in a lawsuit. Also, in many accidents, more than one party was negligent. For legal liability, the negligence must be the thing that caused the collision.
Four – the Plaintiff Experienced Measurable Losses from the Accident
For most personal injury cases, you must be able to prove that you have quantifiable damages because of the accident. Physical injuries satisfy this final element of liability.
Let’s say that you were driving 40 miles an hour in a 35 MPH zone when an impatient driver ran a red light and T-boned your car. Your speed did not cause the side-impact collision. The driver who ran the red light caused the crash and will be responsible for your losses if you got injured in the accident.
For a free legal consultation, call 877-239-4878
What Can Cause a T-Bone Accident?
Some of the more common things that can cause a side-impact collision include:
- Failure to yield the right of way when merging onto a highway, changing lanes, or passing another vehicle.
- Running a stop sign or red light.
- Distracted driving.
- Being under the influence of alcohol or other drugs while driving.
- The inexperience of a young driver.
- The confusion or disorientation of an older driver.
- Objects like trees or signs blocking stop signs or traffic signals.
- Inadequate lighting or signage. It is difficult to stop at a light or sign that you cannot see. Also, some intersections do not have signs or signals that indicate who has the right of way.
- Inclement weather can obscure signs, electronic signals, and other vehicles.
In some of these situations, there is clear liability. In other circumstances, the parties should have slowed down for the environmental factors.
What Should You Do to Protect Your Legal Claim After a Side-Impact Crash?
One of the common reasons that people do not get the money they deserve after someone else injures them in a T-bone accident is that they do not know about the statute of limitations.
Our state only gives you two years to file a lawsuit for personal injury or wrongful death, according to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003. If you miss the deadline, you can forever get barred from seeking compensation.
Another mistake people sometimes make is not knowing what can get included in their accident injury claim and therefore missing out on compensatory damages. Your personal injury claim can contain things like your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses you sustained because of the collision.
Contact our personal injury lawyers today
Call Our Firm Today for a No-Cost, No-Obligation Consultation with a Team Member
You do not have to know all the rules that apply to these cases or battle the huge insurance company by yourself. You can call in the Strong Arm of Loncar Lyon Jenkins to take care of your personal injury or wrongful death claim for a T-bone crash. You can focus on getting better while we take care of the rest.
We are happy to offer free initial consultations. You can call us today at (877) 239-4878 to get started.