T-Bone Crashes in California – What Drivers Need to Know

close-up image of the dented in side of a car caused by a T-bone crash.T-bone crashes are very serious incidents that occur when the front of one vehicle strikes the side of another vehicle. Often this is the result of a driver failing to yield the right of way to another. The damages resulting from these crashes are often severe.

At Arnold Law Firm, we discuss what drivers need to know about T-bone crashes, including how they often happen, who can be liable and how to recover compensation for your damages.

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What Is a T-Bone Crash?

A T-bone crash, which is also referred to as a side-impact collision, happens when the front of one car hits the side of another. The wreckage of this type of crash forms a “T,” which is where the name comes from. These accidents are extremely severe and often cause life-altering or fatal injuries.

How Do T-Bone Crashes Happen?

T-bone crashes often happen at intersections when one driver gets distracted or violates some other traffic rules. For example, a driver might get impatient because the traffic is busy and try to beat a yellow or run a red light. If this occurs at the same time another vehicle is jumping a green, it could result in a side-impact collision.

Side-impact crashes may also occur during bad weather or if a driver is speeding. Either of these situations could cause the offending driver to lose control of his or her vehicle.

What Are Some of the Most Common Injuries Caused by T-Bone Crashes?

Injuries from T-Bone crashes can be very serious because the side of a car does not have as much protection as the front or back. Some common injuries include:

  • Broken bones
  • Head injuries, including concussions
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Cuts from broken glass
  • Injuries to the chest and abdomen

People sitting on the side of the car that gets hit are often more hurt than others in the car.

Liability for a Side-Impact Crash in Sacramento

Often, the person who hits the side of another car is usually liable for the crash and resulting damages. However, as with any kind of car crash, a full investigation will follow. Each crash is unique, and sometimes there are other circumstances that may contribute to a crash. For instance, in the situation where one vehicle ran a red light while the other vehicle jumped the green. In this situation, both drivers may share some liability.

In California, you may still have a claim even if you contributed to the crash in some way. However, whatever degree of fault you are assessed with will be deducted from any compensation you may be awarded for your damages. For example, if you are assessed with 10 percent of fault and the settlement awarded is $100,000, that ten percent will be deducted from the final amount you are paid.

What Steps Should You Take After a T-Bone Crash?

If you are in a T-Bone crash, there are important first steps you should follow:

Check For Injuries

In the initial moments after a crash, it is important to check around and see who may be severely injured. Remember that just because you do not see visible evidence of a wound, does not mean someone is uninjured. Those involved in the crash are very likely in shock, so pain is also not an indicator of whether or not someone may be injured. Some evidence of a potential injury may include someone being trapped under wreckage or slumped over. Crash victims may feel dizzy or light-headed when injured. If a vehicle is badly damaged, someone may have sustained internal injuries, a traumatic brain injury (TBI), whiplash or other internal organ damage.

Call 9-1-1

After checking on everyone, call 9-1-1 to report the crash and get first responders to the scene as quickly as possible. Having police investigate the scene is important too, because it helps to ensure the crash and how it happened is properly documented. Even if the crash seems small, it is important to have a police report. The police will document the scene and get information from everyone involved. You will be able to obtain a copy of the police report they file, which can later support an injury claim if you need to file for damages.

Move to a Safer Location

If your vehicle is near passing traffic and it is still drivable, it is a good idea to move it as far to the side of the road and away from traffic as possible. If you cannot move the car, be sure to turn on your hazard lights. Do not exit your car if you are injured or if it is unsafe. You do not want to risk further injury from passing vehicles who may not see you in time to stop.

Exchange Information

Get the name, phone number, address, driver’s license number, license plate number, and insurance information from the other driver. If there are witnesses, get their information too.

Take Photos

Use your phone to take pictures of the cars, the road, any signs or signals around the crash scene and your injuries. Do not, however, put yourself or others in danger to gather any evidence or take photos. If it is not safe, then someone can gather this information for you later.

Seek Medical Attention

Regardless of whether you think you are okay; you should seek medical attention at a nearby emergency room. Some crash injuries might not show up right away, even when they are serious. Internal injuries, such as internal bleeding or organ damage, can become life-threatening without immediate treatment. Other serious injuries may include various types of head injuries, such as a traumatic brain injury (TBI), or a spinal cord injury. Even something that sounds relatively minor, like broken ribs, could puncture a lung or cause other serious damage. None of those injuries are immediately visible, but the damage can be extremely severe. Delays in seeking treatment could put your health at risk.

Additionally, seeking medical help right away creates documentation in your medical records. If you do need to seek compensation for damages later, these records provide a vital link to the crash that caused them.

Seek Legal Help

We strongly recommend seeking legal help as soon as your injuries are stabilized. Having a lawyer manage your claim provides significant peace of mind that your legal interests and rights are being protected.

At Arnold Law Firm, we also take these steps for our clients:

  • Fully investigating the crash and gathering evidence to support your case
  • Guiding you in how to document and track your medical costs and other damages
  • Making sure you do not miss any critical deadlines
  • Speaking with the insurance company on your behalf
  • Handling negotiations for your settlement to ensure you receive the full and fair compensation you need
  • And more

How Can I Avoid Being Involved in a T-Bone Crash?

Avoiding any type of car crash often comes down to driver negligence because not everyone who gets behind the wheel takes their legal duty of care as a driver seriously. While you cannot account for the actions of others, you can reduce your chances of a T-bone crash by following these driver safety tips:

  • Pay attention to the road: Always look out for other cars, especially at intersections.
  • Follow traffic signs and signals: Make sure you stop at red lights and stop signs and follow the rules of the road.
  • Drive carefully in bad weather: Rain, snow, and fog can make it hard to see and drive. Be extra careful.
  • Do not drive distracted: Do not use your phone or do anything else that takes your attention away from driving.
  • Be careful when turning left: Make sure the way is clear and you have enough time to turn safely.
  • Maintain your vehicle: Make sure your brakes, lights, and tires are working well.

Staying safe on the road is very important. By following these tips, you can help prevent T-Bone crashes and keep yourself and others safe. If you ever find yourself in a crash, remember the steps to take right after and consider reaching out to a lawyer who can help you through the process.

Injured by Another Driver’s Negligence? Call Arnold Law Firm Today

At Arnold Law Firm, we have been helping victims injured by the negligence of others for decades. During that time, we have recovered millions in compensation for our clients.

Not sure if you have a valid case? We offer a completely free consultation to discuss your situation and determine what legal options you may have.

Our experienced Sacramento car crash lawyers are prepared to fully investigate the circumstances of your crash, gather the evidence you need and fight for full compensation of your medical costs and other losses.

Experienced Lawyers. Fighting for you. Call: (916) 777-7777