Who Is at Fault in a T-Bone Accident?

Navigating Who Is at Fault in a T-Bone Accident

T-bone accidents, also called side-impact collisions, typically happen at intersections.

One vehicle hits another at a 90-degree angle so that the cars form a “T,” hence the name, T-bone accident.

But with a T-bone accident, who is at fault?

One misconception is that the vehicle that struck the other is always at fault. That is wrong. There is no bright-line rule that the vehicle being struck is always the victim.

Instead, your attorney will need to use evidence to reconstruct the car accident to determine fault.

How Fault Is Determined

Another word for fault in Colorado is negligence. Negligence means that the driver did not use ordinary care when driving the vehicle.

There are many examples of negligence, such as:

  • Running a red light
  • Refusing to yield
  • Pulling directly in front of someone else
  • Driving while distracted
  • Speeding
  • Backing up without checking to see that the way is clear
  • Merging without checking a blind spot

When a driver has been negligent and gets into a crash, he or she has been negligent and is at fault.

T-Bone Accident Scenarios

Let’s look closely at two side-impact crashes to see how the rules about negligence determine t-bone accident fault:

Accident 1:

Melissa is driving west through an intersection on a green light. Jason, who is headed north, has a red light but nevertheless speeds through the red light and ends up hitting the side of Melissa’s car.

In this example, Jason is at fault because he ran through the red light and did not yield. Melissa had a green light, so she was free to pass through the intersection. Under the law, Jason isn’t at fault simply because he hit Melissa; he is at fault because he did not yield as he was required to by law.

Accident 2:

Both Melissa and Jason are approaching an intersection from different directions. Melissa is traveling east, and Jason is travelling west, and they both have the green light. However, Melissa suddenly decides to make a quick left-hand turn in the intersection. She doesn’t have enough room and cuts right in front of Jason, who slams into her.

In this example, Melissa is at fault for the T-bone accident even though she was the one who got hit. Melissa did not operate her vehicle carefully because she made a turn directly in front of oncoming traffic. She had a duty to make sure there was enough room, and she is at fault because she was careless.

Finding Evidence to Support Your Claim

To establish fault in a t-bone accident, the following evidence is helpful:

  • Your memories
  • The testimony of any witnesses, such as passengers
  • Any statements the other driver made
  • The police report
  • Pictures of where the vehicles ended up
  • Surveillance or dashcam video
  • Damage on the vehicles

With this evidence, your lawyer will help build a case for compensation. The fault is not always contested in every T-bone accident, but you want as much evidence as possible in case it is.

Contact Us for Assistance After Your T-Bone Accident

Contact Denver Trial Lawyers ® today. Our team has been handling traffic accidents for decades, and we know how to establish fault so our clients can receive compensation.

Reach out to our personal injury lawyers by calling (303) 647-9990 to schedule a free consultation.