Determining fault in a T-bone accident can be complicated. Understanding who is at fault is crucial because it directly impacts your ability to recover compensation.
If you’re searching for answers to questions like “I was in a T-bone accident, who is at fault?” keep reading.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss how to prove your case and what evidence you need to determine fault.
What Is a T-Bone Car Accident?
A T-bone car accident, also known as a side-impact collision, happens when the front of one vehicle collides with the side of another. The point of impact forms a ‘T’ shape. T-bone accidents are common at intersections and can occur for various reasons. Sometimes, a driver misjudges the timing of the traffic light, fails to yield the right-of-way, or entirely runs a red light.
Many of Georgia’s cities have congested streets around the clock. Sometimes, unclear intersection layouts further contribute to T-bone accidents. The consequences of these collisions can be severe, often leading to significant vehicle damage and serious injuries to passengers, especially those seated on the side of the impact.
You must prove liability to collect compensation if you believe the other driver is responsible for your injuries. Factors like right-of-way, traffic signals, and driver actions are pivotal in establishing fault.
Determining T-Bone Car Accident Fault
For T-bone accidents resulting from negligence, you must prove four key elements. The first element is the duty of care, which is typically easy to prove. All motorists owe each other a duty of care to follow traffic rules and laws and not to endanger others.
You must then demonstrate that the other driver breached that duty of care. Negligence occurs when a driver fails to exercise reasonable care on the road, leading to an accident. If the other driver ran a red light and hit you, that would violate the duty of care.
The third element of negligence is causation. You must show that the driver’s actions directly caused your injuries. You haven’t met causation if the other driver ran the red light but didn’t cause the accident. The final element of negligence is damages. You must show you suffered tangible losses in the accident, such as medical expenses or lost wages.
Determining fault in some T-bone accidents can be complicated, as it’s common to have multiple contributing factors. Perhaps overgrown vegetation covered a stop sign the other driver couldn’t see. In some cases, both parties may share responsibility, leading to a comparative fault scenario where damages are apportioned according to each party’s percentage of fault.
In Georgia, comparative negligence laws will allow you to recover compensation if you’re 49% or less at fault. However, your compensation is reduced by your percentage of fault. If you’re 20% at fault, you will receive 80% of your damages. If you’re 50% at fault, you will receive nothing.
Evidence Needed to Prove Fault in a T-Bone Accident
Every accident’s circumstances differ, so your evidence might differ from someone else’s. Potential examples of evidence include the following items:
- Police reports. The responding officer records their observations, documents the vehicle positions, and takes statements from all involved parties and witnesses. If they determine one or both drivers violated any traffic laws, they might also issue a citation.
- Vehicle damage estimates. Each driver’s insurance company will have their insured take the vehicle to a shop for an estimate. These estimates can help support your version of events.
- Eyewitness statements. If someone stopped and gave their name as a witness, their statement can be crucial evidence. The witness might discuss who had the green light or right-of-way and any other information leading up to the collision. Your attorney will do whatever is necessary to preserve the witness testimony should your case go to trial.
- Scene photos and videos. If you can safely do so, take pictures, including vehicle damage, debris and skid marks, road conditions, and relevant road signs. Additionally, surveillance footage from nearby businesses or traffic cameras might have captured the accident.
- Expert testimony. Your attorney might hire an accident reconstruction expert to review the evidence and prepare a report discussing how the accident happened. This type of expert can help explain critical elements, such as impact force, accident dynamics, and the most scientific explanation of the accident’s cause.
The more comprehensive your evidence is, the better your chances of proving liability. That’s one reason why hiring a lawyer is essential.
Contact a Georgia Car Accident Lawyer
Because liability is usually hotly contested in a T-bone accident, it’s essential to consider hiring a Georgia car accident lawyer. At MG Law, we have years of experience helping injured victims return to their pre-accident condition. We are proud of helping clients fight for justice and appreciate your trust in our firm. If you sustained injuries in a T-bone accident, please contact us at (770) 988-5252 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Let us review your case and help you build a strong claim against the responsible parties.