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T-Bone Accident – Who’s At Fault?

A firefighter working to remove an injured woman from a crashed vehicle

When traveling on the road, there is always the risk of a collision. T-bone accidents in particular are a source of concern for many when crossing busy intersections. These accidents can result in devastating consequences for all parties involved. With a T-bone accident – who’s at fault? Learn more about these types of accidents on the road and discover which parties are liable for injuries and damages. If you have suffered personal injury as the result of a T-bone accident or other vehicle collision, consider scheduling a consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer at Steelman Gaunt Crowley by calling (573) 341-8336.

What Does T-Bone Mean in a Car Accident?

T-bone accidents, also known as side-impact collisions or broadside crashes, are unfortunately common. These collisions form a T-shape as the result of one vehicle’s front bumper hitting the side of another automobile. Often, these accidents happen at intersections or in parking lots. They can result in severe injuries since the doors and side panels provide limited protection to a vehicle’s occupants.

Most of the time, T-bone accidents occur when a driver fails to yield the right of way, runs a red light or stop sign, makes an illegal turn, or disregards traffic signals. However, distracted driving, such as texting or talking on the phone, can also contribute to these types of accidents. All drivers need to stay alert and follow traffic laws to avoid T-bone accidents and keep themselves and others safe on the road.

What Does a T-Bone Accident Look Like?

Since these incidents sometimes occur at high speeds, the damage and injuries can be severe. In some cases, the force of impact in a T-bone accident can cause the struck vehicle to flip over or eject the passengers. The same factors may also push the vehicle into traffic or other objects.

At the incident scene, the affected vehicle will often show severe damage, usually concentrated on the side that was hit by the other vehicle. In many cases, windows and doors are smashed or crushed. Medical workers may require specialized tools to extricate people from vehicles, depending on badly the doors are affected. The drive as well as any passengers may be seriously injured. The severity of the injuries sustained in any particular T-bone crash will be determined by:

  • The speed of the colliding vehicle
  • The safety features of the struck automobile
  • The location of the impact

If you would like more information about T-bone accidents, contact the legal team at Steelman Gaunt Crowley to schedule your personalized consultation.

Who Is Usually at Fault in a T-Bone Collision?

T-bone accident – who’s at fault? The answer to that question depends on the situation. Determining the liable driver in an accident requires a thorough examination of the events preceding the collision. If a driver failed to yield the right of way or violated traffic laws, they may be to blame. However, liability can differ based on the facts of the case. Distracted driving, intoxicated driving, or mechanical failure in a vehicle may all play a role in precipitating this type of crash. Both drivers may sometimes be at fault depending on their actions leading up to the crash. Speaking with a personal injury attorney can help T-bone accident survivors to analyze the circumstances of the event and identify liability.

In the event of a T-bone collision, it is important to gather evidence and get witness testimony as soon as possible. These details will help in the reconstruction of the accident and in determining culpability, which can be significant to attempts to gain compensation for damages sustained during the crash, whether through negotiations with the at-fault driver’s insurance company or through the Missouri courts. Skid marks on the road might provide important information about the speed and direction of the vehicles involved. The type and location of vehicle damage can also help determine fault in the accident. Traffic signal data, such as timing records or camera footage, can also help to determine whether any parties involved broke traffic regulations.

What Percentage of T-Bone Accidents Are Fatal?

Unfortunately, T-bone accidents have the potential to be highly dangerous and can result in severe injuries or fatalities. The risk is exceptionally high for occupants on the side of the vehicle that receives the impact. The violent nature of many T-bone collisions, combined with the relative paucity of protection on the side of most vehicles, makes T-bone accidents one of the most life-threatening types of crashes.

According to statistical data, T-bone accidents account for a significant number of fatalities on the roads. According to the National Safety Council, T-bone crashes resulted in 9,000 deaths last year. These accidents have a higher fatality rate than many other types of collision. The National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration notes that risk is heightened when vehicles involved are traveling at high speeds or when the struck vehicle is not equipped with adequate safety features.

What Types of Injuries Occur in a T-Bone Accident?

Due to the collision’s force and the occupants’ vulnerability in the vehicle, a T-bone accident can result in a wide variety of injuries, many of which have the potential to be severe. T-bone accidents commonly result in the following:

Brain and Head Injuries

Injuries to the head and brain can occur from sudden jolts or collisions, ranging from concussions to traumatic brain injuries (TBI). These injuries can affect cognitive function, memory, and overall brain health.


Whiplash is a common result of T-bone collisions. This condition develops after a sudden back-and-forth movement of the head and neck. Severe cases can lead to spinal cord injuries, causing partial or complete paralysis that affects mobility and quality of life.

Internal Injuries

The force of impact sustained during a T-bone accident can cause serious injuries to the occupants’ chests and damage their internal organs. Collapsed lungs and broken ribs are common in these collisions. Occupants suffering from these injuries will need immediate medical attention. Torn metal or shards of glass may puncture the abdominal wall and reach damage the vulnerable organs inside. Blunt trauma to the abdomen can bruise internal organs such as the liver, kidneys, or intestines, leading to internal bleeding and damage that may require surgical intervention.

Broken, Fractured, and Dislocated Bones

The sudden impact and crushing or twisting movements can result in fractures, dislocations, or soft tissue injuries in the arms, legs, hands, or feet. Many of these injuries will require surgical intervention, physical therapy, or long-term rehabilitation. Facial injuries, such as fractures, lacerations, and dental injuries, can also result from impact with the interior of the vehicle or shrapnel generated during the crash. These injuries may require reconstructive surgery and ongoing dental treatments.

Mental Distress

T-bone accidents can cause lasting psychological trauma, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and the development of phobias related to driving or intersections. Victims may require counseling or therapy to address these issues, as the emotional and psychological impacts of car accidents should not be overlooked.

Reach Out to a Missouri Personal Injury Lawyer Today

T-bone accident – who’s at fault? To answer that question, you may want to consult a personal injury attorney who understands these accidents and their consequences for those involved. An experienced personal injury attorney can assess your case, work with medical professionals to understand the extent of your injuries, and ensure that all necessary medical expenses and future care are accounted for when seeking compensation. If you would like to learn more about these accidents and your rights, schedule an appointment with the personal injury lawyers at Steelman Gaunt Crowley by calling (573) 341-8336 today.