Experienced T-Bone Accident Attorneys in Gainesville
Formally known as a side-impact collision, a T-bone accident occurs when one automobile strikes the side of another. They most commonly occur when one vehicle fails to stop at an intersection or roundabout but can also happen in parking lots.
These accidents can be especially dangerous since there isn’t as much material to absorb the kinetic energy of the impact. It’s rare for someone to walk away from a T-bone accident unscathed, and injuries are oftentimes permanent.
The severity of a T-bone accident depends on a host of factors, including the:
- Speed of the oncoming vehicle
- Size of the oncoming vehicle
- Size of your vehicle
- The point of impact on your vehicle
Injuries are more likely if the oncoming vehicle strikes the center body of your vehicle. Sometimes the force is enough to cause your car to rollover or start spinning, which of course puts surrounding vehicles and pedestrians at risk.
T-bone accidents are the most deadly second only to head-on collisions. Estimates put the annual fatality rate in the U.S. between 8,500 and 10,000.
Drivers and passengers can also sustain a wide variety of injuries in a side impact collision, including debilitating spinal and brain injuries that can affect them for the rest of their lives.
What to do if you are in a T-bone accident
Like other types of car accidents, T-bones are typically happen in the blink of an eye and are totally unexpected. To reduce your chances of being in a T-bone, you should make sure all of your brake lights are functioning properly and you are always aware of your surroundings. If, despite all of your best efforts, you find yourself in a T-bone accident, there are a few steps you should take if you are able, including:
- Call the authorities immediately and make sure everyone is OK
- Take photographs of the scene and your damages
- Obtain contact info from witnesses
- Keep careful track of all conversations with medical personnel and insurance company representatives (name, title, time of conversation, etc.)
It’s important to remember that injuries stemming from a T-bone collision can take time to appear, so don’t assume that just because you feel OK that you won’t have medical issues to deal with down the road.
Besides tending to your immediate needs, you should speak with a qualified attorney as soon as possible to evaluate your situation and determine if you have a valid claim.
Obtaining compensation for injuries and damages in a T-bone accident
The first step to obtaining compensation for injuries and damages is to establish fault. Did the oncoming vehicle indeed cause the accident and your damages? Sometimes establishing this fault is easy. Chapter 316 of Florida Statutes lists all of the state’s traffic laws.
There are essentially three things you must establish before having a legitimate T-bone claim.
- Did the oncoming driver have a duty of care?
- Did the oncoming driver breach this duty?
- Did this breach cause your injuries and damages?
Florida is a comparative negligence state, meaning that if the other driver was at least 51% responsible for the accident, you can still pursue a claim. Your ultimate award will be based on how much you are found to be at fault for the collision. The higher the percentage, the lower your settlement will ultimately be.
Technically speaking, you can obtain compensation for just about any expense or damage related to your accident, including medical expenses, long-term physical therapy, lost wages and any extra accommodations you or a loved one may require for disabilities.
Make sure you carry adequate insurance in the event of a T-bone accident
One thing we commonly see with accidents of this nature is the at-fault driver will leave the scene of the accident, or will have inadequate insurance coverage. Although Florida law requires drivers to have a minimum amount of insurance, many cars on the road simply do not have enough coverage to pay for your injuries and damages.
If you run into this situation, you will need to rely on your insurance to cover your medical expenses and property damage. Having a good amount of personal injury protection (PIP) and collision insurance is important. But what’s less understood is how Uninsured Motorists Coverage (UIM) is also a vital part of ensuring you get the help you need when involved in a T-bone accident.
Speak with an attorney at Warner, Sechrest & Butts in Gainesville today!
After tending to your immediate medical needs following a T-bone accident, you should contact a qualified attorney to see if you have grounds to pursue a liability claim against the other driver.
The attorneys and support staff at Warner, Sechrest & Butts possess extensive experience helping drivers establish fault and causation, and the dedication to passionately fight for your rights against the other party, the other party’s insurance company, and in some cases, your insurance company.
Do not delay in discussing your case because the longer you wait, the less witnesses and other drivers will remember. Call our office anytime day or night, or complete our contact form by clicking the link at the top of the page and someone from our office will get back to you within 24 hours.