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Who’s At Fault in T-Bone Accidents

Side-impact collisions are not only unexpected and frustrating, but these types of accidents are some of the most dangerous car collisions you can be involved in.

Side-impact collisions kill approximately 9,000 Americans each year. While there are many safety features designed to protect people in front and rear-end collisions, the protection in a side impact-collision is minimal. This is especially true in older vehicles that do not have side airbags. In these vehicles, being hit in the side by another vehicle can cause catastrophic injuries. An experienced car wreck lawyer can help you if you have been injured.

While all new vehicles sold in the U.S. must meet federal safety regulations, the age of these regulations and the weight of the average vehicle leave many questioning how safe new vehicles actually are. An experienced Los Angeles T-bone accident lawyer has experience in determining if the vehicles involved in the accident were safe.

Proving Fault in Side-Impact Collisions
A side-impact collision, often referred to as a “T-bone” accident, can happen in a variety of situations. Depending on the specific circumstances, either driver can be deemed at fault and an experienced car injury attorney can help you determine who’s responsible.

Sometimes driver liability is fairly obvious, based on how the accident happened, and the driver of the other vehicle may even admit fault. However, in either of the two most common side-impact situations, where another vehicle hit you or cut in front of you so you didn’t have time to stop, the other driver will frequently claim you were at fault. A Los Angeles personal injury attorney will know the law and be able to advise you.

In the first situation, you could be driving through an intersection where you have the green light and another driver runs the red light, blowing through the intersection and hitting your car on the driver’s side. In the second example, you might be driving down the road and another driver cuts in front of you to make a turn, resulting in you hitting the other vehicle in the side. In either of these scenarios, the other driver is most likely at fault; however, proving it isn’t always easy. An experienced car injury attorney can help determine who is responsible.

Proving Fault in a Side-Impact Collision
Side impact-collisions require a thorough investigation to discover which driver was at fault for the accident. This will often depend on which one of the drivers had the right of way versus which driver failed to yield the right of way.

At the Scene
The rules for investigating a side-impact collision are the same as for other motor-vehicle accidents. The police will make a report and may make a preliminary finding on who was responsible. You should get the contact information of anyone at the scene who witnessed the accident. Take pictures of the scene and all damage to both vehicles. Never, under any circumstances, admit fault and call an experienced car wreck lawyer immediately.

Traffic Lights
If the accident happens at an intersection controlled by a traffic light, take note of the exact time of the accident. By doing so, it may be possible to compare the time of the accident against the traffic signals automatic changing program. For example, if the accident occurred at 13:18:27 (27 seconds after 1:18 pm), a Los Angeles personal injury attorney will be able to compare that time to the signal’s programming to confirm oncoming traffic always has the red light at that precise moment.

Vehicle Defects
Defective vehicle parts is a frequent cause of side-impact collision cases. The other driver may have ran the light or stop sign due to defective brakes. As a result, the fault may lie with the brake-parts manufacturer, the driver for not having routine maintenance, the shop that performed the work, or elected not to perform need work.

Getting Help After a Side-Impact Collision
If you received an injury in a side-impact collision that was the fault of another driver, whether you hit the other vehicle or were hit by their vehicle, you will need a Los Angeles car accident attorney who is experienced in gathering evidence for personal-injury claims.

Your attorney will be able to collect information, including:

• The police report
• Traffic-signal programming
• Traffic Sign Placement
• Witness statements
• Traffic-camera footage
• Surveillance-camera footage from adjacent buildings
• Physical evidence from the vehicles
• The vehicle’s electronic data, if available
• An expert witness’s opinion

You should contact an experienced Los Angeles car accident attorney immediately if you were involved in a T-bone accident. At Grey Law, we know people typically assume the other driver is at fault when their vehicle is struck by another car. However, we also know the unfortunate truth is that is not always the case. On the other hand, if your vehicle hit another car on its side, we know that vehicle might have crossed your path, violating your right of way. Contact a Los Angeles T-bone accident lawyer today at (000) 000-0000 so we can help you determine who is at fault.

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