Who Is at Fault in a Car Accident T-Bone?
In California, it is necessary to determine fault for your car accident before you can file an insurance claim. This is how California’s tort-based insurance system works. If you get injured in a T-bone accident, determining fault can be difficult, as it may depend on several different factors. You may need assistance from a Los Angeles car accident attorney to thoroughly investigate your crash and identify the correct defendant(s) before you initiate the insurance process.
What Is a T-Bone Car Accident?
A T-bone car accident is a nickname for a side-impact collision. The accident forms a “T” shape when the front of one car collides with the side of another car. The most common scenario for a T-bone car accident is at an intersection when one driver runs a red light and crashes into an oncoming driver.
T-bone accidents are often catastrophic or deadly, as one vehicle strikes the driver’s or passenger’s side head-on and potentially at a high speed. These collisions are dangerous for the passengers of both vehicles, often leading to injuries such as broken bones, traumatic brain damage and spinal cord injuries. Many victims do not survive T-bone collisions.
Parties Who Could Be at Fault
Fault for a T-bone accident will go to the driver or party who is responsible for the proximate, or main, cause of the collision. In most cases, this is the driver who broke a traffic law. If one driver failed to stop at a red light, for example, and collided with another driver who had the legal right to be in the intersection, the driver who ran the red light would be at fault.
Other broken laws that may lead to T-bone accidents are speed limits, stop signs, rights-of-way, and drunk driving laws. T-bone collisions are almost always preventable if all parties involved obey the applicable roadway rules. If a driver breaks a rule, leading to a collision, he or she can be held accountable.
California’s Pure Comparative Negligence Rule
California’s pure comparative negligence law states that a plaintiff, or the filing party in an injury claim, can still be eligible for financial compensation even if he or she partially contributed to an accident. If you are found partially at fault for your T-bone accident, therefore, such as by speeding or distracted driving, you may still be eligible for at least partial financial recovery.
If you share fault with the other driver for a T-bone accident in California, the courts will reduce your financial recovery by an amount that matches your percentage of the blame. If you are 15 percent responsible, for example, the defendant would only be liable for 85 percent of your damages, meaning you would surrender 15 percent of your recovery.
The “pure” part of California’s law means that a plaintiff can be up to 99 percent responsible for an accident and still recover financial compensation. States that use a modified version of this law, on the other hand, cap a plaintiff’s percentage of fault (typically at 49 to 51 percent). After this point, the plaintiff can no longer recover compensation. A car accident attorney can help you minimize your percentage of fault as much as possible to maximize your financial recovery.
Getting Help From an LA Car Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one was recently injured in a T-bone collision, you may be eligible for financial compensation from the other driver’s insurance provider. You may also have grounds to bring an action against the government if a malfunctioning traffic light or road defect caused your crash.
An attorney can help you by returning to the scene of the crash, gathering evidence against the other driver and negotiating with an insurance company. If the other driver’s insurer is alleging your comparative fault for the T-bone accident, your attorney can also help you argue against this defense. For more information about how an LA car accident lawyer can help you after a T-bone accident, contact The Ryan Law Group today.