“T-Bone” accidents received this descriptive name from the shape the cars take after an accident. The cars form the letter “T” when one car collides with another at the side. The injuries can be devastating as cars are designed to protect drivers and passengers from head-on and rear-end collisions. There is little-to-no protection at the sides.
The team of legal professionals at Koch & Brim wants the public to know and understand the process of determining fault in a t-bone car accident in Las Vegas.
Causes of T-Bone Accidents
T-bone accidents mostly occur at intersections. Although there are many potential causes for side-impacted collisions, the list below provides the common circumstances leading to these collisions:
- running through or ignoring traffic signals
- turning across or crossing through travel lanes
- failing to look for or misjudging clearance to maneuver
- failing to yield
- driving aggressively
- driving while distracted or impaired
- failing to brake
- exhibiting driving behaviors not safe for road or weather conditions
How is Fault Proven in a T-Bone Accident?
The definition of negligent behavior is the breach of this duty of care and, if a negligent act causes injury to another, then the injured person has the right to be compensated for the damages caused by the accident. Hence, a personal injury claim.
The proof of fault is the evaluation of all evidence and the assessment of responsibility. When evidence and the circumstances of an accident are being evaluated by attorneys, law enforcement officers, and the adjusters for insurance companies, the following questions and determinations need to be made:
- Did the at-fault driver have a duty of care?
- Was the duty of care breached by the driver’s negligence?
- Did the victim(s) suffer damages?
- Was the breached duty of care the cause of the accident?
Either Party May Have Fault
The position of the cars immediately after a t-bone or a side-impacted collision does not prove fault. It is the driver that disobeyed a traffic signal, failed to yield, or misjudged the clearance in traffic that will generally be held at fault.
The evidence to investigate and assess after the accident includes photos or videos, the police report, and eyewitness accounts. Fault and responsibility will be determined after a thorough investigation.
In Nevada, the modified comparative negligence rule is followed. The application of this rule looks to the actions of both drivers leading up to the accident, and it is not uncommon for some of the responsibility to be placed upon the injured party regardless of the extent of the injuries. The level of responsibility is expressed in percentages.
Under the modified comparative negligence rule, the right to seek damages against the responsible party will be reduced by the percentage of fault placed upon the injured party. If the injured party is found to be more than 50% liable, then the ability to collect is moot. This means the injured party cannot collect any compensation from the other driver.
Sometimes, the injured party is the responsible party.