Who Is at Fault in a T-Bone Car Accident?

June 19, 2020 | David Abels
Who Is at Fault in a T-Bone Car Accident? A T-bone car accident, sometimes referred to as an angle collision, occurs when the front end of one car strikes the side of another car, forming a T. Some also call T-bones broadside collisions, if the impact occurs on the passenger side of a car. T-bone accidents are among the most deadly and dangerous of traffic crashes; they often occur at intersections, and determining fault is not always an easy task. When a T-bone car accident occurs, multiple different parties can be at fault. In some situations, one party can be fully liable for a T-bone accident. In other crashes, two or more parties can share liability. We cover each of the potentially liable parties in a T-bone car accident below. Putting your case in the hands of a trusted and experienced Chicago car accident attorney can help ensure as speedy and productive of a resolution to your claim as possible.

The Other Driver

T-bone car accidents can occur at large and small intersections alike. Some intersections have traffic control devices like stop lights or stop signs, and others are uncontrolled intersections. Remember that an intersection doesn’t only refer to where two roads meet, but can also refer to where a driveway and a road meet, or the entrance to a store or parking lot and a road. No matter the type of intersection, one person has the right of way and the accident occurs because another driver did not yield to that right. Specific driver behaviors that lead to a driver entering an intersection without the proper right of way include:

Who Is Liable for My Bills Following a T-Bone Accident?

While an attorney can help ensure the person responsible for the accident compensates you for damages (such as medical bills), you will still likely receive invoices for payment shortly after the crash. This is why hiring a personal injury attorney is so important: Like many other victims of T-bone accidents, you likely have mounting medical bills, may miss time from work, and have enough to deal with focusing on your recovery. The sooner you can obtain compensation from the responsible party, the sooner you and your loved ones can get back to normal. Your attorney can negotiate aggressively on your behalf to secure a fair settlement for your injuries. If necessary, your attorney can argue your case in court and ensure the best possible chances of a successful recovery. If you have trouble managing your bills in the meantime, your attorney can work with providers to ensure your care is delivered uninterrupted (such as asking the medical provider to file a lien or place your account on hold) while you work toward a settlement. Holding even the most irresponsible of drivers accountable for their actions can require navigating a minefield of challenging and time-consuming insurance representatives, law enforcement professionals, opposing counsel, and possibly a judge and jury.

Third Parties Who Contributed to Driver Actions

Numerous negligent drivers choose to drive without insurance, and even then, many do not have the means to compensate the victim of a serious accident they cause. Even if your attorney successfully proves that the other driver was responsible for the accident, what happens if the other party lacks insurance or the resources to collect from? The driver of the vehicle responsible for the collision may not be the only party potentially liable for damages—and if so, a car accident lawyer can work to hold third parties partially or fully liable for a T-bone car accident when their negligence contributes to driver behaviors that lead to an accident. Possible scenarios where an attorney names a third party in a T-bone car accident claim or lawsuit might include:
  • Alcoholic beverage service. Under Illinois’s dram shop law, The Liquor Control Act of 1934, commercial establishments who serve alcohol, such as restaurants, bars, and nightclubs, open themselves up to liability if a patron drinks too much and gets behind the wheel. Private social hosts are excluded in Illinois law unless the drunk driver is underage.
  • Employers. Those organizations that allow or require employees to drive company vehicles can be held liable for an accident under a theory of agency. Further, they have a responsibility to perform background checks on their employees and train them properly if they are driving special equipment or vehicles. When an employee causes a T-bone accident in a company vehicle, Illinois courts can hold the employer liable. Similarly, employers have a responsibility to properly maintain company vehicles. Mechanical failures can lead to dangerous T-bone accidents and open an employer up to liability for a car accident.

Uninsured Motorist Claims

If an at-fault driver is without auto insurance, the most likely scenario is an uninsured motorist claim (UIM claim) with your own auto insurance carrier. Here, your auto insurance company steps into the shoes of the other motorist and pays on the claim. Due to the high rate of uninsured drivers, UM claims are very common and our lawyers handle them regularly.

A Car Accident Lawyer Can Make All the Difference

If you were in a T-bone car accident, you deserve compensation for your injuries when another party caused the accident. An experienced car accident attorney can investigate the facts of your case, handle negotiations with insurance companies, and ensure the party or parties responsible for the accident pay what you are owed under the law. Contact a car accident attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case.
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David Abels


David Abels has carved a niche for himself in the personal injury law sector, dedicating a substantial part of his career since 1997 to representing victims of various accidents. With a law practice that spans over two decades, his expertise has been consistently recognized within the legal community.

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