A T-bone accident is a terrifying experience, often because the drivers never see it coming. T-bone accidents are angle collisions that occur when the front of one vehicle collides with the side of another vehicle, forming a T-shape at the point of the collision. They most often occur in intersections. T-bone collisions are the second-greatest cause of serious accident injuries after head-on collisions. In a T-bone accident, the driver and/or the passengers on the side of the car where the impact occurs face serious injuries because the point of collision is the relatively thin car door without the buffer of a trunk in a rear-end collision or the engine in a head-on collision.
If you or your family member was injured in a T-bone accident in Missouri, you may be able to recover compensation for damages like property damage, medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. But first, how do you and your St. Louis car accident attorney determine who is liable in a T-bone accident?
Common Causes of T-Bone Accidents in Missouri
Intuitively, it may seem that the driver of the car that drove into the side of another vehicle is the one at fault and liable for damages, but this isn’t always the case. What if that driver had the right of way and the other driver didn’t but proceeded through the intersection anyway?
Determining liability in a T-bone collision often requires an investigation. Common causes of T-bone accidents in Missouri include the following:
- A driver runs a red light or a stop sign
- A driver fails to yield the right of way to cars already on the road while exiting a driveway or parking lot
- A driver doesn’t follow the rules of right-of-way at a four-way stop
- A driver fails to yield while making a left turn at an intersection
- A driver doesn’t yield at a yield sign
- A driver crosses a road from a side street and fails to yield to flowing traffic
Proving liability in a T-bone accident in Missouri may require a review of the police report, eyewitness testimony, and the examination of any available traffic camera footage. In some cases, accident reconstruction experts are required to recreate the accident based on available evidence.
Proving Liability in a T-Bone Accident Claim in Missouri
Drivers must take reasonable measures to avoid causing accidents on the road. This includes avoiding distractions and rigidly adhering to all traffic laws, including those regulating the right of way at controlled or uncontrolled intersections. Proving a driver liable for damages after a T-bone accident requires demonstrating the following:
- They owed a duty of care to take reasonable actions to prevent causing injury to others
- They breached this duty through an act of negligence or recklessness
- Their breach of duty directly caused the accident and injury to another
- The injury victim suffered significant economic and non-economic damages from the injury.
Proving liability for T-bone accidents requires determining which driver had the right of way and which driver failed to yield the right of way either through accidental negligence, because they didn’t know the rules of right of way, were distracted, or through recklessness or wrongdoing, such as intentionally running a red light.