When a car accident involves two vehicles moving through an intersection, it can be particularly difficult to prove one's innocence or another's negligence. After all, numerous factors determine who has the right of way, and the facts may easily be distorted by lack of evidence and conflicting stories. Moreover, when the accident is a side-impact collision, the results can be especially damaging, thus giving both parties a strong incentive to prove the other's fault.
If you are involved in a side-impact collision in Pennsylvania, more commonly called a T-bone accident, make sure that the facts are on your side. Gather as much evidence as you can early on and, moreover, work with knowledgeable car accident attorneys to build a solid case. By proving that the other driver is at fault, you can be awarded full compensation for any damages incurred.
How T-bone Accidents Are Caused
A T-bone accident is the colloquial term for when the front-end of one vehicle strikes the side of another. Due to the nature of this type of crash, it almost always occurs within an intersection. In some cases, it results from a driver ignoring a red light or stop sign, therefore colliding with a car that was traveling perpendicular to it. In other cases, drivers may decide to turn right at in inopportune time, thus hitting - or being hit by - a car that was already in the intersection. While it is possible for traffic lights to malfunction or for road conditions to be dangerous, the most common cause of a T-bone accident is a driver failing to observe traffic laws. This may be due to drunk driving, distracted driving, or simply poor judgment. In all such cases, however, one driver is clearly at fault and should therefore be held responsible for damages.
Determining Fault for T-bone Accidents
When you are involved in a T-bone accident, it is important to document as much of the accident as possible, as soon as possible. This involves:
- Taking pictures: If you have a camera or cell phone with you, take a few pictures of the accident. This includes the damage to both vehicles and any personal injuries you have suffered. The most revealing evidence of an accident is the damage itself, as it will illustrate how the vehicles collided.
- Speaking with witnesses: An eyewitness account can be a strong determinant of who is held at fault for an accident. If you are able to speak with any witnesses, ask for their names and numbers so that they can provide an objective testimony at a later date.
- Contacting the police: The local police department should be contacted in response to any car accident, but this step is even more crucial when you need to prove the negligence of another driver. By observing the accident's aftermath and keeping a written report of the facts, a policeman can be crucial in proving your case.
- Recording details of the crash: As soon as the accident occurs, try to take note of any details that are relevant to the accident. How many cars were at the intersection? Who was doing what? For traffic lights, the exact time of the accident can be an important factor, assuming the light is timed to be red or green at a specific minute of each day.
Even when all of these steps are taken, some drivers may still dispute the facts, resulting in a longer and more arduous legal battle. With the help of an experienced attorney, you can ensure that a full investigation is launched on your behalf, leaving no stone unturned.
The Benefits of Proving Fault
The most obvious benefit to proving fault in a car accident is receiving compensation for any vehicular damage incurred. When significant personal injury has also occurred, the stakes are even higher - - immediate medical care, lost wages from work, and any future medication or physical therapy can all be compensated through a successful lawsuit. If a family member has died as a result of the accident, additional damages may be awarded via a wrongful death suit.
Because Pennsylvania is a "choice no-fault" state when it comes to auto insurance, some people may have to claim personal injury compensation through their own insurance, even if the other party was at fault. This is further complicated by the insurance company's own rules and stipulations. In order to ensure that you do not suffer further from an accident that was not your fault, seek the help of a qualified personal injury attorney.
When a T-bone accident occurs, time is of the essence. In addition to contacting the local authorities and obtaining any necessary medical care, speak with one of our lawyers to get a head start on your case. Contact our firm and get the compensation you deserve.