When a T-bone accident happens, the injuries and loss of life can be devastating. At Kogan & DiSalvo, we understand the trauma you have experienced in a T-bone accident. We treat every case and client individually and with our full attention, whether that means reaching a beneficial settlement out of court or going to trial.
T-bone, or side-impact accidents, involve more than one car, and liability will be partly determined by Florida’s comparative negligence law. Settling or trying such cases can be complex, requiring highly experienced counsel.
Kogan & DiSalvo is known throughout Broward County’s legal community for zealous advocacy and high ethical standards. Reach out today for a free consultation with a car accident lawyer in Ft. Lauderdale.
The T-bone accident happens suddenly; you won’t see it coming. In a flash, the front of another vehicle hits the side of your vehicle. Your vehicle spins, or may be pushed, possibly shoved off the road entirely. Conversely, the front of your vehicle may hit the side of another vehicle that suddenly comes into your path before you can brake to avoid it.
After a T-bone, or side impact accident, your vehicle—and your life—may never be the same. That’s an unfortunate truth of such accidents, whether you have been hit by the other vehicle, or the other vehicle suddenly hits you.
Side impact, or T-bone collisions, are especially dangerous for many reasons. T-bone accidents tend to happen at high speed, and the impacted car typically will move, skid, or even roll over as a result; the impacted driver may be unable to make it stop, exposing the passengers to further danger. Extreme speed can cause the struck vehicle to become airborne.
In 2019, Florida State Highway and Motor Vehicles reported that 3,185 Floridians died in motor vehicle accidents. On a national basis, angle collisions, which include T-bone accidents, accounted for nearly half of the fatal accidents in 2020, according to the Insurance Information Institute, based on a federal study.
A T-bone accident, or side impact accident, occurs when one vehicle makes direct impact with the side (often the center) of another vehicle. This usually involves significant force.
There are some common causes of T-Bone accidents. T-bone car accidents often occur at intersections, when one driver enters the intersection when they don’t have the right of way, and the other driver is unable to anticipate the oncoming vehicle. This is not always the case, however. T-bone accidents may occur due to adverse weather conditions, mechanical failure, or another vehicle suddenly swerving on the road. When a car skids out of control due to unanticipated circumstances, it may be difficult or impossible for another car to avoid impact, and a T-bone accident can occur.
Common reasons for T-Bone car accidents include:
There’s a reason so many T-bone accidents result in fatalities. The nature and force of a side impact collision can cause multiple and devastating injuries to adults and children inside the automobile that is hit, as well as to passengers in the vehicle that makes the impact. That is because the impact pushes the exterior parts of the car into the interior chamber, crushing the car against the driver and other passengers.
Even when seat belts are buckled and airbags deploy, they are of limited protection in such a scenario. The unique nature of a T-bone car accident nearly guarantees serious injury for occupants, no matter their age. T-bone accidents are especially dangerous for children, according to a study published by the Association for Automotive Medicine. The study found that side impact car accidents pose the highest danger to children among all types of accidents, even when they are secured in a child restraint.
There are many kinds of injuries that can be suffered in a T-bone or side impact accident, including:
Cars share the road with trucks; that makes for an uneven playing field when it comes to a T-bone accident. The laws of physics hold that when a truck hits a much smaller vehicle, especially at high speed, the truck has the advantage. Trucks weigh much more than cars and have a larger gravitational force, or “G-force,” when accelerating and braking. A large G-force causes a truck to take longer than a car to come to a full stop.
In a T-bone accident, G-force impacts the driver of a car and its occupants when a truck hits it, causing the bodies to whip back and forth, absorbing the impact. Compounding matters, trucks cannot come to a full stop very quickly because of G-force, which may add to the severity of the accident. These factors further imperil cars if a condition arises to cause a T-bone accident, such as driver distraction, poor visibility, or speeding. For these reasons, when a truck and car are involved in a T-bone accident, there can be heightened danger and possibility of injury.
An accident involving motor vehicles may result in a negligence lawsuit. If your loved one dies, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
A T-bone accident involves more than one vehicle and therefore brings into consideration Florida’s comparative negligence statute. Florida Statute §768.81(2) requires the judge or jury to consider how much fault each driver had in the accident. For example, one driver might have been speeding, and another driver might have failed to signal for a turn.
It’s possible, of course, that the court may decide you had no fault in the accident at all. Whatever conclusion the court reaches on degree of fault, your award is reduced by that percentage. For example, if your damages are one million dollars and the court concludes you were ten percent at fault, your award would be $900,000. Comparative fault would also be a consideration in settlement negotiations, as lawyers consider how a judge or jury would be likely to reduce an award based on comparative fault if the case went to trial.
This law is not meant to discourage bringing a lawsuit. To the contrary, the Florida comparative negligence law is designed to enable a driver to recover money damages after a terrible accident, even if they didn’t do everything perfectly that fateful day.
Your time to sue is limited. A negligence lawsuit brought to recover compensation for pain, suffering, medical bills, and other losses must be filed within four years of the time of injury in Florida. A wrongful death lawsuit, which is the kind of lawsuit that would happen if your loved one died in the T-bone accident, or if they died later as a result of their injuries, must be brought within two years of the date of death.
Generally, seeking legal counsel and commencing lawsuits earlier rather than later is advisable in order to preserve evidence while documents are available and memories are fresh.
Damages in a T-bone negligence claim may include:
Damages recoverable in a wrongful death lawsuit following a T-bone accident could include:
A T-bone accident is a traumatic event that can leave you coping with medical appointments, rehabilitation, money worries, and grief over a loved one. The Ft. Lauderdale car accident lawyers at Kogan & DiSalvo understand what you are facing. Our skilled and compassionate team can start now to protect your legal rights and secure the compensation you deserve. We have served in this role as distinguished attorneys serving all of Broward County. If you or a loved one has been in a side-impact accident, contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.