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

Posted in Car accident on March 30, 2023

T-bone accidents are some of the most devastating motor vehicle collisions. If you or your loved one has been injured in a T-bone car accident in West Virginia, you will need to determine liability before you can file a car insurance claim and seek financial compensation for your losses. These cases can be complicated depending on the circumstances. You may need a car accident attorney to investigate for you.

What Is a T-Bone Car Accident?

A T-bone car accident is a type of motor vehicle crash where the front of one vehicle connects with the side of another. The mechanics of these accidents are why they often cause catastrophic injuries; the point of impact occurs close to one or both motor vehicle drivers. This means they will bear most of the force exerted in the crash. Common injuries suffered in these accidents include bone fractures, internal injuries, crush injuries, severe lacerations, spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries. T-bone accidents can also cause extensive property damage, including totaled motor vehicles.

How Do T-Bone Accidents Happen?

T-bone accidents occur most often in intersections, when one driver is in a place where he or she should not be. For example, if a driver runs a red light, he or she could cause a T-bone collision by crashing into a driver who had the right to be in the intersection. Drivers turning left can also cause T-bone accidents if they are not careful. When making a left-hand turn at a green light, a driver must wait and yield to oncoming traffic until it is safe to proceed with the turn. Turning too soon or misjudging the distance of an oncoming car can lead to a T-bone accident.

West Virginia Is a Fault Auto Insurance State

The first thing to know about T-bone accident liability is that West Virginia has a fault auto insurance system. This means that the driver or party at fault for causing a motor vehicle collision must pay, typically using his or her car insurance. For this reason, all drivers in West Virginia are legally required to carry minimum amounts of bodily injury and property damage liability insurance. This is also why you must understand the cause of your T-bone accident to determine liability. In a no-fault state, on the other hand, both drivers seek financial compensation from their own car insurance policies, regardless of fault.

Who Is Liable for a Car Accident T-Bone?

An investigation into liability for a T-bone car accident in West Virginia will first look at the drivers involved. One of the drivers was in the wrong place at the wrong time, or else the collision would not have occurred. An investigation seeks to understand why this was the case. Since driver error is the number one cause of car accidents, the actions of both drivers will be analyzed carefully. Investigators will look for signs of violated traffic laws or driver negligence in connection to the T-bone accident, such as:

  • Speeding
  • Red-light running
  • Rolling through a stop sign
  • Failing to yield the right-of-way
  • Making an unsafe turn or U-turn
  • Falling asleep behind the wheel
  • Driving the wrong way
  • Driving under the influence
  • Distracted driving

If it is determined that one of the drivers broke a roadway rule and caused the collision, his or her car insurance will be responsible for paying. Some cases, however, involve the negligence of third parties. For example, a vehicle part manufacturer may be held liable for a defective part that malfunctioned and caused the crash, such as bad brakes or a tire blowout. Another possibility is the government agency responsible for maintaining the road and traffic control devices. The city or state could be liable, for example, if a traffic light malfunctioned and caused a T-bone accident in an intersection.