While there have been huge strides made in making vehicles safer, including crumple zones in the front and rear, there is little to protect occupants when hit from either side. Now imagine what would happen if an 80,000-pound commercial truck sped through a red light and hit the side of a 4,000-pound passenger vehicle. The consequences would be cataclysmic, and that is not an overstatement. Large trucks and commercial vehicles involved in side-impact, or T-bone collisions, can cause traumatic and life-altering injuries. The victim, facing years of physical pain, is also forced to face the fact that they have been left with financial instability as well.
The trucking company already has a team of lawyers in place ready to defend them. Who do you have on your side? The personal injury attorneys at Chris Hudson Law Group in Augusta, GA are ready to take your side. We help truck accident victims get the maximum amount of compensation they are entitled to. Want more information on how we can help?
Definition of a T-Bone Truck Accident
A T-bone accident is a phrase that refers to a side impact or a broadside collision between two vehicles. The nickname, T-bone, refers to the shape that the two vehicles make upon impact. Typically, the front end of one vehicle will ram into the side of the second vehicle. The crash ends up resembling the capital letter T. These types of accidents tend to be particularly serious because the lead car or truck may be traveling at a high rate of speed.
Most T-bone or side-impact crashes happen at intersections when a driver speeds through a red light. The energy of a speeding truck colliding with the lightweight side panel of another vehicle can cause devastating and even fatal injuries, especially for the passengers closest to the side of impact. Data gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration finds that 72 percent of those killed in crashes involving large trucks, were the occupants of the passenger vehicle.
How Do T-Bone Accidents Happen?
Many side-impact collisions happen at intersections and are the result of a driver running a red light or going through a stop sign. Most drivers operate under the assumption that when a light turns green, it is safe to proceed through an intersection. Since the driver has the right of way, often they are not aware of what is happening to either side of them because they expect the intersection to be safe and clear.
T-bone accidents tend to happen at high rates of speed because the other driver, in an attempt to beat the light, increases their acceleration. So not only is the victim caught completely off guard, but they are also often hit at a high velocity, which can send their vehicle flying into the path of other cars. The momentum of the crash can result in their vehicle rolling over once, sometimes even multiple times, amplifying the magnitude of their injuries. In addition to running a red light, these are some of the most common causes of T-bone accidents:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Drowsy or fatigued driving
- Failing to yield
- Running a stop sign
- Failing to obey other traffic laws
- Defective brakes or mechanical malfunctions
A side-impact collision may also be the result of multiple factors. A distracted or drowsy driver may fail to notice a light change, which then results in them running a red light and causing an accident. Intoxication can significantly impact an individual’s vision, which could result in them failing to see a stop sign and colliding with the person that had the right of way.
A skilled attorney has the power and the resources to collect and review all the evidence to get a complete picture of the accident and its cause. This information is the baseline for building a strong and solid case demonstrating why a victim deserves full and fair compensation for their injuries.
Injuries that Can Result from T-Bone Accidents
T-bone accidents are particularly devastating when a large truck is involved because it takes longer to slow down a heavy and fast-moving vehicle. Even when a driver realizes there is another car directly in their path, they may be unable to stop or slow down in time to avoid a serious collision. The sheer force that the front of a large truck can place on the side of a passenger vehicle is enough to crumple the smaller car and cause catastrophic and fatal injuries.
T-bone collisions involving large trucks can cause debilitating, life-long physical injuries as well as excruciating mental anguish and trauma. Some of the injuries that may result from a side-impact collision with a large truck include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Whiplash and serious neck injuries
- Back or spine injuries
- Fractured bones
- Internal injuries
- Organ damage
- Wrongful Death
Injuries such as these may require extensive medical treatments and hospitalization. They may also lead to the need for life-long care and assistance. Paying the medical bills for serious injuries can be difficult and expensive. It can mean putting other bills on hold and jeopardizing your future, just to pay for medication or treatment to get through today.
Your financial security should not be put at risk because of another driver’s negligence. The legal team at Chris Hudson Law Group can help you assess your situation and pursue compensation for medical costs, time missed from work, and mental anguish.
Compensation for a T-Bone Accident
The first step in pursuing compensation for a T-bone accident is proving fault. Georgia is a “modified comparative negligence,” which means that compensation for an accident is based on liability. In a modified comparative negligence system, a percentage of the fault for the accident is assigned to each driver. The total amount of compensation is calculated and then allocated based on the percentage of fault each driver bears for causing the accident. If a victim is found to have been 10 percent at fault for an accident, they can collect the total amount of damages minus 10 percent. So, if damages equal $100,000, a victim would be entitled to $90,000.
Establishing fault is important because, under the modified comparative negligence model, any driver found more than 50 percent responsible for causing an accident will be automatically barred from recovering any compensation for themselves. This rule binds both the courts and insurance claims adjusters.
Chris Hudson Law Group Will Investigate The Truck Accident
Trucking companies employ teams of lawyers who may work with insurance adjusters to limit the amount of exposure and liability that a company has for an accident. They may try to pin more of the blame on the victim in an attempt to pay less for the claim. They may also try to dispute police reports and other evidence because an officer or other officials are not, technically, experts in the field of crash reconstruction.
To maximize your chances of getting a full and fair compensation package, you need to turn to the experienced team of Chris Hudson Law Group for help. At Chris Hudson Law Group, we have access to crash reconstruction experts, and we are able to use the power of the law to preserve and collect vital evidence from the crash, including:
- Police reports
- Witness statements
- Electronic Control Module data (a truck’s black box)
- Video surveillance
- Dashboard camera footage
- GPS data or cell phone records
- Driving records
- Driver qualification information
- Safety inspection records
An investigation may also greatly benefit from the information you, the victim, can provide. While it is distressing and traumatic to be involved in a significant crash, the more information you can gather and remember, the stronger it can make your case for maximum compensation.
If you are involved in a T-bone accident with a large truck, be sure to call local law enforcement. They will be able to make a report on the crash and help those with injuries get the immediate care they need. If the crash occurred at a red light, try to write down the exact time of the accident. This information can sometimes be used to compare the time of the accident to the traffic light’s automated programming, thus helping to establish that the other driver failed to stop at the red light.
An experienced attorney with Chris Hudson Law Group can take on the burden of retrieving significant evidence that will bolster your case leaving you free to focus on your recovery. You deserve quality representation and a full and fair settlement, not the scraps that the trucking company’s legal team and the insurance company can “afford” to throw your way.
Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer from Chris Hudson Law Group
Are you struggling to recover physically or financially after a serious T-bone collision with a truck? Are you being pressured by the trucking company’s insurers or lawyers to settle for less than what you deserve? The skilled team of truck accident lawyers at Chris Hudson Law Group is ready to help you fight back and get the money you are entitled to following a side-impact collision with a negligent truck driver.
Our legal team is dedicated to helping you get the money you need to pay for your medical expenses, property damage, and time missed from work. If you are tired of being bullied by a big trucking company, give us a call today at (706) 863-6600 or fill in our contact request form. We offer a free initial consultation where we can review your potential case and get you moving in the right direction.