Who Is at Fault in a T-Bone Accident?

Determining who is at fault in a car accident is not always as clear-cut as being the person who crashed into the other vehicle. In some cases, extenuating circumstances could result in each party sharing some of the responsibility for the accident.

As a result, the settlement or judgment awarded in a personal injury claim could be adjusted due to comparative fault. Comparative fault, or contributory fault, is the percentage of the amount of fault each party contributed toward the accident. 

Suppose it is determined one person was not 100 percent at fault, and the other party contributed 49 percent or less. In that case, the settlement or judgment is reduced by the percentage the other party contributed to causing the accident. 

A t-bone car crash accident scene

For example, one party was determined to be 80 percent at fault, and the other party was found to be 20 percent at fault. The settlement offer is for $100,000. However, because one person was not entirely at fault, the settlement would be reduced by 20 percent. So the actual total compensation would be $80,000. 

Therefore, having an injury attorney on your side can make a huge difference in the outcome of your T-bone car accident injuries claim. 

If you or a loved one was injured in a T-bone car accident, contact Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys, for a free case evaluation and consultation.

What does T-bone mean in an accident?

A T-bone car accident is where one vehicle impacts the side of another vehicle at or about a 90-degree angle. Due to the impact area between the two vehicles, it creates a “T,” hence the name T-bone accident. Other common names used for this type of accident include side-impact collisions and broadside accidents. 

What happens to your body when T-boned?

man sitting behind the wheel of crashed car

The only protection you have when you are hit on the side of your car is the door. Even if your vehicle has side airbags, there is still very little protection to absorb the force of the impact. Furthermore, if the airbags fail to deploy correctly, they could also cause injuries. As a result, there is a much higher risk of being crushed from a T-bone accident. 

The forces of the impact could result in the following types of injuries:

  • Broken bones in multiple areas of the body
  • Crushed and broken ribs resulting in punctured or collapsed lungs
  • Spinal and neck injuries, including spinal cord injuries resulting in partial or complete paralysis
  • Head injuries, such as a blown eardrum, fractured skull, and brain injuries
  • Severe concussion from the head being impacted by the airbag or the side of the car
  • Cuts, abrasions, bruising and other wounds from broken glass and sharp metal edges
  • Broken and shattered hip and pelvis
  • Brain damage to different areas of the brain

The extent of the injuries experienced in a T-Bone accident is directly related to the speed the other vehicle was traveling when it impacted your car and the force of that impact. Even at low speeds, you can still sustain serious injuries. 

Can you get whiplash from a T-bone accident?

Whiplash is one of the more common injuries sustained when your vehicle is impacted from the side. Whiplash occurs when the neck is forced to move back and forth very rapidly. Some people do recover from whiplash with the proper medical care and treatment. However, others can experience long-term whiplash with chronic pain that will never heal. 

Are T-bone accidents fatal?

T-bone car accident injuries can be fatal and result in death. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), T-bone accidents accounted for 5,475 or 23 percent of passenger deaths in 2020. In addition, those involving cars accounted for 3,524 deaths and 26 percent of all accidents involving passenger cars. 

What should you do after a T-bone accident?

A car crash accident scene at night with police

1. Get medical attention for your injuries 

The most important thing you can do is seek medical attention, even if you feel fine. Car accidents often cause the victims to experience an increased release of adrenaline, which can numb injuries and pain. 

2. File a police report to be able to file an insurance claim

The police will want to interview you at some point to hear your version of the events that led to the accident. Remember to stick to the facts and keep your answers direct. Do not admit responsibility for causing the accident to the police or the other driver, as this can hurt your injury claim later. 

3. Contact a car accident injury attorney for a free consultation

Injury claims from T-bone accidents can become very complex quickly, depending on the circumstances of the accident. So, your next step, even when everything seems straightforward, is to contact a car accident injury lawyer. 

It is worthwhile to speak to a lawyer to learn about your options, your legal rights, and whether there are grounds for filing a lawsuit against the responsible party. In some situations, more than one party can be responsible for your T-bone accident injuries.  

What are the benefits of getting help from an injury attorney? 

  • Assistance in filing your injury claim with the other driver’s insurance company
  • Acting as your representative to deal with the aggressive tactics the other driver’s insurance company will use
  • Ensuring you receive the highest amount of monetary compensation allowed for your injuries

Most importantly, it costs you nothing to hire a personal injury lawyer. They only get paid if they reach a settlement agreement or your case in court, should it go to trial. However, most cases never go to trial and are usually resolved through litigation and reaching a suitable settlement. 

How much could I get for my T-bone car accident injuries?

Team of EMS Paramedics loading a car crash victim into an ambulance

The amount of compensation you could receive can vary based on numerous factors and the extent of your injuries. To find out more and better understand your options, contact Jack Bernstein, Injury Lawyers, for a free consultation and injury case review today. 

Do you need hep filing a car accident injury claim? We can help you get the compensation you deserve.


FLA.STAT. § 768.81 (2021)

Mayo Clinic. Whiplash: Symptoms and Causes.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Fatality Facts 2020: Passenger Vehicle Occupants.

Florida Statutes § 768.81