A T-bone accident occurs when the front end of one vehicle slams into the side of another, forming a “T” shape at the point of impact. T-bone crashes can cause serious injuries because there’s little to protect vehicle occupants from the full force of the collision. Traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, and chest trauma are common consequences of T-bone wrecks.
If you were hurt in a T-bone accident in South Carolina, you have the right to hold the responsible party accountable for their recklessness. Before you put your trust in an insurance company to compensate you fairly for the accident, contact an experienced car accident attorney at McKinney, Tucker & Lemel LLC for advice.
Insurance companies are for-profit companies that will try to minimize their payouts for injury accidents. Our lawyers know what it takes to build solid injury claims that stand up to even the most difficult challenges.
Let’s talk about how to demand the full amount of compensation you need and deserve. Call or reach out to us online today for a free consultation.
How Do T-Bone Accidents Happen?
T-bone accidents are also called sideswipe or broadside collisions. They typically happen when a driver ignores a stop sign or runs a red light at an intersection, often at a high rate of speed.
Many times, the person with the right of way never sees what hit them.
In some scenarios, the force of the impact is so great that the vehicle being hit in the side can spin out, hitting other cars. It may even roll over. These factors make T-bone crashes extremely dangerous. Some of the most common causes of T-bone accidents include:
- Running a yellow or red light
- Running a stop sign
- Failure to yield
- Drunk/drugged driving
- Distracted driving
- Fatigued driving
- Brake failure or mechanical defects
Who Is at Fault in a T-bone Accident?
Determining fault after a T-bone accident is not always straightforward. In many instances, the car that ran into the side of another vehicle is to blame. But that’s not always the case.
An in-depth investigation of the crash can identify who is at fault and establish how much compensation a victim may be entitled to receive. In multi-vehicle accidents, more than one party may be at fault, making the case more complicated to resolve.
South Carolina follows a “modified comparative negligence” rule when it comes to determining fault and distributing compensation after an accident. This means the percentage of fault assigned to each driver will be reduced according to their portion of blame.
Here’s an example. Driver 1 is found liable for 90 percent of the T-bone accident that injured you. You’re assigned 10 percent of the blame. You’ll be able to recover the total amount of compensation minus 10 percent. If the total compensation is $100,000, you’ll recover $90,000.
There’s an important qualification to understand with comparative negligence in South Carolina: If you are found to be less than 51 percent at fault for the accident, you will be unable to recover any compensation at all. With so much at stake, it’s wise to enlist the help of a skilled car accident lawyer to defend your rights.
An attorney can collect clear evidence to build a strong case in your favor. Examples include:
- Red light camera footage
- Traffic signal timing data
- Security camera footage from nearby traffic light cameras or businesses
- Photographs of the accident scene
- Witness statements
- Cell phone records
- The police accident report
- Evidence of a vehicle defect
- Testimony from experts, such as accident reconstruction specialists
Collecting the right proof can make it difficult for insurance companies to dispute liability and push an unfair amount of the blame onto you.
What Injuries Are Commonly Caused by T-Bone Accidents?
T-bone injuries can be devastating, even deadly. A person sitting closest to the side of the vehicle that takes the brunt of the impact can suffer traumatic injuries. That’s because the side panels of a vehicle have little “crumple space” compared to the front and rear ends of the car.
In addition, not all vehicles have side-impact airbags. This means that the only thing protecting a victim from the violence of impact is a thin layer of metal, fiberglass, and the window.
Some of the most common injuries associated with T-bone accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Back and spine injuries
- Fractured bones
- Internal injuries
- Organ damage
What Should You Do If You’ve Been Hurt in a T-Bone Accident in South Carolina?
You can help any future legal claim by taking several steps in the days, weeks, and months after your accident.
- Protect your health. If you are not taken to a medical facility by ambulance, schedule an appointment with a physician as soon as possible. Seeing a doctor establishes a link between the accident and your injury. It also helps rule out any injuries that tend to have a delayed onset, such as a concussion.
- Contact a car accident lawyer. You will need to notify your insurance company of the accident promptly. If you hire a lawyer, he or she can take care of that process for you. That takes the burden off you and also prevents you from taking any action that could jeopardize your claim.
- Follow your doctor’s treatment plan: It will establish the credibility of your injuries.
- Maintain accurate records: Keep paperwork from all your doctor visits, receipts, W2s and pay stubs, and any other documentation pertaining to your accident-related expenses. This can help show the extent of your financial losses.
- Refrain from posting any updates on social media. Sometimes, insurance adjusters will try to use this information to assert that you’re not as injured as you claim.
Get a S.C. T-Bone Accident Lawyer on Your Side
If you have been injured in a T-bone accident in South Carolina, a lawyer can ensure that your rights are respected and enforced. Let us fight for the justice and compensation you are owed.
Contact McKinney, Tucker & Lemel LLC, today.
Gary C. Lemel is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and Wake Forest University School of Law who has deep background as a criminal defense attorney in Rock Hill. Over the course of his career, he has handled everything from traffic violations to death penalty litigation. His current practice spans multiple counties and focuses on cases involving driving under the influence, drug charges and high-level felonies. He has served on the board of the South Carolina Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys and as a member of the South Carolina Bar’s Judicial Qualifications Committee and Public Defender Standards Committee. He was recently named a Lawyer of the Year from the S.C. Bar’s Law-Related Education Division for his work preparing middle and high school students for mock trial competitions.