T-Bone Accident Kills One in Downtown Austin
One man was killed and two others severely injured after a sedan lost control and wound up T-boned by a truck on July 9. The accident occurred on West Cesar Chavez Street, snarling traffic around the Lamar Bridge for hours. T-bone accidents are less common than other types, but when they do occur, they can cause serious long-term injuries or even death, for many varied reasons.
Statistics and Patterns
While no auto accident will ever be fully predictable, data does show certain trends. Around 18 percent of all fatal auto accidents involved a side-impact collision, the majority of those being impacts on the same side where the deceased person was sitting. While in general, crashes on the same side of the vehicle as a person is sitting on will cause them greater harm than would a crash on the opposite side (or the front or back), studies have shown that even with seatbelts, the risk of injury or death in a same side-impact crash is greater than in any other type of accident.
The reason for this pattern is often simply that there is less protection if you are struck on the side of your car. The front and rear of many vehicles provide more, with so much between a passenger and an incoming vehicle or obstacle, while the sides of most cars are nothing but a sheet of metal or glass. While obviously, any auto accident has the potential to be deadly, side-impact collisions are some of the most consistently dangerous because there is very little between you (or your passengers) and the oncoming crash.
If you have been struck in a side-impact collision, you may very well have potentially lifelong injuries to contend with, and those bills can add up. If you believe the T-bone collision was the fault of another driver, you may be able to bring a civil suit against them under a legal theory called negligence. In Texas, there are three criteria that you must be able to show the court in order to be eligible to receive compensation. A motorist owes a general duty of care to other motorists who share the road with them, and you must (1) show that the duty has been breached. A breach of duty is usually found when someone does something like ignoring a stop sign or driving above the speed limit.
The other two criteria are that you must also show in order to succeed with your case are that (2) you were significantly harmed as a result of the defendant’s alleged negligent behavior - not necessarily physically, but more tangible than just cuts or bruises; and (3) that the defendant’s alleged negligence was the direct cause of your harm, and not any kind of intervening action or event. If you are successful in showing these criteria occurred, you may prevail, but it is important to keep in mind that your award may still be lower than you asked for. This is because of a concept called modified comparative negligence, wherein the plaintiff’s recovery amount is lowered by their percentage of fault. So if you are deemed 20 percent at fault, any award you receive will be less 20 percent of the total.
Call Our Side-Impact Collision Attorneys Today
While as of this writing, wet roads appear to have been a factor in the collision on West Cesar Chavez Street, fault can be hard to determine in many other side-impact crashes. If you have been hurt in a T-bone collision, contacting a lawyer is often the first step toward fault being determined and your being made whole. The dedicated New Braunfels auto accident lawyers at the Bettersworth Law Firm are well versed in this kind of case and are ready, willing and able to try and assist you with yours. Call us today to set up an initial consultation.