On July 14, 2017, one man was killed and one woman critically injured when her pickup t-boned a Chevrolet in Garfield, off Texas 71. The woman was taken to South Austin Medical Center, while four other passengers were uninjured. While this accident claimed only one life, T-bone or broadside accidents are among the most dangerous one can experience. Understanding what might happen in such an accident may help you avoid the worst of one in the future.
Injuries and Fatalities Are High
As one might imagine, injuries and deaths in T-bone accidents are somewhat more frequent than in other types of accidents. In a front or rear-end collision, there are several feet of metal and crumple zones to protect the driver and passengers, but there is almost nothing to protect you in a side collision besides the door, which is mere sheet metal. Seat belts do very little to help, either, since the force of the accident is not hitting the person head on.
Certain types of injuries are also more common in broadside collisions than in other types of accidents. For example, leg injuries are more likely to occur in T-bone accidents because the oncoming car’s impact point is lower to the ground than it would be in a head-on collision. Pelvic or hip injuries are also more common due to the different impact point. Even the types of head injuries seen in T-bone collisions will differ in terms of the damage done - for example, hitting the door may cause more damage than hitting glass, as is more common in collisions involving front-to-back force.
Causes and Proof
The big issue in many T-bone collision cases will be causation. It is sometimes surprisingly easy to pinpoint causation in broadside cases, unlike others, as several factors are unique to that particular type of accident. Negligence law in Texas requires a showing that the defendant’s conduct was the direct cause of the accident in order to recover, and very often it can be proved with accident reports. Other times, a traffic light or pattern (dependent on the time of day) may shed light on who had the right of way. Either way, without being able to show that the defendant bears at least the majority of the fault for an accident, no recovery is possible under Texas’ modified comparative fault statute.
Be advised, however, that there can be more than one cause of your accident, and if that turns out to be the case, both defendants may be sued. Texas is one of the few states to preserve joint and several liability, which means that the entire amount of your recovery if awarded, may be collected from one defendant if the other is judgment proof. So, for example, if you were T-boned by a driver, but the driver claims that their brakes were defective, you would possibly be able to collect from both the driver and the company that manufactured the car, the brakes, or both.
Ask Our T-Bone Collision Attorneys For Help
Any auto accident is difficult to move past, but a broadside or T-bone collision can be among the worst. The Bettersworth Law Firm has experience in these types of cases, and our New Braunfels auto accident attorneys are happy to try and help you with yours.