Kibbey Wagner, PLLC | May 5, 2023 | Car Accidents
T-bone accidents are common at intersections in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. They can also occur when a driver pulls out of a side street, driveway, or parking lot. Establishing fault for a T-bone accident is important because it could lead to a personal injury claim.
What Is a T-Bone Car Accident?
A T-bone car accident happens when a vehicle slams into the side of another vehicle, forming the shape of the letter “T.” These crashes are also called side-impact collisions.
T-bone accidents are among the most dangerous because the risk of catastrophic injury and death is high. The vehicle colliding into the side of another vehicle is involved in a head-on crash. The passengers in the T-boned car have less protection from the collision because there is not as much “vehicle” between them and the other car.
Common injuries in T-bone accidents in Palm Beach Gardens include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Broken bones and fractures
- Internal organ damage
- Crushing injuries
- Neck injuries and whiplash
- Loss of limbs and amputations
- Back injuries
- Wrongful death
Determining who is at fault in a T-bone accident is crucial. The damages caused by the accident can be significant. The at-fault party could be liable under Florida negligence laws.
Palm Beach Gardens T-Bone Accident – Who’s At Fault
The fault for a T-bone accident depends on several factors. Typically, the driver who failed to yield the right of way is responsible for causing the crash because they violated Florida traffic laws.
For example, a driver runs a red light and slams into a car in the intersection. The driver who ran the red light is at fault.
However, all drivers have a duty of care to drive with reasonable caution to avoid accidents. Therefore, a driver who breaches the duty of care could be partly to blame for a T-bone accident, even if they did not strike the other vehicle.
Evidence that can be used to prove fault for a T-bone accident includes:
- Eyewitness statements
- Police reports
- Video of the collision
- Physical evidence from the crash site
- Statements made by the drivers and passengers
- Medical records
- Reports from accident reconstructionists and other expert witnesses
A Palm Beach Gardens car accident lawyer investigates the cause of the car crash to collect evidence proving fault.
Why Does Fault Matter if Florida Is a No-Fault Car Accident State?
Florida requires drivers to have no-fault car insurance coverage or PIP insurance. No-fault insurance pays benefits to insured parties regardless of who caused the accident. Therefore, you file a claim with your insurance provider after a car crash, even if the other driver caused the accident.
Typically, you cannot sue the other driver for damages under Florida insurance laws. You are limited to filing a claim with your PIP provider.
However, an exception is made for accidents that cause serious injuries as defined under Florida law. Serious injuries cause, for example, permanent impairments or scarring. If you sustained serious injuries, you could pursue a claim against the driver who caused the accident.
This exception is important because personal injury claims allow victims to seek compensation for all damages. PIP insurance only covers a portion of your medical bills and lost wages. It does not pay anything for other damages.
If you file a personal injury claim for a Palm Beach Gardens T-bone accident, you could receive compensation for economic and non-economic damages, including:
- All past and future lost wages
- All past and future medical bills
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental anguish and emotional distress
- Diminished earning capacity
- Physical pain and suffering
- Disfigurement and scarring
- A decrease in quality of life
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Long-term care
- Disability and impairment
- Physical and occupational therapy
Because side-impact crashes can cause traumatic injuries, victims need to be able to pursue compensation for all damages. The compensation does not erase their pain and suffering, but it does help with future care and expenses.
What Happens When Both Drivers Are At Fault for a T-Bone Accident in Florida?
Until March 24, 2023, Florida had a pure comparative negligence law. If you are partially to blame for causing an accident, your compensation is reduced by your level of blame. Therefore, you could be 75% to blame for the cause of the crash and recover 25% of your damages.
However, tort reform laws now place a 51% bar on comparative negligence claims. If you are more than 50% to blame for causing the T-bone accident, you cannot recover any money for your claim. If your fault is below 51%, your damages are reduced by your percentage of fault.
Get Help with a T-Bone Accident in Palm Beach Gardens
Proving fault for a T-bone accident can be challenging. The drivers may have conflicting accounts of how the accident occurred. If so, you would need strong evidence proving you were not at fault to recover compensation for your damages.
You can get help by contacting a car accident attorney in Palm Beach Gardens for a free consultation. Talking to a lawyer about your legal options does not cost anything. Seeking legal advice could help you get the money you deserve for a T-bone accident claim.
Contact the Car Accident Law Firm of Kibbey Wagner, PLLC in South Florida For Help Today
For more information, please contact the Stuart, Port St. Lucie, or Palm Beach Gardens car accident law firm of Kibbey Wagner, PLLC, at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
We proudly serve Martin County, St. Lucie County, Palm Beach County, and its surrounding areas:
Kibbey Wagner, PLLC – Stuart
73 SW Flagler Ave
Stuart, FL 34994
Kibbey Wagner, PLLC – Port St. Lucie
1100 SW St. Lucie West Blvd. Ste 202
Port St Lucie, FL 34986
Kibbey Wagner, PLLC – Palm Beach Gardens
300 Avenue of the Champions Ste 220
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418