When two cars collide at a perpendicular angle, this scenario is commonly referred to as a T-bone accident. These accidents often occur at intersections and can result in serious injuries due to the limited protection the side of a car provides. These collisions can be particularly devastating when one vehicle involved is significantly larger than the other.
When injurious collisions occur, accurately determining liability is critically important, as this determination will affect the ability of one or both parties to seek compensation for their injuries.
How is liability determined?
Determining liability in a T-bone accident primarily hinges on right-of-way rules and the duty of care each driver owed at the time of the collision. For example, if one driver disregards a stop sign or a red light and enters an intersection, causing a collision with a vehicle that had the right of way, the driver who failed to stop is typically deemed at fault.
Similarly, when a vehicle is making a left turn at an intersection, it’s generally their responsibility to yield to oncoming traffic. If a driver fails to yield while turning left and collides with another car going straight in the opposite direction, the turning driver is usually found liable.
With that being said, drivers are not the only parties that can potentially be held liable for T-bone crashes. For example, in rare cases, traffic signals malfunction, leading both affected drivers to believe they have the right of way. Here, neither party may be wholly at fault. Instead, the city or company responsible for the signal’s maintenance could be held liable.
It’s important to remember that every T-bone accident occurs due to unique circumstances. It is, therefore, important to seek legal guidance before jumping to any conclusions about liability if you’re ever involved in an injurious T-bone collision.