We all face risks going out onto Boston roadways. While you know all the traffic rules and pay attention constantly, you could end up in an accident. Drivers in Boston can act carelessly, causing themselves and others tragic consequences in the event of an accident. T-bone collisions are one especially severe type of car accident. These accidents can cause especially severe injuries, and victims are likely to need to file claims to get the compensation they need to recover from accident injuries. Boston drivers should know how these accidents occur and what to do to recover compensation if they are victims of a T-bone accident.
The Difference Between T-Bone and Sideswipe Collisions
Also called a side-impact collision, a T-bone crash happens when someone hits you from the side. T-bone accidents might be confused with sideswipe accidents. In both cases, a vehicle strikes another in the side. However, there are important differences. In a T-bone collision, the front of one person’s car directly hits the side of another vehicle at a more or less perpendicular angle. The impact appears like a “T” or a right angle. Injuries likely occur to both parties, and the damage can be severe. On the other hand, a sideswipe accident occurs when the two vehicles travel parallel to each other. The side of one car hits the other. Generally, sideswipe accident injuries are not as severe as T-bone accident collisions.
Where in Boston Are T-Bone Accidents Likely to Occur?
T-bone accidents are most likely to occur at intersections. Traffic lights are a common location for vehicle collisions. Places like Boston, dense with vehicles and pedestrians, are more likely to see T-bone accidents. Drivers must stay vigilant and look out for more potential hazards The risk of a T-bone is greater if the intersection is more complex. For instance, most traffic light intersections in Boston are four-way, but some are five-way or more. Some have Y-intersections as well. You might have driven through the place where VFW Highway meets Bridge Street when someone hit your vehicle. The spot where Morton Street meets Harvard Street sees its share crashes a year as well. T-bone accidents might also occur at stop-sign intersections. Again, more complicated situations may make T-bone accidents more likely. The ends of arterial roads can connect to thoroughfares. With the asymmetrical traffic patterns of the thoroughfare and an arterial road, confusion can arise, leading to T-bone accidents with often severe injuries.
T-Bone Accident Injuries
A T-bone accident can leave a victim with injuries varying greatly in type and severity for both drivers. You could suffer from a back injury. The impact can strain or sprain the muscles and tendons around the spine, injuries that can heal over time. Side-impact collisions can lead to a fracture in the spinal column. Signs of fractured vertebrae include chronic back pain and a loss of height. These injuries often cause permanent deficits. T-bone accident victims often suffer neck injuries, with the damage can ranging anywhere from a strain to a broken neck. Whiplash is a common phenomenon in car accidents. Symptoms of whiplash include dizziness, headaches, tingling in the arms, and stiffness in the neck. Any dizziness and headaches you may feel could be a sign of a traumatic brain injury as well. Do not put off dizziness—it may be a sign of severe injuries. You should see a doctor as soon as possible after a T-bone accident, so you can determine the extent of your injuries. Broken bones in the arms, legs, chest, and hips are common in T-bone accidents. Glass and other debris can cause lacerations. T-bone accident injuries can result in lifelong health issues, especially for riders of the vehicle hit in the side.
Returning to Work after a Boston T-Bone Accident
Going back to work after a Boston T-bone accident varies as widely as the kinds of injuries one can suffer in the accident. Some sustain minor injuries and can continue after about a week or two of rest. Others are never able to return to work, at least not doing the work they performed before the accident. Your return to work does not have a wrong or right date. You should go back once you have had a chance to sufficiently heal. While you might feel pressure to get back to work, you should avoid going back to your job earlier than needed. The decision to go back too early could hurt your physical well-being, especially in jobs involving manual labor. You should talk to your doctor about what time is suitable to return to work. Many workplaces have specific policies for time off for injuries. Review the rules of your employer to know the details. Contact an attorney if you have questions about workers’ compensation or about how to handle bills while you are out of work and unable to earn income.
Causes of Boston T-Bone Collisions
T-bone accidents generally come down to one driver’s failure to yield to traffic with the right-of-way. Some drivers fail to yield more blatantly, such as by running a stop sign. Others fail to yield in trickier situations. For instance, at an intersection, a green light does not always mean you can make a left turn; oncoming traffic has the right-of-way. Younger drivers are a demographic that disproportionately fails to yield. Vehicle accidents are the leading cause of injuries and death among teens and young adults. These can easily be the consequence of failing to yield the right of way when making a left turn. Young, inexperienced drivers fail to scan the scene and make sure the coast is clear, and are often more prone to become distracted. T-bone accidents can also happen when a driver fails to yield when taking a right turn. A driver may generally make a right turn on red, but they must yield to cross-traffic. Drivers making right turns often time their entry into the flow of traffic poorly, potentially resulting in a T-bone accident. Alcohol increases the likelihood of any kind of vehicle accident, as it generally impairs a person’s judgment and ability to react in time. A motorist is at an increased risk of making reckless decisions when they drive under the influence. Or they may just fail to notice important things on the road, such as stop signs. Boston can experience rough weather; in inclement weather, the chance of accidents increases. Heavy rain can impair visibility outside the windshield. Roads slippery from the ice could result in T-bone accidents, especially if someone does not travel at a slow enough speed or press on their brakes early enough for the conditions.
Who Is Liable for a Boston T-Bone Collision?
Generally, the person who did not have the right-of-way is liable (legally responsible) for a T-bone crash. You might assume the driver who collides into the other vehicle’s side is always at fault. For instance, if you turn left on a protected green (typically a green arrow), the driver who hits you is at fault and may hold held them liable. But in other cases, the at-fault party might get hit in the side. For instance, if you had a plain-green light while making a left turn and failed to yield to oncoming traffic, the fact that you were the vehicle hit in the side does not mean the other driver was at fault. They had a legally justified expectation that they could pass through freely, and your vehicle may have jumped out in front of them without giving them any time to evade the impact. While you may have suffered the more severe injuries, it would be the other driver who would be able to recover damages from you for their injuries. In some cases, neither of the drivers is at fault. The incident could have been due to a design defect in one of the vehicles, or government failure to maintain roads or traffic signals. The lack of maintenance or a mechanical failure can cause traffic signals to stop working. There are around 900 traffic signals to manage Boston intersections. Computers and engineers control them and determine the best length of each cycle during different times of the day. The hard-wired traffic signals may go offline due to a bad connection or nearby street maintenance. If a stoplight malfunctions for even a second, a side-impact collision might occur, and the government could be liable for your injuries. Determining all of the parties who may be liable for a T-bone accident can be a tricky thing. If you are asking yourself, should I get an attorney for my car accident, the answer is probably yes. Consult with an experienced Boston T-bone truck accident attorney to determine all potentially liable parties.
Filing a T-bone Accident Lawsuits Against the City of Boston
A T-bone accident might occur due to poor traffic design or a lack of traffic signal maintenance. A vehicle driven by an employee of the city of Boston may cause a T-bone accident. In a case where the city of Boston contributed to the accident, it may be held liable for damages. However, the requirements to sue the city of Boston can be stricter than in cases of suing private individuals. For instance, Boston residents injured by damages related to road or sidewalk defects have a very short period of 30 days after the accident to file a claim with the City. A victim of a T-bone accident would more likely have been injured due to a negligent government employee; in such a case, the victim would generally have two years after the collision to bring a claim. The claim should include your name, address, phone number, and the day and time of the accident. You must describe where the collision took place and all other details. The document must describe the damages you sustained. And you must pay a $15 filing fee. Keep in mind that the City of Boston is not responsible for every street in the City. The Massachusetts DOT and the Department of Conservation and Recreation control some of the roads. You need to file a lawsuit against the correct entity. A T-bone accident attorney can help you figure out whom to bring your claim against.
Gather Evidence to Prove Liability in Your Boston T-bone Accident
To establish another party’s liability and to recover compensation after a Boston T-bone accident, you need evidence. At the accident scene, you might gather proof of fault by taking pictures, talking to witnesses, and getting their contact information. When the police arrive, they gather information that can serve as evidence as well. The officers do an initial assessment and create a police report. The report often indicates who they believe caused the crash. After the accident, collect medical records and receipts of other accident-related expenses for evidence of your damages.
Boston T-bone Accident Settlements
To obtain compensation for your Boston T-bone accident injuries, you will need to obtain a court award of damages or enter into a settlement agreement with the at-fault parties. The vast majority of car accident claims resolve by settlements. Your settlement compensation often comes as a lump-sum payment. Both sides gather evidence related to fault and damages and negotiate an amount they can both live with. This could obtain less money than you originally demanded, but might save you aggravation by bringing the process to a close sooner than later. A Boston car accident attorney can advise you about how fair any settlement offers are and make a recommendation about whether to accept or fight for more.