Any time you find yourself involved in a car accident, it’s a scary experience. Your first thought should be to make sure that you and your passengers are alright, but sometimes, the accident you’re involved in is much more severe.
T-bone car accidents have the potential to be extremely severe and cause serious and even life-threatening injuries. T-bone accidents are also not easy to determine fault for, because it’s usually not immediately clear which driver caused the accident. A driver could have been struck in the side of his or her car, making it seem like he or she was not at fault, but further investigation may reveal that that driver actually ran a red light. Because of the difficulty in assigning fault for T-bone accidents, it’s also difficult to determine who to name as defendants in your claim. This is why you want to work with a seasoned car accident injury lawyer.
If you or a loved one were injured in a T-bone car accident, your injuries are potentially so severe that you’ll require a lifetime of medical care and attention. Your personal injury protection insurance may not cover all of your costs. In that case, you may hold the at-fault party liable for your injuries so you don’t end up having to pay out of pocket for injuries that you did not cause. The best way to do that is to work with a trusted car accident lawyer.
What Is a T-Bone Car Accident
T-bone car accidents are also known as side-impact car accidents. These types of accidents result when one car impacts the side of another vehicle. The resulting accident resembles the shape of the letter T, which is where the accident gets its name.
T-bone car accidents are usually severe accidents that can result in serious injury and even death. Side-impact car accidents have caused 23 percent of all car accident fatalities. Even if death doesn’t result, life-altering injuries often do. When your car is struck on the side, there is less protection between you and the force of the impact. This often results in serious injuries for you and your passengers.
What Causes a T-Bone
There are countless causes for a T-bone car accident. However, many result from:
- Failure to yield
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Poor visibility
- Poor road condition
- Running a red light or stop sign
Regardless of the reason for your T-bone car accident, because of the nature of this type of accident, your injuries may be severe. These injuries will require extensive medical treatment, and you shouldn’t have to pay for it since you didn’t cause the accident. Making sure that you’re represented by a skilled Florida personal injury attorney is key to maximizing your recovery.
Injuries From a T-Bone Accident
In Florida, more than 400,000 car accidents take place each year. While not all of these car accidents are a result of a T-bone, it goes to show that (too) many car accidents take place on Florida roads annually.
Car accident injuries hospitalize more than 14,000 people each year in Florida. Some of the most common injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Other traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
The type of injury you suffer from a T-bone collision depends on many factors, including:
- Speed of impact
- Angle of impact
- Whether airbags deployed properly
- Seatbelt usage
If your vehicle is a newer model, your likelihood of escaping a T-bone collision with less severe injuries is better because of the safety features in newer models of cars. But that doesn’t mean you’ll escape all injury. The faster the impact, the greater the likelihood that you will suffer serious injuries requiring emergency medical care and ongoing medical attention.
This type of medical care is not cheap and could continue for the rest of your life. That is why you need to speak with an experienced and seasoned Florida personal injury lawyer to help you maximize your financial recovery.
What to Do After Your Accident
The steps you take immediately following your T-bone car accident can play an important role in your ability to recover damages from the at-fault driver. To help you maximize your recovery, take the following steps:
- Call 911. Calling 911 immediately after your accident allows police officers to review the accident scene. While they may not assign fault in your T-bone accident, they will likely create a diagram of the accident scene, which will help your attorney determine liability.
- Seek medical attention. Calling 911 also brings emergency medical services to the accident scene. Do not refuse medical care. If your accident is severe enough, you may suffer serious injuries requiring hospitalization. No one wants this, but making sure you get the treatment you need is the best way to make sure you get better.
- Take pictures. The severity of your injuries may prevent you from taking pictures; in that case, have a trusted friend or family member take pictures for you. Make sure he or she gets pictures of the entire accident scene, any vehicles involved in the accident, and pictures of your injuries. These will help to make sure that your injuries are documented and the scene is preserved.
- Do not admit fault. This is a common-sense step, but you should be careful about not making seemingly innocent statements like, “I’m sorry this happened”. That statement can be taken as an admission of guilt and could prevent you from recovering from the negligent driver.
- Keep daily notes. Record every day how you’re feeling, your pain levels, and any progress or setbacks in your recovery. Over time, you won’t recall the daily struggle you endured to get better. By keeping a journal and noting your daily progress, you can better show the suffering you endured on your path to getting better.
- Contact a car accident lawyer. Look for someone with the experience you deserve to help maximize your recovery. Your sole focus should be on getting better; let a car accident attorney worry about your case’s legal complexities and take that stress off your shoulders to help you recover.
Hiring a Lawyer
Many attorneys in Florida will take any type of case. They may handle a probate case, a divorce case, and a personal injury case all at the same time. When searching for the right lawyer for your case, you need to ask yourself if you want a lawyer who takes any case that comes through the door or if you want a lawyer with knowledge and experience in exactly your subject matter.
Because some lawyers handle a variety of different types of cases, we often see clients come to us to help fix what another lawyer failed to do properly. While we are happy to help clients like this, it often takes more time and resources than if that client had simply to come to us first. With a serious personal injury case like a T-bone car accident, having the right experts helping to show without a doubt that the other driver is at fault for the accident and your injuries is paramount to the success of your personal injury claim.
Determining fault in a T-bone car accident may seem easy, but in reality, it’s anything but. The nature of a T-bone car accident is such that either driver could be at fault, not just the driver of the vehicle that struck the side of the other vehicle. Because either driver could be at fault, an extensive investigation is usually required.
This type of investigation generally requires the use of experts who may need to reconstruct the accident scene. Your attorney may also speak with witnesses, review photographs, review medical records, review the police report, take depositions, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent you at trial, if necessary.
During this investigation, it’s not enough to simply establish that the other driver was at fault for the accident. You may also need to show that his or her negligence was the direct cause of your injuries. This is why you need a Florida personal injury law firm that has experience handling these types of cases. You want someone with experience and also someone with the resources at his or her disposal to handle such an investigation. Not every law firm has the resources to conduct such an in-depth investigation.
After the investigation of your T-bone car accident is complete, we will file a personal injury claim on your behalf. We do this because we want to show the insurance company of the at-fault driver that we are not messing around, and we are serious about maximizing your recovery.
Remain vigilant when contacted by the negligent driver’s insurance company. The company will likely contact you right after your accident. It knows you’re out of work and that you likely need quick cash. These companies also know that injured individuals almost always have medical bills piling up.
Knowing all this, the insurance company will probably offer you a quick settlement. You may be excited at the prospect of collecting quick cash to pay your bills and putting this traumatic experience behind you, but tread carefully. Insurance companies are in the business of making money. If they pay out your claim, that cuts into their profits. The settlement offer you receive right after the accident will likely be a low ball offer, meaning the insurance company is preying on your need for cash. Don’t take this offer until you speak with a trusted car accident injury lawyer in Florida.
If you take the low ball settlement offer, you may find that the amount you receive isn’t enough to cover your future medical expenses. And by then, it’s too late. When you sign a settlement offer, you usually waive your right to bring any future claims against the insurance company for this accident. This is a tragic situation where you could end up paying out of pocket for medical expenses that resulted from an accident you did not cause. We do not want to see this happen to you. The best way to avoid this situation is to work with a seasoned Florida car accident injury lawyer who has your best interests at heart.
When you work with us, we’ll work hard to get you compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost wages
- Loss of companionship
- Rehabilitation costs
- Past, present, and future medical bills
- Home rehab costs
Your physical recovery is the most important thing in your life right now. The best way to ensure your physical recovery is to maximize your financial recovery.
Speak With a Car Accident Lawyer
After your T-bone car accident, your top priority is likely to recover and put this negative experience behind you. Don’t regret that decision. Speaking with a car accident lawyer costs you nothing. Learn why you should take your time and go through this complex car accident claims process correctly. Maximizing your financial recovery so that you can focus on your physical recovery is your car accident lawyer’s goal. You shouldn’t have to worry about or stress over the legal process; let your car accident lawyer do that for you.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765