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Who Is at Fault in a Car Accident T-Bone?

Posted on April 28, 2022 in

A T-bone car accident (also known as a side-impact collision) is when a motor vehicle crashes into the side of another car, forming a T-shape. These collisions can be extremely damaging, as the first vehicle can crash directly into the driver or passenger’s side of the second car. Knowing how to determine fault for a T-bone car accident case can help you recover the financial compensation that you require for your medical bills and property repairs.

How Do T-Bone Accidents Happen?

The majority of T-bone accidents happen at intersections. They occur when a driver is in the intersection when he or she should not be according to traffic laws. For example, if a driver runs a red light, he or she may collide with the driver who had the right-of-way and is already in the intersection. T-bone accidents can also happen during unsafe or illegal left-hand turns and U-turns. 

Outside of an intersection, a T-bone accident can take place if a driver loses control of his or her vehicle and collides with the side of another car. T-bone accidents can also happen if a driver isn’t paying attention and backs out of a driveway or parking spot and into another car. It is necessary to determine how your T-bone accident happened before you can assign fault and recover compensation. This may take an investigation or expert crash reconstruction.

Who Can Be Held Liable for a Car Accident T-Bone?

Assigning liability (financial and legal responsibility) for a car accident requires several tasks. First, you must find out if the crash took place in a fault or no-fault state. Arizona is a fault state, as are the majority of states in the U.S. This insurance rule means that the driver who is liable for the accident is the one most at fault for causing it. Liability for a T-bone accident will also depend on the dynamics of the crash and which driver was breaking a traffic law at the time, if any. A violated law often points to liability for a car crash.

The parties that could be held responsible for a T-bone car accident in Arizona include:

  • A driver. Driver mistakes are the number one cause of T-bone collisions. If a driver causes a T-bone accident by speeding, running a red light, failing to yield, driving recklessly, drunk driving or distracted driving, the negligent driver has to pay for the car accident through his or her auto insurance.
  • An employer. If the at-fault driver was operating a motor vehicle for work at the time of the crash, such as an Uber or Lyft driver or truck driver, the employer may be held responsible for its employee’s negligence through the rule of vicarious liability. 
  • The government. Some T-bone car accidents occur due to issues with the roadway, such as an obscured stop sign or malfunctioning traffic light. In this case, an injured party can hold the government agency that is responsible for roadway safety and maintenance liable for the crash.
  • The vehicle manufacturer. If a defective vehicle part malfunctioned and led to the loss of vehicle control – such as a tire blowout or brake failure – the manufacturer of the vehicle or faulty part may have to pay for a related T-bone accident.

Determining fault for a T-bone accident in Arizona requires a thorough investigation of the crash to pinpoint its cause. If you get into this type of car accident, call the police immediately to write up a crash report. Then, consult with a Phoenix car accident attorney to request an investigation into who or what caused the T-bone accident. A lawyer can help you identify the defendant(s) and prove fault based on clear and convincing evidence of negligence. Speak to a car accident lawyer in Phoenix today at Stone Rose Law by calling (480) 498-8998.