A “T-bone” accident is a common term for a side-impact car crash where the front end of one vehicle slams into the side of the other vehicle. The vehicles resemble the letter “T” after the collision.

Side-impact accidents can cause devastating and life-threatening injuries, especially for the passengers on the side of impact. It is common for accident victims to sustain catastrophic injuries and permanent impairments. Wrongful death is also common in T-bone accidents.

Determining the cause of the crash is crucial to establishing liability for damages. However, the fault for a T-bone crash can be complicated to determine and involve many factors.

Failing To Yield the Right of Way at an Intersection or Roadway

A common cause of T-bone accidents is failing to yield the right of way at an intersection or when pulling into traffic from a side street or parking lot. One driver fails to yield the right of way and enters the road in the other vehicle’s path. The result is a collision.

The driver who failed to yield the right of way is generally at fault for the cause of the accident. Running a red light or stop sign and turning left in front of oncoming traffic are common causes of these types of accidents. 

Turning Left in Front of Another Vehicle

A driver can also fail to yield the right of way when turning left in front of oncoming traffic. Typically, the person turning left must yield the right of way to oncoming traffic unless they have a green turning arrow or light giving them the right of way. Misjudging speed and distance can also contribute to the cause of a side-impact accident. 

Shared Fault for a T-Bone Accident

In some cases, both drivers could be at fault. 

For example, both drivers may have been trying to beat a red light. One driver turned left in front of the other driver, failing to yield the right of way. However, the light changed to red, so the other driver ran a red light. 

In this case, a jury could find that both drivers contributed to the cause of the accident. If so, the drivers share liability for damages under Missouri’s pure comparative negligence laws. Each driver’s compensation for damages would be reduced by their percentage of fault for causing the accident. 

How Do You Prove Fault for a T-Bone Crash?

The accident victim has the burden of proving fault for the crash to recover compensation for damages. Therefore, you must have sufficient evidence to prove causation and fault to establish liability. Examples of evidence could include:

  • Copies of the police report and accident report 
  • Vehicle damage reports detailing the property damage sustained by each vehicle
  • Statements made by the drivers after the accident
  • Eyewitness statements and testimony
  • Videos of the collision from traffic cameras, dash cams, and surveillance cameras
  • Expert opinions from accident reconstructionists 

An experienced car accident lawyer investigates the crash and gathers evidence proving fault. Once you prove liability for the crash, you can demand compensation for your damages. The damages from a car accident depend on several factors, including the severity of your injuries. 

What Damages Can I Recover for a T-Bone Accident in St. Louis?

The compensation you recover depends on your damages. Severe injuries and permanent impairments increase the value of a claim. On the other hand, sharing liability for the cause of the crash can decrease the compensation you receive. 

Economic damages are the financial losses you incur because of the accident. Examples of those damages include:

  • Out-of-pocket expenses and costs
  • Medical bills and cost of treatment
  • In-home nursing and/or personal care
  • Diminished earning potential
  • Help with household chores
  • Loss of income
  • Future lost wages

However, under Missouri personal injury laws, you can also receive compensation for your pain and suffering or non-economic damages. Those damages include:

  • Permanent disabilities and impairments
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Physical pain
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Mental anguish
  • Decrease in quality of life
  • Emotional distress

In a few cases, the victim might receive punitive damages. Punitive damages are only paid in cases involving intentional acts to cause injury or conduct that show a flagrant and deliberate disregard for the safety of others. For example, a driver was intoxicated and caused a crash or drove 100 mph in a 30 mph zone.

The best way to know how much a car accident claim is worth is to have a personal injury lawyer review the case. 

The insurance company for the other driver will downplay damages, shift blame, and do anything possible to reduce the amount it must pay to settle your claim. Therefore, it is best to talk with an accident attorney before you accept a settlement offer from the insurance company.

Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in St. Louis, MO

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, please contact Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers at the nearest location to schedule a free consultation today:

St. Louis, MO Law Office
1430 Washington Ave Ste 225, St. Louis, MO 63103
(314) 444-4444

Ladue, MO Law Office
9807 S 40 Dr, St. Louis, MO 63124

Columbia, MO Law Office
28 N 8th St # 502, Columbia, MO 65201

Creve Coeur, MO Law Office 
999 Executive Pkwy Dr #205, Creve Coeur, MO 63141