When commercial vehicle drivers – including tractor-trailer and big rig drivers – drive negligently, severe accidents and injuries to others may occur.
One common type of commercial truck accident is a T-bone accident or broadside collision. In this accident scenario, the front of a large truck hits the side panel of a vehicle traveling on an intersecting roadway. The force of a T-bone crash from a large truck may cause the car on the receiving end to spin around rapidly or even overturn in the middle of the road, causing serious injuries.
If you or a person you care about recently suffered injuries in a truck T-bone accident, immediately get the legal help you need. If you wait too long to seek legal representation in your case, the statute of limitations may bar your ability to recover the monetary compensation and damages you deserve for your injuries.
A commercial Bakersfield truck accident attorney can analyze your case and determine your eligibility for filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit. In most situations, your lawyer can file a claim with the at-fault truck driver or trucking company’s insurer. After filing a claim on your behalf, your lawyer can aggressively negotiate with insurance company representatives to secure the favorable settlement compensation you deserve.
If the insurance company refuses to pay you appropriate monetary damages for your injuries and other accident-related losses, your attorney can file a lawsuit and take your case to a civil jury trial or binding arbitration hearing.
Where Do Truck T-bone Accidents Most Often Happen?
Broadside collisions are prevalent at traffic intersections – especially four-way traffic intersections. In many scenarios, these intersections have traffic control devices, including traffic lights, yield signs, stop signs, and other warning devices.
If a truck driver negligently fails to yield the right-of-way to intersecting traffic, such as by running a red light or stop sign, they may negligently cause the front of their truck to hit the side of an oncoming vehicle, bringing about a serious accident and injuries. And when a large commercial truck hits a much smaller passenger vehicle, the occupants of the smaller vehicle usually suffer the more severe injuries.
At other times, truck broadside collisions happen near highway merge lanes when a truck driver fails to yield the right-of-way to oncoming highway traffic and negligently strikes the side of a motor vehicle proceeding in a through-lane. If one of these broadside collisions happens in heavy traffic, a multi-vehicle pile-up may occur, leading to numerous physical injuries and property damage.
If you suffered injuries in a truck T-bone accident in one of these locations, you should get the medical treatment you need as quickly as possible. Then, consult a knowledgeable truck accident attorney in your area to guide you through the claims filing and litigation processes.
Your lawyer will do everything possible to maximize your total monetary damages and recover the compensation you deserve for your truck accident injuries and other losses.
Why Do Truck T-bone Accidents Frequently Occur?
Truck T-bone accidents are usually the result of driver error and negligence. When a truck driver drives carelessly or fails to perform a pre-trip inspection, they may negligently cause a severe accident that leaves others with serious injuries.
Many broadside collisions happen when truck drivers fail to follow standard traffic laws, especially state right-of-way laws. When a truck driver fails to yield the right-of-way to other vehicles at a highway merge lane or traffic intersection, they may cause a broadside collision, which in turn causes the vehicle on the receiving end to overturn or spin around rapidly.
A broadside accident may also occur when a truck driver is not watching the road closely enough. Instead of watching the road and remaining aware of their surroundings, a negligent truck driver might have their eyes fixed on a cellular device or tablet.
Alternatively, they might be programming a GPS navigation system, adjusting the volume on the stereo in their cab, or talking to a passenger in the cab of their vehicle.
These activities may distract commercial truck drivers and turn their attention away from the road. Consequently, the driver may proceed through an intersection on a red light or otherwise cause their truck to strike the side of an approaching vehicle.
Finally, some T-bone accidents happen when commercial truck drivers are under the illegal influence of alcohol or drugs. While passenger vehicle drivers are legally intoxicated if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more, the applicable BAC cut-off for commercial truck drivers is 0.04 percent.
If a trucker drives under the influence of alcohol, police can arrest them for DUI. If the judge or jury ultimately convicts them of the DUI offense, they may also have to serve jail time or pay criminal fines and other penalties. Moreover, if they caused a traffic accident that led to others’ injuries, their insurance company may be responsible for paying the accident victim(s) civil damages.
Because truck drivers operate large commercial vehicles for a living, the law holds them to a higher standard of care than passenger vehicle drivers. A legally intoxicated truck driver may experience physical symptoms, including dizziness and blurred vision, along with mental symptoms, including limited concentration and delayed reaction time. These limitations may cause a truck driver to cause a T-bone accident involving another vehicle.
You are not alone if you sustained injuries in a broadside collision that a negligent truck driver caused. A truck accident attorney can review your legal options, help you file a personal injury claim with the insurance company, and pursue a favorable settlement offer to compensate you fairly for your injuries.
Common Injuries in Truck T-bone Accidents
Victims of truck T-bone accidents may suffer severe injuries, depending upon the accident circumstances. In general, the more forceful the accident, the more serious the injuries that a truck accident victim may suffer. Moreover, if an accident causes a part of the driver or passenger’s body to strike something in their vehicle, the accident victim may sustain debilitating and sometimes permanent injuries.
Some of the most common injuries that victims of truck T-bone collisions suffer include:
- Traumatic head and brain damage
- Internal bleeding
- Internal organ injuries
- Soft tissue contusions
- Rib fractures
- Broken bones
- Open cuts and lacerations
- Full or partial paralysis injuries
- Fractured vertebrae and other spinal cord injuries
While you focus on seeking the medical treatment you need for your truck accident injuries, your lawyer can begin handling the legal aspects of your case, such as gathering medical records and bills and obtaining lost income documentation, if you miss time from work after your accident.
During this time, you can focus all your attention on getting the medical treatment you need to fully recover from your injuries whenever possible.
Proving the Necessary Legal Elements of a Truck Accident Claim
For victims of a truck T-bone accident to recover monetary compensation for their injuries, they must successfully prove several legal elements.
- First, the accident victim must demonstrate that another party behaved negligently under the circumstances. For example, a truck driver might have failed to yield the right-of-way at a traffic intersection.
- Next, the truck accident victim must show that the broadside accident occurred as a direct result of the truck driver’s careless and reckless behavior.
- Finally, the accident victim must demonstrate that as a direct and foreseeable result of the T-bone collision, they suffered at least one physical injury.
Accident reconstructionists and medical experts can help you prove all of these legal elements in your personal injury claim or lawsuit. For example, if the truck driver’s insurance company is disputing fault in your accident, then an accident reconstructionist can establish the truck driver’s negligence.
Similarly, a medical expert can causally relate your claimed injuries to the subject truck accident. A medical expert can also establish that you suffered one or more permanent injuries in your truck accident.
Recovering Favorable Monetary Damages Following a Truck T-bone Accident
Injured victims of truck T-bone accidents may be eligible to recover various types of monetary damages, depending upon their overall accident circumstances.
Factors that can influence the types and amounts of monetary compensation a truck accident victim recovers in their case include:
- The respective speeds of the involved vehicles
- What occurred in the aftermath of the collision
- The specific injuries that the truck accident victim suffered
- The medical treatment that the accident victim underwent for their injuries
- The cost of that medical treatment
If a truck accident victim suffers one or more permanent injuries in their accident (such as paralysis), they may recover more compensation than an accident victim who suffered less-serious injuries.
First, injured truck accident victims can recover monetary damages for their past and anticipated medical costs. Similarly, if they missed time from work immediately after their accident, they might bring a claim for lost income or loss of earning capacity.
In addition to these economic damages, truck accident victims can recover compensation for their intangible losses.
Those losses may include compensation for:
- Loss of use of a body part
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Mental distress and anguish
- Permanent disability
- Loss of spousal consortium
- Inconvenience, pain, and suffering
A skilled truck accident attorney can help you maximize your damages through a favorable settlement offer or litigation result. They know what evidence can prove the full value of your claim and negotiate for a fair settlement offer. If insurance companies refuse to offer enough, your lawyer can escalate the matter and take your case to civil court to fight for full compensation.
Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer in Your Area Right Away
If you recently sustained injuries in a T-bone truck accident, immediately reach out to an experienced attorney.
Your attorney can investigate your accident circumstances, file a claim with the appropriate insurance company, and negotiate favorable settlement compensation. They can also help you file a lawsuit and litigate your case if the insurance company refuses to compensate you fairly.
Victims of truck accidents only have two years from the date of their accident to file a lawsuit seeking monetary recovery. If an accident victim does not file their lawsuit on time, absent exceptional circumstances, the court will prevent them from recovering any monetary compensation for their injuries. Therefore, you should act right away in retaining legal counsel to represent you in your case.
Your attorney will do everything they can to help you maximize your total monetary award by highlighting the strengths of your case while downplaying any weaknesses.
Your attorney can also represent you at all litigation proceedings, including discovery depositions, arbitration hearings, and jury trials, and argue for the highest possible monetary award on your behalf.