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Roughly one-quarter of all car accidents in Texas are T-bone collisions. Also known as broadside or side-impact crashes, a T-bone collision occurs when one vehicle hits the side of another. These crashes typically occur at intersections and are the result of a driver who does not have the right of way attempting to either pass through the intersection or make a left turn. This action causes a collision with the vehicle that does have the right of way.T-bone collisions are almost always the result of negligence. And if you are the driver or a passenger who sustains injuries as the result of such negligence, you have the right under Texas law to seek compensation, either from the other driver’s insurance company or the legal system. Our experienced Houston T-bone collisions attorney can assist and advise you in this process. The Stano Law Firm is a dedicated Houston personal injury practice that focuses on obtaining full and just compensation for car accident victims throughout Harris County. We can sit down with you, review the events leading up your T-bone accident, and represent you in taking appropriate legal action.

Why Do T-Bone Collisions Occur in Houston?

Again, a T-bone collision happens because the driver without the right-of-way fails to yield to the driver with the right of way. So almost by design, such accidents are the direct result of failing to obey traffic laws, which is itself a type of negligence. Yet most side-impact crashes are not a deliberate attempt to ram the other driver. There is generally some additional factor that leads to a driver failing to yield when required.

Some common examples of driver negligence leading to T-bone collisions include:

  • Distracted Driving: This is perhaps the most common scenario. Instead of keeping their eyes and attention on the road, a driver is texting, talking with people, or perhaps eating or drinking, and they breeze through an intersection without even realizing they do not have the right of way.
  • Fatigue: When people are tired–say, while driving home after a long day at work–they are not always at their most attentive. Fatigue can easily lead to a driver acting on “autopilot” without stopping to consider if they have clearance to make a turn or proceed into an intersection.
  • Impairment: Any form of impairment–whether the result of alcohol, recreational drugs, or prescription medication–dulls a driver’s reflexes. This means they are slower to react to changes in road conditions, such as a red light or the presence of another vehicle. In turn, this can easily lead to a T-bone collision.
  • Speeding: When it comes to collisions at an intersection, speeding is a common culprit. Everyone is in a hurry to get to their destination. And far too many drivers think they can “beat” a yellow light before it turns red.

Texas is a fault-based state when it comes to car accidents. This means that the negligent driver can always be held legally responsible for any damages sustained by the victims of a T-bone collision. The victims do not have to seek coverage under their own insurance policy first.

T-Bone Collisions Often Lead to Serious Injuries–and Death

Unlike rear-end accidents, which can lead to serious but generally not life-threatening injuries, T-bone collisions are often deadly. It comes down to simple physics. When the front of one car collides with the side of another car, the people in the latter vehicle have virtually no protection from the full brunt of the impact. There is no side “bumper” to absorb all of that kinetic energy.

As a result, we often see fatalities in T-bone collisions. And even in non-fatal cases, the victims may be left with severe, life-altering injuries, including but not limited to:

  • bone fractures;
  • back and neck injuries (whiplash);
  • internal organ damage;
  • severe burn injuries;
  • spinal cord injuries; and
  • traumatic brain injuries (concussions).

Under Texas law, T-bone accident victims can seek economic damages as compensation for their medical bills, loss of income, and other out-of-pocket expenses. They may also demand non-economic damages for their pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and other intangible losses. In some cases, a Texas court can also award exemplary (punitive) damages if the T-bone accident is a result of gross negligence, such as drunk driving. And in fatal T-bone collisions, the victim’s heirs and estate may file a wrongful death claim and demand compensation for the loss of their loved one.

What Should I Do Following a T-Bone Collision in Houston?

Obviously, anytime you are involved in a T-bone accident, you should seek immediate medical attention for you and anyone else who may have been injured. You also must call the police. Officers will conduct an investigation and prepare an official accident report, which is often an essential piece of evidence when trying to prove liability in a personal injury claim. At the same time, never volunteer any information that might lead the other driver to blame you for the collision.

It is also a good idea to gather as much information as you can at the accident scene. By law, you need to exchange basic contact and insurance information with the other drivers involved. You should also take down the names and contact information for anyone else who may have witnessed what happened. If you have your smartphone, you should also take pictures of the vehicles and the overall accident scene. You should also take down the name and badge number of any police officers you speak with.

Finally, once you have had a chance to collect yourself and seek appropriate medical attention, you should call an experienced Houston T-bone collisions attorney. It is especially critical to speak with a lawyer before attempting to negotiate a settlement with the other driver’s insurance company. Remember, they are only looking out for their own interests. If you want someone looking out for you, then you need to have your own attorney.

Contact Our Expert Houston T-Bone Collisions Lawyer Now!

if you, or someone that you care about, has recently been involved in a T-bone collision and you need legal advice on what steps to take next, call the Stano Law Firm at (832) 777-0390 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.