Who is Liable for a T-Bone Accident?

T-bone accidents, also known as angle collisions, occur when a driver least expects it. These accidents happen when a car hits another vehicle at an angle between 90 to 180 degrees, causing a side impact.

According to the NHTSA,  6,432  t-bone car accident injuries occurred in 2020 alone. Angle collisions can lead to wrongful death because there is no time to take evasive measures to reduce the impact.

For instance, James is on his way to drop her wife off at work, crossing an intersection at a green light. A vehicle running a red light hits him, causing a side-impact collision.

What is a T-bone car accident?

T-bone collisions are types of accidents that occur when a car strikes the side of another, forming the shape of a T at the point of impact. Common causes of T-bone accidents include a party’s negligence in stopping at a red light or a stop sign. Other reasons include but are not limited to the following:

  • Drunk driving 
  • High-speed or reckless driving 
  • Miscalculating the oncoming traffic speed
  • Blocked view
  • Distracted driving

Common injuries from T-bone accidents

Due to force placement in a t-bone accident, there is an increased chance of direct collision with the door or the car’s window. Accident victims generally require immediate medical attention.

 Common t-bone accident injuries include the following: 

  • Traumatic brain injury or a head injury
  • Whiplash
  • Neck or spinal cord injury
  • Broken bone
  • Paralysis

You could recover damages if you sustained serious injuries in a t-bone accident due to someone’s negligence. These include medical bills and other injury claims from the insurance company of the individual who caused the accident.

What party is liable in a T-bone car accident?

Identifying who is at fault is crucial to building your T-bone accident case. You need that to recover compensation for your losses, including property damage and medical costs. 

There could be multiple scenarios leading to a side-impact accident. Moreover, in some cases, there could be more than one party at fault. We will discuss possible situations that identify the liable party or parties in a t-bone car accident.

Drivers involved in the accident

In most cases, one of the two drivers in a two-vehicle collision is at fault for the auto accident. Suppose a driver passes a red traffic light and strikes another driver crossing an intersection on a green light. In this case, the driver who crossed a red light is the at-fault driver.

However, both drivers can be at fault for a motor vehicle accident. To illustrate better, two drivers at an injunction crossing the red light might be the cause of a broadside collision. 

Many angle side-impact crashes occur when a driver does not yield the right of way. It is common for drivers to dispute who had the right of way in a particular situation. Reaching out to an experienced car accident attorney for legal advice can help establish liability.

Other common causes of car accidents include distracted driving, driving under the influence, and speeding.

Road engineers

While driving, have you noticed that some intersections are more complex to navigate and dangerous than others? This could be for various reasons, including inappropriate signage, confusing intersections, and a poorly laid-out intersection. These could make it difficult for drivers to assess incoming traffic properly.

A driver should never assume that the design of an intersection is perfect with no issues. According to research analysts, data show that accidents occur more often in some intersections than they should. 

Car manufacturers

Another cause of head-on collisions is faulty car parts.  A defective component, such as a stuck accelerator or faulty brake, is a leading cause of a t-bone accident.

The car manufacturer is partially or totally liable for property damage, personal injuries, and all associated losses in such circumstances.

Strict liability applies to the manufacturer or distributor when a defective part causes an accident that results in injuries. In simpler terms, proving that the manufacturer or distributor sold you a defective product is enough to establish liability. Also known as absolute liability, the intent of the party at fault is not a determining factor in holding them accountable for recovering damages.

However, figuring out which car part was defective and proving that the faulty component caused the accident in the first place can be complicated. A skilled personal injury lawyer can find out the cause of the accident with the help of experts.They can also help you file a case against the appropriate company.

Other drivers

In some cases, the driver at fault escapes the crash. For example, Jenny makes an improper left turn, crossing the path of a fast-moving car. That caused the other driver to swerve, only to hit the side of another vehicle in the process.

The original driver who started the domino effect is responsible for the accident despite not hitting any other automobile. They are legally obligated to stay at the accident scene, but most do not.

Documenting the collision’s aftermath and talking to witnesses can help your attorney identify the liable party and build a solid case.

Pro Tip

Drivers can prevent a side-impact crash by approaching all intersections with caution. When driving towards an intersection, look both ways. Slow down and stop if another driver close to you is set on going first.

Learn More About T-Bone Accidents at The Personal Injury Center

Personal injury cases are often complicated and complex. The Personal Injury Center has many resources so you can better understand your situation and legal options. 

However, identifying, locating, and filing legal claims against the party at fault in a T-bone accident requires in-depth knowledge. For that, you need a specialist. 

Get a free consultation at The Personal Injury Center for fair compensation for your t-bone accident. We can help you connect with car accident lawyers ready to help with your personal injury claim.

Getting hurt in a T-bone car accident can be a traumatic experience for injured victims. Visit The Personal Injury Center to learn about getting fair compensation.

FAQs on T-bone Car Accidents

If you or your loved one get into a t-bone accident, find a safe place and get medical assistance. 


After ensuring all passengers are safe, collect evidence to support your claim. These include witnesses, negligent driver’s information, car information, pictures, and videos of the crime scene.  


Subsequently, file a police report, contact your insurance company, and find an experienced personal injury attorney.

Experts regard airbags as supplemental protection because they operate with other car safety measures in the case of a crash.

In T-bone car accidents, side impact airbags prove effective in protecting passengers. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee, as T-bone crashes account for 23 percent of car accident deaths.

Settlement claims depend on multiple factors, including the severity of injuries and property damage, and are different for each case.  In 2018, the average claim for bodily injury following a collision was $15,785, according to The Insurance Information Institute. The average claim for property damage was $3,841.