Determining & Proving Fault In a T-Bone Accident

T-bone accidents, sometimes called side-impact collisions, are some of the most dangerous, life-threatening, and ultimately fatal car accidents possible for two or more vehicles, second to head-on collisions. Determining who is at fault for a T-bone accident and proving who is at fault is an essential part of the process of receiving a fair car insurance claim settlement. Though some of these accidents can be very straight forward and easy to assign fault. But alas, the universe, much like traffic accidents, tends to be more complicated when we look closer. Determining and proving fault in a T-bone accident can be difficult in some cases, but always necessary. In cases where fault is difficult to prove, or the injuries are severe, contact a car accident lawyer who knows how to fight insurance companies.

Even after a minor car accident, you should hire a lawyer. At Steinger, Greene & Feiner, we know exactly how to handle insurance companies to get the compensation you deserve.

T-bone accident

Common Types Of T-Bone Accidents


The specific details of every T-bone accident are very different. You may be thinking, an accident is an accident, and a T-bone accident seems self-explanatory. One car collides with another at a perpendicular angle.

But no car accident, and no T-bone accident, is ever the same. Not only are the circumstances vastly different, so are the consequences. Here are some of the common types of T-bone accidents that our car accident lawyers see every day.Edit Profile

Running A Red Light Or A Stop Sign

One of the most common T-bone accidents occurs when a vehicle fails to stop and runs through a red light or a stop sign.  types of T-bone accidents involve a motorist running a red light or a stop sign. In these T-bone accidents, the driver that fails to obey the traffic signal is almost always at fault for the damages and injuries.

Left Turn at Lights

Before turning left, a left-turn driver must yield the right-of-way to all oncoming traffic that is close enough that it may pose a danger. However, some drivers may rush through a light, or drive distracted and make errors in judgement, resulting in a T-bone crash.

In most cases, the driver who is turning left will likely be blamed for the accident. Though there are cases where the driver who was traveling straight may be held accountable for excessive speed.


All drivers must adhere to the rules of the road and the right-of-way is no exception. This means they if you have right-of-way and another car hits you, the other car has a higher chance of taking responsibility for the collision.

However, again just like the universe, car accidents, and the right-of-way rule has a lot of grey area. For instance, if you did not have right-of-way you T-boned another car, then you may still be able to put some responsibly of the other driver if they were not paying attention to the road, texting, eating or driving distracted in other ways.

However, just because a driver is following the general rules of the road does not mean that a driver will get off scot-free if he or she is driving without due care. For example, in a situation where you have the right-of-way, but you are not paying attention to the road, carelessly drive through an intersection, and an accident results. In this case, you may still have some accountability for causing the accident.

Poor Judgement

Did you know that almost 90% of people think they are above average drivers? Seems a bit strange that almost everyone thinks they driver better than almost half the drivers on the road.

The truth is that we all make mistakes, use poor judgment, or let our emotional side take the wheel when we drive sometimes. And the results of these actions can long-lasting.

Poor judgment and bad driving can result in devastating T-bone accidents and usually includes the following behaviors:

  • Speeding
  • Driving while intoxicated
  • Driving distracted (texting, eating, talking)
  • Driving emotionally
  • Driving impatiently.

If you can prove that the other driver was texting, for example, then you will have an easier case and may earn a higher settlement.

What Evidence Do You Need to Prove Fault for A T-Bone Accident?

Like most accidents, T-bone accidents are not always cut and dry, black and white, there is always an are of grey. It’s up to your Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney to help you prove that the other driver was at-fault when you are suing the insurance company.

But remember, there are times when both you and the other driver are somewhat at-fault. If you or a loved one were in a T-bone car crash, and the other driver is denying responsibility or liability, take the following action as soon as possible:

Call A Personal Injury Attorney

You need legal counsel as soon as possible. You may be on the hook for medical bills, lost wages and property damage that you should not have to pay for. Remember that without a judgment, you may also have to pay for the other drivers’ damages. If you have been seriously injured in the accident and need advice, a personal injury attorney is your best option. This may also drastically increase your settlement amount after the car crash, though of course, that depends on the circumstances of your case.

Get Medical Attention Immediately

This is one of the most important steps you must take to ensure you remain healthy and to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve for pain and suffering.

Doctors’ visits, medical exams, and medical records will all be used as evidence in the T-bone accident case. But if you wait too long, you may not be able to prove that the injuries you sustained from the accident were, indeed, caused by the accident. And don’t be fooled by what you can see, many injuries are invisible to us. You may have hyperextension, hairline factors, or even internal bleeding.

Do not let your health take the backseat, seek medical attention as soon as possible.

At the Scene of The Accident

  • Always Call 911: Before you do anything, be sure to call the police. They need to be there to assess the situation and determine what steps to take next. A police officer will also be able to interview people in the area and get to the bottom of the accident. The sooner the police are there, the better.
  • Keep the Police Reports: The interviews, statements, and on-the-scene evidence the police collect will be provided to you in the form of a police report. You must ensure that the police get a full picture of the accident. And remember, police officers are human, and they may get some details about the accident wrong. Do not panic. Your lawyer will likely investigate the accident independently.
  • Witness Accounts: Witness statements and one of the best means to prove fault in a T-bone accident, simple as that. Some people believe that verbal accounts hold less weight, and that could not be farther from the truth. Witness accounts and verbal statements are very powerful and should be recorded by the police at the scene if possible.
  • Pictures & Video: Take as many pictures and as many videos as you can. Get images of both vehicles, of the surrounding area, and of the spot the accident took place. If there was debris in the road or obstructions, be sure to get as many pictures as you can of these elements that may have contributed to the accident as well.
  • Do Not Admit Fault: The number one thing you need to remember after a T-bone accident is not to admit fault. Any statements you make after an accident will come back again during the case and the lawsuit. Be sure to never admit fault for the accident.

How A Car Accident Attorney Can Provide Assistance in The Aftermath Of A T-Bone Accident

Ignorance of the law is never an excuse to be blinded side by insurance companies and other drivers. The problem is that T-bone accidents are complicated and challenging. It’s best to find a lawyer who will do all the work for you and ensure that you come out of this situation confident about your future.

Again, have an attorney review your options. The property damage lawyers at Steinger, Greene & Feiner know what expenses and costs are reasonable in these claims, so call us for a free consultation at (800) 431-6841. We help residents who have been affected by fires with homes in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Coral Gables, Miami, Okeechobee, Port St. Lucie, and Tampa.

About The Author

Michael Steinger

Michael Steinger

The Florida BarFlorida Bar Young Lawyers DivisionMillion Dollar Advocates ForumMillion Dollar Advocates ForumBest Workers Compensation Attorneys in MiamiBest Car Accident Lawyers in MiamiLawyers of distinction

MICHAEL S. STEINGER, founding partner of Steinger, Greene & Feiner, believes in representing real people, not big businesses. Since the firm’s creation in 1997, Steinger, Greene & Feiner has never represented an insurance company or large corporation, and he vows to keep this promise. Over the course of his career, Michael has handled thousands of Florida accident cases, recovering millions of dollars for his clients and earning him membership into the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Staying up-to-date on the ever-evolving laws protecting injury victims and their families, Michael is an active member of the American Bar Association, the Palm Beach, and St. Lucie Bar Associations, and sits on the Auto Insurance Committee of the Florida Justice Association.