Truck T-Bone Accident Lawyers
All motor vehicle accidents are inherently scary and concerning. However, T-bone accidents involving trucks can produce some of the most frightening and dangerous injuries.
Also called side-impact or broadside accidents, T-bone collisions occur when one vehicle strikes the side of another vehicle head-on. While the sides of most vehicles are much more protected and enforced than they used to be, the side is still more vulnerable than the front or rear of any vehicle. T-bone accidents can cause severe and even fatal injuries to both motorists and their passengers.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury in a T-bone accident with a truck, call a truck accident attorney near you for help.
Where Do Most T-Bone Accidents Happen?
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that side-impact accidents accounted for 23 percent of vehicle occupant deaths in car accidents in a recent year.
Motor vehicle accidents, including broadside accidents, often happen when and where you least expect them. Many victims of these accidents tell us that the other vehicle just “came out of nowhere.” But we all know big rigs don’t just “come out of nowhere.” Rather, these accidents result from another party’s actions or inactions.
Still, for those hit in a T-bone accident, there’s no doubt they feel like the vehicle came out of nowhere. But why? Most of the time, the offending driver’s actions surprised the victims. The semi-truck made an unexpected move or, for some reason, was hidden from view until it was too late.
When it comes to T-bone collisions, some areas see more than others, for example:
Stop signs: Stop signs are typically at intersections having low to moderate traffic. Although, sometimes, one may be at the intersection of a high-volume street and a lower-volume street. A trucker might run a stop sign if they don’t see it for some reason, if they are in a rush, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Suppose another vehicle has already entered the intersection. In that case, this is a prime set-up for a T-bone accident to occur.
Stoplights: Stoplights serve an essential purpose at high-volume intersections. They are frequently used in non-residential areas to control traffic traveling over 25 miles per hour. T-bone accidents are likely if a truck driver fails to obey the stoplight.
Uncontrolled intersections: Uncontrolled intersections lack any stop signs or stoplights. While they are usually in low-traffic areas, they are still dangerous and increase the risk of a T-bone accident. Since there are no traffic devices or signs, motorists are supposed to yield the right of way to the vehicle that was there first. Even still, countless accidents occur because a driver doesn’t yield the right of way or they wrongly assume what the other driver is going to do.
Driveways: Even though speeds aren’t as concerning in these areas, both residential and commercial driveways are hot spots for T-bone collisions. When leaving a driveway, motorists must merge into oncoming traffic. On busy roads or when the driver can’t see around another object, the chances of a T-bone accident increase. Additionally, large trucks or other vehicles parked on the side of the road or even the surrounding landscaping can block a driver’s essential view of oncoming traffic.
Common Causes of T-Bone Accidents
T-bone accidents generally share the same common causes as other types of accidents, even though the results of the accidents can be much more severe. Typical causes of T-bone accidents include:
A couple of seconds of distraction is all that is required to potentially cause an accident. For example, if a truck driver glances down to check their phone, adjust the radio, program their GPS, or grab a handful of fries, they may not notice an upcoming intersection or a vehicle already in the intersection.
Driving Under the Influence
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol affects a driver’s ability to make reasonable decisions. Both alcohol and drugs impair the ability to focus, correctly and quickly analyze a situation, and act accordingly in the event of an emergency. A drunk driver may not see traffic lights as they travel through an intersection, be unable to stop the vehicle on time, or ignore traffic lights or stop signs for various reasons.
Poor visibility caused by some weather conditions can also interfere with a driver’s ability to drive safely. For example, fog and heavy rain can make it challenging to see, causing a trucker to turn in front of oncoming traffic. In addition, if a stop sign is blocked, damaged, or otherwise hidden from view, a truck driver might not even be aware of an upcoming intersection.
When making a left turn across traffic, every driver must use their personal discretion as to if they have enough time to cross. If the other motorist is speeding, the turning driver may not accurately gauge how much time they have, causing a broadside collision.
Failure to Yield
All motorists rely on several factors to make good decisions while on the road. They obey traffic signs, read road markings, and adhere to traffic laws. However, they also depend heavily on the actions of others. In many driving scenarios, one driver should yield the right of way to the other driver, such as at intersections, driveways, while merging, and when crossing traffic. If a driver doesn’t yield, another unsuspecting driver may run directly into them, resulting in a T-bone accident.
What Makes Truck Accidents so Devastating?
Thankfully, truck accidents are far less common than other types of motor vehicle accidents. However, when they do happen, they often cause severe and even fatal injuries.What makes these accidents so devastating?
The trucks’ weight: Semi-trucks weigh much more than most other vehicles on the road. A fully loaded big rig can easily weigh up to 80,000 pounds. The average passenger car weighs just 4,000. As such, they need more time and distance to stop. When they need to stop suddenly, the results can be disastrous. They also cause more damage in an accident due to their weight and size, even more so if they were traveling at excessive speeds when the accident occurred.
The truck’s size: Large commercial trucks are also bigger and taller than the other vehicles they share the road with. Their tires are larger, and they have more substantial parts. This size difference can also lead to catastrophic or fatal accidents when a truck strikes another vehicle from the side or rear.
Loads carried by trucks: A truck’s load can increase its accident risk. If a truck isn’t fully loaded, it is at a higher risk of being blown over by the wind on a highway. If loaded improperly, it can make it more likely for the cargo to shift, causing an accident. Tanker trucks that carry liquids are hazardous because if the tanks aren’t full, it can cause unbalanced weight and result in an accident.
T-Bone Truck Accident FAQs
Who Can You Hold Liable for Your T-bone Truck Accident?
Determining liability, or who is legally at fault, is one of the most critical steps after a truck accident. After suffering injuries, holding the right people or parties accountable for their actions is the only way to receive financial compensation.
Liability in truck accidents can be complex as there are many potentially liable parties, including:
The truck driver
The truck driver’s employer
The trucking company
A third party employed by the trucking company, such as a hiring firm
Anyone who loaded the truck before the accident or the loading company
The manufacturer of the truck or its parts
A government entity
Sometimes, you can hold multiple parties are at fault. When you hire a skilled truck accident attorney, they will investigate how your accident happened to determine who is liable. Then they will decide which insurance policies are available to cover your damages.
How Long Do You Have to File a Truck Accident Injury Lawsuit?
After suffering injuries in a T-bone truck accident, it’s essential to act swiftly to secure legal representation. It might seem like plenty of time, but under the Texas personal injury statute of limitations, you only have two years from the accident date to file a lawsuit pursuing compensation for your damages.
If you miss this crucial deadline, you won’t have the legal right to seek compensation through a lawsuit anymore. Your attorney will need time to prepare your case for trial if they are unable to settle your claim.
Should You Speak to the Insurance Company?
Unfortunately, insurance companies often attempt to take advantage of unsuspecting injured victims. They might seem polite and even concerned and friendly. However, their ultimate goal is to pay you as little as possible for your truck accident injuries. Some insurance companies will do whatever they can, even pushing legal boundaries to achieve that goal. You deserve full and fair compensation for your damages, but if you talk to them, you can jeopardize this.
By hiring a San Antonio truck accident lawyer as soon as possible, you can avoid being taken advantage of by the insurance company. Once you have legal representation, you won’t need to speak directly to anyone from the insurance company. Instead, they will need to go through your attorney, who is familiar with any potential tactics they might use to devalue or deny your claim.
Did You Suffer Injuries in a T-Bone Truck Accident? Call a Truck Accident Lawyer Near You Today
Sometimes multiple factors result in T-bone semi-truck accidents. Even still, the causes are almost always rooted in negligence. Truck drivers owe a duty of care to others. They should drive the speed limit and reduce their speeds when road or weather conditions aren’t ideal. They should maintain their trucks, including tires and brakes, to be sure they are safe to drive. They should devote all of their attention to the serious task of driving.
When they make bad decisions, no matter the reason, they should be accountable for the damages they cause. You can trust a dedicated personal injury lawyer from our firm to do just that.