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Who is Liable For Your T-bone Accident in New York?

A T-bone car accident can have devastating consequences for the victims. Even if the colliding vehicles were moving at a relatively moderate speed, the impact can be forceful and cause extensive damage and serious injuries. When you have been the victim of a T-bone car accident, it is vital to determine who is liable for your injuries and losses, and pursue a personal injury case for compensation against them.

At Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP in New York, we represent victims who have sustained injuries in T-bone accidents. Our highly rated T-bone accident attorneys in NYC will use their experience to speed up your case and get you the maximum compensation you deserve.

What is a T-Bone Accident?

A T-bone accident is an intersection collision where the driver of a vehicle collides with the side of another car. It is named so because the “T” shape formed by connecting the front and back of two cars is similar to the image of two sides of beef T-bones connected at the spine, or keel bone.

Because T-bone accidents typically occur on busy city streets and intersections, they tend to involve multiple vehicles and can be especially dangerous for pedestrians and other motorists. The lack of structural support on the sides of cars means that occupants are vulnerable to serious injuries like broken bones, organ damage, and brain trauma.

Even a fatality can occur in this type of an accident when the impact is severe enough. After any kind of car accident that causes injury or death, it is essential to consult with an attorney who understands how to document and prove liability of the negligent parties.

Causes of T-Bone Accidents in New York City

Most side-impact crashes in New York City occur at intersections with one vehicle failing to stop or yield. For example, if you are driving eastbound on the street with two westbound lanes and wish to turn left (north) at an intersection, you must first merge into the left westbound lane. If you try to cross both lanes at once, you could get hit by westbound traffic in the right lane. Anyway, this type of crash can occur anywhere and is not limited to intersections.

Other factors that could contribute to side-impact collisions include:

  • Driving Under the Influence: Drunk drivers often have slow reaction times and cannot correctly judge distances between vehicles. When they attempt to overtake or pass, they may misjudge the speed of oncoming traffic and collide with it.
  • Speeding: This can make it difficult for drivers to stop in time when approaching an intersection. If another vehicle is entering from the side, it may be too late to avoid a collision.
  • Distracted Driving: When drivers take their eyes off the road, they may not be able to react quickly enough when another driver runs a red light or stop sign and enters their lane. Common forms of distracted driving include texting, eating, grooming, using a GPS or talking on a cell phone while driving.
  • Incorrect Judgment: Incorrectly judged gaps in traffic are another common cause of side-impact collisions. This can occur when a driver attempts to squeeze into an opening in traffic that is too small. It can also happen when drivers change lanes without considering the speed of approaching vehicles.
  • Unsafe Lane Changes: A driver who does not use their turn signal when changing lanes may cause an accident if another driver does not see them coming. A driver following too close to the vehicle in front of them may fail to stop in time before hitting a car that suddenly turns in front of them. Drivers who improperly merge into traffic may also cause T-bone accidents if they do not take proper care when moving into a new lane.
  • Road Hazards: Potholes and poor weather conditions can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles and strike other motorists. Moreover, construction zones sometimes fail to provide proper warnings about dangerous conditions and limited visibility.

Injuries Caused Due to New York T-Bone Accidents

In a typical T-bone accident in New York, the front end of the striking vehicle impacts the door of the victim’s vehicle. The force of impact usually causes the driver and passenger in the victim vehicle to suffer severe injuries because they have no time to brace themselves. Here are some common injuries caused by a side-impact crash:

  • Traumatic brain injury occurs when the head impacts either the steering wheel or windshield. It can also happen if the head becomes violently ejected and comes into contact with another part of the vehicle.
  • The sudden stop that occurs in a T-Bone accident can cause the neck to be thrown forward and back quickly. This is called whiplash, and it can cause severe pain and symptoms for months after the accident.
  • Broken bones: Since there are multiple points at which impact can occur during this type of crash, various kinds of broken bones may occur. The legs, arms, wrists, and ribs are all commonly fractured or broken in these types of accidents.
  • Internal bleeding: Any sudden blow to the body may cause internal bleeding within organs, muscles, or other soft tissues inside your body.

Injuries suffered in these accidents are most often very serious. Some victims require extensive medical care and rehabilitation, and some may require prolonged hospitalization. On top of this, some may require intensive physical therapy and occupational therapy to regain function, and some may have permanent disabilities.

Establishing Liability in a T-Bone Accident

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New York City has hundreds of red-light cameras at busy intersections within the five boroughs. These are usually in or near significant, multi-lane streets that experience large amounts of traffic. When a driver runs a camera-monitored red light, the device snaps photographs of the reckless driver and the traffic signal before and after entering the intersection.

The resulting images may illustrate not just the driver but also the intersection in one frame. If both drivers claim to have had a green light or stop sign when they entered the intersection, it is necessary to examine traffic camera footage from the surrounding areas.

Under the legal definition of negligence, a driver must reasonably operate their vehicle. This means following posted speed limits, coming to a complete stop at a stop sign, yielding the right-of-way when necessary, and obeying traffic lights. If an accident occurs because a motorist has violated these road rules, they will likely be held liable for any damages caused to the other parties.

If one of the motorists was driving recklessly, such as speeding or following too closely, they might be found liable, even if they had the right-of-way. If both motorists were driving recklessly and contributed to the accident, both may be held accountable for their respective percentages of fault.

The roadway conditions at the time of your crash may also influence liability. Was there a dangerous pothole or other road defects that caused you to swerve into oncoming traffic? If so, your local government agency responsible for maintaining that roadway may be held liable. The same can be said if faulty traffic signals caused your accident.

Establishing liability in a T-bone accident in New York City is a matter of determining which driver failed to exercise the proper care and caution required for the safe operation of a motor vehicle. If you have been injured in a T-bone accident, it is crucial that you consult our experienced car accident attorneys, especially if it appears that the other driver at fault is disputing any responsibility

What Should You Do After Getting Involved In A Side-Impact Collision?

  • Obtain appropriate medical treatment as soon as possible. Some injuries are not apparent and may take time to develop symptoms. So, seek medical assistance immediately.
  • Do not leave the accident scene until law enforcement arrives and releases you.
  • Take videos and pictures of your car, their car, and the site of the accident.
  • Obtain details of the other driver’s license, license plate number, insurance company, and policy number for all drivers involved in the accident.
  • Get names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of all drivers and passengers involved in the accident.
  • If possible, get contact information from any eye witnesses.
  • Obtain a copy of the police report from the law enforcement agency that responded to your accident.

Schedule an Appointment with Seasoned T-Bone Accident Attorneys in New York City

When you have been injured in a New York T-Bone accident due to negligence or recklessness of someone else, we’re here to help you find justice. The experienced attorneys at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP have successfully represented clients in New York for over a century. We know how to navigate the legal landscape, and we’re familiar with all of the strategies insurance companies use to deny or mitigate the victims’ claims. Our goal is not just to recover compensation, it’s to make sure our clients get what they need to heal and move forward with their lives.

If you believe you may have grounds for a claim, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our car accident attorneys in New York City. We offer free initial consultations and charge no fees unless you recover damages. Call us today at 1-800-660-2264 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.