Who Is At Fault In A Louisiana T-Bone Vehicle Crash?
Side impact collisions, also referred to as T-bone collisions, are one of the deadliest types of vehicle crashes, with statistics showing that roughly one-quarter of traffic fatalities in 2019 were caused by impacts on the side of the vehicle. There are several reasons for the increased injury and fatality rate, but if you have been involved in this type of car wreck, the most important thing is to determine whether you have a case against the car that struck yours – if you do, you may be able to receive financial compensation for the harm you have suffered.
If you have been injured in a T-bone accident, you are likely more concerned about physical recovery than monetary recovery. However, if you are the family breadwinner, or otherwise integral to your family’s support, receiving compensation may ease your mind as well as your wallet. A Shreveport-Bossier City side impact collision attorney may be able to help get any questions answered, and advise you on the best path to take moving forward.
Causes & Effects
As one might imagine, T-bone crashes tend to be more dangerous than most, simply because there is less space between a vehicle occupant and the impact. The front of a vehicle usually has air bags, and the rear will have a trunk to absorb some of the energy from a collision, but the side of a vehicle is often unprotected. Some vehicles may have side air bags, but they are far from uniform, and depending on the angle at which the car is struck, they may not provide much protection to begin with.
These types of car crashes can happen for several different reasons – one of the most common is distracted driving, which can cause a driver to miss a sign or run a red light. Speeding is another factor. Even if a speeding driver wants to stop, sometimes it is not possible to do so in time. Some side-impact crashes also may occur, or be more severe, if the vehicles involved have different centers of gravity, such as an SUV colliding with a sedan.
Because there is so much less protection for a vehicle occupant if struck from the side, the injuries a crash victim sustains may be quite severe. Some of the most common injuries in T-bone collisions are to the spinal cord, neck, and head. If you have experienced this type of crash, it is highly likely that your injuries are serious, or even life-changing.
Can I File Suit?
If you believe that you may have a case against the driver who caused your injuries, you may file suit in Louisiana. Unlike in other neighboring states, Louisiana has a fault-based system for auto insurance, which means that claims can be brought against an allegedly negligent defendant without any potential recourse. Some plaintiffs may hesitate to file suit because they fear that their own actions might have played a role in causing the crash. Louisiana has a comparative fault rule that does not totally bar recovery for the plaintiff, even if they were partially at fault.
What this means is that even if the plaintiff is judged to have been partially at fault, it would merely lower the amount by their percentage of fault. If a court rules that the plaintiff is, for example, 30 percent at fault, it means that any money damages awarded to the plaintiff will be reduced by 30 percent. A defendant who can be shown to have breached the duty to exercise reasonable care will still face liability if their actions can be linked directly to the damage the plaintiff suffered.
If you have been injured in a T-bone collision with another vehicle, it may feel overwhelming to try and file suit against the person you believe to be responsible. A Shreveport car accident attorney from Rice & Kendig can be the difference between success and failure in the courtroom. We can help obtain medical records and police reports, and ensure that your rights are protected during the legal process. Let our experience in this area of law work for you. Contact our office today for a free consultation.