Who is at fault when you get in a T-bone car accident depends on exactly how the accident occurred. The other driver, an auto part manufacturer, the local government, or others may have played a role in the accident.
You may find it helpful to hire a car accident attorney to investigate and fight your case. This way, you can be sure you have identified the correct party or parties in your lawsuit.
What Is a T-Bone Car Accident?
A T-bone car accident refers to any accident where one car hits another from the side. They are especially common at intersections, where many vehicles simultaneously come together from different directions.
It may seem obvious that the driver who hit another car is at fault in a T-bone accident. While this may be true in many cases, this is not guaranteed. So, it is important that you do not speculate about who is or is not guilty with the police officer who responds to the scene. Instead, factually answer their questions and wait until you contact a lawyer to discuss fault.
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When Is the Other Driver at Fault?
The driver who hit another vehicle might be at fault if they displayed any type of reckless or negligent behavior behind the wheel. Examples of such behavior include:
- Drinking and driving
- Using any drug that affects judgment and/or that has never taken before, which prevents the user from knowing how the drug affects them
- Exceeding the speed limit or driving too fast for the conditions
- Ignoring street signs or traffic lights
- Succumbing to road rage or other aggressive behaviors
- Using a cell phone while driving
- Indulging in other distractions, like eating food, applying make-up, or tuning the radio
When Am I at Fault?
Every driver on the road, including you, is responsible for always behaving in a reasonable and cautious manner. If you exhibited any of the behaviors listed above, you may be at fault for the accident.
If both you and the other party exhibited such behaviors, you could both be declared at fault. However, whether or not either of you could receive compensation would depend on your lawyer’s negotiating skills or a jury’s assessment of the crash.
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When Is the Manufacturer at Fault?
While driver error is a frequent cause of T-bone car accidents, there are some collisions where drivers did everything right and still ended up in an accident. This could be the case if something went wrong with their vehicle at a critical moment. For instance:
- The brakes failed, preventing the car from decreasing speed to stop for oncoming traffic.
- A tire blew out, and the driver lost control of the vehicle.
- The warning lights on the dashboard did not come on when they should have, so the driver had no idea anything was wrong with the car and had no chance to get it fixed.
Car part manufacturers have a duty to protect the public from faulty products by:
- Testing each part thoroughly
- Withholding products that could be hazardous
- Recalling dangerous products in a timely manner
The manufacturer would be at fault if they did not do each of these things, which contributed to your accident.
When Is the Government at Fault?
Your tax dollars go to keeping roads safe and drivable. It is the government’s job to see that those dollars are put to good use by:
- Ensuring there are enough streetlights and that they all work
- Maintaining traffic lights
- Replacing traffic signs when they get knocked down
- Responding to complaints about any of the above
Failure to live up to these responsibilities puts every road user at risk. You can therefore sue the government agency in charge of road maintenance if they did not do their jobs, though you have an extremely limited time to do so, per O.C.G.A. § 36-33-5.
Who Is at Fault in Your Case?
There were 387,444 car accidents in the state of Georgia in 2021, as reported by the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT). Each accident is unique and requires careful research and investigation before anyone can say who is at fault in a T-bone car accident case.
The one sure fact is this: if you were the victim of someone else’s negligence, you deserve the chance to hold them accountable and seek compensation from them. Hiring an attorney to identify the liable party for you can be your first step to financial recovery.
Get Help with Your Car Accident Case
When you get in an accident, you deserve to keep your focus on recovering from your injuries, not fighting for financial recovery. Bader Scott Injury Lawyers can help you determine who is at fault for your T-bone car accident and how much compensation you can receive as a result. Our team will evaluate your case at no charge.