Side-impact collisions, commonly known as T-bone accidents, happen most often at intersections. When a negligent driver runs a red light, ignores a stop sign, or fails to yield to the right-of-way, he or she could crash into the side of another person’s car, causing significant damage.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a side-impact collision in Charlottesville, the at-fault driver could be liable for damages. A skilled auto collision attorney could guide you through the legal process and help you obtain fair and adequate compensation.
Any car wreck can cause injuries, but T-bone accidents often lead to severe damages. In most passenger vehicles, the side panels of the car are the weakest part of the body. They provide limited protection for occupants, especially if the side airbags do not deploy properly.
In a side-impact collision, injured parties often experience significant stress on their heads, necks, and backs. While some injuries may be temporary, accident victims might need help from a local attorney to recover damages for their lifelong medical conditions. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), side-impact collisions typically result in:
Factors such as vehicle speed, seat belt use, and side airbag deployment can all impact the severity of the injured party’s damages.
In T-bone accident cases, proving liability is a vital part of the legal process. While it may seem like it is clear the other driver is responsible for the accident, there are situations in which the injured motorist could bear liability as well.
For example, if a driver ran a stop sign and T-boned another car, the person who ignored the traffic sign would bear most of the responsibility. However, if the injured motorist was texting at the time of the accident, he or she could be considered partially liable. In many states, the driver who is the most at fault is liable to pay damages to the less culpable person. However, Virginia laws are slightly different.
The Commonwealth follows a pure contributory negligence rule, which is outlined under the Virginia Civil Remedies and Procedure §8.01-34. A plaintiff who bears any amount of fault is barred from receiving civil compensation. Even if 95 percent or more of the fault lies with the other party, the plaintiff’s partial responsibility will bar them from collecting damages.
In cases where both drivers bear some liability, insurance companies might compensate the injured person as a business accommodation or convenience. However, they will most likely attempt to limit their payout. A side-impact collision attorney in Charlottesville could negotiate with an insurance company on your behalf and fight for an equitable settlement.
If you have sustained serious injuries in a side-impact car accident in Charlottesville, you should focus on tending to your injuries and moving forward with your life. A savvy attorney could focus on your accident and investigate in order to make a fault determination and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. Call today to set up your initial case review.