Side-impact collisions, often called t-bone accidents, can occur in several different traffic situations and often have devastating consequences. In fact, side impacts account for approximately 25% of deaths from car accidents in the US.
In these types of accidents, either driver may be determined at fault depending on the situation.
For example, let’s say you were at an intersection waiting at a red light. It turns green, and you proceed across the intersection, only to be t-boned by someone speeding through a red light on the other side. In this situation, the other driver was most likely at fault for the accident, but proving it is not always easy.
Read on to learn more about how liability is determined in a side-impact collision.
It Starts at the Scene of the Side-Impact Collision
When it comes to side-impact accidents, it’s necessary to try avoiding them. However, not all t-bone situations can be avoided, so you should know what to do when it happens to you.
Collecting evidence at the scene of the accident is a crucial step in proving accident liability.
Even if the other driver is clearly at fault for the accident, their insurance company may try to point the finger at you to reduce or deny your compensation claim.
Taking the following measures can help to ensure you have a solid case with plenty of evidence.
Call the Police
The first thing you should do after an accident is to call the police. They will speak with each driver, examine the evidence, and write up a detailed report about the accident.
Make sure to get a copy of this report. The police report may contain valuable information that can help you prove your case, such as the at fault party’s statement to police, the officer’s determination as to which driver was at fault, and whether any traffic tickets were issued.
Get Medical Attention
Check yourself and your passengers and get immediate medical attention for any side-impact collision injuries.
Even if it seems like a minor injury at first, you may feel much worse later on when your adrenalin wears off. Plus, some minor injuries left untreated can turn into severe conditions later on and cost you thousands in medical bills.
It is in your best interests to see a medical professional and follow through with the treatment plan.
Take pictures with your phone at the scene of the accident. You may be able to use them to prove your case later on.
Get photos of your injuries, the damage to your car, the other driver’s car, and anything else that may be helpful to show how the accident happened.
If you are hurt and can’t take pictures, ask a passenger or bystander to take them for you.
Exchange Contact Information
Exchange contact information with the other driver – you will need it to file a claim.
It is also critical to get contact information from any witnesses at the scene before they leave. Witness statements can provide powerful evidence to support your case.