The effects of a T-bone accident can devastate a family, with severe injuries possible for the driver as well as any passengers. Because of the direction of a side-impact accident, safety features like airbags often aren’t enough to protect you from major harm. The good news is that an attorney can help you seek compensation during your recovery for costs like emergency room bills, missed paychecks, and more.
Why T-Bone Accidents Occur
The distinctive T shape of a side-impact crash often takes place either when turning left, or when the at-fault driver goes through an intersection without stopping. Some of the most common causes of side-impact crashes on Virginia roads include:
- Distracted driving (applying makeup, using GPS, texting, eating, etc.)
- Driving under the influence
- Failing to yield at an intersection or roundabout
- Fatigued driving
- Ignoring a stop sign
- Running a red light
These crashes often take place at a high enough speed to cause significant wounds to anyone in the vehicle. The person seated closest to the point of impact can be severely injured or even killed. Victims in T-bone accidents may suffer:
- Broken bones
- Eye injuries from broken glass
- Herniated disc and other spinal cord injuries
- Soft tissue damage
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Wrongful death
Any of these injuries could involve a long recovery period, ongoing chronic pain, the potential for paralysis, and extremely serious physical and mental side effects in the event of a traumatic brain injury. T-bone crash victims will likely face devastating medical bills, as well as the possibility of requiring extensive physical therapy. While you have a legal right to pursue compensation for those costs, actually recovering damages is dependent on taking the right actions after the accident.
Protect Yourself After a T-Bone Injury With These Steps
There are certain cases when defective parts like malfunctioning brakes are actually the cause of the crash, or when the hiring and training practices of a commercial trucking company may be responsible. However, the driver is typically at fault in most Virginia side-impact accidents. That means you will likely need to recover damages through insurance, or by pursuing a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver who struck your vehicle. For a successful outcome in either case, what you do immediately after the accident is critical.
In many T-bone crashes, the victims can’t exit the vehicle because the doors are smashed in and stuck. If you can safely leave your car or truck, be sure to always:
- Call 911 to have law enforcement examine the crash
- Photograph as much of the scene as possible (vehicles, broken glass, skid marks, weather conditions, your injuries, etc.)
- Talk to any bystanders who saw the collision and get their contact information
- Visit the emergency room to check for broken bones, internal bleeding, or TBI and start a paper trail on your injuries
While your actions in the hours just after the crash are crucial, there are also important steps to take in the days and weeks ahead. After seeking medical attention to discover the extent of your injuries, you then need to:
- Get help from an attorney as soon as possible. An experienced personal injury lawyer can investigate the cause of the T-bone crash, which may involve acquiring security footage, getting black box data if a commercial truck was involved, accident scene reconstructions, and other sources of evidence.
- Follow your doctor’s orders. Engaging in physical activity against a doctor’s advice, missing appointments, or failing to take prescribed medication can cause you problems when seeking compensation.
- Politely decline to provide a recorded statement to insurance, or any requests for a blanket release of all your medical records. Let your attorney handle the insurance adjuster so there is less opportunity to deny your claim.
- Refrain from social media posting as much as possible. Innocent photos or any discussion of the accident can be twisted and used against you to deny a legitimate claim.
Let an Experienced Richmond Personal Injury Attorney Help
If someone else was at fault for your crash, the law allows you to recover compensation for property damage to the vehicle, medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call or message us to set up a free consultation and discuss the accident. The Mottley Law Firm wants to find out if we can help you move forward with a side-impact personal injury lawsuit.