Who Is At Fault in a T-Bone Car Accident?   

A T-bone accident refers to a collision where one car’s front end collides with the side of another, making a T-shape. These collisions can be catastrophic, with injuries that can be life-changing or even fatal. One driver is in a head-on collision, while the other is impacted from the side, possibly without much protection from airbags. 

The driver who caused the accident may be liable for serious injuries and property damage sustained by the victim as Missouri is an “at-fault” car insurance state. T-bone accident injuries are often serious enough to warrant significant damages.

Determining Fault in a T-Bone Accident

The most common locations for T-bone accidents are at an intersection, often when one driver tries to make it through before the light turns red. If one driver illegally enters the intersection and crashes into a driver who is lawfully in the intersection, then the first driver would be at fault for the accident since they violated Kansas City traffic laws.

Another common scenario for T-bone car accidents is a left-hand turn situation. A driver making a left-hand turn may collide with a driver going straight through the intersection. Or, a driver in the process of making a left-hand turn may be hit from the side by a driver going too fast through the intersection. 

Whichever vehicle failed to yield the right-of-way in these situations would be at fault for the collision. When the police officer comes to take the accident report, they’ll often determine which driver violated traffic laws.

Right-of-Way and T-Bone Accidents

In most cases, the driver making a left-hand turn must yield to other, oncoming traffic. If a driver tries to make it through a gap of oncoming traffic but misjudges the distance, they can cause a T-bone accident. 

If the left-hand turning vehicle has a green arrow, they have the right of way. However, most of the time, the left-hand turning driver must yield to other vehicles, even in guided intersections.

When Both Drivers Are At Fault for a T-Bone Accident

Sometimes, both drivers make mistakes that cause the collision. One driver may have turned left at the wrong time, while the other was speeding through the intersection, closing the gap too fast. Determining which driver (if any) is entitled to compensation from the other driver can be tricky and often falls to the courts to decide. 

Missouri is a pure comparative fault state regarding car accident liability, which means that both drivers may share in the fault of the accident, and your settlement depends on what percentage of the blame the courts determine is your responsibility.

Determining Fault in a T-Bone Collision

To prove which driver is at fault and who shares which percentage of the responsibility, the courts require evidence in several forms. Your insurance company will also require proof of who is at fault to either pay a claim on your behalf or deny a claim made by the other party. 

Several things contribute to determining fault:

  • Police reports made by the responding officer
  • Witness statements, including any videos taken or CCTV footage
  • Vehicle damage often shows how the accident happened and who caused it
  • Professional crash reconstruction, using computer-generated recreations or crash diagrams

A car crash attorney often uses all of these elements to prove the case for liability, defending the victim and pursuing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. 

The best information comes immediately after the accident, which is why it’s so important to call 911 — both to collect fresh evidence and receive life-saving medical care. 

Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm For Help Today

For more information, please contact Bradley Law Personal Injury Lawyers at your nearest location to schedule a free case evaluation today.

St. Louis Office
1424 Washington Ave Suite #300 St. Louis, MO 63103
(314) 400-0000

Kansas City Office
1509 NE Parvin Rd, Suite A., Kansas City, MO 64116
(816) 408-3448

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