Side impact, or t-bone, accidents can happen in a number of ways depending on which driver broadsided which car and who is at fault. Sometimes who is at fault for this kind of accident is usually obvious. For example, the defendant may hit the plaintiff’s vehicle or force them to hit another driver. This causes a vehicle’s side to become damaged from the impact. However, a plaintiff suing for damages must still prove liability.
Liability is the determination of who was at fault for the automobile accident. Fault is not determined always by who had an intent to cause an accident, but by who was negligent at the time of the accident. Negligence is based on a duty a driver has to act as a reasonable driver in the same or similar circumstances. To determine fault, many drivers collect evidence to prove their case, such as:
- Physical Evidence
- Copies of traffic laws
- Copies of police reports
- Witness testimony
- Hospital documents
- Accident reconstruction models
- Video or photographs of the accident scene
Negligence is proven in a series of elements:
- Duty of Care: This means the defendant had a duty to not to harm the plaintiff while operating a motor vehicle.
- Breach of Duty: Once duty is establish, the plaintiff must show how it was breached. This may be shown through the types of evidence mentioned above in proving fault.
- Causation: Just because the defendant breached their duty to protect the plaintiff from harm does not mean they caused the accident. A plaintiff proves causation either by showing actual and proximate cause. Both forms of cause show how the accident happened.
- Damages: Just because the defendant caused the accident does not mean he causes the damages such as injuries or property loss. It is the plaintiff’s responsibility to prove the type of damages that occurred.
If you have been involved in a t-bone accident, you will need to talk to a personal injury attorney. If you are suing another party, a lawyer will assist you in determining who is at fault and filing a claim. If you are being sued for a t-bone accident, a lawyer will determine the defenses to use or assist in settling the claim.