A side impact, or t-bone, collision typically happens after a driver fails to yield or stop at an intersection. The impact causes a vehicle to hit another vehicle in its side. To prove fault, a plaintiff has the responsibility of showing who was at fault for the crash. Fault does not always involve whether the accused party intended to t-bone the other vehicle. Rather, fault is often based on negligence in a t-bone collision. Negligence is the result of carelessness and/or the failure of a person to adhere to their duty to act. A driver accused of causing this type of accident has defenses available to use in a personal injury lawsuit.
Is a Lack of Proof a Defense In a T-Bone Collision?
Yes. Whether a defendant can use lack of proof depends on the circumstances and facts of the accidents. For a plaintiff to win or settle a claim, they must show that the defendant:
- Owed the plaintiff a duty
- Breached that duty
- Caused the side impact collision
- Caused the damages suffered by the plaintiff, such as medical bills, pain and suffering, and property loss
If one or more of those elements are missing from the plaintiff’s negligence claim, a defendant can use the lack of proof defense. They can also use the defense if the plaintiff does not have enough proof to show the defendant was at fault for the accident.
What If the Accident Was Not Completely My Fault?
Contributory negligence is an available defense in some states if the plaintiff contributed to the accident. Contributory negligence looks at the plaintiff’s actions. If the plaintiff shared the fault by contributing to the accident, they may be barred from receiving any money.
What Is a Comparative Negligence Defense?
A comparative negligence defense, which is only available in certain states, requires a defendant to look at the plaintiff’s actions for any negligence. The court assesses fault according to a percentage. For example, if a plaintiff was 30 percent responsible for the accident, their award would decrease by 30 percent.
Should I Contact an Attorney about T-Bone Collision Defenses?
Yes. T-bone accidents require talking to a personal injury attorney about any available defenses. The attorney will determine whether which defense you can use and how to prove it.