T-Bone Accident: Who’s at Fault?

t-bone accident who's at fault

Every year about 2 million drivers incur permanent injuries as a result of a vehicle collision. Driver errors account for almost 90% of those crashes. Many people assume that in a T-bone accident the vehicle impacting the other is to blame for the accident. That is not always true. It may be either driver, an auto manufacturer, or the driver of a car not in the accident. Answering the statement, “I’ve been in a T-bone accident, who’s at fault?”

requires a complete investigation. If you are looking for answers to T-bone car accident causes you are in the right place. We will fill you in on accident causes and how to get the compensation you deserve if you sustain a personal injury in the accident.

T-Bone Accident Definition

When you or someone you know has been in a T-bone accident, there is a strong likelihood that at least one or more people will suffer personal injury. That is because this accident involves one vehicle striking another in the side. The impact of the two vehicles creates a “T” formation.

This type of accident often happens at intersections. This may result from one vehicle running a red light or disobeying a stop sign. Other locations include parking lots when making a left turn, or a vehicle pulling partially out of a side street or parking lot and stopping across a traffic lane when waiting for traffic to clear.

T-Bone Accident, Who’s At Fault?

There are two parties looking at evidence following a T-bone accident. Law enforcement officers will conduct an accident investigation to determine fault and issue any appropriate tickets.

The other person reviewing accident reports and possibly hiring an accident recreation expert will be your attorney. If your attorney has any questions about fault, they will conduct research to determine fault that may not match the officer’s findings.

Fault is very important, as it impacts your personal car insurance costs, your driving record, and your personal injury lawsuit. Trying to determine the cause of the accident and fault includes various elements. This includes the position of the vehicles and other factors such as:

  • Road conditions or weather
  • Vehicle defects
  • Speeding
  • Reckless or aggressive driving
  • Fatigue
  • Failure to comply with traffic signals
  • Drunk driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Human error

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a survey of crashes between 2005 to 2017 found that 94% of automobile crashes were due to driver error. Vehicles, environment, and other unknown reasons each only account for 2% of vehicle collisions.

In addition to the police report, if the damages exceed $1,000 or anyone suffers injury or dies, you must report the incident to the California DMV. In lieu of you the Report of Traffic Accident Occurring in California, Form SR-1, may be submitted by your attorney or insurance agent.

When you have an attorney, allowing them to file the form will provide you with the best legal protection. In working to determine full or partial fault, law authorities and your car accident attorney will consider the following:


Accident investigators will review criteria including who had the right-of-way and whether a driver was paying attention to the roadway. Driver distraction, including children, cell phone, food consumption, a pet, or more may result in comparative fault. Investigations include interviewing witnesses, dash-cam video, and skid marks on the road. 

California is a pure comparative fault state. This means victims can receive compensation even if partially liable for the accident. When this happens the damages you receive are reduced by the liability percentage.

Vehicle Manufacturer or Service Center

Manufacturer fault only occurs in a small percentage of accidents. For example, if during the accident the airbag fails to deploy and a person suffers severe injury as a result of that defect, the manufacturer may be partially liable.

There are also incidents in which a service center may be partially liable. If a vehicle recently had new brakes installed and their brakes fail, resulting in a collision, the service facility and/or technician may be partially liable.

Third-Party Vehicle

There may be an incident in which a third vehicle is not part of the collision but was the cause of the accident. This can include pulling out in front of another vehicle, improper lane change resulting in another vehicle swerving out of the way, etc. That third vehicle may not even realize they are the cause of an accident and leave the scene.

Emergency Vehicle Collision

It is possible you may be in an accident with a fire truck, ambulance, or police vehicle speeding to the scene of an emergency. When this occurs, who is at fault?

As a driver, you must yield to these vehicles. The extent of liability between you and the emergency vehicle driver will depend on various facts. This includes the emergency vehicle driver’s behavior.

The driver of an emergency vehicle may speed, run red lights, etc. as necessary to reach the scene of an emergency quickly. Despite those allowances, the driver must exercise caution as they proceed. This includes driving in a safe manner so their behavior does not result in harm to other drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists.

An investigation into this type of accident will require a careful examination of the emergency vehicle driver’s behavior and the other driver’s compliance with legal requirements to slow down and allow the emergency vehicle to pass.

Car Accident Lawyer’s Liability Position

When your attorney files a lawsuit they will include one or more defendants and one or more counts based on their determination of liability. For instance, they may file under their belief that the other driver is 75% at fault because they ran a red light, but the car manufacturer is 25% at fault for the failure of an airbag to deploy.

They will show both the other driver and the car manufacturer as defendants in the lawsuit. The will include the elements of negligence under separate counts for each defendant.

Under the driver, they will list the elements of the driver’s negligence in failing to drive in a safe and prudent manner. The count against the car manufacturer may be negligence or product liability for failing to produce a product that was safe and functioning properly.

For each count in your complaint, the attorney must show the elements of the count, how the defendant meets those requirements, and the damages you suffer as a result of the defendant’s actions.

T-Bone Accident Damages?

Damages are your losses as a result of the accident. This includes medical bills, rehabilitation, and property damage. You may also incur a loss of income, pain and suffering, and the inability to work in the future.

The amount of damages increases if you suffer a permanent, life-altering injury. Your attorney will be familiar with negotiating a settlement based on your injuries.

Reaching a Resolution

Determining fault in a T-bone accident may be complicated. Without knowledge of the law, it is easy to be manipulated into a settlement far less than the compensation you deserve.

When you find yourself saying ‘I’ve been in a T-bone accident, who’s at fault?” you need an attorney that specializes in car accident and personal injury law. At Sweet Lawyers, we offer a free, no-obligation consultation when you call 1-800-674-7854 to schedule an appointment.

There is no fee unless we win your case and we provide free property damage help when handling your case. With our 98% success rate, you have nothing to lose. Call today!

Related Posts

1 Person Injured in DUI Crash on Montezuma Road [San Diego, CA]

1 Person Injured in DUI Crash on Montezuma Road [San Diego, CA]

1 Hospitalized in San Diego Auto Accident on Montezuma Road   SAN DIEGO, CA (November 28, 2021) – On Friday, a person sustained injuries in a suspected DUI crash on Montezuma Road.   According to the San Diego Fire-Rescue, the incident happened on the 6400 block of Montezuma Road.   Reports revealed that a Jeep […]

Man Injured in Motorcycle Crash on R Street and West Third Street [Merced, CA]

Man Injured in Motorcycle Crash on R Street and West Third Street [Merced, CA]

1 Hospitalized in Merced Motorcycle Accident on R Street and West Third Street   MERCED, CA (November 28, 2021) – Friday morning, a man sustained injuries in a motorcycle crash on R Street and West Third Street.   According to Lt. Emily Foster, the incident happened at around 11:12 a.m. on R Street and West […]

6 People Injured in Multi-Vehicle Crash on Highway 101 near Highway 46 [Paso Robles, CA]

6 People Injured in Multi-Vehicle Crash on Highway 101 near Highway 46 [Paso Robles, CA]

Injuries Reported in Paso Robles Accident on Highway 101 near Highway 46   PASO ROBLES, CA (November 23, 2021) – Monday afternoon, six people sustained injuries in a multi-vehicle crash on Highway 101 near Highway 46.   According to the California Highway Patrol, the incident happened at around 5:10 p.m. Moreover, it occurred on northbound […]

An essay writing service from Papertyper.net – tips on choosing the right author for your needs

Order an essay writing service on the site. Essay Writing Service Papertyper.net offers a wide range of topics, among others: Essay Writing for Students. Many prime companies write essays online, but the best way to make sure you find a company you can trust is to read a few reviews online. The more accurate the […]

Help Is Here

We have answers. Tell us about your situation.

Call (800) 674-7854 or request a callback below
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Police Report Request Form

Police Report Request

"*" indicates required fields

Sweet Lawyers has my permission to help provide a free police report.*
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.