T-bone accidents, also known as side-impact or broadside collisions, occur when one vehicle strikes another vehicle on the side, forming a “T” shape. Collisions can happen on the driver’s or passenger’s side, and they can result in severe and catastrophic injuries that require extensive medical treatment and long-term rehabilitation. In worst-case scenarios, vehicle occupants die from their injuries, and T-bone collisions injure and kill hundreds of people throughout Virginia each year.
If you suffered injuries or lost a close family member in a T-bone accident someone else caused in Virginia, you may qualify to receive compensation for your damages and losses. The complex process for obtaining compensation requires in-depth legal knowledge, so you need to contact a Fairfax car accident attorney for help.
What Causes T-Bone Collisions in Virginia?
Various scenarios can lead to a T-bone collision in Virginia, including:
- Running Red Lights or Stop Signs: One of the most common causes of T-bone collisions is when a driver disregards traffic signals and fails to stop at red lights or stop signs. This can lead to a vehicle entering the intersection and colliding with cross-traffic.
- Failure to Yield Right of Way: When a driver fails to yield the right of way to another vehicle, it can result in a T-bone collision. This might happen at intersections, roundabouts, or when merging onto highways.
- Speeding: Excessive speed reduces a driver’s ability to stop or react to sudden changes in traffic conditions. Speeding can lead to T-bone collisions, especially when a driver cannot stop in time to avoid a collision at an intersection.
- Distracted Driving: Using a cell phone, adjusting the radio, eating, or engaging in any other distracting activity while driving can lead to inattentiveness and, subsequently, T-bone collisions.
- Impaired Driving: Alcohol or drug impairment significantly impairs a driver’s judgment, reaction time, and ability to maintain control of their vehicle. Impaired drivers may fail to yield, run red lights, or make other dangerous maneuvers, increasing the risk of T-bone collisions.
- Poor Visibility: Adverse weather conditions such as fog, heavy rain, or snow can reduce visibility at intersections, making it difficult for drivers to see approaching vehicles, leading to T-bone collisions.
- Mechanical Failures: Vehicle malfunctions, such as brake failure or a sudden loss of steering control, can result in a driver being unable to avoid a T-bone collision.
- Reckless Driving: Aggressive driving behaviors, such as tailgating, weaving between lanes, or road rage, can lead to T-bone collisions if a driver loses control or engages in dangerous maneuvers.
- Inexperienced Drivers: Inexperienced or young drivers may lack the skills and judgment to navigate intersections safely, increasing the likelihood of T-bone collisions.
To reduce the risk of T-bone collisions in Virginia, drivers should obey traffic laws, be attentive, avoid distractions, and exercise caution at intersections and in areas with high traffic volume.
Unfortunately, not all drivers adhere to traffic rules or pay attention to the task of driving safely, and you need to consult an experienced personal injury attorney in Virginia to learn of your rights and options for seeking compensation from the negligent or careless driver who hurt you or someone you love.
What Should I Do if I Suffered Injuries in a Virginia T-Bone Accident?
If the wrongful actions of another driver caused a T-bone accident that injured you or a close family member in Virginia, to ensure your health and safety and protect your legal rights to pursue compensation:
- Seek medical attention immediately. Even if you do not feel injured, it is important to see a doctor to rule out any internal injuries. Additionally, you will need documentation you sustained an injury and received treatment to file an injury claim.
- Report the accident to the police. This will create a record of the accident and may provide invaluable evidence as to the accident’s cause.
- Exchange contact information with the other driver(s) involved in the accident. Be sure to get their name, address, phone number, and insurance information.
- Take pictures of the accident scene and any damage to your vehicle. This will help to document the accident and may serve as useful evidence for your claim.
Some additional tips to keep in mind:
- Do not admit fault for the accident to anyone, including the police, the other driver(s), or the insurance company.
- Do not sign anything from the insurance company without first having it reviewed by a lawyer.
- Keep a record of all of your medical expenses and lost income related to the accident.
- Be patient and persistent. It may take time to resolve your insurance claim or lawsuit, but you should not have to give up on the compensation you deserve.
After receiving treatment for your injuries, contact an experienced Virginia car accident lawyer. A lawyer can explain your legal rights and options and can represent you in negotiations with the insurance company or in court, if necessary.
What’s the Process of Obtaining Compensation for a T-Bone Accident in Virginia?
Obtaining compensation for a T-bone accident in Virginia typically involves several complex steps. Here is a general overview of the steps you may need to follow to seek compensation after a T-bone collision:
The first step is to get medical care for your injuries. As mentioned previously, you must suffer an injury and receive treatment to file an injury claim with the insurance company or a personal injury lawsuit in court. If you do not get medical treatment, even for minor injuries, the insurance company or opposing legal counsel may assert you did not sustain harm or that your injuries were too minor to qualify for compensation.
You must also report the accident to law enforcement or the appropriate authorities, as well as your own insurance company. You need to collect as much information and evidence as you can from the accident scene to support your claim, and you need to ensure to get the contact and insurance information of other drivers involved in the collision.
As soon as possible after receiving treatment for your injuries, contact an experienced Virginia car accident attorney.
A lawyer can assist with the claims process, which typically involves:
- Determining Liability: Your attorney will investigate the accident to establish liability. In a T-bone accident, this may involve determining which driver violated traffic laws, failed to yield the right of way, or engaged in negligent behavior.
- Filing an Insurance Claim: Your lawyer can assist you in filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. They will help you gather evidence, prepare a demand letter, and negotiate with the insurance adjuster for a fair settlement.
- Negotiating a Settlement: The insurance company may offer a settlement that is too low to cover all your injuries and losses. Your attorney will work to negotiate a fair compensation amount that covers your medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
- Filing a Lawsuit, if necessary: If negotiations with the insurance company do not result in a satisfactory settlement, your attorney may recommend filing a personal injury lawsuit. The lawsuit will name the at-fault driver as the defendant, allowing you to seek compensation through the court system.
- Court Proceedings: If your attorney files a lawsuit on your behalf, both parties will go through a legal process that may include discovery (gathering evidence), depositions, and possibly a trial. Keep in mind that your attorney and the other party may continue settlement negotiations up to the date of your trial and even after the trial has begun. Additionally, many civil courts in Virginia require parties in a civil suit to engage in pretrial mediation to try and resolve the matter. If negotiations or mediation don’t reach a favorable resolution, your case may proceed to trial, where a judge or jury will determine liability and the amount of compensation you may receive.
- Collecting and Distributing Compensation: If your attorney wins your case in court or reaches a settlement, you will receive compensation for your damages. This compensation can cover medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and other losses. Your attorney will disburse the funds to you after taking out their legal fees and costs and paying any outstanding medical bills you may have.
The process of obtaining compensation can vary depending on the specific details of your case. Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney in Virginia can greatly assist you in navigating the legal complexities involved in seeking compensation for a T-bone accident.
How Much Does a Virginia T-Bone Accident Attorney Cost?
Many personal injury attorneys in Virginia, including those at Right Path Law Group PLLC, work on a contingency fee basis. This means that the attorney’s fees are contingent on the outcome of your case. You won’t have to pay upfront legal fees, and the attorney will only collect a fee if they successfully recover compensation for you. If you don’t win your case, you generally won’t owe the attorney a fee.
What’s Virginia’s Statute of Limitations for Filing a T-Bone Accident Lawsuit?
In Virginia, the statute of limitations for filing a T-bone accident personal injury lawsuit is typically two years from the accident. The statute of limitations is a strict legal deadline, and if you fail to file your lawsuit within this time frame, the court will dismiss your case, and you may lose the right to seek compensation through the legal system.
However, some exceptions apply to Virginia’s statute of limitations:
- Discovery Rule: In some cases, the two-year clock may start running from the date you discovered or should have discovered your injuries. This discovery rule may apply in situations where the injuries do not immediately appear or that you discover later.
- Minor Plaintiffs: If the injured party is a minor (under 18 years old) at the time of the accident, the two-year countdown begins when the minor turns 18.
- Government Entities: If the T-bone accident involves a government entity or employee, you may face shorter notice requirements and different deadlines for filing a claim. In such cases, you may need to provide notice of your claim within a much shorter time frame, so you need to contact an attorney immediately.
No matter who caused the Virginia T-bone accident that injured you or someone you love, consult an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible to protect your legal rights and ensure that you meet the statute of limitations deadlines.
Your attorney can assess your case, gather evidence, and initiate legal proceedings within the appropriate time frame to maximize your chances of obtaining compensation for your injuries and losses.
Reach Out to Right Path Law Group PLLC Today
To increase your chances of getting the full and fair compensation you deserve following a T-bone accident, you need an attorney with experience in Virginia personal injury law and knowledge of local courts and procedures.
The attorneys at Right Path Law Group PLLC have served Fairfax County, Prince William County, and all of Northern Virginia for more than 15 years, and we have the knowledge, skills, and resources to handle your claim and improve your odds of obtaining a successful outcome.
Contact Fairfax personal injury lawyers today for a free consultation about your Virginia T-bone accident claim and discover how we can help you and your family get the financial recovery you need during this difficult and uncertain time.