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

Posted on March 16, 2021 in Car Accidents

One of the most devastating types of auto accidents you could be involved in is the side-impact collision, often referred to as a T-bone accident. T-bone accidents can cause injuries such as bone fractures, traumatic brain damage, and catastrophic spinal cord injuries.

The at-fault party will be financially responsible for your losses, according to Arizona’s fault law. This means it is necessary to determine fault for your T-bone car accident before you can recover compensation.

How Does the Fault Insurance System Work?

A fault-based car insurance system holds the person responsible for causing an accident financially accountable. A no-fault system, on the other hand, does not take fault into consideration when determining liability. Instead, all injured parties will seek benefits from their own insurance providers with no regard to fault.

Arizona is a fault-based state. After a serious car accident, such as a T-bone collision, you will need to determine the fault for the crash before you can file an insurance claim. Depending on the circumstances, you may also be able to file an insurance claim with your own provider for immediate benefits, then your provider will determine fault for you through an investigation.

Determining Fault for a T-Bone Car Accident

T-bone accidents are almost always preventable. They take place when a driver commits a moving violation or breaks a law. Liability for a T-bone accident will go to the driver with the majority share of fault for the crash.

Common examples of careless and reckless driver actions that cause T-bone accidents are:

  • Making an unsafe or illegal left turn
  • Trying to “jump the gap”
  • Making an illegal U-turn
  • Running a red light
  • Rolling through a stop sign
  • Failing to yield the right-of-way
  • Excessive speeding or racing
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Falling asleep behind the wheel
  • Wrong-way driving


If another driver committed an act of wrongdoing and struck the side of your vehicle, causing a serious injury, that driver will absorb liability. Determining fault may require a thorough investigation of the crash. Investigations can look at a police report, testimony from eyewitnesses, official photographs, crash reconstruction, and more to assign fault.

What If You Share Fault?

A lawyer can make it easier to shoulder the burden of proof during a car accident claim, which rests with you as the plaintiff. The burden of proof is enough evidence to prove the defendant more likely than not breached a duty of care and caused the T-bone accident. A driver’s duty of care is to reasonably prevent collisions. If a driver breached this duty and caused a side-impact accident, he or she will be liable for your damages.

It is possible for both drivers in a T-bone car accident to share fault. For example, if a driver ran a red light, but you were looking down at your phone and did not see the driver, you could both share liability for the collision. In Arizona, an injured accident victim can be at fault and still recover some financial compensation.

If an insurance company, judge, or jury allocates a percentage of fault for the T-bone accident to you, this could reduce your financial award. The courts will deduct a percentage from a settlement or verdict that matches your degree of fault. If you are found 15% to blame, for example, the defendant would be 15% less financially responsible for your damages.


When to Speak to a Car Accident Lawyer in Arizona

If you wish to maximize your financial compensation for a harmful T-bone accident in Phoenix, Arizona, retain a car accident lawyer to represent you. A lawyer will have aggressive litigation tactics to use against a car insurance company for optimal results.

A lawyer can help you with complicated legal tasks while you focus on healing. A Phoenix car accident attorney can help you prove the other driver’s fault using evidence such as a police report, traffic citation, video surveillance footage, and eyewitness statements. If you were recently injured in a T-bone accident, contact Gallagher & Kennedy for a free consultation.