Being involved in a t-bone collision leaves motorists vulnerable to catastrophic injuries. There is not a substantial amount of protection between side doors and passengers, and if another driver crashes at a high rate of speed, drivers and passengers are at risk for serious harm. If you or one of your loved ones have suffered injuries from a t-bone crash, you could be entitled to damages for your injuries. Contact the Philadelphia t-bone car accident attorneys at Reiff & Bily to develop a plan of action for pursuing your potential claim.
Types of T-bone Collisions and Associated Injuries
There are numerous factors that can cause a side impact crash to occur. These types of collisions are usually the result of drivers failing to pay attention and follow the rules of the road. Some of the most common causes of t-bone crashes include:
- Drifting into adjacent lanes
- Improper merging
- Failure to follow yield signs
- Improper lane changes
- Running red lights
- Illegal turns
- Driver impairment by alcohol and/or illegal drugs
- Inclement weather conditions
- Running stop signs
- Steering and breaking failure
The injuries that victims of side impact car crashes suffer can be severe. The location of the victim’s seat at the moment of impact and the speed at which the collision occurred are both determinant variables as to what type of injuries will result. Common injuries in t-bone collisions include:
- Whip lash
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries
- Cuts and lacerations
- Concussions and head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Nerve damage
- Dislocated limbs
- Back and neck injuries
Personal Injury Claims for T-bone Car Accidents
Establishing liability in a personal injury claim for a t-bone car accident is a victim’s first step towards recovery. Typically, victims will pursue a claim for damages based on a theory of negligence. There are four essential elements that must be established in order for a plaintiff to succeed on a negligence theory:
- The defendant owed a legal duty of care to the plaintiff;
- The defendant breached the legal duty of care;
- The defendant’s breach caused harm to the plaintiff; and
- The plaintiff suffered damages
Pennsylvania follows the modified comparative fault rule for awarding damages in premises liability cases. This rule allows a plaintiff to recover damages even if a judge finds that the plaintiff was partially at fault. As long as a plaintiff was less than 50% at fault, he or she can recover damages in a premises liability case. The amount of damages will be reduced by the percentage of fault that is apportioned to the plaintiff. For example, a plaintiff’s damages for injuries suffered in a parking garage assault amounts to $100,000. A judge finds that the plaintiff was 20% at fault. Thus, the plaintiff’s award will be reduced by $20,000. The plaintiff can recover $80,000 for damages. An experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorney can give you an honest assessment of damages you may be owed and can put you in an optimal position for recovery for your injuries.
Damages for T-bone Car Accident Injuries
There are two types of damages that may be awarded for personal injury claims in Pennsylvania: compensatory and punitive. Compensatory damages are awarded for the purpose of making the plaintiff “whole.” They are divided into two subcategories: monetary and nonmonetary. Monetary damages include:
- Present and future lost income
- Present and future medical expenses
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Household services
- Wrongful death damages
Nonmonetary damages are more difficult to calculate, but they are still recoverable in personal injury causes of action. They include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment
- Loss of consortium
Punitive damages may be awarded in cases where a court finds that a defendant’s behavior is particularly egregious or outrageous to the extent that it “shocks the conscience.” The purpose behind awarding punitive damages is to make an example out of a defendant so as to deter others from committing similar acts in the future.
Pennsylvania Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations for pursuing a personal injury claim for injuries sustained during a t-bone collision is 2 years. Thus, a victim has 2 years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim against a negligent driver.
Pennsylvania has a 2 year statute of limitations for wrongful death claims. This means that a victim’s loved ones have 2 years from the date of the victim’s death to file a wrongful death claim in court.
Philadelphia T-bone Car Accident Lawyer
If you or someone you love have been injured in a t-bone car collision, contact a Philadelphia personal injury attorney right away. A skilled Pennsylvania car accident attorney can help you recover damages for your injuries and will fight tirelessly to hold responsible parties accountable for the harm you have suffered. Call the law offices of Reiff & Bily today at (215) 274-0072 and schedule a free and confidential consultation with an attorney you can trust to fight for your legal rights.