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T-bone accidents—also known as side-impact collisions—happen when the front of one car collides with the side of another. Their name comes from the fact that the two cars form the shape of the letter T. T-bone accidents often occur at high speeds. However, it is not just the speed that makes these accidents dangerous—it is also the location. The vehicle is hit at its most vulnerable part, which can lead to more significant injuries.

If you have been injured in a side-impact accident, you may have significant injuries and losses. Recovery can be time-consuming, painful, emotionally traumatic, and financially devastating. Fortunately, a lawyer can help ensure that the wrongdoers pay for the economic and non-economic damages linked to side impact/T-bone accidents in Bloomfield. An auto collision attorney at Fredson Statmore Bitterman, LLC can help you explore potential claims.

What Causes Side-Impact Collisions?

While many things contribute to T-bone collisions, the most significant cause is distracted driving. They almost always happen at intersections because someone is failing to yield the right of way. Often, the car doing the hitting is the one who fails to yield the right of way. However, sometimes, the car that gets hit fails to yield the right of way, placing itself directly in the path of the other vehicle.

Failing to yield the right of way generally means one of the drivers has not followed the rules surrounding a particular type of intersection. For traffic lights, it usually means running a red light. At a stop sign, it can mean running the stop sign or going when it is not their turn. It may mean making an unprotected left turn in front of oncoming traffic.

Of course, other factors contribute to the likelihood that a driver will not observe right-of-way. Drunk driving, speeding, texting while driving, and driving while under the influence of drugs, all make T-bone collisions more likely.

External factors can also contribute to these wrecks. Anything that impacts visibility can make it more challenging to see other vehicles, lights, or signs. Bad weather, poor signage, and overgrown vegetation are three things that can impact visibility. If the road is slick, a driver may not be able to stop in time, causing them to run lights or stop signs. Mechanical problems like brake failures can also contribute to these accidents.

Determining fault for a T-Bone wreck in Bloomfield requires investigating all of the evidence behind the accident including police reports and citations, witness testimony, video surveillance, and more. The results can indicate whether one or both drivers are responsible and if any third parties potentially share liability.

New Jersey’s Modified Comparative Negligence Rule

Establishing fault is critical when determining what claims an injured person may have. New Jersey Revised Statutes § 2A:15-5.1 specifically states that contributory negligence does not bar recovery. Instead, the state takes a modified comparative negligence rule, which is similar to the 50 percent rule in other states.

For an injured person to recover compensation when they hold a portion of responsibility for their injuries, the defendant or defendants in the lawsuit need to have more of a percentage of the blame. This means as long as an injured motorist is not more than 49 percent responsible for the side impact accident in Bloomfield, they could still be eligible to collect damages. Working with an attorney is the best way to understand this rule and determine whether there is a viable claim.

Learn More About Bloomfield Side Impact Collisions

Side-impact collisions can cause serious injuries and property damage. These accidents often lead to totaled vehicles because of frame damage. They can also cause severe injuries and emotional conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder. Recovery can be costly, and it is only fair for the parties responsible for the injuries to cover those expenses. To find out more about potential recovery options, schedule a free consultation with a lawyer from Fredson Statmore Bitterman, LLC. Our team can provide you with the information you need to make decisions following side-impact/T-bone accidents in Bloomfield.