Intersections can be dangerous places for motorists. According to the Federal Highway Administration, about 25% of all traffic fatalities happen at intersections each year. Additionally, intersections are the location of approximately one-half of all traffic injuries. 

The reason so many injuries occur at intersections is due, in part, to many collisions being side-impact crashes. These wrecks, sometimes called “T-bone” crashes, happen when two vehicles collide at a perpendicular angle. In a T-bone accident, the front end of one vehicle strikes the side of another.

The Difficulty in Determining Fault for a T-Bone Collision

Obtaining justice after any car accident in Chicago depends on determining fault. The driver who primarily caused the accident to occur can be required to pay compensation to all others injured in the crash. While the at-fault driver’s insurance company is the primary source of compensation, the negligent driver themselves could also be sued.

However, determining liability for a T-bone collision cannot be accomplished with only a cursory look at the accident scene. An in-depth investigation that considers the evidence left at the crime scene and any witness statements is often needed to discover who is responsible for the damages.

Possible Responsible Parties in a T-Bone Accident Case

The list of individuals and entities that could bear some or all of the blame in a Chicago T-bone crash includes the following:

The Driver Who Failed to Yield the Right of Way

At intersections, the safe movement of cars, trucks, and other traffic is controlled by right-of-way laws. These regulations tell drivers which one gets to proceed on their way through an intersection before other traffic. 

Drivers are presumed to know the local right-of-way laws and are expected to follow them while driving. A crash can happen if a driver is supposed to yield the right of way to another vehicle but fails to do so.

The Motorist Who Engaged in Negligent Conduct

Failing to yield the right of way is often considered to be negligent – or careless – driving behavior. But other careless acts behind the wheel can also lead to a side-impact collision. 

Examples of other negligent actions include the following:

  • Speeding through an intersection or trying to “beat” a changing traffic light
  • Driving while impaired by alcohol, drugs, or some other substance
  • Not paying attention while entering the intersection
  • Any other careless action that a reasonably responsible driver would avoid

Often, these negligent behaviors lead a driver to violate a right-of-way law. However, even absent proof that a right-of-way law was violated, a driver who engages in negligent conduct can be found to be responsible for the crash.

A Negligent Municipality or Other Entity

Lastly, a municipality, engineering firm, or other entity may be responsible for your crash. This happens when the entity fails to design a reasonably safe intersection or fails to maintain it. 

For instance, your crash could be caused by:

  • An intersection that does not allow drivers to watch for other traffic clearly
  • A firm that fails to include signs or traffic lights when warranted
  • A city that fails to repair damaged traffic lights 

As these examples show, a T-bone crash has numerous potential causes.

Never Assume You Know the Cause of a T-Bone Crash

Once you have been involved in a T-bone collision, it is common to want to place blame on who you believe is responsible. You should not let this initial impression of the cause of your T-bone accident blind you to other potentially responsible parties. Doing so could lead you to miss sources of compensation for any injuries you sustained or losses you experienced.

Contact Our Chicago Car Accident Law Firm For Help Today

If you’ve been injured in an accident in Chicago, Illinois, and need legal help, contact our experienced car accident lawyers at Attorneys of Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation today.

We proudly serve Cook County and its surrounding areas:

Attorneys of Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers
134 N La Salle St #2160
Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: (312) 929-2884