A Sarasota Lawyer's Advice On T-Bone Accident Claims

As an experienced driver dealing with our worst local roads like Tamiami Trail or US 301, you likely understand the dangers of traditional head-on and rear-end collisions. However, t-bone accidents, (side-impact collisions) can be just as dangerous. With their jarring, sideways impacts, t-bone crashes often lead to serious injury and extensive property damage, our bodies are just not built to deal with the forces at work dusting strong side-impact collisions.

When another driver fails to yield the right of way at an intersection, the resulting t-bone collision almost always produces a complex legal situation. Making this more dangerous is the nature of how a t-bone crash often happens: a driver runs a red light and crashes into the side of a vehicle that was lawfully crossing the intersection, these kinds of crashes involve a lot of force. By their nature of being so dangerous and damaging to crash victims, side-impact crashes carry with them large legal and financial consequences for all involved too. To be as prepared as possible, take a few minutes to learn the legal characteristics and consequences of these accidents, you will be better prepared to protect yourself if the unfortunate occurs. With an in-depth examination of the liability laws, insurance claims, and potential litigation relating to t-bone crashes, this article aims to provide basic knowledge helpful for dealing the aftermath of being t-boned.


  • T-bone collisions on Fruitville Road occur frequently.
  • Commercial vehicles involved in accidents can cause more serious injuries.
  • Drivers are usually at fault for T-bone collisions if they commit moving violations like running red lights or making illegal turns.
  • More than half of all traffic fatalities involve T-bone style crashes.

If injured in a T-bone crash, contacting a Sarasota car accident attorney is advised for legal guidance.

Roads Where T-Bone Accidents commonly occur in Sarasota:


Near the entrance ramps to I-75, at intersections along U.S. 41, U.S. 301, Fruitville Road, and University Parkway.

What Is a T-Bone Accident?


A T-bone accident, also known as a side-impact collision, or a broadside collision, occurs when the front of one vehicle strikes the side of another vehicle, forming the shape of a “T” at the point of impact. This type of car accident can be extremely dangerous since there is little to no protection for occupants on the side of the vehicle that is hit.

  • In a T-bone accident, one vehicle is usually traveling through an intersection when another vehicle strikes its side at a 90-degree angle.
  • The vehicle moving through the intersection typically has the right-of-way. The other vehicle fails to stop or yield, plowing into the side of the passing vehicle.
  • T-bone accidents often result in severe injuries to occupants of both vehicles due to the lack of protection from an impact on the side of a vehicle. Side airbags and reinforced side impact beams provide some safety, but a direct T-bone impact can still cause critical harm.

The most common causes of T-bone collisions are:

  • Running red lights or stop signs: One driver fails to stop at a traffic signal or stop sign and strikes a vehicle proceeding legally through the intersection.
  • Failure to yield the right-of-way: One driver pulls into the path of oncoming traffic that has the right-of-way to proceed through the intersection.
  • Distracted driving: One driver is not fully focused on the road and other vehicles, and fails to see another vehicle approaching or entering the intersection.

T-bone accidents are extremely dangerous car crashes that can lead to devastating side-impact injuries. They are most often caused by drivers who fail to yield the right-of-way or obey traffic control devices like stop signs and traffic lights. Due to the nature of these accidents, occupants of both vehicles frequently suffer severe harm in a T-bone collision.

Unique Legal Characteristics of T-Bone Accidents


T-bone accidents, also known as side-impact or broadside collisions, have unique legal characteristics that set them apart from other types of car accidents.

  • T-bone accidents often involve severe and traumatic injuries. The forceful impact can cause devastating harm to vehicle occupants, especially those on the side that was struck. Passengers may suffer from injuries like broken bones, internal organ damage, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and even death. The severity of injuries frequently leads to high costs of medical care and long-term treatment.

  • There are typically multiple parties that may be found legally liable in a T-bone accident. The driver who failed to yield and caused the collision can usually be held primarily responsible. However, other parties like vehicle manufacturers, roadway designers, and local governments may also share a portion of liability under certain circumstances. Establishing all parties at fault and the degree of liability for each one can be a complex legal matter.

  • T-bone accidents can permanently impact victims' lives and livelihoods. Victims may face a lifetime of challenges from permanent disabilities, loss of work capacity, and diminished quality of life. They deserve fair compensation for both economic and non-economic damages to help recover losses. Skilled personal injury attorneys understand how to build a compelling case to pursue damages from all liable parties.


The sudden and violent nature of T-bone collisions, potential for severe injuries, multiple liable parties, and long-term consequences highlight why these accidents require particularly comprehensive legal counsel. Victims of T-bone crashes need attorneys with extensive experience handling these uniquely complex cases to help them obtain justice and fair compensation. Contact our law firm at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh in the Sarasota area today.

Determining Liability and Negligence in T-Bone Accidents


In T-bone accidents, determining liability and negligence is crucial to establishing fault. As the plaintiff, you must prove that the other driver violated their duty of care and was negligent in operating their vehicle. Their negligence directly caused the accident and your resulting injuries.

Florida applies comparative negligence when apportioning fault in car accidents. Comparative negligence considers the actions of all parties involved and assigns a percentage of liability to each driver based on their degree of fault. If you are found partially at fault, your compensation may be reduced by your percentage of liability.

  • Florida's modified comparative negligence system, implemented in March 2023, stipulates that plaintiffs can only recover damages if they are 50% or less responsible for their injuries:
    • A plaintiff can still recover 10% of their damages if they are 90% responsible.
    • Plaintiffs are ineligible to recover damages if they are more than 50% responsible.
    • This does not apply to claims based on medical negligence.

  • . To prove negligence in a T-bone accident, your attorney at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh will need to establish several key factors:
  • Traffic law violations: Running a red light or stop sign, speeding or reckless driving are clear indicators of negligence. Police reports, witness statements, and traffic camera footage can provide evidence of violations.
  • Failure to yield the right of way: Drivers must yield to oncoming traffic and those already in an intersection. Failure to do so constitutes negligence.

  • Distracted or impaired driving: Using a cell phone, texting while driving or driving under the influence significantly impairs a driver's ability to operate their vehicle safely. This qualifies as negligence.
  • Unobservant or inattentive driving: All drivers have a duty to observe their surroundings and be vigilant while driving. Lack of attention or failure to see oncoming vehicles until it is too late demonstrates negligence.

By proving the other driver violated their duty of care through negligence, you establish liability for your injuries and damages. An experienced car accident attorney can determine liability, prove negligence, and fight for the maximum compensation you deserve.

The Legal Consequences of Causing a T-Bone Accident


Causing a T-bone accident can lead to serious legal liability and consequences. As the at-fault driver, you may face both civil and criminal charges.

Civil Liability


In civil court, the victim(s) of a T-bone crash you caused can file a personal injury lawsuit against you to recover damages. These include:
  • Economic damages (special damages): Compensation for medical bills, lost wages, property damage, etc. T-bone accidents often result in high economic damages due to the severity of injuries and damage.
  • Noneconomic damages (general damages): Compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, etc. Again, the extreme nature of T-bone crash injuries frequently correlates to high noneconomic damage amounts.

Settlements or verdicts in T-bone accident cases can potentially reach millions of dollars, depending on the specifics. Your insurance provider may settle the claim within policy limits to avoid excess liability on your part. If not, you could face wage garnishment or liens to pay the judgment.

Criminal Charges


In some situations, the at-fault driver in a T-bone accident may also face criminal charges like reckless driving or vehicular manslaughter. The severity of charges depends on factors like:
  • Cause of the crash (drunk driving, distracted driving, reckless behavior, etc.)
  • Extent of injuries/fatalities
  • Driver's traffic violation history
  • Results of a police investigation

If convicted of a criminal offense, penalties could include jail time, license suspension, fines, and a criminal record.

Causing a T-bone collision can have major legal and financial consequences through potential civil lawsuits, settlements, criminal charges, and penalties. The outcomes depend on the details of the accident and the parties involved but often entail liability in the hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. Exercising safe driving practices is the best way to avoid such legal and financial exposure.

T-Bone Accident FAQs: Your Top Questions Answered


T-bone accidents, also known as side impact or broadside collisions, frequently lead to questions about legal liability and available damages. Here we address some of the most common questions regarding T-bone accidents:

Who is typically at fault in a T-bone accident?


Determining fault in a T-bone accident can be complex, as it depends on the specific circumstances surrounding the crash. Generally, the driver who failed to yield the right of way will be considered primarily at fault. This is often the driver who struck the side of the other vehicle. However, other factors like traffic signals, stop signs, and reckless driving may also play a role in assigning liability.

What types of damages are available for T-bone accident victims?


Victims of T-bone accidents may be entitled to both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include medical bills, lost wages, vehicle repair or replacement costs, and other monetary losses. Non-economic damages refer to pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and other intangible losses. In some cases, punitive damages may also be awarded to punish the at-fault party for reckless or negligent behavior.

Should I speak to the insurance companies or consult an attorney first?


It is generally in your best interest to speak to an attorney before giving a statement to insurance companies. Insurance companies are primarily concerned with limiting their liability, and your words could potentially be misconstrued and used against you. Speaking to an attorney will help you understand your legal rights and ensure you receive fair compensation. Attorneys who handle T-bone accident cases have experience negotiating with insurance companies and understand what your claim may be worth.

Consulting with an attorney regarding your T-bone accident is the best way to get answers to your questions, understand your options, and pursue maximum compensation. T-bone accidents often lead to serious injuries and damages, so make sure your rights are protected.

Call to action for the law firm of Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh in Sarasota, Florida.


The legal team at Goldman Babboni Fernandez Murphy & Walsh has over a century of combined experience in Florida personal injury law. Our attorneys have recovered over $500 million for clients involved in motor vehicle accidents, including T-bone collisions.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a T-bone accident, do not delay in contacting our firm. T-bone collisions, also known as broadside impacts or side-impact crashes, frequently lead to severe, life-altering injuries due to the force at which vehicles collide perpendicularly. The unique dynamics of T-bone accidents mean that medical bills, lost wages, and other damages can accumulate quickly.

Our accomplished attorneys will conduct a thorough investigation into your T-bone accident to determine the liable parties and build the strongest possible case. We have the resources and experience to go up against major insurance companies and hold them fully accountable. By filing a personal injury claim, we can seek compensation for:

  • Medical expenses (surgery, physical therapy, medication, etc.)
  • Lost wages and future earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property damage (vehicle repairs or replacement, contents of the vehicle, etc.)
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Don’t delay—contact the experienced attorneys at Goldman Babboni Fernandez Murphy & Walsh today for a free consultation regarding your potential T-bone accident injury claim. Our firm works on contingency, so you pay nothing until we win your case. We handle all communications with insurance companies and opposing parties so you can focus on your recovery.

With over 100 years of combined legal experience, our Sarasota personal injury law firm has the knowledge and skills to navigate your unique T-bone accident claim. Call now for compassionate counsel and aggressive representation.

Serving clients in Sarasota and all of SW Florida we have seen just how bad T-bone accidents can be, and how important it is to have an experienced and effective legal team at your side. With Goldman Babboni Fernandez Murphy & Walsh our team will lift the burden from you and build a strong case determining liability, proving negligence, and pursuing maximum compensation. By leveraging the evidence and legal standards outlined here, you can build a compelling case that demonstrates the at-fault driver's failure to yield right of way. Though T-bone accidents present complex issues, you now have the knowledge needed to establish negligence and secure a favorable outcome. Equipped with this expertise, you can navigate the legal process with confidence and effectively represent your client's interests in the aftermath of these dangerous collisions.

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Attorney David Goldman - Local Sarasota Car Accident Lawyer

Stephen Fernandez

Stephen M. Fernandez developed a strong belief in justice and fairness in public policy while earning his Political Science degree prior to attending law school. Since joining the Florida Bar Association in 2004, Stephen Fernandez has combined his background in public policy, business administration and civil law to serve as a highly effective trial lawyer fighting for Florida's injured, working hard every day to make sure his clients get what they are owed.

Apr/03/2024

 

Client Testimonials

Attorney David Goldman has been exceptional in the process of helping me through the case. He has always been easy to reach, whether by phone or email, and has thorough knowledge and explains clearly in depth so you feel safe and confident in your lawyer

I used Michael Babboni and his paralegal, Nicole Moore for a legal matter. They went above and beyond my expectations. During the entire process there was constant communication with both Michael and Nicole. They were extremely organized and on top of my case, which I am very grateful for. Michael truly had my best interests at heart and he was very genuine. I plan on referring Michael to all family and friends and will continue to use him in the future.

I dealt most with Mr. Fernandez. I didn’t know a lot about this process. He took the time to speak with me individually, in person, to explain everything. It was very helpful to actually know and understand the process and what to expect. He closed my case quickly, which was nice that it was not prolonged! I appreciated his hard work and getting me what I felt I deserved after my car accident. I highly recommend him to anyone who needs an honest and reliable lawyer to assist you with your case!

I hired Mr. Walsh after an automobile accident this past March. He and his entire staff were extremely professional. They kept me informed every step of the way and settled my case in a timely manner. Thank you so much for your help.

 

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