VIRGINIA T-BONE CAR ACCIDENT LAWYERS
There are many kinds of car accidents, and all can be traumatic, not only physically but also emotionally to the innocent people involved. For those injured in these kinds of car crashes, there is much to deal with: medical bills, lost wages, insurance companies calling, and maybe even collection notices coming in.
In the aftermath of these dangerous collisions, you need an experienced T-Bone car accident lawyer who can help shield you from the external stresses, so that you can focus on getting better! We know you need some help in this difficult time, and the team at Blaszkow Legal is here to help you!
T-Bone accidents are a little different than the standard rear end a car accident. There are often questions of liability raised by the at-fault insurance companies as they try to lessen or even openly attack your claim. Our knowledge and experience will work to defeat these arguments, prove your case, and get you the compensation you deserve. Call 703-879-5910 for a free consultation: put us to work for you!
What are T-Bone accidents?
T-bone car accident happens when the front of one vehicle strikes another vehicle on the side, usually about halfway along the length (like in the picture, above). These accidents are common in parking lots, and also at intersections when one driver completely disregards a traffic control device, such as a stop sign or a red light. In parking lots, it is often because one driver is in a rush, and fails to yield the right of way.
One of the unique factors in a T-bone accident, compared to a rear end collision, is the fact that often airbags will usually deploy. Airbags are deployed by sensors, that are located throughout the vehicle. Many times in rear accident collisions, deployment of the airbags is not triggered in the vehicle ahead - unless the lead car is pushed into another vehicle. However, in a T-bone accident, whether your vehicle hits the side of a vehicle that has run a red light, or someone has run into the side of your car, usually front or side impact airbags will deploy.
Additionally, if your car is hit on the side, this kind of impact has the potential to be even more serious, because there is less protection on the side of a vehicle, than on the front. Side impacts will often result in lacerations and bruises, broken bones, and types of brain injuries, as you can thrown about within the car. There is always the risk of the driver being hit by flying debris, as well. Almost 1/3 of all car accidents are from side impact crashes, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway safety. 1/3 of all traffic fatalities are from side impact car accidents.
What you need to do after a T-bone Car Accident
You need to take immediate action after a T-bone car accident to protect yourself:
Call 911! Always call the police, even if you are somewhere that you think that the police won't respond to "minor" car accidents. You should always call. At the very least, you are creating a record of the time and location of the incident, just in case the insurance companies want to argue that point later on.
Gather evidence. Evidence can be anything, and you need to document as much as you can. Take lots of pictures and even video, as this will be very useful later on. You want to get pictures of the cars involved, the location of any debris, or any traffic lights or signs (especially if the collision happened because the other driver ignored that sign or light!), and anything and everything else at the scene of the crash!
Exchange information. But remember - getting a picture of the other driver's insurance card is not enough! You have to get a picture of the other driver's State Drivers License. The insurance card tells us who pays for the insurance, but not who was driving the car - your claim is always against the driver!
Get witness information. If there was someone else in the other car, get their contact information, because that passenger is a witness. This is doubly true if you are hit by an Uber or Lyft, because those companies will not release the passenger info without a subpoena. Get the contact information of any other drivers who stop to help, or others who say they saw what happened. At a minimum, you need: name, address, phone number, and email address.
Go get checked out by a doctor! This may mean taking time out of your day to go to an emergency room or urgent care center. You need to do this, because only a medical doctor can fully evaluate you and make sure there are no internal injuries, concussions, or other issues that need immediate attention. From a legal standpoint, the hospital visit is an important piece of documentary evidence that shows you were injured, how, and why.
Call Blaszkow Legal for help - not a car insurance company. Call an experienced car accident lawyer right away, because we as attorneys have an ethical obligation to do what is best for you. Insurance companies, even your own, only work for their shareholders. The reality is that even speaking to your own insurance company can be dangerous, because if your case turns into an Uninsured Motorist Claim, then whatever you've told your insurance company may be then used against you!
Who is at fault?
The question of fault comes down to the facts. As the plaintiff, or the person making the claim, it is your responsibility (and your attorneys), to prove that the other driver was negligent in causing the accident. Consider: If you are sitting at a red light, and the light changes to green, so you begin to proceed forward. Another driver coming from your left side strikes the side of your car. You swear that your light was green, and at the other driver ran the red light. However, the other driver says their light was yellow, and you went through a red light! Who is telling the truth?
This is the nightmare scenario in a T-bone car accident case. The insurance companies call this a "word versus word" crash. In order to defeat one person arguing against another, we develop evidence prove the veracity of your statement. Two of the best ways to develop this proof is through the comprehensive review of the accident scene itself, to see if any cameras caught the accident. Cameras are objective. They record exactly what happened. Gas stations are sometimes one of the best sources for camera footage, and we are also seeing a rise in ring cameras which will capture accidents, too.
Another excellent piece of evidence is the testimony of witnesses. However this is where a lot of drivers fall short, unfortunately. Oftentimes, people who are involved in accidents rely on responding police officers to get witness information. However, many police officers will speak to witnesses, but will not note or record the contact information of that witness, if the car accident is not what the officer determines to be serious. If you have been involved in a car accident, it is absolutely vital for you to get the name, address, phone number, and email address if possible, of any person who may have seen the accident. This includes pedestrians, nearby workers, and people in other vehicles will stop.
Can I file a claim after a T-bone accident?
In short, yes. However, the accident cannot have been your fault. You have to be absolutely sure, and be able to prove, that all negligence rests with the person who hit you. Virginia, like Maryland and DC, is a jurisdiction with practices the theory of contributory negligence. If you are even 1% responsible, then you cannot recover.
What damages can I claim after a T-Bone collision?
There is no difference between the damages that you can claim for an accident that happened on a roadway, or on private property, such as a parking lot. Your damages are what can be proven, as a result of the injuries you suffered due to someone else's negligence.
Damages fall into two separate and distinct categories: Economic damages, and Non-Economic. Sometimes this is referred to as monetary damages, and non-monetary damages. Economic damages are those specific and quantifiable impacts that the accident has had upon you and your financial condition. For example if you went to a hospital, and had physical therapy, and you have a total of $15,000 in medical bills, then your economic damages are for those $15,000 in medical bills. If you have lost time from work, whether or not you'll use sick or vacation time, is also a quantifiable element of your economic damages. Economic damages have to have something like a receipt or a letter or a bill that shows what they are.
Non-economic damages are more difficult to prove, because they are not the same for all people. Two people who are in the same T-Bone accident, at the same intersection, will not have the same non-economic damages. Non-economic damages are developed by the testimony people around you who can attest to how the accident has impacted your life, and interfered with your ability to enjoy your life and live normally. The biggest part of non-economic damages is what everyone refers to as "pain and suffering."
Insurance companies will often trick people when they are trying to settle their own case, specifically in the real of economic damages. If you have gone to the hospital, and the hospital bill is $10,000, but your health insurance paid most of it and you only had to pay a copay, say of $2,000, then the insurance companies will often want to give you that $2,000 right away. They do this because they have no obligation to tell you what the law is in Virginia.
Here is the truth: Your claim is not just for what comes out of your pocket! It is for the full cost of that medical treatment!
Whatever your health insurance paid, whatever agreement you make with the provider to repay them, is none of the
insurance company's business. They do not get credit for what the law says is a collateral source. If the hospital bill
was $10,000, then your claim for that bill is the full $10,000!
Punitive damages is one other type of damage that can be claimed. However punitive damages have to be expressly authorized by statute, generally. Punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant for abnormally egregious and reckless conduct, as well as deter others from doing the same thing. The most common award of punitive damages comes when the defendant is a drunk driver. This is specifically authorized by Virginia law.
Speak to an Experienced T-Bone Car Accident Lawyer
If you have been involved in a car accident, then you need an experienced car accident lawyer! Unlike an insurance adjuster, a dedicated personal injury attorney is actually on your side. At Blaszkow Legal, our job is to work for you, not the insurance companies - and we guarantee our work, by promising that if we don't recover money for you, then you don't owe us a penny for our work. We will help you to explore your claim, investigate what happened, and do everything we can to get you the compensation that you deserve. After a T-bone accident, Get Justice with Joe, and call 703-879-5910!