T-bone accidents are some of the most dangerous types of motor vehicle collisions for drivers and their passengers. A T-bone accident occurs when the front of one vehicle collides with the side of another. Due to the nature of these accidents, it can be difficult to determine which driver is at fault and responsible for paying for the crash.
Is Colorado a Fault or No-Fault State?
There are two different types of car insurance states: fault and no-fault. Most states, including Colorado, are fault states. After a T-bone accident in Colorado, the person or party most responsible for causing the crash must pay for victims’ medical bills and property repairs. The victim must prove that the other driver is at fault using evidence to qualify for coverage. In a no-fault state, on the other hand, determining fault for a T-bone car accident may not be required, as both drivers file claims with their own insurance companies regardless of fault.
Determining Fault and Liability After a T-Bone Car Accident
T-bone car accidents are almost always preventable. They occur most often at intersections, when a driver turning left collides with an approaching vehicle in the opposite lane. If all drivers approaching the intersection follow Colorado’s traffic laws, including rights-of-way laws, T-bone collisions would never take place. For this reason, the driver involved in a T-bone accident that violated a traffic law is often held liable.
Colorado law states that at an intersection that is controlled by a stop sign, the driver who approaches the four-way stop first has the right-of-way, meaning the right to proceed into the street. At an intersection that is controlled by a traffic light, all drivers who are faced with a steady red light must come to complete stops. Only the drivers with a green light may proceed. Drivers turning left, however, must yield to oncoming traffic when faced with a steady green light.
What Causes T-Bone Accidents?
Dangerous left-hand turns are a common cause of T-bone accidents. If the driver turning left does not check for oncoming cars or underestimates the speed or distance of an approaching vehicle, he or she may cause a T-bone collision by driving into the intersection too early. Negligent drivers are often behind T-bone accidents due to mistakes such as speeding, red-light running, drunk driving, distracted driving and aggressive driving. Our team of Aurora personal injury attorneys have handled serious injury claims after catastrophic T-bone accidents caused by negligent drivers. Establishing which driver was negligent and broke a law or failed to yield the right-of-way will typically determine the at-fault party.
How to Prove Fault for a T-Bone Car Accident in Colorado
If you get involved in a T-bone accident in Colorado and believe that the other driver is at fault, hire a car accident lawyer in Denver to help you prove liability. These cases can be complicated. Unfortunately, a car insurance company may try to take advantage of you when you pursue compensation. Working with a skilled Aurora car accident lawyer can handle negotiations with an insurance company for you, as well as investigate your T-bone accident and collect evidence to prove that the other driver is at fault.
The burden of proof in a car accident case is a preponderance of the evidence, meaning enough evidence to show that the driver is more likely to be at fault for your T-bone collision than not. Meeting your burden of proof may require evidence such as a police report describing the accident, photograph and video evidence, eyewitness statements, and crash reconstruction.
Investigators will typically analyze the property damage of both vehicles involved in the crash. Then, they will use this information and other types of evidence to recreate the accident. This can allow them to assign fault to one or both drivers for being in the intersection when they should not have been.
If you need assistance determining, establishing or proving fault during your insurance claim after a T-bone accident, contact an attorney as soon as possible – while evidence is still available. The team of attorneys at Manning Law have the experience and knowledge in Colorado car accident law to help you recover compensation.