Who is at Fault in a T-Bone Car Accident in California?

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Determining fault is an essential first step in recovering from any car accident in California. However, liability for some types of accidents can be very difficult to determine. It’s possible for the drivers involved to disagree as to who is responsible for the collision. A “T-Bone” accident is one in which a driver strikes another driver in the side of their vehicle. This is a very dangerous type of accident because most vehicles have better crash protection in the front and rear of the vehicle than in the sides. Who is at Fault in a Car Accident T-bone in California? If you were recently involved in a T-Bone accident, a Sacramento car accident attorney can help you determine responsibility for the resulting damages. Almost all T-Bone accidents occur because of moving violations, and an investigation can help you prove exactly how your recent T-Bone accident occurred. Reliable legal counsel is an invaluable asset in this situation.

How Do T-Bone Accidents Happen in California?

T-Bone accidents almost always occur at intersections. It’s possible for a car to swerve wide and turn into an opposing lane of traffic to strike another vehicle in its side. However, most T-Bone accidents happen at intersections when someone commits a moving violation. In most cases, one driver will run a stop sign or red light while another vehicle with the right-of-way is passing in front of them. The first vehicle slams into the side of the second, potentially resulting in devastating injuries. It’s essential for all drivers to abide by posted road signs and respect the right-of-way of other drivers at all times. Failure to do so can lead to severe accidents and liability for other drivers’ damages. When T-Bone accidents happen, the severity of the incident can depend on which side of the vehicle suffers the impact. If a T-bone occurs on the driver’s side, the incident can cause catastrophic or even fatal injuries. If the impact is on the passenger side, any passengers in the vehicle are likely to suffer severe injuries. T-Bone accidents at high speed have a very high chance of resulting in life-threatening or fatal injuries.

How to Prove Fault for a T-Bone Accident in California

Proving liability for a T-Bone accident typically comes down to available evidence and witness testimony. If other drivers saw the accident happen and their stories align, this may be enough to prove fault for the incident. It’s also possible that the intersection had a traffic camera that captured the collision. Your car accident attorney will likely move to secure as much evidence and testimony as possible after a T-Bone accident. This allows you to establish liability with minimal room for doubt.

It is also possible for a T-Bone accident to occur due to the shared fault of both drivers. For example, if one driver runs a red light because they think the intersection is clear, and another driver is speeding on the cross-street but technically has the right-of-way, both drivers are likely to absorb some fault for the incident. California upholds a comparative negligence law. A plaintiff found partially at fault for causing their claimed damages loses a percentage of their case award to reflect their shared responsibility. If a judge determines a plaintiff is 25% at fault, they lose 25% of their case award.

Potential Injuries from a T-Bone Accident

T-Bone accidents are some of the most dangerous motor vehicle accidents a driver can experience. There is not only an extreme risk of severe injury when a driver or passenger is on the side struck by the other vehicle, but T-Bone accidents can also cause the struck vehicle to rollover or tip over. It’s also possible for the vehicle to be pushed into another lane of traffic or other obstruction, resulting in even more significant damage.

A car accident attorney is likely essential for ensuring the best recovery possible after a T-Bone accident. You can rely on your attorney to provide ongoing support and guidance through your case proceedings, ultimately helping you hold the at-fault driver accountable for your damages.

FAQs About Determining Fault in a T-bone Accident in California

When the police respond to a call for an auto accident, they will perform an initial investigation and assign responsibility for the incident. However, it’s possible for the parties involved to disagree with the police officers’ determination, and a civil dispute will ensue. If you are unsure how to establish fault for your recent auto accident, your attorney can help you gather the evidence and testimony you need to prove liability for your damages.

A car is “totaled” when the cost of repairing a vehicle would exceed the actual cash value of the vehicle. For example, if your car is worth $10,000 but it would require $12,000 in repairs after a T-Bone accident, the car is totaled. T-Bone accidents are highly damaging, especially when they occur at high speeds, so it is very likely for a vehicle involved in a T-Bone collision to be totaled.

Most T-Bone accidents occur because a driver ran a red light or stop sign while traffic was coming on the cross-street of the intersection. If a driver commits a moving violation, such as running a red light or making an illegal turn, and they cause a T-Bone accident, they are at fault for the incident.

If you suffer injuries and other damages in a T-Bone accident someone else caused, they are responsible for your damages. While their auto insurance may cover some of your losses, their coverage may not be enough to fully compensate your damages. You will need to file a civil claim to secure the remainder.


If you or a loved one recently suffered injuries in a T-Bone accident, it’s natural to have lots of questions about your rights and legal options for recovering compensation for your damages. The Kreeger Law Firm can help you make sense of this challenging situation. Contact us today and schedule a consultation with our team to learn more about the legal services we offer.