West Palm Beach T-Bone Collision Lawyers
If you were the victim of a T-bone collision, the car accident lawyers of Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck P.A. can help you secure the compensation you’re owed. T-bone accidents, also called side-impact collisions, occur when one vehicle collides with the side of another. This type of accident is particularly dangerous because only a thin door separates drivers and passengers from the oncoming vehicle. The impact could crumple someone’s car like a piece of paper and trap them inside.
T-bone accidents often result in severe injuries and devastating property damage; crush injuries are unfortunately common in this type of accident. Physical harm could require ongoing medical treatment, such as physical therapy. If you need surgery, your medical bills will be even higher.
You shouldn’t be financially responsible for your expenses. You have the right to hold the at-fault driver liable and seek the compensation you need to cover your losses. At Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck P.A., our West Palm Beach T-bone collision lawyers will fight vigorously for the justice you deserve. Call us at (561) 689-8180 for a free consultation to discuss your legal options.
The Effects of T-Bone Collisions
Most T-bone car crashes happen at intersections. It’s often the result of one driver ignoring traffic signals or becoming distracted by their cell phone. If they run a red light or stop sign, they could collide with someone else’s vehicle.
The most common causes of T-bone accidents include:
- Failure to stop at a stop sign
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Running a red light
- Driver distraction or inattention
- Failure to check first for oncoming traffic
When someone crashes into the side of your car, your body could suffer severe harm. Even if you wear your seatbelt, you could get violently jolted. You might hit your head against the driver’s side window or suffer whiplash.
Victims typically sustain the following injuries in a T-bone collision:
- Psychological damage: Car accidents are traumatic experiences. While some make a full recovery, others are left with emotional effects. PTSD and anxiety are common. It can cause debilitating fear that prevents someone from getting into another vehicle.
- Upper body injuries: Concussion, whiplash, and traumatic brain injury are common in this type of crash. You could also suffer from a damaged spinal cord or paralysis.
- Lower body injuries: T-bone accidents often result in crushed vehicles. If you get pinned in your seat, you could sustain a broken pelvis or broken legs.
- Crush injuries: Head trauma, broken bones, and nerve damage happen when the door collapses, or the vehicle rolls over. You could also end up losing a limb at the accident scene or require amputation surgery due to an infection.
How to Handle the Aftermath of a Car Crash
If you get hurt in a T-bone collision, there are steps you should follow to protect your right to financial compensation. If you leave the scene before an officer investigates or if you don’t preserve certain evidence, you might lose your case.
- Call the police to report the crash. They will investigate the cause of the accident and speak with you and the other driver.
- Get a copy of the accident report when it becomes available online. It usually takes about ten days.
- If your injuries aren’t severe, take photos of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and other relevant evidence.
- Get information from the at-fault party, such as their name, contact information, and auto insurance details.
- Talk to any witnesses. Write down their names and phone numbers if they can confirm your recollection of the events that led to the crash.
- Seek medical attention immediately following the crash. If the doctor refers you for follow-up care, follow their orders.
- Hire a West Palm Beach T-bone collision lawyer.
- Maintain copies of all documentation, such as medical records. You’ll need sufficient evidence that proves someone else caused the accident, and you suffered injuries as a result.
The most important part of any legal case is remembering that the insurance company does not have your best interests at heart and will attempt to save money by denying your claim or providing a lowball settlement offer. While your case is ongoing, there are some actions you should avoid.
- Don’t admit fault for the accident. Under Florida’s pure comparative negligence rule, your compensation could decrease in proportion to your percentage of blame.
- Don’t sign any forms from the insurance company before your lawyer reviews it. You could unknowingly sign away your rights to the maximum available settlement.
- Don’t handle your case alone. If you choose not to seek legal representation, you could end up with a financial award much less than you deserve.
- Don’t talk to the insurance adjuster that’s handling your claim. If they try to contact you, tell them you hired a lawyer and give them our phone number.
- Don’t settle your claim until you reach maximum medical improvement. MMI means further medical intervention won’t improve your condition. If you agree to a settlement before then, you won’t know about future costs to include in negotiations.
How Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck P.A. Will Help You
When you hire one of our West Palm Beach T-bone collision lawyers, we’ll take care of each step of the case on your behalf. You won’t have to worry about the legal aspects of your case. Your main responsibility will be to attend your doctor appointments and recover.
Investigation. We know how to thoroughly investigate T-bone car accidents to determine who was at fault. We’ll gather evidence that proves your injuries resulted from the crash instead of from a preexisting condition. Crucial evidence we’ll collect includes:
- Traffic crash report
- Accident scene photos
- Video surveillance footage
- Eyewitness statements
- Car repair estimates
- Auto insurance policies
Insurance forms. During an insurance claim, the insurance company will send you documents to fill out and sign. We’ll review everything and complete them for you. Some aren’t a legal requirement. You can refuse to sign authorizations from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. They might try to request copies of your medical records, including records from prior medical problems, to argue that your injuries weren’t the direct result of the crash.
Evidence. We’ll locate evidence immediately, so nothing gets destroyed or lost.
Medical records. We’ll review all your medical records and physician letters to ensure the information is complete and accurate.
Negotiate a settlement. When it’s time for settlement negotiations, we’ll aggressively pursue the maximum compensation available.
Damages You Can Pursue in an Auto Insurance Claim
T-bone collisions often cause physical and emotional harm that requires medical care. You can seek compensation for the resulting damages. Damages are the losses associated with an injury. There are two types of damages: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are expenses, while non-economic damages are intangible losses.
When you incur damages from an accident, the no-fault system requires that you file a claim with your own auto insurance before pursuing compensation elsewhere. Personal injury protection (PIP) covers medical expenses and lost wages up to the limit listed on your policy. The minimum required limit is $10,000. PIP claims cover up to 80% of medical expenses and 60% of lost wages.
When you file a PIP claim, your West Palm Beach T-bone collision lawyer will provide proof of your injury and the medical treatment you need. We’ll also help you fill out a lost wage report that indicates the income you couldn’t earn because your injury prevented you from returning to your job.
Once the limit runs out, you can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company. Liability insurance isn’t a legal requirement in Florida. It’s coverage that compensates accident victims for their damages when someone else causes their injuries. If the at-fault driver carries liability coverage, you’ll need to meet a serious injury threshold to be eligible for this type of claim. An eligible serious injury would include:
- A significant and permanent scar or disfiguring injury.
- Permanent damage besides disfigurement or scarring.
- Significant and permanent loss of an essential bodily function.
If your injury meets at least one threshold, you can file a liability claim for the following damages:
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Lost quality of life
- Medical bills
- Vehicle repair or replacement
- Out of pocket costs
- Emotional distress
- Disability or disfigurement
Contact Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck P.A.
Our West Palm Beach t-bone accident lawyers have over 35 years of experience fighting for the rights of clients just like you. We know the state laws we need to follow to ensure accident victims recover the financial compensation they deserve. When you hire us, we’ll use our knowledge, skills, and resources to negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company. If we need to take your case to trial, we’ll work hard to provide substantial evidence to the jury that proves the other party was responsible for your injuries.
We take cases on contingency. That means you won’t have to pay us upfront for legal representation. We don’t collect legal fees or costs unless we win a financial award for our clients. If we don’t win your case, you won’t owe us any money for our time and efforts.
Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck P.A. can meet with you for a free consultation to discuss the details of your case. We’ll review the information you provide to determine the legal options you have available. We’ll provide the support and guidance you need during this traumatic experience. Call us at (561) 689-8180 if you were the victim of a T-bone car accident in West Palm Beach.