Consultations Are FREE!

Free Consultation Available 24/7
(801) 506-0800

You pay nothing until we win.

T-Bone Collisions in Utah

a suv and pickup truck in a t bone car accidentThe U.S. was home to over 275 million registered vehicles in 2020. In that same year, the U.S. recorded millions of motor vehicle accidents (MVAs), resulting in over 2.28 million injuries and 38,824 deaths.

Of those 38,824 deaths, T-bone accidents caused over 8,920 car crash fatalities. Since T-bone accidents are a common type of car accident, many drivers may wonder what defines a T-bone accident, how to avoid a T-bone accident, and what to do if they’re in a T-bone car accident.

What is a T-bone car accident collision?

A T-bone accident is a side-impact crash, typically involving one driver’s vehicle striking the side of another vehicle at an intersection. Side impact crashes, also known as broadside accidents, are dubbed T-bone accidents because, at the time of impact, the vehicles form a ‘T’ shape.

How to Determine Fault in a T-Bone Collision Claim in Utah

Determining which driver was at fault for any collision may fall to the police. The police gather evidence, such as witness statements, red light camera footage, and photos of skid marks. They will complete an official police report, and that report identifies the at-fault driver. But don’t worry if the officer didn’t give the other driver a citation. You can still pursue a personal injury claim – a citation isn’t required. In fact, citations are inadmissible in Utah personal injury trials.

Each state sets guidelines for reporting car crashes to the police. In Utah, you must call the police if the accident causes one of the following:

  • A death
  • Physical injuries
  • At least $1,500 in property damage

When the police aren’t called, the drivers’ insurance companies will investigate the crash to determine fault.

Common Causes of T-Bone Accidents

Utah supports the Zero Fatalities program, which strives to educate the public to eliminate car crash fatalities. The belief is that by raising awareness about the common causes of traffic accidents, drivers are more likely to take steps to avoid preventable accidents.

The common causes of T-bone accidents are the same as the primary causes of MVAs, and include the following:

  • Aggressive driving: Aggressive driving occurs when drivers take deliberate actions that put others at risk. Running a red light, speeding, and following too closely behind another vehicle can be examples of aggressive driving.
  • Distracted driving: Anything that takes a driver’s focus away from driving can cause a distracted driving accident. Common distractions include texting and driving and rubbernecking.
  • Drunk driving: Driving under the influence of alcohol, legal or illegal drugs, or prescription medications increases the risk of causing an accident because the driver’s impairment affects their response times. Drunk driving is all too common and causes or contributes to most MVAs.
  • Fatigue: Driver fatigue also affects driver response times. Tired drivers are less likely to notice pedestrians, animals, or other vehicles and may fall asleep and cause an accident.

T-Bone Car Accident Statistics

Side-impact collisions accounted for almost 45% of multiple-impact crashes from 1998 to 2000, causing severe injuries. Vehicles involving the front of a vehicle impacting the side of another vehicle were one of the most harmful types of multiple-vehicle crashes recorded.

Why T-Bone Accidents Can Be Uniquely Dangerous

Since the first cars ventured onto roadways in the late 1800s, manufacturers have changed how cars look and function. The most significant changes include safety upgrades, such as adding seatbelts and airbags to prevent severe injuries.

Most safety upgrades protect drivers and passengers from front or rear impact. Vehicles also have more components in the front and back which help cushion motorists from front and rear impacts.

In spite of these advances, there are few safety features along the vehicles’ sides. Side-impact crashes are very dangerous because vehicle occupants don’t have much to protect them from the vehicle causing the side-impact crash.

What type of damages can I recover in a T-bone car accident claim in Utah?

In a legal context, damages refer to financial compensation awarded to a claimant after an accident. Anyone with a car accident injury incurred in Utah has four years to file a lawsuit and seek damages from the at-fault party.

Depending on the circumstances of the T-bone collision, T-bone crash victims may seek tangible, intangible, and punitive damages.

Tangible Damages

Tangible damages are also called economic damages. These are calculable costs you can establish with bills or receipts. Every past, current, and anticipated future medical bill for T-bone accident injuries qualifies and can be used to calculate tangible damages. Tangible damages also include financial losses, such as lost wages.

Intangible Damages

Intangible damages are just as significant as tangible damages but can be harder to calculate. These damages cover things that don’t have a price tag, such as pain and suffering.

Punitive Damages

Punishing the at-fault party is the purpose of awarding punitive damages. Victims can seek punitive damages if it’s possible to prove the at-fault party willfully engaged in malicious actions without concern for the safety of others.

What to Do After a Side Impact Crash

Taking appropriate steps after your car accident will protect your legal rights. Start by assessing the situation. Check to see if anyone’s injured or if there’s a lot of property damage. Remember that you must notify the police if the damage is $1,500 or more or if someone’s injured.

It’s standard practice for drivers to exchange insurance information after an accident, but you should avoid discussing the accident with other drivers. You can help your case by collecting witnesses’ contact information and documenting the scene. Use your cell phone to take photos or videos.

Seek medical care for your injuries. Documentation from medical professionals will be crucial if you pursue a lawsuit after your accident.

You can request a free consultation or call our experienced car accident attorneys to receive legal counsel while you’re at the scene. Our attorneys will walk you through the steps you should take and help you avoid making mistakes that could compromise your legal rights.

How can a Utah T-Bone collision lawyer help me?

two t-bone collision lawyers standing in front of law firm

When you contact a personal injury lawyer with Good Guys Injury Law, you’ll receive expert legal counsel from someone who knows Utah laws. Our legal team will utilize decades of experience to prepare your case for trial and work to get you the compensation you deserve. Your accident attorneys will look after the legal paperwork and negotiations to get you a fair settlement while you focus on your recovery.


Bieber, C. (2022). T-Bone Accident Causes, Injuries, Fault, and Legal Options.

Christensen, J. (2022). More than half of people involved in road accidents had drugs or alcohol in their system, study says.

Clark, S. (2008). The Quest for Zero Fatalities.

Digges, K. et al. (2003). Frequency of Injuries in Multiple Impact Crashes.

Number of motor vehicles registered in the United States from 1990 to 2020. (2022).

Number of road traffic-related injuries and fatalities in the U.S. from 1990 to 2020. (2022).

Traffic Accidents -FAQ’s. (2022).