Bagen Law Firm | October 28, 2022 | Car Accidents
Sideswipe Accident Injuries and Personal Injury Claims
Sideswipe accidents are an extremely common type of accident. They occur when a motor vehicle steers into the side of another vehicle, often while traveling in the same direction. Sideswipe accidents can cause a side impact on vehicles and injuries to the persons and vehicles involved.
While sideswipe accidents may initially not seem that serious, they can be just as dangerous as any other collision. In fact, according to the Insurance Information Institute, sideswipe accidents contributed to 2.7 percent of all fatal crashes in a recent year.
While any type of vehicle accident can be distressing, a side crash’s unique aspects play a role in the severity and type of injury suffered by the occupants involved. For example, when an occupant is on the same side as the collision, their injuries can be particularly severe. Understanding factors like these can help you to identify the serious impact on your physical and emotional health that a sideswipe accident may have.
If you have sustained injuries in a sideswipe crash, you have likely already taken steps immediately after the vehicle accident, such as seeking medical attention and getting the other driver’s insurance information. If you have not, seek medical attention as soon as you can. Next, whatever steps you have already taken, you should contact an experienced Car accident attorney as soon as you can.
How To Recover Compensation After a Sideswipe Accident?
Speak with a car accident lawyer and start your auto accident claim. You may have questions about your legal options at this stage. For example, you may not be at all interested in taking your case to court but instead are wondering if you even need an attorney if you are looking to settle your claim. An experienced car accident injury attorney can help you from the beginning to the end of such a case, even when you have a settlement in mind.
You may be at the point where you have questions about your legal options for obtaining just and fair compensation for your losses. For example, you may wonder who you can sue in a multi-vehicle sideswipe collision to obtain compensation for your injuries.
If these sound like the concerns you have, then it is in your best interest to contact to a lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can evaluate your claim, determine who may be liable for your injuries, and handle all legal aspects of your claim on your behalf.
Why Sideswipe Crashes Occur
Sideswipe accidents occur for many of the same reasons other kinds of crashes occur. In many cases, sideswipe accidents result from speeding, distracted driving, impaired driving, failing to follow traffic laws, and other forms of driver negligence.
Speeding is a significant cause of many sideswipe accidents. When a driver is speeding, they are much more likely to cause a collision. In addition, a speeding driver changing lanes swiftly without taking precautions, such as checking for blind spots with side mirrors, can very easily and quickly lead to a sideswipe crash despite your best efforts to avoid such an accident.
Distracted driving, such as texting or talking on the phone while behind the wheel, can cause a driver to fail to stay in their lane properly. As a result, a preventable side collision may occur due to the driver’s inattentiveness- which is a major risk to you and others in the zone of danger.
Other examples of how a vehicle can hit the side of another vehicle traveling in the same or opposite direction include situations where a driver is merging onto a freeway or attempting to pass in heavy traffic.
People continue to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, despite significant criminal penalties for doing so. Drunk drivers often engage in risky behavior and cannot hold their lanes, significantly increasing the risk of a sideswipe accident.
Risk of Injury
Under the condition described above, you may sustain serious injuries in a sideswipe accident. Various factors can determine your vulnerability to an injurious sideswipe accident. Some of those factors include the direction the vehicles are traveling in, the number of vehicles involved, the speed at which the accident took place, and where you are seated.
These factors are often relevant to providing fault and establishing damages. A car accident attorney can evaluate the facts of your case and determine how best to proceed.
The direction of the sideswipe matters. For example, a side crash can impact the car from the same direction or the opposite direction. The direction of the crash can make a difference with respect to the impact and injury it causes to you and others involved.
For example, a driver may sideswipe your vehicle in the opposite direction by crossing the double yellow line on a major highway or in the same direction driving parallel to you. The circumstances and facts and how the car hit you can make you especially vulnerable to a more forceful impact.
Number of Vehicles Involved
Compared to an accident involving one or two vehicles, a multi-vehicle crash can cause more damage to the property and the persons involved. For example, an out-of-control car may sideswipe multiple vehicles, in both directions, before ultimately crashing into a tree or a pole. Such actions can play out like a domino effect on the road with bystander vehicles. As a result, the driver causing the collision will likely be held responsible for the injuries and damages others sustained as a result.
In a matter of seconds, a sideswiped vehicle can potentially be knocked into oncoming traffic and then collide with several other vehicles. Such circumstances can end in a severe or fatal manner.
According to research, a larger vehicle can work in your favor in the case of a sideswipe or side crash. Drivers in larger vehicles such as SUVs and trucks are less likely to experience injury in a sideswipe accident. In comparison, a smaller car is more likely to feel a stronger impact from a sideswipe. Whether the drivers and passengers involved are taking measures to exercise safety and caution can be the difference between a severe or fatal injury and a minor one. For instance, a seat belt is a protective measure that car drivers and passengers can take to avoid severe and fatal injuries. While a sideswipe crash may not seem like it can cause damage, the factors above really determine the impact of the side collision.
Injuries may be more severe for occupants seated on the same side of the car as the crash. A crash on the same side can heavily impact a driver whose seating is at the same point where the impact from the crash happens.
Specifically, a person seated in the back may be more prone to injury from a sideswipe accident when compared to an occupant in the front seat. In fact, researchers suggest this can be attributed to the advanced safety technology that tends to be more available for front seat occupants than those in rear seats. Most concerning is the increased risk for children who sit in the back. In such instances, a child seated in the rear sitting on the side of the crash can be injured more easily and severely than the driver.
Types of Injuries
Examples of physical injuries include:
- Neck injury
- Back sprain
- Shoulder injury
- Traumatic brain injury
Some of the above-mentioned injuries may lead to intensive and ongoing treatment. For example, weekly physical therapy and chiropractic treatment. In some cases, severe injuries such as a dislocated shoulder can lead to complicated medical procedures such as corrective surgery. Importantly, these surgical procedures can arise years after a sideswipe accident.
If you have damage to your vehicle or other property because of a negligent sideswipe crash, you have suffered property damage and can obtain compensation from the responsible driver.
Pain and Suffering
In some cases, an injured sideswipe accident victim may experience more than physical injury to their person or property.
For example, an impacted driver may experience pain and suffering as a result of experiencing a major disruption to their daily life. Such an interruption can make it impossible to enjoy the things you once did, such as caring for your loved ones, engaging in everyday activities, including hobbies, household work, and even driving.
Mental illness can develop from your involvement in a devastating car crash, including a sideswipe. For example, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can develop from the trauma of a car crash. Generally, the symptoms may develop and last over time and can go undiagnosed if the person is not connected to care.
For example, a victim of a car crash may develop a fear of driving or even riding in a vehicle. These fears can accompany anxiety and depression—all of which are considered injuries one can sustain due to a sideswipe accident. These injuries have a detrimental impact on one’s mental and emotional well-being.
Seek Advice From an Attorney
An experienced car crash attorney can:
- Assess the damages you may collect. Such damages include injuries you have suffered and those you may incur in the future, such as lost wages. Generally, the auto accident attorney will meticulously understand the details and circumstances of your case and help you figure out the precise damages available to you or your loved ones. In the case of medical expenses such as visits to the doctor and hospital, a skilled car accident lawyer can help you to determine the totality of medical expenses, including previous, current, ongoing, and future medical expenses. This can be a tedious task requiring your attorney to gather your medical bills or find other forms of proof for cases involving pain and suffering.
- Use negotiation skills in dealing with car insurance companies reluctant to pay your expenses. If you are interested in filing an insurance claim, a zealous attorney will contact the proper car insurance companies and complete other necessary tasks, such as preparing the necessary paperwork to file an insurance claim to reach a successful settlement deal.
- File a timely cause of action. If you are instead interested in pursuing a legal claim in court against the other driver(s), an attorney can help you prepare a strong personal injury action against all other potentially responsible parties. Importantly, the case must be filed in a timely manner, requiring an car accident lawyer knowledge of the applicable statute of limitations or deadline to file a case in your state.
- Determine which parties you can hold responsible for your damages. For example, you may have suffered an injury in a multi-vehicle accident that caused a driver to sideswipe your vehicle. With many cars involved, it can be confusing to determine on your own who is responsible. An attorney experienced in sideswipe accidents will thoroughly review your facts and establish which parties to pursue a lawsuit against.
How to Start
If you want to know how a car accident attorney can help you with your sideswipe case, take the next step by searching for car accident attorneys with experience in sideswipe accidents. Next, you can book a consultation over the phone or through their respective website. Be sure to gather important records related to your case for your personal injury lawyer. You will find that a car accident attorney can help to protect your legal rights and help you to recover financially so that you can focus on your recovery.
Many people hesitate to call a lawyer because they believe they cannot afford legal fees. However, car accident attorneys do not charge anything up front for their services. Instead, they defer legal fees in a contingency fee arrangement.
This arrangement means that you receive a free case evaluation, and you pay nothing to hire the lawyer. They cover the costs of your case while it is pending, and you only pay legal fees if they successfully obtain compensation for you. Then, your fees come directly from the settlement or award you receive. Everyone can afford a car accident attorney, so never wait to begin seeking legal representation.