According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the critical reason for most car accidents is driver error. Like many types of car crashes, side-impact accidents can be prevented with safe driving. Motorists should:
- Obey the speed limit.
- Obey stop lights and traffic signs.
- Avoid driving drowsy.
- Stay in the proper lane.
- Exercise caution at intersections and while making turns.
- Adjust driving based on road conditions.
- Avoid aggressive driving or “road rage.”
- Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Avoiding Distracted Driving Can Help Prevent Side-Impact Accidents
Another critical way side-impact accidents can be prevented is by avoiding driving distractions. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), distracted driving causes about 9% of crash deaths. Cell phones are one of the biggest sources of distraction among drivers. However, anything that causes them to take their attention from the road is a distraction, including eating, drinking, daydreaming, grooming, navigation and radio controls, or even other passengers.
The Consequences of Side-Impact Accidents
Side-impact collisions, sometimes called T-bone or broadside accidents, can cause serious injuries and major medical expenses for those involved. The high speed and force in these deadly crashes can also completely wreck your vehicle or require you to leave it in the shop for repairs. Either option leaves you without transportation and likely means you will pay out of pocket for a new vehicle.
Injuries Side-Impact Collisions Cause
Side-impact accidents can leave passengers with broken bones, head, neck, back, spinal, and internal injuries. These injuries could result in serious short- and long-term medical problems, including:
- Reduced cognitive functioning
- Changes in mood and behavior
- Partial or permanent paralysis
- Chronic pain
- Problems with concentration, speech, and memory
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
Treating your injuries may require serious, expensive, and ongoing medical care. You may need emergency treatment, surgeries, hospitalization, physical therapy, and long-term care. Your injuries may also permanently change your way of life, affecting your ability to work, contribute to your household, and enjoy life.
Seeking Compensation for Your Injuries
Drivers are legally obligated to operate their vehicles with a reasonable duty of care for others on the road. Breaking traffic laws, driving under the influence, and engaging in other reckless behaviors breach that duty. If another driver’s negligence caused your accident, you may be entitled to financial awards.
You can seek compensation for your medical bills, damaged vehicle, and lost wages. One way you may recover your losses is through an insurance claim. Sometimes, the insurance company involved will deny your claim or refuse to offer you an acceptable settlement. A personal injury attorney can help you in either of these scenarios. They can negotiate with the insurer for a better settlement and advise you on whether a settlement amount is too low for your needs before you accept it.
Filing Legal Action After a Side-Impact Crash
Sometimes, negotiations do not work out. When this happens, you may be able to seek awards through a personal injury lawsuit. In civil cases, you can also pursue compensation for your pain and suffering and other non-monetary losses, such as:
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Temporary and permanent disability
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
An attorney can review non-financial damages like these and assign a dollar value to each before requesting compensation from the liable party that caused the side-impact crash.
You May Be Able to File for Wrongful Death After a Side-Impact Crash
If your loved one died in a side-impact collision accident, you may have the right to sue for their wrongful death. Wrongful death compensation helps families cover their late loved one’s medical expenses, funeral and burial arrangements, among other costs. These cases tend to be complex and governed by specific laws, so working with an attorney is one way to make the legal process easier to understand and navigate.
Our team member will review the circumstances of your side-impact accident and determine if you can recover damages. If you hire us to take on your case, we will do so without charging any attorney’s fees up front. We do not receive payment unless we recover compensation for you. So, the sooner you reach out to us, the sooner we can get started on your case.
Who’s Liable in a Side-Impact Accident?
Determining liability in a side-impact accident can be challenging. Your lawyer will review evidence from the crash site, documents, such as a police report and medical records, witness statements, and surveillance camera footage if available to help prove your claim that the other driver T-boned your vehicle.
Your attorney may also ask an accident reconstructionist to review your accident and give a professional opinion about what likely happened based on the vehicles’ damage and other clues. They also could speak with a third-party medical expert who can review the injuries suffered to determine how they occurred during the crash.
Elements of Negligence Must Be Present
If it is determined that the side-impact crash could have been prevented based on the evidence, your attorney can present your case for damages to the insurer or a court. They must also prove the basic elements of negligence, which include:
- The driver owed you a duty of care on the road.
- They failed to keep their duty either by careless or reckless actions or inactions.
- You suffered injuries and losses because they breached their duty.
- You now have compensatory damages for the injuries and losses you suffered.
States Set Filing Deadlines for Side-Impact Crash Lawsuits
Remember, a state’s statute of limitations bounds lawsuits. These are laws that outline how long you have from the time of your injury or your loved one’s death to file your case in court. Each state has filing deadlines for injury cases, ranging from one year or more.
Be Sure You Track Your Case’s Timeline
It is important that you keep track of your filing deadline because it usually starts on the date the side-impact accident happened. If you miss the deadline, you risk losing your right to sue the liable party for your injuries and losses. This likely means you will pay for your medical bills, missed income, and property damage on your own.
An attorney can help you learn more about the law and help you with the insurance process and legal actions, if necessary. They also can advise you on how much time you have left to file your lawsuit.
Call Us for a Free Consultation Today
Pursuing a claim or lawsuit after a side-impact accident that could have been prevented can be overwhelming for those recovering from their injuries. We can take on your case and manage it from start to end, giving you more time to focus on getting better. We will worry about everything else.
For more information about our responsive legal care and how a lawyer can assist you, call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine at 1-800-747-3733 today for a free consultation.
We Can Help.