Side Impact CollisionsSide impact collisions can be categorized in many ways, including T-bone accidents, sideswipes, broadside crashes, and more. Essentially, the side of your car will be struck by the other vehicle in any way, whether by backing out, being merged into, or being slammed into head-first. These accidents can be fatal if they occur at high speeds and they have been proven to be extremely dangerous – the angle of impact can cause severe injuries, especially if your head hits the window or if you are struck on the driver’s side of the vehicle. Side impact crashes happen everywhere, but they most often occur at intersections where there are stop signs and traffic lights. Individuals may not sufficiently stop at these locations; they may speed through them, run yellow lights, only partially slow down, or ignore the right of way of other vehicles. This can easily cause a huge impact, especially if you were traveling at or above the speed limit and they were going well over it. Some of the injuries that can result from side impact crashes include:
- Closed head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Neck and spinal cord injuries
- Herniated or bulging discs
- Internal organ damage
- Internal bleeding and hemorrhage
- Collapsed lungs
- Broken bones and fractures
- Sprains and strains
- Dislocations and torn muscles
- Nerve damage
- Facial scarring
- Puncture and crushing damages
- Severed limbs or digits
- Paraplegia and quadriplegia
Negligence of a Driver – Lawsuit for a Side Impact CollisionAnother driver’s negligence can be used as the primary grounds for a lawsuit. If you were struck in the side of your car and suffered damages, you could sue for compensation. In order to successfully file this claim and get the payment you deserve, though, you must be able to show that the four points of negligence are true. They are as follows:
- You were owed a duty of care
- The duty of care was breached by the responsible driver
- The breach led to an accident
- The accident caused physical harm
Steps to Take after Side Impact CrashThe moments following a car accident can be confusing and scary, but you should try to follow the steps below to ensure that you are safe. First, seek medical help. Contact the paramedics or request someone else call them if you are too injured to move. The ambulance will come and the paramedics will either treat you at the scene or take you to the hospital. Even if you feel that you were not hurt, you should still be treated. If you go home without seeing a doctor, you should schedule a visit as soon as possible to be evaluated. The longer the gap between the accident and the confirmation of an injury by a medical professional, the more problematic it will be to collect compensation for those damages. This is because insurance agents will simply claim that you are using the accident as a scapegoat for injuries you suffered elsewhere. Make sure that you go to the doctor at once so that you do not have any doubts or inconsistencies in your lawsuit. Next, take down the personal details of the individual who hit you and write down his insurance information as well. All of this will come in handy when filing a claim, and the insurance details will allow you to sue the correct entity. Some people may try and flee before giving you this info or will give you the wrong details, so you should be careful. Take pictures of the damages of everything involved: your injuries, the damage to your vehicle, the scene of the accident, the individual who hit you, any items that were damaged, and more. Interview eyewitnesses and bystanders and ask for statements or testimonies of what happened. These individuals can provide sufficient evidence for your claim. Further, you should request a copy of the police report from the cops and ask for the medical report from the paramedics. These reports can be used to show what happened according to authority figures and how injured you were at the accident. Finally, it is important that you reach out to a skilled lawyer for help filing a lawsuit against the responsible driver. You will find it difficult to pursue a claim if you were injured; many insurance agents throw claims out if they are not spearheaded by an attorney. If you were not injured, you do not necessarily need an attorney, as you will only be seeking compensation for lost wages and property damage; many insurance agents are more lenient and will be more likely to settle these claims as opposed to those involving injuries. Our law firm can help you file a claim to be compensated for your damages if you were hurt in a side impact crash.
Why Hire a LawyerIt is highly recommended that you hire an attorney if you were involved in a side impact collision that resulted in injuries. You will have expert representation and negotiation on your side. Our lawyers will do all we can to bring you the compensation you deserve. One of the key reasons to select a lawyer is to bridge the gap between the insurance agent and your case. Generally, you will not have the necessary legal knowledge and negotiation skills to secure a good settlement offer from the insurance agent. You may not even receive a settlement offer; the agent could dismiss your claim if you do not follow up regularly. He could claim that you were not as hurt as you said that you were and that you were making up your injuries. He may even try to claim that you were at fault for the incident even though all signs point towards you being a victim. All of these headaches and troubles can be avoided with the help of a lawyer. We will accurately represent you and will relentlessly negotiate with the insurance agent, doing all we can to ensure that your case stays at the front of the queue. If you were severely hurt, you may not be able to travel to any meetings and your recovery process may be greatly delayed by the onset of stress that legal action brings. If you let us handle your case, you will be able to focus on what’s important: healing and getting better. Get in touch with our firm for more assistance.
Case Worth of a Side Impact AccidentYour case’s worth will be weighed by an insurance agent who represents the negligent party. He will look at your injuries and use them as the main source to determine how much value to give your case. For example, if you were severely hurt and suffered numerous damages that resulted in hospitalization for some weeks and a permanent inability to complete your previous job duties, your case value could be very large. On the other hand, if you only suffered minor injuries and you were back to work with no changes in your daily life after only a few days of recovery, your case would not be worth as much. It can be difficult to estimate your lawsuit’s worth, especially if the circumstances of your case are murky. If you have questions about how cases are valued and what gives you more weight, call our lawyers today.
Statute of Limitations to File a LawsuitAccording to California law, you only have 2 years from the date of the injury to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party. This statute exists so that claims do not sit around and take too long to get handled, and so that all the evidence is reliable and relevant. If you do not file a claim within this period, you will not be able to secure any compensation and your lawsuit will be thrown out and ignored. However, there are instances where your lawsuit could be delayed and the statute of limitations could be temporarily suspended. This can happen if you were underage at the time of the incident, physically or mentally impaired after the accident, or if the defendant left the state or country after the crash occurred. When circumstances return to normal (you turn 18, you return to full health, or the defendant returns to the state), then the statute would begin or resume counting down. If you have questions about the statute of limitations, call one of our attorneys in Los Angeles today.
Earnings from a CollisionDamages from a side impact collision can be expensive and make it extremely difficult for you to live your day to day life; bills can rack up and harm your credit, or you may even be taken to court if you can’t pay certain debts. If you were injured because of another party’s negligent actions, you should not be held responsible for the ensuing expenses. Filing a lawsuit against the driver who struck you can result in you receiving numerous types of restitution for the damages.
- Medical bills (surgery, hospitalization, medication and painkillers, anesthesiologist, physical therapy, and any medical procedures you will need in the future)
- Property damage (for your vehicle, electronics, textbooks, personal items, and more)
- Missed income (if you were forced to miss days of work; you can also receive wages for future days you will miss because of medical procedures or recovery time)
- Pain and suffering (PTSD, anxiety, fear, emotional stress, and more)