The number of sideswipe car accidents occurring in the US is increasing. Cars weave in and out of lanes due to traffic congestion and the increased pressure to keep up with schedules.
As a result, side-impact accidents can have tragic outcomes such as hospitalization or even death. Speaking to a car accident lawyer is advisable if you have sustained injuries in a sideswipe car accident.
Having an attorney for your sideswipe car accident case makes a huge difference, as they will assess your claim and help you get the compensation you need.
Besides, while you can file a claim independently, doing so offers the insurer a competitive edge. So, getting an attorney’s opinion before agreeing to any settlement would be best.
Let us explore what an attorney can do and how they should approach a sideswipe car accident case.
Understanding Sideswipe Car Accidents
Most sideswipe collisions involve two adjacent vehicles moving in the same direction. One of the cars crosses over into the other’s lane, slamming onto its side.
The initial impact could be a minor scrape on one side against another, but what follows next is often much more damaging.
After a sideswipe, the other driver may react by quickly veering away from the first motorist. That may cause the vehicle to hit other cars, objects, pedestrians, or even roll over. The resulting damage and injuries may be severe or even fatal.
Legally, sideswipe car accident victims have equal rights to other auto accident victims. Sideswipe car accident cases, however, come with significant legal difficulties that might make it more difficult to approve them.
These obstacles dictate an experienced lawyer’s approach in a sideswipe car accident case.
How a Car Accident Lawyer Would Handle a Sideswipe Case
Although every sideswipe claim is different, attorneys generally follow predetermined criteria when handling these claims on behalf of their clients. Here is a brief description of what they do.
It is essential to demonstrate negligence since filing a claim without understanding how your sideswipe transpired would be futile.
In Georgia, you can only seek compensation under the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) §51-1-6 when the other party breaches their duty of care.
Therefore, your attorney will first investigate how the sideswipe crash happened.
Sideswipe collisions frequently happen as a result of distracted driving. There are so many things in our contemporary environment that can divert someone’s attention from the road, including:
- Texting while driving
- Looking at the GPS for directions
- Using social media
- Changing stations on the radio or songs on a phone
Moreover, the driver can be exhausted, irritated by road rage, intoxicated, forgetting to check lanes or blind spots, or not signaling before switching lanes.
You may file a case against the negligent motorist for these grounds.
Sideswipe car accident cases may be more challenging to resolve than other auto accidents because it is harder to determine the at-fault party.
For instance, the first vehicle may veer into the second’s lane and sideswipe them. The first motorist is at fault for straying from their lane in this scenario.
But what if the second motorist veers and collides with a third car, resulting in further damage and casualties?
It can be challenging to prove that the first motorist caused the crash, especially if they deny liability, flee the scene, or if the insurer tries to blame the second driver partially for the accident.
According to OCGA 51-12-33, an individual injured in a sideswipe collision can only receive compensation if they were not more than 50% at fault.
A lawyer may help demonstrate that you did not contribute to the accident. You must, therefore, consult a car accident attorney experienced in such claims.
Negotiate with the insurance company
Although this may appear simple, insurance providers will likely dispute claims for injuries resulting from sideswipe car accidents since the damage or injuries may seem less severe.
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For example, sideswipes frequently occur when there is little space between the sides of each vehicle in the collision so the damage may include scrapes, dents on doors, or broken side-view mirrors.
Moreover, abrupt motions can cause injuries, including whiplash and neck or shoulder stiffness.
Insurance firms may attempt to downplay these injuries, even though they can result in significant pain and deteriorate over time.
An experienced attorney can negotiate a reasonable settlement and ensure the insurer does not try to defraud you for your deserved compensation.
What Compensation Could I Receive for a Sideswipe Car Accident Case?
Car accidents are costly. Property damage is frequently a factor in accidents.
When coupled with costs for emergency treatment, hospital stays, and recuperation period, the ordinary accident victim has a considerable financial burden.
If you are hurt in a sideswipe car accident and decide to seek compensation, you may be eligible for coverage for the following:
Short-term medical bills
As long as you accurately show a record of your short-term medical expenses, you should receive compensation from your Personal Injury Protection coverage or by filing a personal injury claim against the at-fault motorist.
That may cover the cost of an emergency room visit, X-rays, medical visits, and prescription drugs.
Long-term medical expenses
For most car accident victims, medical expenses go on for months or even years based on the severity of their injuries.
For this reason, compensation may cover long-term medical costs associated with living with a disability and ongoing physiotherapy and rehabilitation.
You will probably miss work while recovering from a significant injury. A severe injury or permanent disability may force you to quit or change your work arrangements. As a result, you could be eligible to obtain compensation for any income losses you may have suffered.
Pain and suffering
Compensation for pain and suffering helps you deal with the psychological effects of being in a vehicle accident, such as trauma, PTSD, anxiety, or other forms of emotional anguish.
It also includes reduced quality of life if the sideswipe car accident and resulting injuries drastically change your usual interests or lifestyle.
Most Cases Settle Out of Court
Most sideswipe cases settle outside of court. But sometimes, it may be necessary to go to trial to obtain the highest possible compensation.
Some law firms frequently withdraw their services in these cases because they are not ready to engage in a protracted legal battle in court.
That is something an experienced attorney would never do. A skilled lawyer will not give up and throw in the towel if negotiations fail and you cannot reach an amicable solution with the insurance provider.
Any seasoned attorney will take whatever steps are necessary and work tirelessly to secure financial compensation for you.
Don’t Wait to File Your Claim
The statute of limitations for filing sideswipe car accident cases in Georgia is two years. Your chances of receiving an acceptable settlement may be higher if you delay filing a claim, regardless of how skilled a lawyer may be.
There is little you can do to get maximum compensation if you miss the filing deadline. It is usually advisable to take action immediately while the sideswipe accident is still fresh and the proof available.
It is okay if you are unsure what to do or where to begin. You may find out what to do next and how to pursue compensation by scheduling a free consultation.
Contact a Sideswipe Car Accident Attorney Today
Sideswipe car accident cases can be challenging and complex for victims seeking compensation for their damages. Do not undergo the process alone or miss out on receiving the support you need to recover from the injury.
At Legal Giant, we can link you with an experienced car accident attorney to help with your case. Our partner attorneys are familiar with sideswipe car accident cases and will do everything to fight for your rights.
Contact us at (855) 740-5024 for a free, no-obligation consultation and review of your case.