Accidents involving sideswipes frequently result in a loss of control and additional collisions, which frequently lead to serious injuries and tragic
Accidents involving sideswipes frequently result in a loss of control and additional collisions, which frequently lead to serious injuries and tragic outcomes such as hospitalization or even death. A car accident attorney who has prior experience representing clients in cases involving sideswipe collisions can evaluate your claim and assist you in including all of the possible damages in your case.
Because of this, it is a good idea to have everything reviewed by an attorney before you actually file anything. Even though you have the option to file your claim on your own, doing so will put the insurance company in a better position than you will be. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you consult with an attorney first before agreeing to any settlement.
Understanding Sideswipe Car Accidents
The majority of accidents involving sideswipes involve two vehicles moving in the same direction and traveling next to each other. A collision occurs between two vehicles when one of the vehicles moves into the lane or travel path of the other vehicle, causing the other vehicle to be struck on its side. This first collision may only be as serious as a light brushing of one side against the other, but what happens next is typically what determines how serious the situation will become.
The second driver can respond to a sideswipe by quickly turning the steering wheel to swerve away from the first driver. This could cause the car to collide with other vehicles, objects, or pedestrians, move into traffic that is moving in the opposite direction, or rollover. These actions have the potential to cause injuries and damage that are life-threatening or even fatal.
Legally speaking, victims of car accidents involving a sideswipe have the same rights as victims of other types of car accidents. However, there are some legal hurdles to overcome in these cases, which may make it more difficult to approve. An experienced attorney will approach a case involving a sideswipe collision in a manner that is determined by these challenges.
How a Car Accident Lawyer Would Handle a Sideswipe Case
Although every sideswipe case is distinct in its way, our legal team follows a tried-and-true protocol when handling cases involving this type of collision on behalf of our customers. This is a high-level summary of the work that we do.
Establishing who was at fault for the sideswipe is essential because filing a claim without first determining who was at fault for the accident would result in nothing. You are only permitted to seek compensation for your losses under the circumstances described in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) section 51-1-6, which states that the other party must have breached their duty of care. Therefore, the first thing that our legal team will do is investigate what caused the accident involving the sideswipe.
Most of the time, a distracted driver is to blame for a car accident involving a sideswipe. In today’s world, there are seemingly countless things that can divert a person’s attention while they are driving, including the following examples:
- Driving while texting or talking on a cell phone is dangerous and illegal.
- Obtaining one’s bearings with the aid of a GPS
- Alternating between stations on a radio or songs on a mobile device
- Utilizing social media platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram Stories, and others
It’s also possible that the driver was sleepy, angry from road rage, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, failing to check blind spots or lanes, or not using a signal before switching lanes. You have more than enough grounds to file a claim against the negligent driver after considering all of these factors.
Determining Fault After a Sideswipe Accident
Cases involving sideswipes can also be more difficult than cases involving other types of car accidents because it can be more difficult to determine who is at fault. For instance, the first driver could accidentally enter the lane of the second driver and cause a collision with them. If this is the case, the first driver is the one who is at fault for going off the road. What happens, however, if the second driver makes a sudden maneuver and collides with a third vehicle, resulting in additional property damage and injuries?
It can be challenging to demonstrate that the accident was caused by the first driver, particularly if that driver denies responsibility, commits a hit-and-run, or the insurance company argues that the second driver shared some of the responsibility for the collision. According to OCGA 51-12-33, in order for a victim of a sideswipe accident to be eligible for financial compensation in the state of Georgia, they must have been less than 50% responsible for the accident.
Without legal representation, it may be difficult for a victim who believes they were in no way responsible for the incident to prove their innocence. Because of this, it is imperative that the victim of a car accident that was caused by a sideswipe work with a car accident attorney who is experienced in handling claims of this nature. They will examine the facts and work toward a settlement that is equitable to you rather than simply accepting what the insurance company is offering.
Negotiating with the Insurance Company
Due to the fact that the damage or injuries may appear to be less severe, insurance companies are more likely to dispute claims for sideswipe accident-related injuries, even though these might sound like straightforward issues.
Damage caused by sideswipes, for instance, frequently takes the form of scrapes, broken side-view mirrors, and dents in the doors. This type of accident frequently takes place when there is only a small amount of space between the sides of each car involved in the accident. In addition, injuries such as whiplash and pain in the neck or shoulders can be the consequence of jerking motions.
In spite of the fact that these kinds of injuries can actually cause a significant amount of suffering and progress into something more serious, insurance companies might try to minimize their impact. At this stage, our attorneys will negotiate for a fair settlement and make certain that the other party does not attempt to defraud you of the compensation that you are legally entitled to receive.
Most Cases Settle Out of Court
The vast majority of the sideswipe cases that are brought before our legal team are resolved outside of court. However, there are circumstances in which you need to take your case to court in order to ensure that you receive the greatest possible amount of compensation for your claim. When faced with such circumstances, a significant number of law firms tend to withdraw their services because they do not wish to engage in a protracted legal battle.
Our legal team would never act in such a way. We are not going to give up and throw in the towel in the event that the negotiations are unsuccessful and nothing is resolved. Any seasoned attorney worth their salt will do whatever it takes and work as hard as they possibly can to secure monetary compensation for their client.
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Don’t Wait to File Your Claim
In Georgia, the statute of limitations for claims involving accidents caused by sideswiping is two years. If you wait until the last minute to file your claim, regardless of how experienced of a lawyer you may have, your chances of getting a reasonable settlement are going to be significantly reduced. If you miss the deadline to file your claim, there is very little chance that you will be able to recoup the full amount of the settlement.
It is always to your advantage to take action as soon as possible while the accident is still fresh in people and evidence is still available. It is not a problem if you are unsure of what to do or how to get started. You will be able to find out exactly what the following steps are and how you can pursue compensation if you take advantage of the free consultation that is available to you.