Car accidents that involve side impacts – when one vehicle crashes into the side of another vehicle – often result in severe injuries. Victims may be left to cope with expensive medical bills while they are taking time off work to heal. They may face ongoing pain and a diminished quality of life due to their injuries.
If you have been injured in a side-impact car crash that was caused by another driver’s negligence or recklessness, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your current and future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call Fine, Farkash & Parlapiano, P.A., today to set up a free case evaluation with one of our Gainesville side-impact car accident attorneys.
What Is a Side-Impact Accident?
Any accident in which a vehicle is hit on one of its sides at a perpendicular or approximately 90-degree angle is considered to be a side-impact accident. These accidents may be called broadside accidents or T-bone accidents (since the vehicles involved form a “T” shape). Side-impact accidents also include those collisions where the impacting vehicle glances off the side of the other vehicle, such as sideswipe accidents that frequently occur on highways.
Vehicle occupants tend to absorb more violent crash forces and suffer more severe injuries in side-impact accidents than other kinds of collisions, even at lower speeds. This is because there is less structure on the side of the vehicle to absorb the impact as compared to a front-end or rear-end collision.
Who Is at Fault in Side-Impact Accidents?
Many side-impact accidents occur because a driver fails to yield the right of way, fails to observe or obey a traffic sign or traffic signal, or otherwise behaves negligently. For example:
- Drivers frequently cause side-impact accidents when they run a stop sign or stop light and T-bone a vehicle proceeding through a green light or the right of way.
- A driver making a left turn at an intersection can be responsible for a side-impact accident if the driver fails to yield to another vehicle proceeding straight through the intersection.
- Sideswipe accidents can occur when an at-fault driver fails to signal a lane change or attempts to make the lane change without checking the side-view mirror or checking blind spots.
In pursuing your side-impact accident claim, we rely on key evidence to show that the other driver was at fault for the accident. Evidence we may collect includes the police accident report, eyewitness statements, dashcam or surveillance video footage, accident scene photos and video, and accident reconstruction reports created by the expert witnesses we work with.
Common Damages Caused by Side-Impact Collisions
Side-impact collisions can cause all sorts of injuries and financial losses for those involved in the accident. A person who is hurt in a side-impact accident that was caused by someone else may be entitled to recover compensation for damages such as:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Lost quality of life
- Property damage
Do not let an insurance company tell you what your claim is worth. Insurance companies are only looking out for their bottom line. An experienced side-impact car accident lawyer from our firm can evaluate your claim to determine what full and fair compensation should be.
What to Do After a Side-Impact Crash
If you or a loved one has been involved in a side-impact motor vehicle accident, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your rights to compensation for your injuries and losses.
- Contact the police or emergency medical services. An officer will come to the scene to prepare a police accident report. The police accident report will list the officer’s findings, whether any driver was cited or arrested for the accident, and potentially even the officer’s determination of fault for the accident. Although not binding in a civil lawsuit, the police accident report can be critical evidence for your claim.
- Get contact information for the other driver and witnesses. If not listed in the police accident report, you should be sure to get the contact and insurance information for all drivers involved in the accident. If there were eyewitnesses to the accident, you should try to get their contact information so your attorney can take a statement from them later.
- Document the accident scene. If possible, you should take photos or video of the accident scene, including positions of the vehicles after the accident, damage to the vehicles, any skid marks on the road, the traffic controls at the scene, and the lighting, weather, traffic, and road conditions at the scene. If you have visible injuries, you should document them as well.
- Seek medical treatment. A medical provider can identify injuries and begin treatment. That will also help you start to establish your damages and prove that your injuries were caused by your side-impact car accident.
- Talk to a lawyer as soon as possible. Do not wait to speak to a lawyer about your crash. Your lawyer can begin collecting evidence immediately before it is lost or destroyed. Your lawyer can also manage all communication with the insurance companies and at-fault party from the beginning.
Common Types of Injuries Caused by a Side-Impact Car Accident
Some of the common examples of injuries suffered in side-impact car accidents include:
- Whiplash and neck injuries, which are caused by the jerking motion commonly suffered by vehicle occupants in side-impact accidents
- Back injuries, including herniated disc injuries and spinal cord injuries, which can lead to acute pain, muscle weakness, and paralysis
- Bone fractures, which can require surgery to repair
- Soft-tissue injuries, including sprains, strains, and tears of ligaments, tendons, and muscles
- Organ damage and internal bleeding
- Head injuries and traumatic brain injuries
Contact an Experienced Gainesville Side-Impact Car Accident Lawyer
Being involved in a side-impact car accident can be a traumatic experience. The accident can leave you with serious, life-altering injuries and cause you to face intense financial pressures from medical expenses and lost wages from missed work.
If you have been injured in a side-impact car accident that wasn’t your fault, contact Fine, Farkash & Parlapiano, P.A., today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Our lawyers are here to discuss the details of your case and explain your options for seeking the financial compensation you need and deserve.