Unfortunately, side-impact accidents are a frequent occurrence on the roadway. Whether a distracted driver is not paying attention while backing out of a driveway, drives through a stop sign, or turns left into another car, the results can be devastating.
While the front and rear of a car are designed to help take unforeseen impacts, the sides of a car offer less protection. If you or a loved one has been severely injured by a side-impact accident, a car accident lawyer experienced in distracted driving cases can help you recognize your legal options.
Morris Bart will aid in your receiving compensation for the damages you have incurred.
What Is a Side-Impact Accident?
As the name implies, a side-impact accident occurs when one vehicle hits another in the side. Any time there is cross traffic present, there is an opportunity for a side-impact accident.
A side-impact accident can occur through head-on impact, also known as a T-bone accident, or at an angle as in a sideswipe. The results can be severe injuries or even deadly.
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Distracted Driving and Negligence
Not all side-impact accidents are caused by distracted driving, but as with many traffic accidents, most side-impacts are the result of negligence. Distracted driving is only one form of negligence. Examples of distracted driving include:
- Texting or talking on a handheld phone
- Talking with or paying attention to the kids or guests in the back seat
- Using the rearview mirror to put on makeup or shave
- Sightseeing instead of paying attention to traffic and the road
- Eating while driving
Other forms of negligent driving include:
- Missing a red light or stop sign
- Driving aggressively
- Road rage
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
It only takes one of these factors to cause a major accident. Being able to determine, confirm, and prove distracted driving or any other form of negligent driving is the primary premise of building a strong accident claim.
Why You Need a Car Accident Lawyer
Side-impact accidents make up a good percentage of traffic accidents. They also cause nearly 25% of car accident fatalities in a single year, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Dealing with such injuries or the loss of a loved one is hard enough without the concern of the legalities of the accident. Let an experienced car accident attorney take care of that.
The Statute of Limitations in Your Case
The earlier you can meet with and hire your lawyer, the better. Each state has a statute of limitations for filing a distracted driving legal case. This can range from one year in Louisiana to three years in Mississippi or Arkansas. Alabama has a two-year statute of limitations.
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Determining Who Was At Fault in the Accident
Because of the nature of a side-impact accident, as the victim in the other vehicle, you may not have much recollection. Often a driver can see a car about to hit them from the front or rear, providing some information as to what is about to happen.
Unless a passenger happens to see a vehicle approaching and has time to comment, the driver of the vehicle about to be hit in the side is truly blindsided. The result is little to no recollection of the event and no testimony.
Following the Evidence
In such a case a car accident attorney must rely on other information to determine and prove fault. There is always a chance the other driver will admit fault. But other evidence is still needed and is vital should that driver claim the accident was not their fault.
Evidence to help prove fault can include:
- Eyewitness testimony
- Photos and videos of the accident and the aftermath
- The police report
- Vehicle damage to those involved
- Debris, skid marks, and damage to other objects nearby
Through some of this evidence, your attorney may be able to collect other information such as the other driver’s phone records proving they were texting or talking on the phone at the time of the accident.
How the Extent of Your Injuries Affects Your Compensation
Physical injuries can vary widely from a side-impact accident, including head injuries, neck and back injuries such as whiplash or damage to the spinal cord, broken bones, and internal bleeding. Such injuries can take months, if not years, to heal if you can ever fully recover. Compensation for your physical injuries may include payment or reimbursement of:
- Emergency Department treatment
- Emergency transportation
- X-rays, ultrasounds, MRIs, and other tests
- Surgery or multiple surgeries
- Long-term care
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Follow-up physician visits and tests
- Future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Future loss of income
But there are more damages than physical injuries. Of course, you can expect compensation for repairs or replacement of your vehicle, but what about the emotional toll the accident has caused?
Other Forms of Compensation
When seeking damage compensation, there are also what are called non-economic damages. These do not come with a bill or a price tag but involve applying a financial figure to the pain and suffering from your side-impact accident. Examples include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional pain possibly leading to psychological issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder
- Loss of enjoyment from the things you can no longer do, such as partaking in sports or hobbies
- Loss of companionship
- Wrongful death of a loved one who died because of the accident
Your lawyer will evaluate previous cases and consult experts to set monetary amounts to each of the non-economic damages you incurred.
Choosing the Right Law Firm for You Following a Side-Impact Accident
The location of your accident and the attorney you hire are important. A lawyer located within the local legal authority will be familiar with the location of your accident and the traffic laws of the area. They will also be familiar with the local courts, judges, and other lawyers, which can be to your advantage in a distracted driving case.
Of course, you want someone compassionate, but you also need a forceful attorney ready to fight the big fight to maximize your compensation and not afraid to go to court should that become necessary.
Contact the Law Firm of Morris Bart for Help
Whether you live in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, or Mississippi, or your side-impact accident just happened to occur there, the legal team of Morris Bart is ready to help you. We have a diverse team of attorneys with a vast amount of experience in handling distracted driving cases including side-impact accidents.
Do not hesitate and do not wait. The statute of limitations is truly short, and you, no doubt, need the compensation you are due as soon as possible. Contact us today.
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