An auto accident due to sideswiping involves two vehicles with each side colliding. Both may be riding on the same direction or one may be parked while the other did the sideswiping. The latest statistics provided by the Insurance Information Institute showed that of the vehicular accidents recorded in 2014, a total of 712,000 crashes were due to sideswipe.
Of this number, 100 thousand resulted to injuries, 612 thousand caused damage to property and 810 to deaths.
This is a considerable figure that should not be taken for granted. You can be involved in a similar mishap regardless how careful you drive. If this happens to you, call the police immediately for assistance. Here are tips on dealing with a driver who sideswiped you to serve as guide in case it happens at the most inopportune time.
Tip#1: Do Not Admit Fault
You should never admit fault especially when you know that the other driver was the one who sideswiped you. The driver has likely violated a motor vehicle code depending on the state where the incident transpired.
Most states have legislations that requires drivers to stay in a single lane or prohibitions about changing lanes. Those who will follow these codes properly are not likely to cause accidents on the road.
To admit fault, even if it is not yours, may disqualify you from claiming from the other driver’s insurance company for the damage to your property or injuries you may have acquired due to the accident.
Tip#2: Exchange Insurance Information with the Other Driver
It is very important that you get pertinent data from the other driver about him and his insurer. This is necessary if you want to collect compensation for the damages caused to you. You should make a list of information that includes the following:
- Name and contact number of the driver and his insurance company
- A copy of the policy if immediately available while in the scene of the accident
- The license number of the driver as well as his plate number
- Other personal contact information about the driver to be able to get in touch with him
You should also provide the other driver with your own information and that of your insurer to allow for the determination of fault and negotiations of the value of the claim.
Tip#3: Document the Accident
If you did not sustain injuries that will necessitate immediate hospitalization, you should start documenting the accident by listing down all important information you can get while on the scene, which will help you with your personal injury claim. Some of the most important things you should do include the following:
- Take photos of the injuries and the vehicles’ damages from all angles;
- Get a copy of the police report;
- Get the names and contact numbers of witnesses who can help you prove your case;
- Write down the location of the accident;
- Start listing down all expenses that you will incur from the time the crash occurred;
- Get the license plate and description of the other vehicle.
You will regret trying to retain all the above information by memory as you will either forget them or lose accuracy of details. They will serve as evidence in your favor when you need to file a personal injury claim.
Tip#4: Acquire the Services of a Personal Injury Attorney
Whether the sideswiping accident is minor or have caused considerable damages, the services of a personal injury attorney can prove valuable. This is particularly so if the problem turns into a lawsuit and legal representation becomes necessary.
However, even if the accident is settled out-of-court, your attorney can negotiate for you the best value you can get in terms of settlement.