How to Get Compensation for a Side Impact Accident

Side impact accidents can be devastating. Even the most minor side impact accidents can cause a lot of expensive damage to the vehicle that has been hit. A fast moving impact by a large vehicle can demolish the other vehicle and cause very serious injuries.
There are serious financial implications behind any side impact accident. There are bills to pay for medical treatment and repairs to your own car - and these are just the major items on the list.

If you have been involved in a bad side impact crash you should talk to an experienced personal injury (PI) lawyer before you file a claim for damages. A lawyer can shorten the time it takes to reach a satisfactory settlement with the at-fault driver’s insurer and enable you to obtain the correct amount of compensation.

What Types of Damages Can I Collect?

It is important to take time to work out how much the accident has cost you as fully as you can. You can’t revisit a claim afterwards and try and add something you forgot. You should get some help to work out the non-economic damages, mainly a payment for pain and suffering and possibly punitive damages, as these are not easy to decide how much they should be.

A lawyer can help work these out. Pain and suffering depends on the severity of the injuries and is often a multiple of the economic damages component of the claim.

The economic damages are easier to quantify. Make sure your list of costs incurred is as complete as possible. Things like alternative transport costs or extra equipment, physical therapy and legal fees should be added to the claim.

The most common economic damages are:

  • the cost of towing away and repairing your damaged vehicle;
  • the cost of replacing any other damaged property;
  • doctor’s fees;
  • full cost of medical treatment including tests, hospital stays, ambulance, surgery and post operative support;
  • loss of earnings such as wages or income from a business.

How to Get Compensation for a Side Impact Accident

Gather Information and Evidence

You will need solid evidence that the accident and any damage and injuries was caused by the negligent driving behavior of the at-fault driver. Any evidence you have will go to the at-fault driver’s insurer. Useful evidence includes:

  • eye witness statements or at least contact details;
  • photos taken at the crash scene;
  • a police accident report;
  • any video footage that might have coincidentally been recorded by a nearby surveillance or monitoring camera;
  • all evidence showing how much the accident has cost including estimates, quotes, bills, and invoices.

The insurer will be reluctant to make a payment unless this documentation is valid and complete.

Contact a PI Lawyer

It is advisable to use a PI lawyer after any serious accident. You are more likely to get a realistic compensation payment. Most PI lawyers defer legal fees until a settlement is finalized and include a free initial consultation to assess the possibility of making a claim.
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