Side impact accidents typically occur when a driver loses attention and pulls out of an intersection into the traffic flow when the merging lane is not free of traffic. Often, these accidents are serious, as the driver who causes them is likely to be accelerating when the side impact takes place. If you have had the misfortune to have been involved in a side impact accident and you were injured and the accident isn’t your fault, you should be able to file a personal injury (PI) claim to cover the cost of your medical treatment and the damage to your vehicle.
Disputing Fault in a Side Impact Accident
The agent most likely to try and dispute who caused the accident is the at-fault driver’s insurer. This is because it is that agent which is responsible for paying compensation to the victim of the side impact accident. However, how an insurer decides if a claim is valid will depend on the state where the accident took place. Before you commence your PI claim, you should make sure to check your state’s laws regarding fault in a side impact accident: The different rules that may apply to your situation are as follows:
- Contributory negligence is today just used by a few states and this is when a person admits sharing the fault for the side impact accident. In this case no compensation can be claimed from the at-fault driver’s insurer;
- Modified comparative negligence is when an injured victim in a side impact accident can obtain PI compensation from the at-fault party as long as the victim’s fault falls below 50%;
- Pure comparative negligence is when a victim who is injured in a side impact accident may recover PI compensation from the at-fault party, but the money received will be decreased by the percentage that is equal to his/her share of the fault.
When you start your PI claim what you shouldn’t do is admit that you are in any way partly to blame for the side impact accident but your case should be targeting the at-fault driver being fully responsible for the side impact accident.
Proving Negligence of the Other Driver
The most important way you can use to prove the other driver was negligent and it was this that caused the accident is by providing as much evidence as possible to support your PI claim. You have to ensure the evidence cannot be disputed. There are several types of evidence you can draw upon including:
- surveillance video camera footage, if available, of the side impact accident taking place;
- photo evidence showing the side impact accident scene;
- written and signed reports compiled by eye witnesses of the side impact accident and their contact details;
- cell phone records indicating that the side impact accident was caused by the at-fault driver’s distracted driving;
- a clear photocopy of the written police report compiled at the side impact accident scene which shows how the at-fault driver is fully to blame.
Get a Free Evaluation
If you were in a side impact accident and you were not at fault, get a free evaluation today. A PI lawyer can help to keep your claim out of court by filing it on your behalf with the at-fault driver’s insurer.